This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story is copyrighted by Azlan Lewis Stories, L.L.C., all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.
[Author's Note: Though I use real locations, I at times may take literary license. That means I may add, change, subtract or manipulate things to fit the story. So they may not entirely reflect the locality I am using but are not in the realm of impossibility. Also the websites I’ve noted at the end of the story were current at the time of submission and are supplied for your use and hopefully enjoyment. Thank you, Azlan
Questions, Comments about the story can be sent to email@example.com]
© 2013 Azlan Lewis Stories, L.L.C.
Who are Tommy and Davy?
We had just a little over an hour to complete our morning duties and have breakfast before I had to be back on the road. I could legally be back on the road at 7:30am.
"Come on Tommy, I gotta go pee hurry." Davy whined.
Tommy looked back at me and I told them to go ahead and go to the restroom, I would be right behind them. The two young boys ran to the building and then walked fast to the restroom. I was only about a minute behind them. When I went the restroom I heard they were being propositioned by some older trucker.
"Hey, boys, you ok?"
"Y..y..y..yes Uncle S...S..S..Scott?"
The older trucker had salt and pepper hair, several days of beard growth and grimy clothing.
"I don't know what you are doing here asking my nephews if they would like to go for a ride in your big truck, but if you don't want to be pissing in a bag the rest of your life I suggest you get your ass out of here."
I stepped closer to the smaller man; I was at least a foot taller then he. He backed away and quickly left the restroom without saying a word. Just the look of fear was on his face.
"Did you see that Uncle Scott he peed his pants." Proclaimed Davy as he ran to me and hugged me.
"Tommy and Davy, I am sorry I did not think someone would bother you here."
"Did both of you use the restroom?"
"Yeah, we did just come out and that guy saw us and asked us about seeing his truck." Davy told me
I noticed something about Tommy and Davy, Davy did a lot of the talking. I suspect it was because Tommy was often too self conscious of himself and being afraid he would stutter.
"Ok boys, wash your hands and wait by the towel dispenser for me."
While I was using the facility I heard this next.
"Hey, there's no handles here." Tommy said.
"Tommy, Davy; look for a small dark window or dots and put your hands in front of that, it might be on the faucet or in a silver circle." 1
"Kay, he..he..he, neat Tommy look." Davy happily told me and Tommy.
I finished and washed my hand while the boys marveled at the automatic towel dispenser.
"Ok, let's go eat breakfast."
We grabbed a booth and went to the buffet right away. By the time we arrived back the waitress was there with water and waiting for our drink order.
I decided to go for three "bottomless" glasses of orange juice.
We all made quick work of our plates and we each had two glasses of orange juice. I paid the bill and told the boys to hit the restroom just to be sure they didn't need to go soon after we were on the road. I did the same.
We got in my rig and I started it up. While letting the truck's engine warm up from it's nearly Ten hours of slumber; I helped the boys with the seat belts.
I put the truck in gear and rolled it over to the gasoline canopy.
I hopped out and filled the tanks up. While the truck filled up with diesel fuel, I showed the boys the trip computer and that I had 6 more minutes before I could be back on the road.
The semi has two 200 gallon tanks, one on each side of the rig. Total fill up was 147 gallons at $4.08 a gallon.2 The total came to $599.76. I went to pay the bill, which I did and got a few more bottles of water.
After punching in my social security number and security code to set the trip computer count down from fourteen hours to zero; we were on our way down I-65 south.
"Wow, we are up so high. I can see in other cars." Tommy said.
"Boys we've known each other ten hours now, but I know so little about you. So we are going to play an extended game of 21 questions. I am going to ask you questions and you can ask me question too. I'm going first, ok?"
"Ok." Both boys chimed.
"Tommy and Davy how old are each of you?"
"I'm 10," said Tommy.
"I'm 7 and a half he..he..he," Davy giggled out.
"How old are you Uncle Scott?" Davy asked.
"I'm 38 years old. I know you boys are from Illinois, I am from and live in Minnesota."
"So what grades are you in?"
"I'll be in fifth grade, next year," Tommy said.
"I'll be in second," said Davy.
"Did you go to college?" Tommy asked.
"No, boys, I didn't want to go to college. I wanted to travel and see the U.S.A. my Dad said he'd pay for college or a trade school."
"What's a trade school?" Tommy inquired.
"A trade school is a place where you go for training in a certain type of job, such as a trucker, like me or a plumber or electrician."
"What's a lectrician?" Davy asked.
"It's Electrician. That is some one that works with electricity and wires things so you can plug things in and get power so they will work."
"Kay," Davy replied.
