Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amber Renee Atkinson Finds True Love At Davy Crockett High

Amber Renee Atkinson

The pictures above are of Amber Renee Atkinson, Quemont Mateet McGee, and the design of the serape worn by Amber Renee Atkinson. Also pictured is Princess Carol The Tenth on a deserted island reading a copy of this newsletter, written by her imaginary financé.

Amber Renee Atkinson Finds True Love At Davy Crockett High

Amber Atkinson grew up in a two-story house in Lufkin, Texas, nestled comfortably in a cluster of gardenia trees and serenaded by wind chimes. Her father, Alistair Atkinson, was the owner and General Manager of Atkinson Candy Corporation, a candy manufacturing company started up by his grandfather, Tyrone, during the Great Depression. Amber’s parents met when her mother, Monique, represented Spain in the Miss World Contest of 1987, in which Alistair’s father, Roderick, was a judge.

Amber Renee Atkinson was her full name, but people who addressed her just called her Candy, if they called her anything at all. Amber Renee was a loner in the extreme sense. Everyone at school kept their distance from the aloof, non-engaging Amber Renee. In most of her classes, her desk was isolated from the others, in a corner, or near a window, where the teacher could keep an eye on her. She was given to doodling and daydreaming. When attendance was taken at the start of each class, Amber would cringe when her name was spoken, look down at the top of her desk with the most forlorn disdain, with pouting lips pursed, and divulge her true identity through clenched teeth, “My name is not Amber. It’s Candy.”

Amber’s teachers came to a consensus at a faculty meeting that they would not call her name when taking roll. When a substitute teacher would fill in for one of Amber’s classes, one of the other students would hurry from the previous class to alert the substitute, before the tardy bell rang, to walk softly, and not talk to or about Amber, during the 50 minute class.

Amber wore knee-high white crew socks. Amber always wore a red and yellow serape, in the exact pattern of a coconut Long Boy, the flagship candy of the Atkinson Candy Company. Amber never discussed fashion, or shopping, or cell phones, or boys, or anything at all, with anyone. Amber was very quiet and reserved. She tried out to be a flag girl on the Spirit Team, but the cheerleaders heckled her and Amber made her final exit from the football field without ever cheering a touchdown or pirouetting to the right as a trombone flashed in the Texas sunlight.

Quemont Mateet McGee was the oldest imaginary child of Hooknose McGee. Quemont Mateet was not a handsome lad by any stretch of the imagination. He was rather demure and unassuming. The word nondescript was coined for ectoplasmic apparitions like Quemont Mateet. Whatever good looks he had, in short supply it should be noted, he inherited from his mother, Princess Carol The Tenth. She herself was quick to deny that Quemont Mateet got any semblance of fairness from Hooknose McGee.

Quemont Mateet was sitting in the spectator stands at the football field when Amber tried out to become a flag girl. He turned to his friend and confidant, Scooter Gallagher, and remarked, “She moves with such grace and beauty. What a ravishing creature.”

Scooter replied, “You know, Quemont, that is just about what Humbert Humbert said when he first saw Lolita.”

Quemont Mateet quickly defended his newfound interest in the irascible Amber. “Leave Lolita out of this. Amber and I are of the same age. My interest in her is purely platonic, as pure as the driven snow.”

The next day, Quemont saw Amber at her locker. He strolled up to the girl of his dreams, looked her right in the eye, and said, “Amber, I feel kind of bad about you not making the Spirit Team. How’s about I take you to the Junior Senior Prom to make up for it?”.

Amber’s eyes lit up. She batted her eyelashes at Quemont. “My hero!” she gushed. “Yes, I would love for you to take me to the prom. I will show up at your house in a limousine at 7:00 p.m. exactamento on the big day! What‘s your name, by the way?”.

During his brief but love-blinded courtship of Amber Renee Atkinson, Quemont had forgotten in the heat of battle that Amber was from a rich family, so he was stunned when she informed him that she would be underwriting their big adventure.

“Oh, I’m Quemont,” he replied, barely able to speak, so overpowered was he by the majesty of the goddess before him. “I am the imaginary child of Hooknose McGee, a newsletter editor and live-in security guard at a shut down oil company.”

“You’re weird, Quemont,” Amber said, approvingly. “I think we will have a lot in common. I have a lot of income and you have a little income, and together, we have less going out than we would have coming in. Oh, fiddlesticks, I am so flustered I hardly know what I am saying!”.

Quemont laughed. His haunting laughter echoed through the halls of Davy Crockett High School. It sent a chill down the spine of many a player on the Alamo stage. The rapport that was discovered to exist between the richest girl in school and the poorest boy in the realm of imagination soon had the rumor mill buzzing like a 1956 party line being eavesdropped on. The jilted cheerleaders and star football players who had golden rings returned envied the eccentric couple because of the instant rapport that had appeared out of the gardenia-scented East Texas mist, that came so easily to them, free of the usual strife and romantic turbulence.

When Quemont was invited to the Atkinson mansion to meet the parents, it was not for fried chicken and cole slaw. It was for tacos, frijoles, rice, and salsa and chips. To his surprise, he hit it off from the start with the parents. They were very impressed that his mother was the elusive and non-communicative Princess Carol The Tenth, and they could see the same traits in their own daughter.

“I am not going to offer you a job at the candy plant,” Alistair Atkinson informed Quemont Mateet. “At least, not at this time. I have for a long time wanted my daughter to enroll at Kilgore College. It is close by. She can come home often. And you can join her, if you like. I will have you enrolled at Kilgore College as well, on full scholarship, provided you work for me after you graduate.”

“Well, sir, this is the first and only offer I have had with reference to what I will be doing for the rest of my imaginary life. Perhaps I can write the company newsletter and open new sales markets in South America and Europe,” Quemont Mateet replied, trying to envision the role he might have in the candy operation. “And so, if it is all right with Amber, I accept. And I will do whatever I can to get Amber an opportunity to try out for the Kilgore Rangerettes, who perform every year at the Cotton Bowl.”

“This is fine by me!” Amber confessed, her eyes sparkling. “I’ll pay your library book fines, parking fines, whatever! I might even dance at your wedding.”

Quemont gave Amber a hug. “Mr. Atkinson,” he asked, “May I borrow your cell phone for a minute?”.

“Sure, Quemont,” Mr. Atkinson replied, handing his cell phone over.

Quemont Mateet punched in a 10-digit number. “Hello, JBQ? This is Quemont Mateet, the imaginary child of Princess Carol The Tenth and Hooknose McGee. I just wanted you to know that my Dad would return to 1994 and go up those twisted, gnarled stairs and get the backup tapes after the big Earthquake all over again, even if I do get paired up with the heiress to a candy fortune.” Quemont Mateet folded up the phone and handed it back to Alistair Atkinson.

(c) 2009 by Hooknose McGee

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