Bonus Chapters
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Bonus Chapters Archive

Dear Reader,

 

In the bonus chapters, my goal is to bring out smaller characters from the Wrinkles Wallace series to provide insights from behind the scenes. I write bonus chapters after getting advice from readers who have wanted to know more. Enjoy!

Steady,

Marquin Parks

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Updated: Nov 14, 2020

The following bonus chapter clues the reader in on someone (rather, something) important in Spork's life. I felt used. To be honest, I felt used and abused. It’s almost like she could not follow my directions, or she messed up on purpose. I mean, I tried to tell her how to do things just right, so people would be happy with her. I wanted them to be impressed by her ability, but she wouldn’t follow my directions. And then she had the nerve to get upset or not understand why people treated her the way they treated her. To top it all off, she made me look bad. Really bad. Her not following my directions made some people believe something was wrong with me. Nothing was wrong with me. It was all her. In the beginning, I arrived at her doorstep and introduced myself to her. I told her everything she would learn from me. I wanted to be open and honest with her about everything. In the end, I gave her some key words to remember that would help her to understand how things were. In the middle of it all, I tried to direct her through things and help her to improve. Instead, she did whatever she wanted to do while I was around, and I ended up feeling used and abused. My name is Cullen Ary-Book, and I met Spork many years ago.

It all started with a knock on the door and I was greeted with a big hug and a kiss. Of course I wasn’t expecting it, but the enthusiasm she used when she met me was great. At the time, I thought it was a little odd, but I got over it when I assumed it would be the start of a beautiful relationship. Was I wrong! Once inside of Spork’s house, I took a seat on the kitchen counter. I know, in most places the counter would be the last place to sit, but sitting at the table wasn’t really an option. See, the table was kind of dirty and there just wasn’t any room there for me. So I sat on the counter and looked around.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wasn’t the only one there in the kitchen. Apparently, Spork had invited many others into her kitchen, and she must have gotten distracted, because they were all just lying around doing nothing. Me, I had other ideas of how I could stay active because I had important information I could share. A few minutes after I sat down, I could see Spork showing me around the kitchen. She let me know where she kept her cooking supplies and plates. For a minute I was happy to see them because I recognized many of them. Yet, when it came time for me to share my expertise on those ingredients, she ignored me. Yeah, she ignored me! And I am not to be ignored. I mean, I tried to be open to what her plans were. I tried to give suggestions, or at least allow her to use me to her benefit. But nope. She would act like she could understand exactly what I meant, but then she would do the exact opposite of what I instructed her to do. Or, she’d go overboard and do way too much. And when you’re working with me and you do things like that, things turn out bad. That’s probably why the others were lying around with nothing to do. They had probably just given up, closed themselves off to the world, and stopped trying after they realized she wasn’t going to listen. But that’s not me. It never has been and it never will be. I won’t quit. I won’t change. I won’t deviate from the plan because I know it is absolutely right. See, when your name is Cullen Ary-Book, it almost goes without saying that being a cookbook makes me the ideal thing for Spork to use to help her with her cooking. NOPE!

Nah, she’d rather skip over my words and do whatever she thought was right. And things like that make me look bad, like when she smiles and says that she uses me to make the food she prepares. For example: one of my recipes called for 2 cups of sugar. Well, Spork was out of sugar, so she substituted 2 cups of salt for the sugar. She said they look a lot alike, so what would it matter? Tell that to the person who took a bite out of one of those cookies! On another occasion, she was making a cake and ran out of flour. So, she used pancake mix because they looked alike, and also because pancake has the word cake in it. I don’t even want to get into her refusal to preheat the oven, so of course her brownies are always undercooked mounds of chocolate and fudge foolishness. I don’t even want to talk about the times she made a caramel apple out of a tennis ball and ear wax because the ingredients all looked the same. And then she has the nerve to tell people she gets the ideas for what she cooks from me! As if I told her to cook it just like that!

