Dog and His Boy
Chapter 12: Fast Preparations

Copyright© 2011 by TC Allen

Spring blended into a warm, bright summer. Henry and Ellen Storm settled into the motor home and made several business trips up to northern Minnesota. After Special Agent Somers caused so many problems it was decided Gage would not return to school when the new school year started. Arrangements were made to home school him. Vikki, not so surprising, turned out to be the perfect tutor for Gage. She had oceans of patience where he was concerned.

Gage's fourteenth birthday was planned to be a big party on Friday evening. Then Peg called and talked to Linda about the possibility of Dog making his debut as the world's only wrestling dog. "We have a big hole in Friday's card. The Brothers Grim got sick, and Sumo Lady is having a baby. We need something to fill in the hole on the card. Ralph has always given the fans what they were looking for, variety and excitement, would you please help?"

"Well, I don't know," Linda said doubtfully, "Friday is Gage's fourteenth birthday and we were planning a party for him."

"Great. This is just perfect. We'll introduce the people who saved Ralph's life and stopped a bank robbery. Then we'll bring dog out. Thunder Mouth Martin will jump at the chance to be pitted against Dog. He needs some fresh publicity. Please say yes." Peg waited nervously.

"Well, let me talk to Gage and Steve and see what they say. I'll call you right back.

"Talk to us about what, Hon?" Steve asked from the kitchen door.

"I was talking to Peg," she answered, "The Miltons want us to appear on TV Wrestling Friday evening. They would like Dog to wrestle someone named Thunder Mouth Martin. I promised her I would talk to you about it. I really hate to turn her down, yet..."

"Tell her we'll do it." Gage shouted from his room. "Please Mom. Tell her."

"Steve looked at his son and asked, "Well, Linda, how can you refuse something when our only son wants to do it so much?"

"Tell her I would appreciate the opportunity to make my sporting debut," Dog rumbled in Gage's head.

"Dog says he wants to do it, too," Gage told her.

Clearly outnumbered, Linda sighed and said wistfully, "I thought it would be nice to have..." Her voice trailed off. "Okay, I'll call Peg and tell her it's okay."

As Friday came around Gage was excited and Dog demanded his coat of fur be brushed to perfection. Vikki was amused and a little bit jealous she had been left out. Linda demanded a new outfit to wear. Gage wore clean jeans and a tee shirt. Vikki also needed a new outfit. Steve wore clean sports clothes and polished his boots. Dog preened in the mirror.

The most excitement concerned Dog's debut as a wrestler. On Friday evening Dog and the Larsens were ready to be introduced to the fans. Gage was the one most excited about the whole event.

When two muscular men wearing tuxedos led them into the ring, Mangling Milton The Minnesota Monster stood there in all his fierce glory waiting to greet them. He looked like Goliath as he stood next to the much smaller members of the Larsen family and Vikki. He had on his "monster costume" of tights and heavy soft calf high leather lace up mocs resined to make them virtually skid proof. Peg came vaulting into the ring wearing her Amazon warrior costume closely resembling Wonder Woman's without all the insignia. She landed lightly next to her husband.

The Larsens watched wide-eyed as the pomp and excitement went on around them. Vikki inserted herself between Peg and Linda. Peg grabbed a microphone from a ringside assistant and announced, "Because of these people in the ring here with us I have a husband. You have all heard different stories of what happened in Arizona a short while back. Let me tell you what really happened..." She paused to collect her thoughts, then told of how the Larsens were on vacation and found the Mangler beside the road and how each played an important part in saving the life of "the man all Minnesota loved to hate."

Ralph took the microphone from his wife and added, "This is the same Larsen family you saw on TV who stopped the bank robbery. They have had more excitement than any other family I know of and are still great people. "I want to introduce Vikki Storm, little sister of the Storm Twins who make their debut in professional wrestling next week. She is also the future fiancée of Gage Larsen when he comes of age. She is smart and can whip almost any man in here."

While she was blushing the lights dimmed and four bearers brought a giant cake down the aisle toward the ring. "Happy Birthday To You" started to play over the public address system. Everybody was urged to sing along. Gage seemed to grow a foot as the events unrolled. The Mangler handed Gage a baseball and said, "Show them how you throw a ball."

