The Donaldsons - Cover

The Donaldsons

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 10

“Cousin Steve!”

“Cousin Mike!”


“Hello, Steve.”

“You must be Shelly. He said you were pretty and he wasn’t lying. He’s always had a thing for women with long hair,” Mike said.

Steve ran a hand through her hair. When she slapped his hand away, Steve said, “Silky.”

Mike said, “I’ll bet that would feel real nice wrapped around...”

“Don’t say it,” Shelly growled while holding a finger up in the air. “I swear I’ll cut it off if one more man says that!”

“Welcome to the family,” Mike said. He gave her a friendly grin.

“I’m not marrying Steve,” the young woman growled.

“Where have I heard that before?” Melinda asked rhetorically. The poor woman looked positively miserable.

“Help me,” the woman said looking over at Melinda.

“Is this your first date?” Melinda asked.


“What do you do for a living?” Melinda asked.

“I write software.”

Thinking about how she would react when introduced to Myra, Melinda shook her head and said, “You’re doomed.”

Steve asked, “Can I borrow your flying saucer?”

“Are you going to take her to your place in Colorado?” Mike asked.


Rolling her eyes, Shelly said, “There he goes again. I don’t believe in flying saucers.”

“Believe,” Melinda said knowing that she sounded crazy.

Mike said, “You’ll have to wait until dark to fly it.”

“No problem. We aren’t going to leave here until after we get a little barbecue,” Steve said.

Curious, Melinda leaned over to Shelly and asked, “Why did you agree to go on a date with Steve?”

“I lost a bet.”

“Talking to him long enough to make a bet was your first mistake,” Melinda said.

Steve grinned and said, “She never had a chance of winning.”

“Never bet against a Connor,” Mike said while giving Steve a friendly pat on the shoulder.

Melinda asked, “What did you bet on?”

“He said that he could compute pi times e to a million digits in less than fifteen seconds,” Shelly said.

“How long did it take?” Melinda asked.

“Five seconds.”

“How long did it take you to verify the answer?”

“All day,” Shelly said shaking her head. She had wept when the final digit matched.

“You poor thing,” Melinda said patting the young woman on the arm. She was going to say more except Tripp and Jim arrived.

“Cousin Steve!”

“Cousin Tripp!”

“You must be Jimbo.”

“Yes,” Jim said.

Steve said, “Welcome to the family. Cousin Tripp has told me all about you. She said that you pack a weapon in your pants worthy of an Able.”

“Oh, God,” Jim said when Tripp ran a hand over his crotch.

Tripp said, “Definitely worthy.”

“I heard you won the obstacle course race,” Steve said.


“Congratulations. That just goes to show that are you definitely Ables material,” Steve said hitting Jim on the back in a vigorous manner. He turned to Tripp and asked, “How did you do?”

“I’m still the reigning champion in knife throwing,” Tripp said. She took the opportunity to pose with her hands clasped above her head.

“Excellent,” Steve said.

Shelly asked, “Is this entire family crazy?”

“Yes,” Melinda answered in a very serious voice. She sighed and added, “Don’t worry. You’ll lose your sanity soon and fit right in.”

“Why do you say that?”

Melinda said, “A week ago I was a normal person who did normal things. I was a vice president of a major aerospace company running research and development. This week I’m engaged to him, I’m at a picnic surrounded by people who get sexually excited by shooting guns, and I’m building a trebuchet.”

Looking hurt, Tripp said, “Hey, we don’t get sexually excited by shooting guns.”


“Okay, just a little,” Tripp admitted causing Steve and Mike to laugh.

Melinda asked, “Do you want to know the worst of it?”


“I’m having a good time.”

“That won’t happen to me,” Shelly said without much confidence in her voice. She jumped nervously when a voice called out behind her.

“Cousin Steve!”

“Hello, Cousin Wally, Cousin Billy, Cousin Danny, and Cousin Lily,” Steve said waving to the young kids.

