The Popsicle Sticks and Where I Put Them

Russell is even stranger than I thought.

He leaves popsicle sticks under the couch cushions. I find them there every night during my routine sweep of the living room. Yesterday there were three. One red, one purple and the other one remarkably colorless. I performed a quick taste test and immediately detected a faint but unmistakeable vanilla flavor, then put it in my top-left dresser drawer with all the rest.

That’s not the strange part.

This is the strange part.

I checked the freezer:

No popsicles.

He must be bringing them in from outside the apartment. But when he’s finished, for some reason he can’t make the ten step journey to the garbage can in the kitchen. I casually mentioned it to Susan (Remember? The single mom who lives across the hall) and she said that her kids do the same thing. And when they weren’t stuffing them under the couch cushions they were sharpening them into fine points.

She also mentioned that she thought my shirt was interesting. So that’s a good sign.

It’s all starting to come together. The lights. The popsicle sticks. Whatever it is that Russell’s afraid of… he’s preparing me for it.

I retrieved the collection of popsicle sticks, fifteen in total, and took them outside where I spent the next four hours scraping them against the concrete and into tiny javelins.

When I showed them to Russell, he just looked at me without saying a word, but I know he’s proud.

Whatever’s coming, we’ll be ready.


Me and Russell.

Oh and the popsicle stick spears? I stuck them to the front door, pointy end out, using the duct tape I found in Russell’s closet.