Meet the Johnsons

The loud drumbeats of a parade greeted Monica's ears, waking her from what was possibly the best sleep she'd had in months. Turning over with all the stubbornness of a newly awakened lioness, she groaned as she checked the clock on her nightstand.

"Fucking four in the morning? "she growled. "Who the hell is that?"

Leaping from the bed witha dramatic swish of her bedsheets, Monica stomped to the door of her apartment, ripping it open with a gust of rage.

She was surprised to see a little boy holding a small drum, banging with all his might on the fragile little toy that was obviously not meant for such an aggressive performance.

Immediately, her boiling insides subsided, leaving her suddenly cold. "Oh," she uttered softly, masking her surprise. "Hello."

The boy stopped and looked at her. "Dumbly," she would have added. Although she figured that would be too mean. He was, after all, a young child. They were all dumb, as far as she knew. Then they grew up, earned a little bit of wisdom, then turned into actual idiots when they got older. A circle of stupidity that ended in a grave.

"Hello," the little boy said meekly before banging on his little noisemaker once more.

Monica took a deep breath. It's not a big deal, she told herself. I'm up already anyway. "Thanks to the little brat," she muttered.

"Did you say something?" the boy asked, speaking loudly to be heard over his drumming.

"Are your parents around?" Monica asked, knowing full well it would be unwise to repeat her original words to him.

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