Now you can see what I’ve been dealing with. Well, that was what I was dealing with until this morning. This morning, Spork walked into the kitchen, took one long look at me, and made an omelet. Not one of her usual Shark Knuckle Omelets, but an omelet with spinach and sharp cheddar cheese. When I saw it (and after I smelled it), I was delighted. She had followed directions for once, and it seemed to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. And not just with me. Pretty soon, the other books that were lying around were being open and honest with her as well. She would talk with all of us and get our thoughts on what to cook. Together, we had turned a page in the book of food progress.

The End

The following bonus chapter reintroduces you to Agnes. In WWKNS, Agnes meets Wrinkles and Spork at the local grocery store: It’s hard to remember exactly how it happened. No, not because I’m a senior citizen (which I am, and I’m proud of it), but because after I met that young boy, things happened really quickly. When you get to be my age, you’ll understand how slowing down and enjoying things has its benefits. But, with this little boy, life sped up, and I went from talking to him in a taxi to getting free cab rides for a week, just for looking through a fanny pack. He didn’t save me a lot of money, but I really wanted to see if the kid could predict the future the way he acted like he could. And he was right on the money in both ways. Plus, I ended up going on a hot date with a changed gentleman who made my wig spin and brought smiling delight to my dentures.

It all started when I was on my way to work. Every evening I take a taxi cab to my job at GARDEN-GOTTEN FOOD. That’s the name of the place, but since some of the light bulbs are blown out (and we’d have to raise the prices on plums and pickles to replace them), everyone calls the store ROTTEN FOODS. You would think that light bulbs are the most expensive things in the store because we won’t even buy any of the bulbs we sell to replace the ones that have burnt out. At GARDEN-GOTTEN FOOD, I am a greeter, and everyone who can read and be polite calls me Agnes because that’s the name on my name tag.

As the greeter, I make sure I greet customers coming in the store with a smile, kind words, and coupons. Nothing says hello like 50 cents off a gallon of 2% milk, or buy-one-get-one-free toilet paper coupons. Personally, I think putting things on sale at stores just shows that the stuff we sell is overpriced, but I’m a greeter, not a manager, and my job is to make sure each customer gets a smile and a chance to save when they come into our store.

On the day I met that darling little boy, I wasn’t feeling very good at all. I was trying to battle my way through a bad cold, and I had just finished watching the news. I wasn’t sure what made me feel worse: the green stuff I kept blowing out of my nose that needed three tissues instead of the usual two, or hearing about how some students were acting up in school and being disrespectful to the teachers. See, I used to be a teacher when I was much younger, but I got older and retired. After years of traveling and visiting my grandkids, I decided to get a job as a greeter to stay active. Lots of people my age say you have to stay active to stay alive. Me, I’m not willing to see if they’re wrong.

When the cab driven by my usual cab driver pulled up to my driveway and blew the horn twice, I had just finished blowing my nose the same amount of times, and I was checking to make sure I had my keys so I wouldn’t be locked out after work. Once I had my keys in my purse, I slowly walked out of my house, down the two stairs, one foot at a time, and went to the driver’s side of the cab to get in the back door. By the time I had on my seatbelt, I realized that there were three of us in the car. At first I thought the child in the car was the son of my cab driver. When the driver didn’t start the meter that tells me how much the ride will cost, I knew something was different. Clearly our routine was changing.

“Good evening, Mrs. Agnes,” said the little boy. “I’m Mr. Quiet.”

“Just call me Agnes, because I’m not married anymore.”

“Well, Agnes, I’m still Mr. Quiet, and it is a pleasure to meet you. With your permission, I’ll be paying your cab fare for a little while.”

“That’s fine with me, but what for?” I had to know because most young kids usually spend their money on candy and video games.

“Agnes, I need you to do me a favor. I’m going to need your eyes.”

“Young man— ”

“My name is Mr. Quiet.”

“I don’t care who you are, or what your name is. Nobody is getting my eyes, or my glasses!”

“Agnes, maybe you’re misunderstanding me. What I mean is that I’m going to need you to look for a particular customer who will be coming into your store exactly one week from now.” “How do you know?” I thought that was an appropriate question.

“Agnes, I have my ways.”

“So, what do I get out of this?”

“As I said before, I’ll be paying for your cab ride to work until the night you see him walking into the store.”