"What'll I throw at?" Gage asked.

"Throw at me if you can get it this far," a heckler yelled up at him from the tenth row. Gage wound up and threw hard. The ball struck the loudmouth between the eyes and knocked him unconscious. Two ushers helped the heckler to his feet and took him to the first aid room.

The crowd cheered and Gage ate the piece of cake he was handed. "Mom's is better," he mumbled under his breath. The words were picked up by the sensitive microphone near him and blared out through the loud speakers. The crowd loved it.

"And now, the event you have all waited for," Ralph roared into his microphone, "The battle of The Mouth versus Dog, the Super Dog."

Dog came running up the aisle at a fast pace, seeming to float over the floor. He leaped up into the ring, sat in the middle and howled a blood curdling challenge. It caused everyone in the audience to feel a touch of fear. He growled menacingly at the announcer and the referee. The match was over in a few seconds as the Mouth was pinned.

"It's a fake to end all phony fakes," Yelled one of the people in the audience. "Fake, fake, fake," chanted many people present.

"Okay, Dog can beat any two people in the audience. Any takers?" Ralph challenged. Dog snarled his challenge. He loved hamming it up before the crowd.

Two men wearing seals buds on their dress blue navy uniforms hopped up into the ring. They looked as tough as their reputations. "We won't hurt your pooch too bad," one promised. His partner grinned and nodded agreement.

They started a counter clockwise movement. Dog yawned as if he didn't notice them. Suddenly the first man darted in, trying to do a body slam. At the very last split second Dog slipped away, growling as he jumped up into the air at the second opponent, knocking him to the mat. The first attacker jumped to his feet only to be met by a big black blur of fur. He was knocked into his partner.

As the men tried to untangle themselves Dog ran once around the ring howling. He jumped forward and landed on the two, knocking them flat. He bounced his body off the crumpled heap again and again until the two seals lay still. After one more blood curdling howl, Dog pranced on his hind legs in the center of the ring. The two seals quietly slipped out of the ring and rejoined their hooting buddies. The referee announced a win by default. The crowd went wild.

"My public loves me," he told Gage.

"It's a wonder they didn't serve eggs with all your ham," Gage said aloud so the others could hear. "You got a big head, Dog, you know it?"

"I thought I made a wonderful presentation." Dog looked at his friend, "You're just jealous."

"Hah, you are having illusions of grander." Gage shook his head.

"You had better study your English harder. The phrase is 'delusions of grandeur, ' not that mishmash of words you just uttered."

"Whatever," Gage said aloud, "You knew what I was saying.

They all left ringside and rejoined Ralph and Peg, now dressed in street clothes. "Oh I wish Dog could be a regular," Ralph told them. "He would double our attendance."

"Ask the big ham if he wants to show off for the crowd again." Gage grinned at his friend.

Ralph looked at Dog and asked, "Well?" He got a loud "woof." for an answer.

"Can we go home, please?" Gage asked. "I'm sleepy." Steve told him, "Sure thing, son, let's go." As soon as they were settled in the van, Gage fell asleep.

The next thing he knew Vikki was shaking him awake. "Come on, little butterball, I'm not going to carry you into the house." He staggered into his room and sprawled on his bed, fully dressed. Dog checked Gage's mind for anything wrong.

"Little pink friend," Dog greeted him the next morning, "I am concerned about how tired you were last night. Do you have any idea why you became so tired?"

"Yeah, I do. I been playing with the purple stuff and it takes something out of me. I have all these ideas and can't make them work." Gage yawned and sat down at the kitchen table.

"Let me help you. Your mind has not matured enough to handle the full load of concentration you have continually subjected it to."

"All right, make it later. I just want to lay around today." He yawned again and fell asleep at the table. Gage napped on and off until bedtime. Then he showered he went to bed and slept the night through.

The next morning when he came into the kitchen his worried parents had decided to take him to a doctor. "I'm okay," he protested, "I was just tired. I was doing too much. I'm hungry."

"Feed the poor starving boy," Steve told Linda. "If he's hungry, he's okay."