Wally said, “This must be Shelly.”

“Yes, she is,” Steve said.

“You said that she was pretty and you weren’t lying. I know that you like long hair, but damn man — that is, like, incredible,” Wally said.

Billy said, “I bet it would feel real good...”

“Don’t say it,” Shelly said glaring at Billy.

“She’s a little touchy concerning comments involving tallywackers and hair,” Steve said. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Go figure.”

“I’d love to have hair like that. I can just imagine a guy hanging onto it while doing me doggy style,” Lily said.

“They’re all a bunch of perverts,” Shelly said rolling her eyes. She vowed to get her hair cut at the earliest possible minute.

“You get used to it,” Melinda said with a sigh.

Steve asked, “Has Mike played a game of connect the dots with your freckles yet?”

“That’s none of your business,” Melinda snapped.

“Yes,” Mike answered.

Tripp said, “All Jimbo and I have done is play a couple hundred games of anaconda hides in the hole. Let me tell you, that anaconda loves that hole.”

“Anaconda, huh?” Lily said checking out his pants.

“It sure as hell isn’t a garter snake,” Tripp said patting him in the crotch.

“Oh God,” Jim said.

Melinda glanced down at her watch and said, “Shouldn’t you kids get back to work? We have to get it finished by five.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Wally said. As a group they headed back to where the trebuchet was getting constructed.

Tripp studied Shelly for a second, frowned, and then asked, “Where’s her gun?”

“I was hoping to borrow one from you for her,” Steve said.

“I’ve only got two on me,” Tripp said with a frown.

“Lend one to her. I’d hate to have her play a game of Walk the Talk,” Steve said.

Tripp said, “She’s not one of those anti-gun nuts is she?”

“She knows how to fire a gun. I didn’t think about it until we got here,” Steve answered.

Tripp knelt down and rolled up her pants leg. She removed an ankle holster and held up it up for Steve. It was a little two shot derringer. She said, “Be careful. It’s loaded.”

Shelly took the gun and looked it over with an expression of disgust on her face. Surprising Melinda, Shelly said, “All this little thing would do is piss off someone.”

“You use it on the testicles when you’re up close and personal,” Tripp said apologetically.

“That would work,” Shelly said while kneeling down to strap the holster to her ankle. She looked up at Steve and, for the first time since arriving at the picnic, smiled. She said, “Touch my hair one more time...”

“A little fire there,” Steve said wiggling his eyebrows.

“I like her,” Tripp said.

“You would,” Melinda said shaking her head.

Steve said, “Thanks, Tripp. We’re going to mingle a bit. Maybe I’ll enter her in the pistol shooting contest.”

“Have fun,” Mike said. “Bring back the saucer in a week. I’m planning on taking Melinda to my place in Colorado.”

“The one next to Armstrong’s place?” Melinda asked.

“Yes,” Mike answered surprised that she knew about it.

The bowling ball flew seventy-five feet and then rolled for another twenty-five feet. Ed stepped back and said, “Beat that, Cousin Mike.”

“Happily, Cousin Ed,” Mike replied. He looked over at Melinda who just gestured at the trebuchet. It took him a minute to climb up the pole to the seat at the top.

“Hey! Wait a minute,” Ed said staring at the device. It had just dawned on him what they had built.

“What?” Mike asked innocently.

“You can’t do that,” Ed said.

“Why not?” Mike asked.

“You can only use materials that were in the pile,” Ed said.

“And I have to operate it. That requires me to sit up here,” Mike said.

“Why?” Ed asked.

Unable to resist temptation, Melinda answered, “Design flaw.”

“Uh,” Ed said unable to figure out how to answer that.

“There’s nothing in the rules that say I can’t sit on it when operating it.” The crowd that had gathered made noises suggesting they agreed with Mike. Mike looked over his shoulder and asked, “What do you think, Cousin Buck?”

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