“DAVID CORDOVA! You get out of bed THIS INSTANT! Do you even REALIZE what time it is?”
Like an undersea volcano, his mother’s voice exploded through the glassy surface of David’s ocean of sleep, coagulating beneath him into the unknown continent of consciousness. She was speaking Spanish, which was a dead giveaway that she was pissed. That is, if it wasn’t obvious from the fact that she was hovering two inches from his face, waving a butcher knife.
“Gah! Geez, Ma!” David bolted upright and freed his legs from beneath her.
“I know what you’re thinking. You think, school’s out, I can do what I want, and Mom will take care of me. Well I’ll tell YOU something, you’ve been sleeping TOO MUCH. Do you know how much I wished I was in school when I was your age? My God.”
“Ma, calm down, I’m up! Put down the knife!”
“You think I’m going to hurt you? My oldest son? Ha, that’s what it takes to get you out of bed, huh? I was chopping vegetables for dinner. It is one in the afternoon,” she hissed. “Where did I get such lazy sons? At least Joey was up in the morning, like a decent person.”
“It’s one? Oh, s– ” he cut off the curse just in time. He’d never have left the house if he let that one slip. “I gotta get up.”
“That’s right you do. I need you to go to the store. Here’s the list.”
“No, ma, I mean I have band practice at two.”
“Band practice,” she sneered in English. “I guess you’ll have to tell them it’s canceled.”
David gaped. She had him at a disadvantage. If he’d thought before he said anything, he could have just rushed to the store and been a few minutes late to Pete’s place. You win this round. He had to backtrack. “I’m sorry, Ma. I really am. I’ll set my alarm from now on.”
“I already set it. Now get going.”
“I’m going! Look, here I go. But, listen, I gotta go to band practice too. We have our first gig this weekend!”
“There are creatures from outer space walking around on this planet right now. Half the country is dead. Some crazy man comes on TV and calls himself the ruler of Earth. And on top of all of it, school’s canceled. So what does my son say? Oh good, more time to play my horn!”
He was awake enough to know there was no right response to that one. He tried to look as ashamed of himself as he possibly could as he struggled into his pants. It wasn’t too difficult. Pulling together the sorriest look he could muster, he pathetically murmured, “Can I have the list?”