GENRE: MG Contemporary
Baxter was pretty sure he was the first kid to be grounded in a truck—especially a moving one. Yet here he was, imprisoned in an old U-Haul hurtling down the freeway. He was restrained not only by the seatbelt tight across his waist, but by his dad's cousins—Lizard’s burly arm pressing into his right side and Mange’s hairy arm tickling his left. Baxter hunched his shoulders forward for two reasons; one, to try to put even a millimeter of distance from the two big men, and two, in order to play the small GameBoy Advanced he held in his hands. An urge came over him to pause the game and check for a text on his new phone, but then he remembered he didn’t have his new phone. Unbelievable. His only connection to his recently graduated sixth-grade friends was tucked away somewhere in his parents’ room very well hidden.
The Gameboy was old, but at least a form of entertainment. He had discovered it at the bottom of his closet before hurrying from his house back in Seattle. Baxter shifted back and forth into each man on either side as he waged battle with his thumbs. He beat the level causing a series of beeps to go off.
“Turn that thing off,” Lizard said from the driver’s seat. "Look at the mountains.”
Baxter glanced up to see sunlight flash off Lizard’s numerous earrings. He took in the man’s carefully combed and gelled purple mohawk. The look was a little much for an old guy.
“Okay,“ Baxter said. He found that being agreeable worked well with adults. “Just gonna finish this game.” Like he was going to turn off the only entertainment he had one hour into this seven-billion-hour drive.
“Wow,” Lizard said. Whether he was disappointed in Baxter continuing to play or going on about the wondrous mountain scenery again, Baxter wasn’t sure.
“Off,” Lizard said, drawing the word out with a more threatening tone.
The blinker made a loud Teek-tuk, Teek-tuk that echoed through the cab, and the big vehicle bounced as Lizard changed lanes. Every impression in the asphalt tossed the truck up and down as if they were a boat out at sea. Baxter recalled the words printed on the side of the truck in their driveway. The U-Haul decal still visible underneath the words, “Keys to Happiness—Own a Piano.”
Baxter, still looking down, heard a window open and felt wind on his short, thick hair. WIth his left hand he did a quick check that the cowlick at the crest of his forehead was down. Wind tended to wreak havoc with his hair. As he did so a giant hand yanked the Gameboy from his other hand. He looked up just in time to watch Lizard’s arm flinging the game in front of him past Mange’s head out the passenger window to the shoulder of Interstate-90.