My momma didn't raise no idiots (Corndog's version)

Now, I guess I really have nobody to blame but myself, cause I'm the one that told Momma that I needed a brother. And Mrs. Wilson's always been known for trying to please her kids. Next thing I know, Momma's introducing me to Geoffrey, Geoff, Tendown.

Now, let me tell you, if I'd know it was that easy, I'd have asked for a puppy. But seriously, and I guess if I'm talking 'bout Geoff, I should be serious, lord knows he is...

Momma took me aside one day and asks me how serious I was about having a brother. Now, I know my birds and bees and I know that once your mom's askin' for your opinion, its too late. So me, figuring I'd have a few months to get used to the idea, and then a couple of years while he's too small to worry about said it was fine by me and I promised I'd look out after him. I knew I was in trouble when momma started laughing.

'Darlin', she called me, and that's when I know I'm in trouble, cause I know she's trying to soften the blow. 'Darlin, his name is Geoff, and he really needs a family.'

So now I'm figuring the kid's a toddler, but hey, I'm 10, I can cope with these things. So I say 'Okay.' And she just looks at me with that worried mother look that only a mother can make, and she says 'Darlin' again and I start wondering how bad it was. 'Just don't tell me he's older,' I managed to say.

'Actually, he's your age,' she answered and even as I started to breath a sigh of relief I could tell there was more.

Now, I knew a coupla kids who'd gone through goblinization and I could tell momma was feeling me out Little Charlie Danvers had turned into BIG Charlie almost overnight and I admit, its a bit disconcerting, but still, can't blame a kid for mom-nature playing with them. So I say 'Just tell me he ain't no psycho, cause I can't handle that.'

Momma just laughed and that was that. Course it turned out that Geoff was old'n me... by three hours and 25 minutes. So I'd gone from an only child to a twin. Course it wasn't quite that easy.

Turns out Geoff was in the hospital 'cause his dad'd beaten him, badly. Like I said, I was ten, but I was so angry that this man, this stranger had beaten *my* brother. He was so lost when he came to the house looked almost like a rabbit, looking for a way out. Two years later, you'd've thought we'd grown up together. Geoff never wanted to talk about his dad, but he told me about his mother. I think Mrs. Mays was a beautiful woman, and maybe if she'd been around for him things wouldn't have happened the way they had, but what-ifs can drive you crazy. His dad was loaded and I think he even tried to have the doc's make Geoff look normal, but Geoff wouldn't have it, more sense than his old man, but I guess his dad couldn't take it. Still, if his dad had been reasonable, I wouldn't have had a twin.

Then of course, since we got along, momma started thinking that we needed a sister. Now I really wish I'd put my foot down there, but it was too late and I'd created a monster. Seven brothers and 3 sisters later, we're lookin' at Derrick. Now Derrick, he's a swamp rat that managed to travel from the Bayou to our neck of the woods before he got mugged by the Danvers boys. Now, me, I'm thinking they musta damaged the kid, cause he's always off by himself and man you should hear the conversations he'd have with himself.

But there's something 'bout the kid that Geoff could understand. Guess it was what he'd been through, cause if anybody can get you to spill your guts out, its Geoff. Well Geoff tells me what's what and I don't think we even said a thing about what we were going to do. We just went and jumped Max and his boys. Looking back, I think we should have taken a little more time, cause I know Geoff got hurt pretty bad, but he never said a word, and you should have seen the shit-eatin' grin he gave Derrick when we gave him back his daddy's watch.

Momma scolded us, but gently cause she could see the hurt in Geoff's eyes. I asked him about it later and he just said that he'd imagined what it would be like to lose the only reminder of your father. He didn't say it, but I knew he was talking about my dad and not his. Geoff never talked about his dad.

Well, after that, I saw Derrick as he really was, a kid that'd been forced to survive on his own and had adapted. Momma says that when we left, Geoff and I joined the Army, Derrick became protector of the brood, cause by then Momma had adopted a few more kids.

Now momma never did anything in a small way. Lord, I guess by then we had at least two dozen kids at the farm at any given time, but she always managed to make sure we were taken care of. When we left I think she was already making plans for our room.

Let see, there was Geoff, Theresa, Freddy, Mark, Nina, Lex, Matthew, Ellen, Manny, Tod and Erick. Then there was Derrick followed by Gina, Tommy, Mark (II), Daniel, Corrine, Anne, Jenny, Tina, Anthony, Sissy, Jimmy, Jerry, Jen, Dana, Murray... I could go on, but we'd be here all night.

Anyway, Momma said that the Johnsons', their really name, I swear, dogs got loose and they ended up at our place. Now, Sissy was only 5 at the time, and she was sitting playing in the front yard when they got there, and before anybody knew what was going on the dogs were after her. But Derrick jumped in growlin' and swearin, he put himself between the dogs and Sissy and yelled for the others to get her out of there. The idiot is mauled and his first concern afterwards was Sissy. That's my family, and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything.

