Here’s the first chapter of Eco Station One’s sequel, the book I’m currently working on. It’s so brand new that I haven’t found it a nice and proper title… maybe as I go along I’ll be able to stumble upon it!
CHAPTER ONE: FAMILY LIFE
The day when this tale begins was a regular, normal, average, standard, typical and common Sunday morning. Marina was in the kitchen cooking, totally engrossed with learning new non-fattening recipes, ever since she discovered that she was two pounds over her ideal ninety-eight (non-weakling) ideal weight. I told her that it was utter nonsense to worry about that, doing my best to reassure her those two extra pounds looked great on her five foot two inches, well shaped, petite frame.
But she would have none of it; she was entering her thirty-sixth birthday crisis (which was due next week), hence her current obsession. She even went to the length of scotch-taping a Megan-Fox-in-bathing-suit picture to the fridge door, meaning to use it as an incentive to watch her weight. But when she noticed that it was I the one who had increased his regular trips to the refrigerator, she promptly changed it with an Ann-Ramsey-in-a-bikini picture, which I suspect was for the better good in the end.
Ah, excuse my manners. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Eduardo Sinnombre and Marina (previously Polidouris) is my little wife. For those unfamiliar with the daily happenings of our household, the tale of how Marina and I hitched together is told in Eco Station One. For those familiar with us, let me tell you that five years have gone by since those events occurred, that we have three lovely triplet girls, a dashing baby boy and we own a luxurious apartment flat in Altamira Plaza, overlooking that small cafeteria that was such an important part of our lives. It’s a great place; it has five rooms, kitchen, two and 3/4 bathrooms, a big living room, a reading den, a playing room, its own sikrit lab (don’t look at me that way; that’s exactly how it’s spelled on the entry door), complete with drawbridge and torture dungeon.
Yes, we still live in Caracas, Venezuela; we tried to migrate somewhere else, but the rest of the world has become a bit unfriendly toward Venezuelans, after our home country became a rogue state that supports terrorist factions. Besides, it’s very hard to relocate when two of our baby girls have Red Alert files with the Interpol, and are wanted for questioning. You know; the less said, the better. As I said earlier, it was early Sunday and Marina and I were quite lucky to be on our own for the duration of the entire weekend. The kids were staying with their granny, my mother, who was an elderly lady of seventy-eight these days. She used to hunt down criminals and prowlers with her double-barreled shotgun, but not anymore. Mom was now taking care of her grandchildren until next Tuesday, but I suspect that our three little angels were becoming a bad influence for her: I heard that the last time my girls visited my mother, they busied themselves in teaching her how to blow up train bridges or something. Of course, Mom, being the eager old lady she is, took to this new knowledge with great enthusiasm. Tsk, tsk.
People in our lives believe that we used a great deal of imagination in naming our kids, but allow me to disagree. No imagination at all. You see, there’s little Anastasia and we named her after that Meg Ryan animated movie about the Russian princess, which is one of Marina’s favorite movies. As all the other members of her triplet tag-team from hell, she’s four-year-and-five-months old and you can hardly distinguish the little darling from her siblings-if you only rely on her physical traits-for they are identical triplets. She has long, curly blond tresses and cornflower blue eyes, which is very curious since neither Marina nor I are fair-haired. Mom is, so I guess it leapt a generation. Or maybe it was the heavy dose of Ikawiri aphrodisiac poison to which Marina had been exposed to, especially while she lay naked and ready for sacrifice to the pygmies’ Great White Cockroach God. Maybe that crap did scramble our kids’ genes a little. But I’m digressing.
You can only tell who Anastasia is by watching her closely for a little while. She tends to act coyly, quite fitting her lovely Russian Princess name… that is, of course, when she’s not busy teaching her grandmother how to blow bridges. Then there’s little Alias who, being only five minutes younger than her sister Anastasia, acted from day one as the group’s leader. She tends to be rather bossy, sometimes. But she acts in good faith and really knows how to knit the triplets together as a team, organizing and plotting all their little schemes, down to the smallest detail. People believe we christened her after that old TV series, but in reality her name derives from a character of my favorite Dungeon and Dragons’ book.
