Hear Almine share the third installment of Freckles.
For obvious reasons, Suzy’s best friends call her Freckles. But not being permitted such liberties, we’ll call her Suzy, and the fragrance she inspired, we’ll call Freckles… here’s her story ~
It was the unpleasant duty of Miss Uppington, the school secretary, to inform parents of their child’s unruly conduct, and to make it quite clear that such behavior would not be tolerated in the fine institution of Oakdale Valley Middle School. To lend authority, and a touch of severity, to these phone calls, she had cultivated a frosty delivery for such messages.
In the case of Suzy however, the phone calls were so frequent, that all she could convey with her voice was a level of fatigue at the repetitive nature of the calls. She was complaining just last week that Suzy had yet again assaulted Sammy Wentworth for bringing his frog, named Suzy, to show and tell.
Mr. and Mrs. Barnes had sat up late that evening discussing possible solutions for channeling their spirited daughter’s energy into constructive avenues. As a result, Mrs. Barnes announces the next day that Suzy would be joining the local Girl Scout troop. “But what do Girl Scouts do?” asked Suzy suspiciously. “They are friends of nature and are taught many skills,” replied Mrs. Barnes quickly. Suzy’s eyes lit up. She thought she would excel in scaling cliffs and rafting down unchartered rivers. In fact, since they were nature lovers, she would take her newly acquired salamander, named Sammy, to her first meeting.
Mrs. Barnes was rather pleased at how well Suzy had embraced her plan. She obtained a Girl Scout uniform, wrestled and coerced her daughter’s untamable bush of curly, red hair into the beret, and drove Suzy to her first Girl Scout meeting. With Sammy the salamander in a box on her lap, and wearing her stylish new uniform, Suzy felt a sense of adventure, imagining herself leading an expedition through the jungle.
Mrs. Barnes and Suzy were so lost in their thoughts that they failed to see Sammy crawling out of his box. He made his way to the front of the car, and feeling rather bewildered by his new environment, sought refuge up Mrs. Barnes’ pant leg. The tickling feeling caused Mrs. Barnes leg to jerk erratically on the gas pedal as the car jolted and bounced down the highway. Alarmed, her blue eyes large as saucers, Suzy clutched her box tightly to protect Sammy.
As the escapee made his way higher up her pant leg, Mrs. Barnes started screaming and pulled the car onto the side of the road. She jumped out and started shaking her leg in a desperate attempt to dislodge whatever animal had crawled up her pants. Sammy clung on as though his life depended on it.
Driving his car home from having successfully completed a first aid course that was required for his work as a swimming instructor, Mr. Ashford, Molly Ashford’s father, saw what he thought was a woman having a seizure on the side of the road. As an expert in giving first aid, he felt compelled to pull over and render assistance. He threw the screaming Mrs. Barnes to the ground, and while holding her down, tried to stick his fingers into her mouth to grab her tongue and move it out of harm’s way.
Suzy’s alarm grew at seeing her mother being attacked on the side of the road. She started screaming as well. A travelling salesman named Henry was driving down the road, when to his dismay, he saw a man attacking a woman on the side of the road – in front of her screaming daughter.
Henry was a mild-mannered man, but such an outrage could not be ignored. He drove his car to the side of the road and ran to her assistance. He pulled Mr. Ashford off of Mrs. Barnes, and punched him in the stomach. As a fight between the two men broke out, Mrs. Barnes jumped up and started shaking her leg again. Sammy had now made his way to more tender regions, where he sought refuge from all the commotion. A policeman, having been summoned by a concerned motorist, found them in their confusion and arrested them all.
Mrs. Barnes, still shaking, was placed in the back of the police car as a second police car pulled up to transport the men. Suzy was given a lollipop and allowed to wear the policeman’s hat. As she sat in the front seat of the car, still clutching her box, she could hear Mr. Ashford tearfully repeat, “All I wanted was her tongue”. He was dismayed at the apparent indifference of the police officers because they should know that unless the tongue is moved, it could be a source of suffocation for a seizure victim.
Suzy felt quite at home in the chaos that ensued at the police station. Chaos seemed to follow her around wherever she went, after all. She sat, happily sucking her second lollipop, waiting for Mr. Barnes to pick her and her mother up. The sergeant on duty didn’t fare as well, and announced that he needed a whiskey and an ice pack for his headache.
Mrs. Barnes felt so humiliated that she briefly considered dyeing her hair black and moving to Mexico. This came to a breaking point when she heard Suzy say, “Mom, have you seen Sammy the salamander?”
In a voice loud enough to be heard almost throughout the precinct, Mrs. Barnes, who suspected that in some unfathomable way that her daughter had to be behind the entire event, yelled : “Susan Barnes, how could you!”