As breakfast was prepared, a loud horn blared in the back yard. "It's Henry and Ellen." Linda announced, "What are they doing back here so fast?"

The tired Storms exited the big motor home and hurried into the house. "I contacted your friend the gold dealer in St Paul and he made the transfers to the corporate accounts. Have you closed on the two farms across the way?" Henry was tired, yet he seemed to almost glow with energy.

"Well, I offered to buy both farms and have a problem. Two nutty brothers who own them are older than mud and think the places are gold plated. They want thirty thousand dollars more than the land is worth. Steve showed his frustration.

"Lets pay them. We have plenty of capital. In fact throw in an extra thousand apiece if they will sign right now and get off the property in thirty days. We need to get busy manufacturing our new health product. It worked so well on me I would like to get it on the market as soon as we have it tested and the plant is built."

"It doesn't feel right to waste money," Steve griped.

"Steve, we need the caverns under the farthest away farm. You build a house on the farm across the road and we'll put up our corporate headquarters and bio lab here and a home for us at the other end of this property with a tunnel leading to the headquarters and under the road to your place. We need to be prepared. The Raak have not forgotten us. I believe we should fence this place in and get some security."

"Yah, you're right. Let's do it. We'll go see those two nutty brothers tomorrow and make the offer." Steve shook his head at the idea of throwing money away, all thoughts of his own recent extravagances forgotten.

"Oh, Steve," Henry hesitated a moment then continued, "The Council Of The People wants to send a delegation to meet with you and Linda and Gage and Dog. We are going to need their help in the coming days."

"You are right. We need all the help we can get. Well you better warn them if they come to help they can't take over." Steve's jaw was firm and stubborn.

"They will want an alliance of some sort, I know for certain they will."

"We stay independent or we go our own way," Steve said. "You just remind them Gage and Dog know more about the purple stuff than they do. Gage makes it do tricks you wouldn't believe. Tell the big boss about how Gage has almost visited a portal."

"Yes, I believe they will see a good reason to cooperate with us." Henry returned to the back porch and breathed deeply. More and more this place felt like home.

Peg Milton brought Vikki home from a visit to her brothers. She jumped out of Peg's small Audi and ran up to her father and hugged him. "Did you see the twins wrestle on TV yet, Father?"

Ellen, who had been telling Linda about their trip answered, "Yes we did. It was horrible the way they tag teamed those poor fellows. I know it is make believe, yet to be known as The Bad Storm Brothers just isn't dignified." She shook her head.

"Don't let her kid you, she cheered every time the boys threw an opponent out of the ring and almost cried when they were defeated."

"Well, it seems so real I just can't help it," she replied defensively.

"Mother, I have missed you two," Vikki told her.

"Some people have been hanging around the Gyms asking questions," Peg announced.

"What kind of questions?" Henry asked.

"They wanted to know when Gage and Dog were going to appear in the ring again and a lot of personal stuff. Ralph threw a couple of them out."

"Henry was talking about Ralph taking over as head of security. If he's interested, tell him to start right now. We need twenty seasoned people who know how to guard and hold whatever they are guarding." Steve looked at Henry, "If it's alright with you."

Henry nodded. "Make it thirty men to start. We also want a half dozen or so female guards. We also better get ourselves over across the road and talk to the first seller. Let's go, Steve."

They drove to the farmhouse a quarter mile down the road and pulled in. As they got out of the truck, a skinny, sly looking man who obviously didn't shave or bath too often came out. "You come to try and get me to lower my price, forget it. "Me and my brother know you want our farms. So you got to pay to get them."

Henry smiled as he approached the farmer. "My name is Henry Storm. Now I am not going to lower the price, I am going to raise it. We will pay what you want and add a ten thousand dollar bonus for each of you if you two move off these two farms by this coming weekend. Anything left on the land will be destroyed after Sunday. We get a real estate person here right now and pay you in cash as soon as you sign the papers."

"Either you agree or we head over to St Cloud and see if those guys are smarter than you," Steve added.

"You want this land in a real big hurry. Why?" The old farmer wanted to squeeze more out of the deal if he could.

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