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[ P - Pre-Teen ]

The incident with the Boa earned Shinji a long punishment, longer then the rest. By the time he was no longer punished, summer vacation started and Blob had broken more then half of his new toys, including flattening the racing bike with his sheer weight.

Shinji was glad that school was over, but he couldn't get away from Blob and Toad, since Toad made it a point to visit daily and even spend the night sometimes. They were both big and stupid, but seeing as Blob was the biggest and stupidest, he was the leader. Though, they both enjoyed Shinji Seeking, a sport that usually ended with Shinji hurt and humiliated.

This was why Shinji like to spend his time out of the house, walking up and down the street thinking. He also prayed for a tiny ray of hope at the end of summer. In September, he'd be going to Middle School, and for once, he wouldn't be with Blob. Blob was accepted to Uncle Homer's old Private school, Smellings. Toad was going there too. Shinji was going to the local public high school, Clover High. Blob somehow found this more then funny.

"They give people swirlies there on the first day," he sneered, " Want to practice upstairs?"

" No thanks," Shinji answered strongly, "That poor toilet's never had something as horrible as your head down it, it might be sick later," He then ran off before Blob could put 2 and 2 together.

One day in late July, Mrs. Dreary took Blob into town to get his uniform, leaving Shinji with Mrs. Rubble. It wasn't that bad there. She had tripped and broken her leg. She was nicer then usual, letting Shinji watch TV and giving him a piece of cake, that regardless of how hard it was, it was good.

That night, Blob paraded around in his new uniform. On the whole, Shinji found it disturbing that anyone would wear something like that, but the most disturbing thing he saw was the cane that Blob carried. He assumed his head would later be introduced to it.

Uncle Homer was particularly proud of Blob in his uniform, and Aunt Cruella said that she could believe how grown up her darling Blobby-kins looked. Shinji didn't trust himself to say a word, especially since his energy was being used to restrain his laughter.

The next morning, there was a horrible smell when Shinji went into the kitchen. It seemed to come from a tub in the sink. Shinji knew better, but went to look any way. He was disgusted to see what looked like rags swimming in dirty gray water.

" What's this?" he asked Aunt Cruella.

" Your new school uniform," Her tone was as curt and sharp as whenever Shinji asked anything.

Shinji's face drooped as he looked in the tub again, " oh....I didn't know it had to be so wet."

" Don't be so stupid," she snapped, "I'm dying some of Blob's old things for you. It will look like everyone else's when I'm done."

Shinji doubted that, but didn't want to argue, arguing always ended bad for him. He sat down, trying not to think of how he would look on his first day at his new school, like he was wearing bits of elephant skin no doubt.

Uncle Homer and Blob came in with wrinkled noses and half gagging from the smell of the uniform. Uncle Homer sat down to read his paper, and Blob smacked his Smellings stick, which he carried everywhere, on the table.

They heard the click of the mail slot and a flop of letters on the welcome mat.

" Get the mail, Blob."

" Make Shinji get it."

" Get the mail, Shinji."

" Make Blob get it."

" Poke him with your stick, Blob."

Shinji managed to dodge the stick and ran to get the mail. When he picked it up there were 3 letters, a postcard, a bill, and...A letter for Shinji?!

Shinji picked it up and turned it over a few times. He didn't have any friends, who could be writing to him? No one ever wrote to him before, not even rude notes, but this letter was plainly for him...

Mr. S. Ikari

The Closet behind the main door

101 Art Drive

The letter was thick, and well made. There was no stamp, only the address written in a lacy manner that Shinji had never seen and in red.

Turning the envelope over, he saw a red wax seal with a crest on it written in a language unknown to him.

" Hurry up, boy!" it was Uncle Homer from the kitchen, " What are you doing? Checking the letters for bombs?" he chuckled to himself.

Shinji went back into the kitchen, handing Uncle Homer the other 2 letters and sitting down to open his own.

Suddenly Blob shrieked out, " Dad! Shinji's got a letter!"

Shinji suddenly felt his letter being jerked sharply out of his hand as he watched Uncle Homer take it away. " Who would write to you?" He laughed at his own humor as he shook the letter open and began to read it. He nearly choked on his own coffee as he bellowed out, "C-C-Cruella!"

Blob tried to snatch it and read it, but Uncle Homer held it up high. Aunt Cruella grabbed it and read it curiously and for a moment she almost fainted. "Homer, Oh my goodness-Homer, what will we do?!"

They looked at each other, forgetting that Shinji and Blob were in the room. Blob wasn't used to being ignored, so he gave his father a sharp tap on the head with his Smellings stick. " DO!"

