DJ Dino and the Escape from the Crimson Lava

Written in response to: Write a story about someone forced out of their home.... view prompt

7 comments

Contemporary Kids Fiction

“Mom!” Ben called from his room.

“What is it, son?” Liz yelled back in his direction.

“You promised you would help me with my volcano! I have the best dinosaurs to stomp around in the lava!” She could hear the excitement in his voice.

“I know, son. I promise we’ll do that today. I just have to get through some chores first and then we’ll make it happen. Hang tight, buddy!” She felt the pang of mom guilt as she put off her son’s request, but she had to keep moving or nothing would ever get done. 

Liz Pearson was a good mom. She was a very hardworking, busy, involved mom who did everything and then some for her son and husband. Even though Ben and her husband, John, constantly thanked and appreciated everything she did for them, she struggled with feelings of inadequacy. She was told that this was a common thing for mothers, but that never comforted her. She often felt like she was failing at life. If only she just had a clone of herself. She could just direct her clone to do the tedious housework while she helped Ben make a volcano.

But Liz didn’t have a clone so that Saturday she had gotten up early to start her weekend routine. It started with coffee and breakfast and migrated into light cleaning. Inevitably she would end up in the far corner of a bedroom closet, buried under trinkets, tchotchkes, and random papers – all in the vein of “organizing.”

The truth was her attention deficit disorder was to blame. As she would start to clean, her brain would zigzag from “oh I need to go wipe down the bathroom sink” to “I need to put this dinosaur action figure back in Ben’s room” to “John’s sock shouldn’t be on the floor here, it should be in our closet hamper” to “aww look at this hospital bracelet from when Ben was born!”

Before she knew it, an hour had gone by and everything from the top shelf of her and John’s closet was on the floor surrounding her. She was disappearing into the mound of reminiscence and just as a wave of nostalgia washed over her, she heard the odd sound of water running. Water didn’t usually sound that… close. She jumped up and ran out of the closet but as she made it to the hallway, her foot hit something cold and wet.

She stopped dead in her tracks and looked across the floor. It was covered in an inch of water and the water was moving, filling up and spreading through their single level house. And the water was red. Ben.

***

“DJ Dino, I wish my mommy would help me with this volcano. I’ve been wanting to make it for you all week.” Ben talked to his giant Jurassic World T-Rex that he affectionately called ‘DJ Dino’ because he thought it would make him less scary.

“You could always make the volcano yourself.” Ben moved DJ Dino’s jaws around and talked from the side of his mouth to make it like DJ Dino was responding back. But Ben thought DJ Dino made a great point. He COULD make the volcano by himself. He thought about what supplies he would need.

Ben looked around his room. He spotted some red paint and then looked to his bin full of dinosaurs. His first idea was to just grab some paper and paint a volcano but that was so boring. He was already so bored! It was Saturday! Painting is boring. No. It would have to be something more fun. But how could he make some lava?

Then Ben had an idea. He grabbed the red paint tube, his bin of dinosaurs, and slipped DJ Dino under his arm. He marched from his bedroom toward the bathroom, peeking down the hall to see if his mom was nearby. Since she was so busy, he didn’t want to bother her. She was nowhere in sight, so he ducked into the bathroom.

He set the bin down on the floor, DJ Dino next to it. Then he grabbed the paint tube. Before he unscrewed the lid there was a little voice in his head that made him think he should probably wait for mommy. But he changed his mind. He squirted a good amount of paint into the toilet and stirred it around with a toilet brush he found on the floor.

The toilet looked like a bloody mess, but it didn’t look like a volcano. Ben was disappointed. He scrunched his face and put his little hands on his hips while he pondered his next move.

“DJ Dino, what should I do? This isn’t the volcano I wanted.” He motioned at the toilet while talking to Dino. Then he had an even better idea.

Ben remembered a few times when the toilet was clogged. Mommy warned him if they didn’t use that suction thingy quick enough, the toilet would overflow and that kind of reminded him of lava. It would be the perfect volcano! And the water was already red. He grabbed one of those hand towels from the rack on the wall and shoved it into the bowl. Before he flushed, he paused but the excitement of a real volcano in the house made him press on.

Flush.

The water began to fill up slowly… too slowly for Ben’s liking. So, he flushed again. And then once more. Until the bowl started overflowing with crimson water, all over the side of the bowl and onto the floor. Then Ben remembered that game ‘the floor is lava,’ except in this case it actually was! He jumped up on the side of the tub so the water wouldn’t touch his feet and bent down to grab DJ Dino. He had to protect his favorite buddy.

Flush. Flush.

The bathroom floor was filling up with the most magnificent volcanic lava Ben could’ve envisioned. “Dino! Look at that! We’ll be safe up here, but the volcano is still going! Soon we won’t be able to escape it! This is AWESOME!” Ben marveled at his work.

***

“Ben! Benjamin Michael! What have you done?!” Liz tip-toed through the several inches of red water in the hallway until she reached the bathroom. There was her son, standing on the side of the tub with his favorite dinosaur under his arm, his hand on the flusher. “Caught you, red-handed!” Literally. She thought to herself.

“I knew you were busy with chores and I really wanted to make a volcano so I did it all by myself and isn’t it the best volcano you’ve ever seen? Mommy! Get up off the floor or the lava will get you!” Ben talked so fast that Liz’s head was spinning. So many words.

She ran over to him, grabbed him off the tub and tip-toed to the front door. She looked around the house as she made her way out, feeling absolutely defeated. No amount of cleaning was going to save those floors. Covered in red tinted toilet water, everything touching the floor would be ruined now.

She took Ben outside, shut the front door, and sat down on the front step. Liz was frozen, unsure of where to start with this predicament. All she knew was… they wouldn’t be able to go back in there. At least not until the mom guilt and frustration subsided enough so she could figure out what to do. And my goodness the amount of cleaning that had to be done. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry, mommy. I was trying to save you some time.” He put his hand on her shoulder as he stood in front of her. She opened her eyes and looked at him. If only I had that clone… I might not have been forced out of my house because of gross, red toilet water.

Just then, John pulled up into the driveway. 

March 17, 2022 23:00

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7 comments

Thom Brodkin
15:57 Mar 25, 2022

Maggie, I love to read you. Your stories are so real. I felt like I was John pulling into the driveway and your story was my explanation for why my wife and son were on the front porch. The dialogue felt so true and the characters so authentic. This was a great story. Keep writing.

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Maggie Gibbs
16:57 Mar 25, 2022

Lee - thank you so much! I’m glad the story spoke to you and I so appreciate the feedback! :) I haven’t written anything this week… wasn’t feeling very inspired. Hoping something strikes my fancy today. Thanks again!

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Palak Shah
14:21 Mar 19, 2022

The take on the prompt is amazing. I loved reading it and this is utterly creative. Well done :)) I hope to read more of your work :)) Could you please read my latest story if possible? :)) Thanks :))

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Maggie Gibbs
14:23 Mar 19, 2022

Palak - thank you for taking the time to read it! I’m glad you liked it. :) Sure I’ll read your story!

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Palak Shah
14:24 Mar 19, 2022

Thank you so much :))

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Thom Brodkin
14:46 Apr 11, 2022

Someone stopped writing. How am I supposed to read you if you won't write?

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Maggie Gibbs
18:02 Apr 11, 2022

Aww! Way to make a gal feel wanted! Thanks for checking in! I’m in the process of moving so things have been hectic to say the least. Plus I was sick for a week or two. As soon as we’re settled in I’ll get back to it and you’ll be the first to know!

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