And there’s little Vladimir (???); she’s the mischievous one. If neither Anastasia nor Alias can come up with a neat option for a nasty prank, she will. Marina and I soon learned that with her around, there are things better left unasked. (i.e.: Vlad? Did you decide it was fun to shave the dog with Dad’s electric razor? ‘Nuff said). One day, Vladdie came to me, her eyes rimmed in red. It was obvious that she had been crying. No wonder; she was only three years and a half back then, and you get to cry a lot over many things at that age.
“Daddy-why did I get such an ugly name?” she complained, quite bitterly. I let her sit on my knees, wiped the snot from her nose with a hankie and I took for myself the task of explaining little Vladdie that it was either her current name or Marina’s grandmother’s name. Vladdie suddenly sobered up, and reluctantly acknowledged that she was better off with a name like Vladimir. Of course, it helps a lot if you know that your granny’s name on the mother side was Hermenegilda.
The most funny thing about my three little angels is that they’re awfully quiet; at first we thought-in that scared fatherly/motherly way that parents have to worry in, that they were autistic or Abby Normal-but that fear was instantly dispelled the moment they learned how to speak. They’re communicative as hell when they decide to speak their minds to other members of the family, but amongst them they have an eerie way of communicating between each other, without saying a single word.
And let’s not forget our baby boy, Desmond (you can blame my Mom for that name, ’cause she’s the one who came up with it. Marina can’t handle the D’s in her own son’s name: she prefers to call him ‘Bob’… must be a Mediterranean thing). He’s two-years old and the eager helper of his big sisters. You can always see him carry around their dynamite sticks and blasting charges for them. He seems to be rather big for his age, so I guess that’s why he missed the terrible-two stage altogether. I dread the moment he enters the terrible-three moment of his life. He could make a career out from it.
Since the kids weren’t about, Marina and I had been indulging in the usual routine we had before our little angels became an important part of our life: cooking, sexual Olympics, reading books, sex, listening to music while cuddling together, sex, painting, sex, watching movies on the DVD player… did I already mention sex? So, when this tale starts, Marina was in the kitchen, trying out her new repertoire of low-fat recipes (one involved the use of a blowtorch… don’t ask) and I was in the living room, taking a restful break before our next sex encounter, and enjoying a DVD movie of Dimbo, my favorite action hero.
Dimbo is a not-very-bright super-warrior that can take on against the armies of the whole world, with only a nail clipper and some nail polish (yes, I know that sounds a bit queer, but you ought to see how he manages to wipe out the entire Afghanistan army with a single bottle of Nair to believe it). In this particular movie, Dimbo had troubles with his parachute, during a routine insertion mission into the deepest jungles of Brooklyn. He decides to act very macho about it and uses his trusty knife to get rid of the entangled parachute; afterwards, he lands head first into a concrete slab. If you knew Dimbo as well as I do, you’d be unworried too; you’d know he’ll be unharmed since no vital organ (i.e. Dimbo’s brain) had been damaged during that rough landing. Curiously, this made me think about the three Mendoza brothers, from whom I haven’t heard for some time. Six months, to be exact.
The Mendoza brothers, who I fondly call the Mendoza Trio, were three unlikely brothers who switched their allegiances from their evil Cousin Mendoza to me, when they discovered he wasn’t such a nice guy after all. They had been quite instrumental during the time we rescued my Marinita from the clutches of the evil Ikawiri shaman, Alash-azam. I was lost in thought, nearly ignoring Dimbo’s antics on the big plasma screen that graced our living room, when the sudden sound of the doorbell brought me out from my brief reverie. “Eduardo… would you mind seeing who is at the door?” I heard Marina say from the kitchen. “I’m in the middle of something with the octopi and I really can’t drop what I’m doing.” Octopi? I didn’t like the sound of it. Ah, well. Cést la vie.
Reluctantly, I stood up and headed toward the door. I took a careful look out there by means of the small lens inset in the door’s peephole. While living in Caracas, Venezuela, you can never be too careful. Eight burly men, looking quite menacing stood in the hallway. Nearly all of them surpassed the six foot five mark, were quite dark skinned and had tribal tattoos etched all over their features. All of them were built like Dallas Cowboys Linebackers. A few of the men were dressed like mean bikers and wore chains. I didn’t really dig the looks of the one who had a human bone inserted through his nostrils. Not one bit, I tell you. But when I saw he had a rabies tag in his spiked collar I realized who they were. Messenger boys.
Why the hell were messenger boys knocking at my door on a Sunday morning? I opened the door to find out.