"Do you boys know who your Dad is? Do you ever see him?"
"He was around till I was about four, I think. Davy don't remember seeing him. After he left we never saw him again," Tommy Told me.
Though I wanted to teach these boys how to speak correctly, I knew this was not the time for that. I would not gain their trust if I was correcting them all the time.
"Do you know his name?"
"No, I don't remember. Him and mom never got married" said Tommy.
"Are you married?" Davy asked.
"No, I never got married. I wanted to travel and see country. If I had not been a truck driver I wouldn't have found two nice boys like both of you."
"Got any kids?" Tommy asked.
"No, boys, I don't, I would have wanted to be around so I could watch them grow. Driving long distance trucking a.k.a. "over the road or long haul" as it's more commonly called isn't good for raising kids because I would never be there."
At the same time both boys asked two different questions.
"What's a.k.a.?" inquired Davy.
"How come you'd never be there to watch kids grow?" Tommy asked.
"Alright, I'm going to answer Davy's question first because it is a shorter answer. A.k.a. means "also known as," that means it can be called something else. Like, I could call Davy, "that little blonde boy," and people would know that I was talking about him."
"Hey, I am not little!" Davy proclaimed.
"Now I am going to explain the different types of trucking to you both; there are two basic types of commercial truck driving. One is called "short haul." That one means it is less then a one days drive from the starting point to the delivery point and that driver is back to his home when he is done at the end of the day. "Long haul" or "over the road," means that it is more than one days drive from the starting point to the delivery point and that driver or drivers have to stop every fourteen hours and rest ten hours before they can drive again. That's what I showed you on this computer here. See boys, it shows we've been driving 32 minutes [13:28:16], its count down is from 14 hours so I will always know how much time I can drive or I have to rest. Most if not all "long haul" trucks have a bunk bed or beds in them so the driver or drivers can rest and not spend money on a hotel. It saves them money. Now since I am driving far away from my home all the time, I wouldn't be able to be home and watch the kids grow up. Not all truckers are like that many are married and have families. Do you have any questions?"
"No," Tommy said.
"How come you can only drive 14 hours?" Davy asked.
"Well, the U.S. regulations or laws state that commercial drivers, that's truck drivers like me, can only be behind the wheel and driving fourteen hours straight before they have to take a break. The break has to be 10 straight hours of not driving. It's for safety so I don't cause an accident and hurt someone because I did not get enough of a break between driving and not driving."
"Do either of you play any sports or like to play them?"
"Sometimes we would play football, soccer or baseball with kids where we live." Tommy said.
"I like soccer," said Davy.
"I like soccer too, but baseball is my fave," Tommy added.
"Do you like any sports?" Tommy asked.
"I used to play hockey and I also like to swim."
"Do either of you like school or have favorite subject?"
"I like school cuz we get to eat there and I like math, 'cept vision that's boring," replied Davy.
"You mean division, Dufus. I like it for the food and I like history." Tommy said.
I was saddened by the news that the reason they liked school was because of food. I knew of stories of how bad some of the public school food is but to these boys it must have been something nice. I wish Mrs. Chupnick was still alive so I could thank her for watching out for these two boys.
"Tommy, it's not nice to call Davy a "Dufus." It's mean, it's the same as your mom when she called you stupid because sometimes you stutter and can't get words out. You are not stupid at all Tommy. Now say you're sorry to Davy, alright?"
"Sorry Davy," Tommy told his brother.
"Kay," quipped Davy.
"Wow, you mean there's a word for what I do?" Tommy asked.
"Yes, Tommy, it is called stuttering. It is a real condition. There is something in your brain that interrupts the signals that go to your larynx. They are muscles in your throat that vibrate to so your lips can make words for people to hear. Many famous people have stuttered. People that stutter; stutter most of the time because of them feeling stressed or not sure of themselves to speak and when they get nervous they stutter like you do. Sometimes they stutter for other reasons because their brain got injured in an accident of some kind."
It amazes me that people that can be so stupid sometimes that they don't realize their children have a condition that can be helped. I am beginning to hope I can some how be a part of these two boys' lives no matter what happens.
"Who are the famous people?" Tommy asked.
"James Earl Jones, he played Darth Vader's voice in the Star War movies when he was in that dark suit. Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Darwin, John Stossel, Winston Churchill and King George VI to name a few there are famous and stuttered. There are many more people that have stuttered that are just as famous." 3
I knew that many of the people I mentioned neither of the boys had ever heard of but I could easily show them at some point who these people were if I get the chance.
"Do you have a girl friend?" he..he..he giggled Davy.