" I want to read it!" he whined.

" I want to read it as it is mine!" said Shinji in a dangerous tone.

" Get out, both of you," muttered Uncle Homer, stuffing the letter back in it's envelope.

Shinji didn't move, " I WANT MY LETTER!" he shouted.

" Let me see it!" whined Blob again.

"OUT!" bellowed Uncle Homer, and he stood, taking both Shinji and Blob by the scruffs of the necks and tossing them into the Hall, slamming the kitchen door. Luckily, Shinji rolled to the side and he just missed being landed on by Blob. Shinji and Blob had a silent fight, over who would listen in the keyhole, Blob one as usual so , Shinji with a black eye, listened through the crack at the bottom of the door.

" Homer, how could they know where he sleeps? Do you thin they are spying on us?" said Aunt Cruella, voice quivering as she looked in a Cookie Jar.

" Watching, Spying, Might even be following us," he muttered.

" What should we do, Homer? Write back? Tell them that we don't want him to..."

Shinji could see Uncle Homer pacing until he finally spoke, " No, we'll ignore it. If they don't get an answer...yes, that's it...we won't do anything."

" But..."

" No Cruella, when we took him in, we swore we'd get those ideas out of his head, didn't we?"

That night, when Uncle Homer came home, he did something he never did before, he visited Shinji's closet.

" Where's my letter?" said Shinji the moment Uncle Homer made it through the door, "Who's writing to me?"

" No one, it was a mistake, I used it for something in the plant."

" I wasn't a mistake! It had my closet on it!"

"DO!" That last one making a few cobwebs rattle. Then he forced a smile in which it was easy to see all his teeth were gritted, "Yes, about your closet. Your aunt and I have been thinking, you really are getting a bit big for it. We think it might be nice if you have Blob's second bedroom."

" Out of the goodness of our hearts. Now take your stuff upstairs boy."

That last remark was short and sharp enough to give Shinji the message. The Dreary home had 4 rooms. One for Aunt Cruella and Uncle Homer. One for Guests. One was Blobs and the other was were Blob kept his toys that didn't fit in his first bedroom. It only took one trip for Shinji to take all his things up to Blob's second bedroom. He sat on the bed and looked about. Nearly everything was broken. The month old camera, a TV set, a bent air rifle, and a bird cage which he had a bird in once. Shinji could have sworn that Blob had eaten it. Some shelves had books, which were the only things that looked untouched.

From downstairs, Shinji could hear Blob's wailing, " I don't want him in there...I need that room....make him get out!"

Shinji stretched out on the bed. Yesterday he'd have given anything to be up here, today he would rather be in his closet with the letter then up here without it.

The next morning, breakfast was rather quiet. Blob was in shock. He had thrown every tantrum he could and he still didn't have his room back. Shinji thought of this time yesterday, wishing bitterly that he had opened that letter in the hall.

When the mail came, Uncle Homer made Blob go and get it. He banged things all the way down the hall, then picked up the letters shrieking, " Dad! He's got another one!"

Uncle Homer and Shinji dashed to the door, both wrestling Blob to the ground in hopes of getting the letter. In the end, Uncle Homer won out. He and Shinji had both been pelted by the stick, but he stood triumphantly with Shinji's letter in hand.

" Go to your closet, I mean bed room....Blob, just go."

Shinji paced about his new bedroom. Some knew he had moved rooms, and knew he didn't get his first letter either. Surely they would try again? This time he would make sure they didn't fail. He began to contemplate a plan.

The repaired alarm clock rang at 6:00am... "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" which was quickly scooped up by Duo in his hat as the braided hero ran off.

Shinji sat up, hoping that he didn't wake the Drearys. He went carefully down stairs without turning on any of the lights. He was going to wait for the post man at the corner of Art drive and get the mail for 101 first. He crept towards the door.


He gave a small jump, he had stepped on something big, squishy, and living! As the lights came on, he realized he had stepped on his Uncle Homer's face. He had been sleeping at the door, making sure that Shinji didn't do exactly what he was planning on doing.

He got scolded a bit, before Uncle Homer told him to go and make some tea. He shuffled miserably into the kitchen. As he got back, he could see the letters on Uncle Homer's lap, but before he could say a thing, Uncle Homer had torn them up before his eyes.

Uncle Homer didn't go to work that day. He stayed home, nailing up the mail slot.

" See?" he told Aunt Cruella, " If they can't deliver them, then they will just give up."

" I'm not sure that will work , Homer."

" These hippies think different then you and me, hunny."

On Friday, no less the 12 letters came for Shinji. Since the mail slot had been sealed, they came in all sorts of strange places, including the toilet in the upstairs bathroom.