“How will I know who he is? We have thousands of people who walk in and out of our store every day. You have no clue how many people I greet and give coupons to during my shift.”

“Last night you gave out 972 coupons. Last night you greeted 1,049 people. Last night you smiled and raised your left eyebrow at a little Yorkshire Terrier with its head poking out of a matching tan purse that was sitting where most people put their bread, eggs, or toddlers.”

After that sentence, the cab driver tapped the brakes. Both of us were amazed with the kid. “How do you know so much?” I had to know.

“Agnes, I have my ways.”

“How will I know who I am looking for?”

“He’ll probably be carrying a small satchel or a fanny pack that could hide something small like a golf ball or biscuit.”

“And he’ll be at the store one week from today?”

“Yes.”

“And you’ll be paying for my taxi cab until he shows up?”

“Yes.”

“What if he doesn’t show up? You know you’ll be paying for my taxi rides forever, right?”

“He’ll be there. Just make sure you’re looking for him and everything will be fine.”

Before I could say anything else, the cab was right in front of the store, and Mr. Quiet was unbuckling his seatbelt. He paid the driver and exited the cab like he had better and more important things to do than sit and talk to an old lady. I was about to sit in the backseat of the car and ask the cab driver about the kid, but the driver cleared his throat and put his hand on the button that starts the meter.

“Oh, look at the time. I don’t want to be late for work!” I said. I gave the cab driver his usual tip and reminded him of when I would be off work so he could pick me up and take me home.

In the days leading up to the seventh day, I looked for satchels and fanny packs worn by guys. I had just about given up on seeing anyone wearing or carrying either one until the day I really had to look finally arrived. And, to be honest, I was getting used to the free cab rides. But the most important thing to me was to see if the kid could predict the future. To me, that would be worth going back to paying for my own cab rides.

On the seventh day, I was all set to get in the cab when I saw that familiar head sitting in the passenger seat. The cab driver put the car in reverse and rolled out of my driveway faster than usual. We swerved in and out of traffic like we were rushing to get to the hospital or airport. The only thing on the road faster than the car was Mr. Quiet’s jaw.

“Agnes, so far, I know you haven’t seen one person with a fanny pack or a satchel. Tonight it is going to happen.”

“You’re right.”

“I know I’m right. Tonight, I just want you to be on alert so you don’t miss the guy.”

“What’s his name?”

“Wrinkles Wallace is his name.”

“Am I supposed to ask every guy that walks in our store if he is Wrinkles Wallace, or will he just come up to me and introduce himself?”

“Agnes, you’ll know him when you see him. Wrinkles has a presence when he walks into any room. I need you to stop him, search the fanny pack or satchel, and just mention what’s inside of the fanny pack.”

“Do I have to put a sticker on it and send him to customer service?”

“Agnes, did you not hear me, or did you not understand? I need you to do exactly what I said. That’s all. Don’t send him to customer service or put a sticker on the fanny pack. Just check the fanny pack and mention what he has inside of it.”

“What if he has a problem with me checking or mentioning?”

“Just tell him management told you to check and move on to the next customer. Everything will be fine. If you do everything right, I’ll see if I can throw in a little something extra for you.”

“Extra?” “Well, if things go right, there may be someone your age that I'd want you to meet.”

My smile was the only response to what Mr. Quiet said. I was about to reply, but felt the force of a sudden stop, and we were already at GARDEN-GOTTEN FOOD. The cab driver jumped out of the front seat, opened my door like a gentleman, and nicely snatched me out of the backseat. Mr. Quiet said, “Sorry about that, Agnes, but we’re in a big hurry and he needs to get me home and back to work really quickly. Keep your eyes on the fanny pack prize tonight and everything will be great.”

I stood still, without taking a step, because I feared the rear tire of the taxi cab might crush my toes as the cab driver sped off. I coughed after inhaling a mixture of burning rubber and car exhaust. Then I walked into the store to start working. Later that night, I did see a guy wearing a fanny pack. His name was Wrinkles Wallace, and, like Mr. Quiet predicted, it wasn’t hard to miss him. I did what Mr. Quiet asked and took a look inside the fanny pack. I mentioned what was inside the fanny pack, then continued greeting customers and handing out coupons.

By morning I knew I had done the job Mr. Quiet had asked me to do, because I ended up having breakfast with a handsome, older gentleman named Lenny.

The End

Numerous supporters of WWKNS have asked me what happened in the gym before Wrinkles, Clumsy, and Grandma Wilbur arrived. Well, here is a detailed account from someone who experienced the entire event:

"Where am I?" It was an important question, and I’d want an answer if I were him. I paused and remained as relaxed as ever before I said, “Sir, you’re in the back of an ambulance. I’m going to need you to stay calm.”

Instantly he tried to sit up, but the pain in his legs and chest tore through his body. Plus, the straps I put across his body to keep him secure to the stretcher were doing their job.

“What happened to me? Was I in some sort of car accident?” I saw his eyes darting around the ambulance, trying to figure out if he really believed he was lying down in the back of one.

He was.

I took a deep breath and told him, “Sir, you participated in a dodgeball game.”

“What?”

“A dodgeball game,” I said.

He asked, “And I’m in the back of an ambulance because of it?”

“Yes. You don’t remember?”

The man wearing a jersey paused for a second and then he spoke. “Yeah, I remember now. There was this kid who didn’t have a team of his own, so we were just playing around with him before the real game started.”

“So a kid did this to you?”

“He was no kid.”

“What, was he around 17? Could we consider him an adult?”

“No, he was more like ten, but you would never know by looking at him that he could throw like that.”

“He was ten years old? Did he have a beard and a mustache? I mean, I went to school with a kid who was ten and had a full beard and mustache.”

The man lying down on the stretcher looked at me and started speaking slower, as if he thought I couldn’t hear fast enough.

“The kid...was ten...and he looked like he was ten.”

“Okay, so then what happened?”

“There were four of us there from my team and we were waiting on our friend Wrinkles to show up. Then, there was the kid who seemed like he just wanted to play around with the adults. So, we figured we’d warm up a little before our competition showed up and the actual game started. We had no clue he was the opposing team.”

“He was his own team?”

“Yeah, but we didn’t figure that out until later. We just started warming up with a little game of 5 Steps and Throw. We even let the kid start off with the ball because he was a kid. But that was a mistake. Without even taking five steps to get closer to someone, the kid fired the ball at my best friend and caught him in the pit of his stomach.”

The patient paused and his eyes got as big as biscuits, so I asked, “What happened?”

“The poor guy threw up breakfast from four days ago.”

“You mean your friend was hit so hard he vomited breakfast from four days ago?”

“Yes! Man, we speak the same language, but you’re not acting like it.”

“I’m sorry.” I said. “So what happened after that?”

“The rest of the guys on our team looked at each other and called a timeout. We moved our friend away from his breakfast and huddled up. That’s when we came up with a plan to try to get out of there alive.”

“Why didn’t anyone call the ambulance?”

“We didn’t have time to call an ambulance. Plus, we figured the three of us could quickly get the kid out, and then everything would be good. And, if everything went well, next week we would try to replace our friend Wrinkles with the kid, since Wrinkles isn’t really that good at dodgeball.”

“So what happened after that?” I asked.

“Once the timeout was finished we started with our plan.”

“What plan?”

“The plan was simple. When one of us got the ball, we would take our five steps, and then purposely bounce the ball on the ground to pass the ball to one another and avoid getting out. Once we had him surrounded or cornered, we would get him out really quickly, and then just toss the ball softly at each other to hit one another and end the game.”

“That sounds like a good plan. What actually happened?”

“This happened!” He started looking at me crazy and his eyes rolled into the back of his head. Next, his body was twisted in pain. I couldn’t wait until more of the numbing medicine darted through his blood and did its job.

I tried to take his mind off the pain by asking, “How did it happen?”

“We started using the plan, and the kid started running around and dodging our throws by jumping and flipping like he just came from a gymnastics class that meets before the dodgeball game. It wasn’t too bad at first because we weren’t trying to hit him hard. I mean, we were playing with a kid, and in the back of our minds, maybe we thought his vomit-toss was just a lucky throw. So, we were just trying to barely hit him with the ball.”

“And he kept dodging?”

“Yeah! He kept flipping and sliding and ducking and everything. It was like nothing we had ever seen before. We were chasing him around the gym, five steps at a time, and he was making us look bad. That’s when we got upset and started to get serious.”

“You were going to hit the kid as hard as you could?”

“We had to. He was too quick for our little tosses. Plus, all that running was catching up to us, and we needed to get the game over with. All that running is why my legs are hurting right now.”

“This doesn’t sound so good.”

“Ya think? So anyway, we finally had the kid surrounded in the corner and my teammate had the ball. He fired a rocket at the kid. The kid ducked out of the way and the ball bounced off of the wall, and then hit my other teammate right in the nose! The kid took off running and laughing. My friend who got hit in the nose was knocked out cold because he didn’t expect to be hit. I mean, if this was wrestling or boxing, the referee could have counted to a million and he’d still be out.”

“So your friend in the other ambulance is in there because of what your other friend did, and not the kid?”

“Yeah, why do you think I’m in here?”

“Because of the kid?”

“Yeah!”

“Did he hit you with the ball too?”

“Yes and no.”

“What do you mean?” This was getting crazier and crazier by the minute.

“Stop interrupting me with questions and I’ll tell you.”

“Sorry.”

“So, I managed to get the ball while the kid ran to the other side of the gym. My friend and I took our five steps and then we bounced the ball to each other. When we got close to the kid, my friend had the ball, and he was about to take his fifth step before he bounced the ball back to me. Just then, the kid darted between us, and my friend, instead of bouncing the ball to me, threw it at the kid.”

I nod my head as not to interrupt and encouraged him to keep talking.

“That’s when he hit me.”

“The kid hit you when he ran by?”

“Stop interrupting! No, the kid didn’t hit me! My friend hit me in the chest with the ball and rocked my ribcage. Then I fell right where I stood. I was in so much pain, I could barely breathe. All I remember was lying on my back and seeing my teammate get the ball that had just stomped my sternum. He was so upset and angry at all the damage he had done to us that he put everything he had into taking the biggest five steps he could take before throwing the ball.”

That’s when he paused and didn’t say anything for a few seconds. I wanted to know what happened, but I didn’t dare interrupt. I kept nodding and made the listening noise that some people make when another person is talking.

Finally, he said, “So my buddy was trying to land his fifth step when he stepped into that breakfast from four days ago. The ball accidentally flew out of his hands while he was on his way to the ground. The kid caught the ball and my friend used the floor to stop the back of his head from going underground. He was knocked out instantly and the game was over. The kid won by only hitting one of us.”

“You’re serious?”

“I’m as serious as a trip to the hospital!” He was getting angry and trying to get up from the stretcher.

“Sir, I’m going to need you to calm down and relax. We’ll be at the hospital in about thirty seconds. Please remain calm.”

We were the second ambulance to arrive at the hospital that day. We rushed our dodgeball player to the doctor and hoped they all would be okay. Then we went back to where they were having the real dodgeball game and waited in the parking lot.

We heard plenty of noises coming from inside the gym that sounded like screams and explosions. I believe I almost heard a woman screaming for a doctor, but I wasn’t sure, and nobody called 911 for us to go back in the gym to rescue anyone else.

When the real game was over, there were three people who came out looking like they could use some medical attention. The first was a lady with blood near the thigh area of her black and white checkered pants. She was smiling, so we figured she must have spilled ketchup on herself from the hotdogs you could get at the concession stand. The second was a guy who looked like the side of his wheelchair was hit by a truck. While looked angry, and his legs, instead of his arms, were doing the walking for the wheelchair. The last person was a guy who was holding his stomach and a fanny pack like he had a broken bellybutton. He climbed onto the back of a loud motorcycle and sat behind a lady who was old enough to be his grandmother.

And the kid…well, he looked in our direction, gave us a weird smile, and flashed two thumbs up. We blew our horn, started the ambulance, and drove to another location.

The End.

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