Two Under Par

Two Under Par by Kevin Henkes

Book: Two Under Par by Kevin Henkes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kevin Henkes
1. The Scarecrows
    T he castle. Although it was only seven feet tall, it appeared oddly majestic with the sun rising in the east behind it. Its ornate spires glittered in the morning light, and the elongated shadows they cast ran across the tee-off mat, over the driveway, and pointed directly to Wedge’s bedroom window like large arrows.
    Wedge was sitting on his bed, his pajamas still on, rubbing the drowsiness from his puffy eyes. He yawned as he rose and shuffled across the rippling linoleum more like an old man than a ten-year-old boy. The floor creaked and groaned under his weight. He stopped at the window, squinting at the castle. Wedge scowled at the golden turrets. “I feel like I’m waking up in Disneyland ,” he said to himself, disgusted.
    It wasn’t Disneyland. A far cry from it. Actually, it was King Arthur’s Camelot—Mayfield, Wisconsin’s first and only miniature golf course.
    Arthur (“King”) Simpson, Camelot’s owner and Wedge’s brand-new stepfather, had just opened the course at the end of the school year. Camelot was King’s pride and joy. Wedge thought it was embarrassing. He couldn’t understand why a grown man would pour his entire life into a miniature golf course, go by the nickname King, or parade around in public in a plastic gold crown with fake jewels glued on. Especially when he was married to your very own mother.
    It didn’t make any sense to Wedge. Sometimes nothing made sense to Wedge. In fact, most of the time nothing made sense to Wedge anymore.
    For openers, Wedge never understood why his real father had to take off before he was born and never come back. Wedge didn’t even have a picture of him. And his mother’s description of him—when Wedge pressed her for one—had a tendency to change from time to time. Drastically. Wedge wondered if she ever really got a good look at him.
    Wedge also never understood why, out of the entire male population of Mayfield, his mother had to choose King for a husband. Two of Wedge’s friends—Jackie DeRose and Eric Scheller—had stepfathers, too. But that was different. Wedge wasn’t exactly sure how it was different, but he knew that it was. Maybe it had something to do with that stupid crown King always wore. (At least Jackie’s stepdad had the decency to cover his head with a Milwaukee Brewers cap.) Or maybe it was because acquiring King was a package deal—along with him came his own son, Andrew.
    Whenever Wedge looked at Andrew (who was five), he was reminded of King. And whenever he looked at King (who was thirty-eight), he was reminded of Andrew. In Wedge’s opinion they both bordered on pathetic. They were thin and pale with lanky arms that hung down the sides of their bodies like long curtains. Their arms even moved like curtains would—floppy and smooth. And if the wind happened to be blowing, Wedge thought that they could pass for scarecrows—sleeves waving wildly about, as if they had no arms at all.
    Their faces were almost white with pinkish splotches haphazardly cropping up here and there. The splotches turned deep red when King got angry or when Andrew was embarrassed. And their hair was like blond string, falling halfway down their faces in straight lines, partially covering their beaked noses. (Andrew’s, incidentally, happened to be dripping quite frequently.)
    Pitiful, Wedge thought. Extremely pitiful.
    Wedge had physical problems of his own, but they were more tolerable; he looked almost normal. Most obvious was the fact that Wedge was slightly overweight. Possibly more than slightly overweight. Wedge liked to eat and it showed. Wedge’s other disability, only he, his mother, and his pediatrician knew about. The left side of his buttocks was completely covered with a large white spot. Doctor Harris said it was simply from a lack of pigment in his skin and that it was nothing to be alarmed about. The spot

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