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Kevin`s Point of View - Chap. 4

by  Colonist

Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2004
Word Count: 2296
Summary: Kevin accidentally blasts a hole in his bedroom wall with the Influxitron (a small electronic device accidentally delivered to his home).

Kevin's Point of View
By Del Shannon

Chapter 4

Kevin turned the Influxitron in his hands, looking for something to tell him what this strange present was. It was the size of a television remote control and had three buttons labeled Power, Level and Activate. On one end was a small, shiny disk, like a camera lens. He pushed the Power button. A low hum purred softly followed by the gentle vibration of an electric motor coming to life then, without warning, a high pitched whine made Kevin jump. He backed away, waiting for something to happen. The whining faded back to the low hum. He tiptoed back to the edge of his bed and peeked at the buttons on top of the box. A red light above the Level button blinked.

“Kevin?” his mother called from the living room. “I’m going to the store to pick up a few groceries and then out for coffee with Carolyn Schmidt. I’ll be back in a few hours. Do you want anything?”

Kevin hated that one of his mother’s friends was one of his schoolteachers. “Wire cutters, three sticks of dynamite, glow-in-the-dark paint, a hard hat, and something you can put in someone’s coffee that makes them think all your homework answers are right,” Kevin yelled back.

Ellen sighed. “I’ll just get you some granola bars.”

A few seconds later Kevin heard the front door slam and the car lurch out of the driveway. He looked back to his bed. The light was still blinking steadily. He touched the Level button once, which produced a small, high-pitched beep. He touched it again and another, slightly higher pitched beep chirped from the Influxitron. Another touch and the lower chirp came back - chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp. Kevin played with the Level button until he decided it didn’t do anything but chirp. Boring, thought Kevin. He pushed for the Activate button next, hoping there was something that made this a worthwhile present, when a shaft of white light exploded from the lens. Startled by the burst, Kevin jumped back a few feet as his eyes followed the path of the light from the box to the wall facing his backyard. Where the light met the wall there was now a small, smoking hole and then it simply stopped. Kevin looked at the Influxitron, his eyes as big as basketballs, then at the hole in his wall, again at the Influxitron, and back to the hole. He started screaming and nearly knocked his bedroom door down again as he raced out of his room and down the stairs.

Sprinkles was drinking from the leaky kitchen faucet when Kevin screamed into the kitchen. Startled by what he thought was another attack from Kevin, Sprinkles jumped in terror toward the far wall and landed on top of the telephone. He scrambled on the phone for a few seconds trying to stay on, knocked the receiver off the wall and hit the speed dial for Guido’s Pizza as he finally fell off.

“Yo, Guido’s Pizza. What’ll ya have, dude?” a voice asked from the phone spinning on the floor.

“AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!” Kevin yelled as he raced back through the kitchen.

“Okay, one large combo. Anything else?” the voice asked.

“YYYYYYEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Kevin yelled, running in circles in the kitchen now.

“Large or small on that one, dude?”


“Hold up there, big guy. I’m writing as fast as I can,” the voice said.


“We’re out of the jalapenos. Want garlic?”


“Cool, no need for the address, big guy, we got the caller ID thing and your phone number’s in the Univac. We’ll be there in the Pizzamobile in about 20,” the voice said, followed by a click.

Kevin finally stopped screaming in the laundry room. “Phone. I need a phone. Have to call Tony. Where’s the phone?” he stammered at Sprinkles who had taken refuge behind the dryer and poked his head out to see if all was clear. Sprinkles quickly retreated again. Kevin turned sharply and marched to the kitchen while Sprinkles stayed hidden in the laundry room.

Kevin picked the phone off the floor, not stopping to wonder how it got there, clicked the receiver and punched Tony’s number. “Hello?” a woman’s voice answered after two rings.

“Hello, Mrs. DiVietti,” Kevin said in the nicest voice he could muster.

“Oh, hello, Kevin. Would you like to talk with Tony?”

“Y-Yes please, Mrs. DiVietti,” Kevin stammered.

A few seconds later Tony picked up the phone, “What’s up, Kevin?”

“Get over here now!” Kevin boomed, unable to control his excitement.

“Ouch! Stop yelling,” Tony barked. “You know I can’t just go over to your house without asking my mom first. She’s still ticked about the pond thing at the university. Anyway, what’s so important?”

“I can’t talk on the phone, may be bugged,” Kevin whispered.

“Yeah, right double-oh-seven. Have you completely lost it?”

“I’m serious!” Kevin yelled again.

“Ouch! I said stop yelling,” Tony hissed. “What do I tell my mom?”

“Tell her you have to help me with my homework, or something like that,” Kevin suggested.

There was a long silence followed by an explosion of laughter. It took Tony half a minute to calm down enough to speak clearly again. “Yeah,” more laughter, “that’s a good idea, Kevin. She’s sure to believe that one. I’ll tell her you’re stuck on an essay about the Civil War and need my help on the Battle of Gettysburg. She’ll probably offer to drive us both to the library.” Tony
convulsed in laughter again.

“Okay, Einstein, you make up an excuse. Just get over here,” Kevin ordered over Tony’s howls and hung up. He turned and walked slowly back to his room.

As he reached his door and peered in, he kept the rest of his body behind the frame, ready for a fast exit should the Influxitron decide to bore another hole through his wall. All he saw was the blinking light.


Tony hung up and began thinking of ways to get to Kevin’s. Convincing his mother to let him go to Kevin’s for anything other than trouble would be tough. The first thing he thought to try was The Escape. The Escape was tricky because he had to run out of the house and blurt out something like, “Bye mom, I’m going to Kevin’s. Be back by dinner,” as he slammed the door. She had to be really distracted for it to work and he had to get out of the house and halfway to Kevin’s before she really noticed he was gone. Tony looked over at his mother reading on the sofa next to the front door. The Escape wasn’t going to work.

Tony walked up to his room, sat in a hump on his bed and went through his next option, The Fib. The Fib was a mixture of half-truths and timing. The key was to make up a believable, semi-true story of why he absolutely had to go to Kevin’s. Obviously, helping with homework was out.

Tony slumped off his bed and began pacing. He went through every excuse he’d used in the past but each time he remembered getting into trouble. Two months ago he said he was going to help Kevin give Sprinkles a bath. Instead they had thrown all of their model airplanes off the roof with firecrackers taped to their wings and nearly burned down the Tobin’s backyard fence. Then last Fall he told his mother he was going to help clean Kevin’s room but instead they pooled their allowance money and bought two cases of Three Musketeer candy bars. They were sick for two days after eating the first case the same day they bought it.

Two weeks ago he said he was going to help Kevin with his pitching but instead they rode to the university and tried to jump one of the ponds on their bikes. That trip turned into two soaking kids, two submerged bikes, and a ride home from the campus police with a warning not to return. The Fib wasn’t going to work either.

He had to come up with a vulnerable area, an area his mother would be sensitive to. A few more minutes of pacing didn’t reveal any solid ideas so he gave up and bounced back down to the kitchen for a glass of milk. Walking into the kitchen he tripped over his mother’s gym bag. “Oh, I’m sorry Tony. I went to the gym this morning for my aerobics and I haven’t put my bag away yet,” Marylin DiVietti apologized, rising from the couch to pick up the bag.

“That’s okay mom.” Looking down at the bag Tony suddenly had an idea. If she’d been to the gym it meant she thought she was getting fat. He’d remembered her at breakfast making what he called her fat noises and grumbling about how large she looked in her new outfit. He smiled at his brilliance. All he had to do was tell her how good she looked and she might let him go over to Kevin’s.

“By the way Mom, it really looks like those aerobics are working,” Tony mentioned. “You know, for an old person, your legs are kind of skinny.”

His mother stopped and turned around. “Thank you Tony, I think,” she said.

Tony gained confidence. “No, I mean it. You’re really not that fat. And ever since you got that new hair color you can’t see any gray hair at all.”

Marylin began snickering. “Is that so?”

“Yeah, all the other moms I know wish their hair color looked as good as yours. And it’s a lot less ratty then Mrs. Dobermeyer’s, that’s for sure,” he trumpeted.

“Oh, now Tony,” chuckling now, “you say the nicest things.”

Tony, now beaming, prepared for one last compliment, which, he was sure, would get him to Kevin’s house. “Mom, without a doubt, you are the least fat mother I know. You can hardly see the veins sticking out of your legs, and ever since you started using that cream your wrinkles don’t look as bad as usual.”

Marylin couldn’t stand it any longer. She turned around, covered her mouth and choked down giggles as she walked away. Instantly noticing his opportunity, Tony blurted out, “Can I go over to Kevin’s and help him wash Mrs. Tobin’s car?”

“Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!” she finally howled, nearly falling over. Tony took this as a Yes and ran out the door. He grabbed his bike off the lawn, got a running start, hopped on, and peddled for Kevin’s house. As he rode away he could still hear his mother’s hoots through the open windows. He’d have to remember this technique for another time.


Ellen Tobin shared a small table with Carolyn Schmidt at the Sacred Grounds Cafe and Coffee House and fidgeted with her coffee as she tried to organize the flood of worries overwhelming her. Carolyn, a friend for more than 10 years and now Kevin’s 6th grade teacher, waited patiently as Ellen gathered herself.

“It’s been a year,” Ellen said after several minutes of silence. “This week. This week is the anniversary of Rich’s death. April 12th.” Ellen looked up from her coffee, her eyes clouded with grief, and searched for some relief in the face of her friend.

“I don’t know what to do about him anymore,” Ellen continued, the tears now spilling from her eyes. “He knows. He knows how hard this is for all of us and he just keeps pushing. And his fantasies are getting worse too. This morning he was a jet fighter pilot, and a few days ago he was running around the backyard naked, babbling about a hockey player or a submarine captain. I couldn’t quite tell. It must be awful at school.”

Carolyn chuckled in agreement. “Kevin and Tony have had better weeks, but I’m hoping our week at Winter Park for our yearly camp will give us all a much needed break. The whole class, even Kevin, has been looking forward to this trip the entire year.”

“You know, I did want to talk with you about camp. I’ve been talking with Marylin DiVietti and she’s volunteered to take Kevin and Tony to Ohio next week to visit her mother.

“She did what?” Carolyn sputtered, choking slightly on her coffee. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Well, we’re hoping that if they’re cooped up together for a solid week they may actually get sick of each other. I know that it sounds kind of stupid as I try and explain it to you, but if you think about it, it might work. I can remember going on family vacations in our station wagon when I was a child and by the end of the trip I was ready to kill everyone in the car.”

“Yes, yes,” Carolyn agreed. “I’ve been on those types of trips too, but this is Kevin we’re talking about. He’s not an amateur; he’s a pro. Put him together with Tony for a solid week and they’re likely to cause some sort of natural disaster.”

“He’s only 12-years-old, Carolyn,” Ellen mumbled, hunching over the table trying to encourage her friend to keep her voice low. “Don’t you think that’s a little harsh?”

“Maybe,” Carolyn answered, matching Ellen’s hushed tone. “I’m not a psychologist. I’m just a teacher. But I think you might want to reconsider your plan.”

“I guess I’ll talk with Marylin about it,” conceded Ellen. As they continued to talk, debating the merits of sending Kevin and Tony to Ohio instead of the annual school camp trip, a black Jeep, sporting a Guido’s Pizza sign on its roof, sped unnoticed by the café.

End Chapter 4