"No I don't. I also don't have a boy friend for the same reason I am not married."
"YOU HAVE 13 HOURS REMAINING!" The trip computer chirped.
"Hu..hu...hu..who was that?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah, who was that?" Davy joined in.
"Oh, boys, this is Barb, that's what I call my trip computer. She talks and tells me how much time I have to go before I need a break, here see when I press this button she will tell me what time it is."
"THE TIME IS NOW 8:32AM!" Barb the trip computer told us.
"Wow! Cool!" Both boys chorused.
"Does Barb do anything else?" Davy chirped.
"Yes, if I press another button Barb will tell us the temperature."
"THE TEMPERATURE IS 62 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT." Barb the trip computer said.
"What's farmhite?" Davy asked.
"It's Fahrenheit, he was a German scientist that developed one of the ways to measure how hot or cold something is."
"Oh, ok," Davy said.
We were continuing to drive, headed south through Indiana down I-65 south.
"HEY! Don't you have to go through the weight station coming up?" Tommy nearly shouted.
"No, Tommy, I don't, I have "super pass" installed on my rig and trailer But I do have to get in the right lane so the reader can tell what the sensors on the rig say. Look for a white rectangle under the green highway sign."
The boys start to look out of the rig's front window.
"See...See..See there it is." Davy squealed.
Just as the tractor when under the "super pass" reader we heard:
"Bleep Bleep Blip"
A quarter of a mile later we heard another announcement:
"ALL CLEAR THANK YOU FOR USING SUPER PASS." The super pass computer squawked.
"Hey Barb sounds funny." Davy exclaimed.
"Super Pass is a different computer. I call it Boris since its voice is deeper."
"You're funny Uncle Scott," said Davy.
I didn't think I was but it brought smiles to Tommy and Davy so that's all that mattered. Even to bring small joys to them made me happy. It seemed they didn't have many of those in their short lives so far.
"Do you have any other relatives, like an aunt or an uncle; you know a brother or sister to your mom?"
"No, I don't think so?" Tommy said.
"Davy, did mom ever say she hand any brothers or sisters?" Tommy asked.
"No way, if I asked questions she'd tell me not to be stupid and hit me lots. Said only stupid people asked questions," Davy lamented.
"Yeah, I know she did that to me too," Tommy agreed.
"Do you have any?" Davy questioned.
"Yes, I have one older brother, one older sister, and two younger brothers."
"Wow, that's a lot," Tommy said.
"Would you like to have more brothers or sisters?"
"Just brothers, girls are yucky!" Davy made sure we both knew that.
"What's your house like?" Tommy asked.
"The house I bought has five big bedrooms, four bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room, games and entertainment room in the basement with a kitchenette. Outside is a three stall garage and workshop all on 20 acres."5
"Wow!" The boys said.
I wanted to tell them I wished that they could see it, but I didn't want to get their hopes up. Just then I noticed both boys were yawning.
"Say Tommy, Davy why don't you two go up into the bunk and sleep for a few hours, we will have to stop for a short break by then."
The boys mumbled something between each other I couldn't understand.
"Kay, 'mon Tommy lets go." Davy told his brother.
"Boys there are seat belts on each side of the bed I want you to put that on. So if for some reason I have to stop quickly or an accident happens you will be safe and not fly out of the bed"
They unfastened their belts. Tommy helped Davy into the top bunk then Tommy followed him.
"Do we change into our pj's?" Tommy asked.
"No, boys, just sleep in your sweats, it will be alright."
I heard the seat belt connect with a "click," though it should really be called a bed belt. If they have space I will get one of those bunk nets as well just in case they forget to use the belt.
"Uncle Scott?" Davy asked.
"Can we watch that movie gin we fell a sleep?" Davy asked.
"Sure go ahead."
I heard the movie start.
"We live in the town of Burk...," 4 the movie went.
I knew they had put started "How To Train Your Dragon," again.4
It wasn't long before I heard the rhythmic breathing of the two boys now in my care. I decided it was time to make a call.
To be continued.............
1 TA centers are being modernized so not all will have this newer plumbing with automatic flushing, automatic faucets or towel dispensers.
2 This is the real price of Diesel Fuel on for "Mid-west (PADD2)" on 2/11/2013 the latest data available at the time from http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
3 Famous people that have stuttered: http://www.stutteringhelp.org/famous-people-who-stutter
4 An actual line from the computer animated movie, How To Train Your Dragon, a 2010 box office hit. (c)2010 20th Century Fox, all rights reserved. Used for realism only
5 Scott Thomas Winslow's house plans: