Bonus Chapters
...written just for you!

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

Archive

Tags

Updated: Mar 16


Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Fib the Lion and I’m not lying about anything I mentioned before. See, I LOVE this time of the year. The weather isn’t too hot or cold. When you have a fur coat like me, these times are way better than the hot summer or the cold winter. When it’s chilly in the morning, I drink my hot cider. When it’s warm in the afternoon, I drink my frozen cider. Throughout the day and especially in the middle of the night, I drink regular cider.



You might think I drink too much cider. Well, I disagree. In fact, if it weren’t for me, the orchard I work at wouldn’t even have cider to sell to the customers. Basically, I discovered cider and believe I should have the right to drink as much as I want because of that. Okay, maybe I didn’t discover cider, but I did figure out the best recipe for making it and the owners use it to satisfy customers. That’s a story for another day.



If you’re wondering why a lion like me works at an apple orchard, I’ll explain. Years ago, I wandered into Michigan and lived near a farm that had cows. When I got hungry, I would hunt like lions do. The problem was that I was hunting on this farmer’s land a little too much.



Early one morning, we met by his new electric fence he put around his property to keep the animals in and me out. I knew I was nibbling too much, but I was shocked that he put up a fence like that u to keep me away. Obviously, we were about to have a big problem, but he offered me an apple. Well, he didn’t really offer it to me because he didn’t see me lurking. And, I didn’t see the apple in his hand when he opened his mouth to take a bite out of it. I did see his teeth, and the rules of the wild clearly say I’m allowed to show my teeth in response. So, I roared and showed my teeth. He dropped the apple and stepped away. Lucky for me, it rolled on my side of the fence and I started licking it. I took a bite of it and it was tasty.



Instantly, the farmer turned and ran away. I was sure I had scared him off. Then, he came back with a bag of apples and tossed them to me. I ate and ate and was happily full. I mean, it wasn’t what I usually eat, but it was better than nothing.


My first job at the apple orchard was to keep an eye on it at night. I guess I wasn’t the only animal that enjoyed eating apples, so the farmer wanted me to be there to scare off other animals. I’m a lion, so that’s not a problem for me. The problem for me was that I was paid in apples and my appetite was costing the farmer a little more than he planned. I guess I was eating more apples than the other animals he hired me to keep away. So, I ended up working during the day.



My days working at the apple orchard required me to keep an eye on the apple fritters. Yes, the APPLE FRITTERS. While most apple orchards serve good doughnuts with cinnamon and sugar, my orchard served the best apple fritters on Earth. They looked sweet, buttery, apple-filled, and delicious! People loved them and we would sell out quickly. I’d never had one, but I agreed to work for unlimited cider, one apple fritter in the morning, and any leftover apple fritters at the end of the day.



The orchard’s reason for having me work during the day was that bees loved the apple fritters more than they enjoyed the cider and apples. The bees would often sting customers who would reach for the apple fritters. Customers getting stung by the bees could lead to serious danger and stop customers from coming to the orchard. A more important problem for me was that bees made me nervous. While their stingers probably wouldn’t make it past most of my fur, I wasn’t sure if I was allergic to them and didn’t want to find out the hard way.


The first time I protected the apple fritters, the customers seemed to be more scared of me than the bees. I guess bees were getting more love. That day, nobody bought any apple fritters. That night, I ended up eating all of the apple fritters. THEY WERE AMAZING! They were also attracting bees to me while I was resting after being full.



One bee came by and landed on one of my whiskers. I was about to swat it away, but four more bees landed on my paws and started eating the crumbs from the fritters. The bee from my whisker started going toward my nose and I sneezed. Instantly, crumbs were everywhere. Instead of the bees getting mad at me and trying to sting me, they went to where the crumbs landed and ate the rest of them. Then, they left.



The next day, before work started, I was given my apple fritter. As soon as I nibbled, the bees were swarming me. At first I wanted to run, but I remembered what happened the night before. Instead of leaving, I laid down and took another nibble. The bees were flying and going for the crumbs that were dropping. I let them have them. I took another bite and they did the same thing. Before long, I would take a bite and leave my mouth open. The bees would take the sweet crumbs off my teeth and clean them for me. I guess that was like what the buffalos and birds did with insects while out in the wild.



Once the farmer realized that the bees were hanging out with me and not bothering the customers, I was given a raise. I went from one fritter to four fritters in the morning! That solved the bee problem for the orchard. The problem for me was that there were never any leftover fritters at the end of the day. That’s a story for another day.


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