Uncle Homer stayed home again that day. He began to board up all the little cracks here and there singing " Tip-toe through the tulips," and jumping at small noises.

On Saturday, things got out of hand, 24 letters had come to Shinji . While Uncle Homer called up the post office to complain, Aunt Cruella shredded them in her food processor .

" Who could possibly want to talk to you this badly?" asked Blob in amazement.

Sunday morning, Uncle Homer sat at the table looking tired, ill, but all in all happy.

" No mail on Sunday," he said cheerfully, the donut missing his mouth, " No letters today..."

Something came whizzing down the chimney as he spoke and smacked him in the back of the head. Next thing they knew, 40 some odd letters came blasting into the kitchen and filled the room. The Drearys ducked and Shinji leaped into the air to try and catch just one.

"OUT!" shouted Uncle Homer as he threw Shinji into the hall, followed by Blob and Aunt Cruella. Uncle Homer came out, locking the door as yet more letters streamed into the room.

Uncle Homer turned to the family, " We're going away for a while, pack some clothes, be back in five minutes. No Arguments!"

No one said a word and did as he said. Ten minutes later, they were in the car, speeding down the highway. Blob was sniffling in the back seat. He didn't get a chance to pack his TV, VCR, and computer.

They drove and drove. Not even Aunt Cruella asked where they were going. Now and then Uncle Homer would make a sharp turn and drive elsewhere. Shinji wasn't even sure if he knew where he was going.

" got to shake'em," he would mutter to himself.

They didn't stop all day and by now Blob was howling. He was hungry, missed his TV shows and wanted to blow up aliens on his computer.

Uncle Homer stopped outside of a gloomy hotel on the out-skirts of a big city. Blob and Shinji shared a damp, musty room. Blob slept, but Shinji lay awake in wonder.

They had stale cornflakes and cold coffee for breakfast the next morning. They were about half way done when the Hotel Manager came over, "Excuse me, but is one of you Mr. S. Ikari? I have about a hundred of these at the desk," he held up a letter with the familiar red ink...

Mr. S. Ikari

Room 17

Oldway Hotel

Shinji made a grab for the letter, but Uncle Homer knocked his hand away. The manager stared.

" I'll take them, " said Uncle Homer quickly as he followed the manager out of the dining room.

It wasn't long before they were on the road again. No one was quite sure what Uncle Homer was looking for though. Driving through forests and such and driving some more.

Uncle Homer parked at the coast and got out. It had begun to rain and Blob began to whine again.

"It's Monday! Hong Kong Phooey is on and I want to see him!"

Monday, that reminded Shinji of something. If it was Monday, then tomorrow was his birthday. He would be eleven. His birthdays were never fun, last year he got an old pair of socks, but still it wasn't every day that you turned eleven.

Uncle Homer was back smiling with a long thin package. He didn't answer when Aunt Cruella asked him what it was.

" Found the perfect place. Come on, everyone out!"

It was freezing outside the car as Uncle Homer pointed to a large rock out at sea, there was the most miserable looking place perched on top.

" Storm's tonight, and the gentleman has agreed to lend us his boat!" smiled Uncle Homer.

He pointed to a rowboat. " I got us some rations, so all aboard!"

It was freezing and wet in the boat, and it seemed like hours before they reached the shack. Uncle Homer, who had fallen twice, led the way into the shack.

Inside was horrible. It was musty and damp, with cracks and a worn out fireplace. There were only 2 rooms.

Uncle Homer's rations were a banana and bag of chips each. He tried to burn the bag of chips in the fire place, but it just shriveled.

" Could do with some of those letters now huh?" He laughed cheerfully to himself.

The promised storm blew in that night. Aunt Cruella had made a bed for Blob with the Moth eaten couch and the moldy blankets. She and Uncle Homer took a lumpy bed in the next room. Shinji was left with nothing more then the damp floor and a thin rag, which he tried to make the best of.

The storm got worse as the night grew, Shinji couldn't sleep. His stomach rumbled with hunger. Shinji watch the digital watch on Blob's wrist. In 11 minutes, it would be his birthday. He wondered if any one cared and where his letter writer was now.

Five minutes and he heard a creak outside. He hoped the roof wouldn't fall, although it might be warmer if it did. Four minutes, maybe the house on Art drive would be full with so many letters that he could steal one somehow.

Three, two... was the sea raging or what was that funny crunching outside?

One to go and he'd be eleven. Thirty seconds, twenty, ten, nine...maybe he would wake up Blob, just to annoy


The whole shack shivered and Shinji shot up, staring at the door, there was someone knocking on it.