At the Motel With The Mitchells

BY : Wendell Urth
Category: Comics > Dennis the Menace
Dragon prints: 1464
Disclaimer: I do not own Dennis The Menace, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 11. Picking Up The Pieces

I didn’t see the Mitchells or my cousin for a couple of days. The school term was ending and I was still trying to wrap my head around everything that had happened… and how much deeper I wanted to be involved with Dennis and his mother… Mostly his mother.

It was after the long weekend birthday at an amusement park. She had started calling me one of her boys. I wasn’t sure I liked that.

I was unlocking my bicycle, ready to go home. I wasn’t supposed to be at the Mitchells until tomorrow when I heard a car screech. I looked up reflexively. No one was supposed to be driving fast enough to make that much noise outside the school when they stopped. Uh-oh. There was only one lime green Chevy convertible I knew of. Marie.

She gestured for me to get in. I shook my head. She shrugged and refused to move, blocking traffic in front of the school. “Good”, I thought “Let her get a ticket… or another one.” I knew how she drives.

I jumped on my bike, pedaled in the opposite direction. She caught up to me a couple of streets over and blocked me in between two parked cars. We sat there staring at each other. I sighed and put the bike in her back seat. She pushed open the passenger door and I got in. We took off before I could get the seat belt on.

She wasn’t driving me home. OK. It was the drive-in where she took me a couple of years ago when she first got her license, I was the first person who ever rode with her when she was street legal (not to mention several adventures when she was driving with a fake ID). Before the divorce… of course.

I told her I wasn’t hungry. She ignored me, 2 cherry cokes and a couple of orders of fries. She eyed me between sips. Shaking the untouched drink under my nose. My turn to ignore her. My food was left untouched.

She tossed the remains in the trash, half spilling the ice from mine and headed west, there was nothing in that direction. When she stopped at a light, I got out of the car and started to walk back, my head down.

“Hey dork, don’t you want your bike?” Dork was a pretty new word back then; she had picked it up right away as my nickname name. Before the divorce. It made me mad… madder.

I was so angry I had forgotten my bike. We were miles from my home. I turned around and started back towards the car. As I approached the rear of the convertible it shot forward, about 10 feet. I ran to catch up, she did it again. I didn’t find this funny. Then I had to jump out of the way as it reversed in a haze of burning rubber.

“Pretty good reflexes, kid. You ready to get back in now?” Then, “Next time I might not miss.”

Muttering to myself, I approached warily. The car eased forward a foot. I got the door open and jumped in. She pulled over and parked, shut the engine off and just looked at me.

“You going to talk to me or we gonna’ sit here all day?” she asked

“Nothing to talk about.” I mumbled

“Alice called me, told me Dennis spilled the beans.”

“Really none of my business.” I said. I was so angry at her, but didn’t know why.

“Yes, it’s really none of your business.” That sentence hit me like a lead weight. “It really isn’t.”

I looked at her, I felt like crying. I was angry. I still didn’t know why. Maybe I was angry at myself. “Then why are you bothering with me!?! Why do you suddenly care? I hate you!” Whoa, where did that come from, I wondered? Her head rocked back like I had slapped her.

“Who I have sex with is no one’s business. I’m not proud of what I’ve done. But I do owe you an explanation about… the other stuff.”

“Stuff” I mumbled.

My mom and your dad were always super close, you know that. He was her baby brother, the one she spoiled, when he and Aunt Karen broke up and he moved away, she was devastated. Mom blamed Aunt Karen. Your dad said a lot of ugly things about her.

“And you believed him?” Ashes

“My mom did, so did dad. They were never really close to your mom.”

“And you did too. You cut me off. You were my cousin, my friend and I didn’t really mean anything to you. Just a piece of shit.”

“Davy, I…”

“Don’t, just don’t. Take me home. Then I never want to see you again.”

She took me home, her home. I hadn’t been there in almost 2 years. I shook my head, she dragged me out of the car. Did I mention how strong she was? Nationally ranked tennis player. Also a lot taller than I am,

“I don’t want to see your parents.”

“Not here. At work, stupid.”

I think I could have left at that point. I was ashamed by my outburst. We went inside, this place was a second home to me. Now it felt strange.

We went up to her room. God, I knew every inch of it, I spent more time here than almost any other place than my own home. I sat on the side of her bed. Familiar place. She pulled out a small metal box I didn’t recognize. Sat next to me. A smell. It was pot. She opened it, a couple of baggies, half a dozen rolled joints. She looked at me, an offer, then lit one up.

My experience with pot at that point was limited. Once at camp, once at a friend’s party. I never got high. Oh, my throat burned and I bad cough. I never got high or wild or sleepy, I was immune to pot. I was positive.

OK, didn’t want to tell her that. Go along.

I took a ‘puff’, I mean a ‘hit’.

“Whoa.” Light headed. Nice. Tingling.

We both lay back on the bed at the same time, began to giggle.

“Shotgun?” she asked.

I had to admit I didn’t know what that was.

She took a huge drag, leaned close, I thought she was going to kiss me. She did, and blasted the smoke down my throat.

“Oh God. Oh, God.” Coughing my brains out. She rubbed my back. When I settled down, she passed me the joint. I shot gunned her.

“Wow” we lay close together. Finished the joint. “You really hurt me.” Finally, I said it. I was running off at the mouth. Every bad feeling and hurt thought of the last two years came pouring out.

Her hand on my face. She was tearing up. I wanted to hurt her. I also felt like a little shit for doing it.

 “I went along. I went along with my parents. They were angry at Aunt Karen. It spilled out on you. It was wrong. I was wrong.” After a moment “Families can be such shit to each other.”


“Did you know my mom & Aunt Karen got into a fight? Slapping each other, real shoving match?” It was news to me. I said so.

“Yeah. My dad broke it up. Things were never going to be the same after that. I guess getting you involved with the Mitchells was supposed to make up for it. I never thought it would go as far as it did… with Alice I mean. And I didn’t tell you about Dennis… Damn it.”

We were very close now, face to face. She swore she had no idea that Mrs. Mitchell was into all that stuff with her son or with me. She admitted getting involved with Dennis, but didn’t want to talk about it. Our arms were around each other. “When did that happen?” I wondered.

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