We've been through some tough times though, I thought things couldn't have been worse than when dad died, but even with the loss, it was still a celebration of his legacy. All his 'kids' were there and let me tell you, you've never seen a mottlier bunch than us Wilsons. I think the worst part of the funeral was Geoff, cause he was trying so hard to look after me and comfort me, but he was hurting just as bad if not worse.

Like I said, I thought things couldn't have gotten worse, but then our illustrious leader went bad. Almost cost Derrick his life, hell it cost all of us our commission. I don't remember much myself, I got knocked ass over end and I remember Geoff. I knew it was bad when I saw his face. He had that determined/worried look on his face I'd only seen once before.

It was the same look he had when the Johnson's kids picked a fight with Tommy, he'd found out about the fight way to late to stop it, and all he could do was hold Tommy as the doctor cauterized his eye socket. He was cryin' then and he was cryin' now. I tried to reassure him, but nothing came out. When I came to, he'd gotten me back to base, but I also got the bad news. Geoff was in the brig and there'd been no word on Derrick.

I tried to talk to the Base commander, but he said he'd read the report and get back to me. Geoff'd been through hell to get me out and Derrick may have paid the price. I don't know how long I worried 'bout them, but, momma didn't raise no fools.

Derrick came back, but it took him a long time to get there. We were both discharged, but Geoff, Geoff was sentenced to 10 years hard labor for 'dereliction of duty.' As if!

And that wasn't the end of it either. Derrick'd wake up screamin'... We were in the UCAS Therapeutic Hospital by then. A combination physical Therapy and Psych.-councilin' Center. I tried to keep an eye on Derrick, but they had me on so many pain killers, I'd forget who I was, let alone my family... Good thing TwoBears was there.

Now TwoBears is a good name for the man, and as far as I know its his name, and his handle. He was big. He was there when we rolled in, seems he'd been shot 6 times before his team could get to him and get rid of the idjits that were shooting him. Drunks. Damn drunks, its not bad enough the man's risking his life to defend these people, but 2 drunks want to use him for target practice. Now, Voodoo's a peaceable enough bunch, but that was way too much for any of them to stomach. I hear their Decker took them out. I laughed at first, but then I met the young lady... ain't no surprise, or laughing matter.

Her name is Duck, now don't ask me how she got that handle, but I'll tell you, TwoBears is a lucky man. She's one hell of a lady, and I'm not just saying that for what she did for my brothers and me, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Seems while I was drugged out my mind, Derrick was terrified out of his. He'd wake up screamin', or worse, not wake up. Like I said, lucky for us, TwoBears was there. Seems among other things, he's a Shaman, not one of those new-age feel good types either, he was selected and trained from an early age all traditional like. Now he won't talk about what happened or what he saw, but I know he's woken up screamin' from it a coupla times.

I tried to ask him but he shook his head. 'No.' was all he said. What he wouldn't tell me, he told Duck. Now, if I had any doubts how bad it was, Duck's expression said it all. I have never seen her so livid, before or since, well, except the time that somebody faked Tracker's death and absconded with him, but again, another story...

Anyway, Duck stepped in like an avenging angel, started and investigation based on TwoBears' description. She found something too. Quite a lot it turns out, including the fact that there was going to be a series of accidents that would leave 3 of Mrs. Wilson's boys out of the game permanently. They must have been watching her though, cause rather than come get us, she broke Geoff out jail, and told him. Took his place in the cell even so that he wouldn't be missing during head count.

Well, Tendown was the right man for the job, cause he took care of business and saved our asses. But there was a cost, knowing Geoff he blames himself, but Duck knew what she was doing. You see, it seems that our ever loving C.O. found out about the switch and wanted to trade, the evidence for Duck. If it'd been just Geoff's hide on the line, I think he'd have agreed, but TwoBears'd have none of it. Sounds cold, but you have to understand, the people we were dealing with weren't to be trusted, and if they had all the copies, than none of us would have walked out of this. TwoBears, he knew, and he knew what they were doing to Duck. Geoff and me, we could imagine, but Derrick was just awful quiet 'bout the whole thing, and that broke it for me.

TwoBears seemed to pass out for a while, but I shouldn't have worried, he'd been looking for Duck the way only a Shaman can look. He found more than her location, we could see it in his eyes. He managed to tell us where she was, and that was all Geoff needed.

I guarantee you, those bastards won't be messing with anybody else's heads. Ya ask me, they got what they deserved. Duck and Derrick, they helped each other through. And they say a Psych. ward's the best place for that kinda thing.

Geoff was cleared of the charges, but he'd had enough by then. Hell, I think we all had. Still we managed to make it through, mostly in one piece. Geoff'd argue with that, but I think Derrick's just playing' with him. Wouldn't you know it, I got another brother and sister out of the deal. Not bad for an only child, eh?

Copyright 1998 - M.T. Decker

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