Tiny Tim's Big Surprise

Story written by pirate60 on Wednesday 15, April 2015

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A Jack Vine short

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From The Files Of Jack Vine (Personal file) Tiny Tim"s Big Question This isn"t really a case, for no one actually got paid. I guess you could say it"s just a good story that needs to be told. You remember little Christina and Tiny Tim, don"t you? No! Well let me fill you in on a few things then. Christina was the daughter of a king from a long time ago, see, but it turned out she shouldn"t have been born at that time. Yeah, I know, sounds like a crock Aye? Anyways, a witch put a spell on her until her true love came a long and broke the spell. Oddly enough my mom and sisters had a hand in it. You can read more on it in "˜The Curse Of The Golden Harp" as well as "˜The Case Of The Three Fate"s" saga. Now Tim. Or Tiny Tim as most know him by, is the dude who broke the spell. They are of course a couple now and majorly Ga-Ga over each other. My gal, Mary, refers to them as a "˜Snow White love story"; Dames are like that. Now that we got some groundwork on them we can move along. This all started on a Saturday, although that fact doesn"t bear on this story much at all. It just happens to be when it began. My partner, Tiny Giant, had come into work early. Had you known him you"d realize why I was stunned. Under his arm he carried a large box on his face a stupid looking grin. I knew right off something was up; what, was still a mystery. "Hi sport." I said trying to engage him in some meaningless conversation. Figured I could probably ferret out the story easily enough. This time I got no reply. Fact was, I don"t think the big guy even knew I was there. He went right to his chair and placed said box down on the middle of his desk top; the stupid grin never left. It was like he was waiting for something or someone to show. Curiosity got the better of me and I got up see what the deal was. That"s when someone knocked on the door to the outer office. Hearing that Ting sprang from his perch and darted to the door, nearly pulling it off its frame. "It"s about time!" He exclaimed giddily, while my curiosity stepped up a couple notches. I stepped to the side to get a better view, Tiny"s huge framework being in the way, and spotted Tiny Tim standing by our receptionist"s desk. "Timmy!" Tiny called out dashing to our friend"s side. "I got it in a box on my desk." The way he talked it was as if continuing a conversation they were having only minutes before; Timmy I noticed had that same stupid expression on his face. What the heck were these two up to? Tiny picked Tim up and quickly brought him into our office leaving me even more bewildered. I should point out that Timmy didn"t like for people to pick him up. He felt it degrading in some way and I could understand where he was coming from. This time however he didn"t seem to care, unusual to say the least. "Where is it? He asked excitedly. "Did you open it up already?" Tiny set him down right next to the box and plopped down in his chair. "OK! You two." I finally asserted. "What"s the caper?" The two simply giggled like thirteen-year-old girls at a sleep over; no offense to you young tarts. "You"ll see Jack." My partner said. "Just give me a minute to open it up." Tiny turned back to the package, produces a pocketknife and proceeded to cut the straps holding the lid on. Then, with both hands, reached in the box and pulled out what I took to be a model car. I frowned, still not seeing what the big deal was. "To cool! Timmy cried out. At this point he jumped into the car, a reproduction Dodge Charger convertible and, to my utter amazement turned a itty bitty key firing up the models motor. Yup, that"s what I said; the model wasn"t a model at all but a miniature version of a working car, complete with Hemi motor, 1/16 scale. "It"s a tiny car!" I said unnecessarily. The two looked at me as if that observation was obvious, which it was. "OK!" I stammered, no longer wanting to be left in the dark. "Just what is this all about?" Tiny looked at Timmy barely able to contain himself. "You want to tell him Tim? My partner asked. "It"s for Christina." Timmy told me. "I special ordered it out of a magazine that make scaled down working model cars. Isn"t it Boss, Mr. Vine?" "Cost us quite a bit of cash too." Tiny added. "Us?" I replied spotting the pronoun and wondering who "˜Us" meant. "Yea Jack; you, me and Tim." He replied. "It"s an engagement present you see. I just figured you"d want to be in on it." "Well, sure I do. It would have been Jake to be in on it though." He shrugged his big shoulders as his apology and went back looking over the car. "One question". I added. "Does Christina know she"s engaged?" For some reason I didn"t think that was the case; maybe that"s a minor problem to these two but one I wanted to nail down. "Not yet." Tim said unconcerned. "That"s going to happen next Saturday at the dance." "Dance?" "Yea Jack." Tiny jumped in. "Didn"t Mary tell you?" I could see I was left out of more than one loop. I plopped down in my chair, taking a couple of deep breaths, to reorient my thoughts; it didn"t help. "OK you two", I interjected, any other surprises I should know about? Congress passing a balanced budget, Obama getting a brain, World war 3 maybe?" I realized as I listed these possibilities that the Obama one wasn"t ever going to happen. Stupid on that scale never does. I leaned back in my chair with half a frown. "It"s like this Jack", Tiny said. Tim wants to pop the question in a big way. With all that Christina"s endured for him, he wants this to be something extra special. Mary said a dance would be just the thing, her birthday being Saturday and all. And the cool part will be when Tim pulls up to pick her up in this car; she"ll flip." I looked over at Tim, who could not have had a bigger grin if he tried. "You"re going to pick her up in a tux driving your new Dodge Charger?" I asked "Not my new car", he giggled, "her car. I got this for her; she"ll be the one to drive it to the dance, not me. Then, sometime at the dance I"m going to get down on my knee and propose to her. It will blow her away." He emphasized his joy by honking the horn. Beeeeep! It went. "Cool!" Whether it was for the proposal idea or the horn I wasn"t sure. "Mary"s already got the dance floor rented and most of the birthday decorations up." Tiny began to explain. "She and Terri probably have every lady in the county helping out; excluding Christina of course. Everyone is in on the plan you see." "Was there some reason I was left out of this charade?" I asked. I"ll admit, even though some say I have a heart like ice, I do have a sensitive side. I just point that fact out at the end of a 38 most times. "Well", he continued, "it all kind of happened fast; not the car idea of course, that was ordered a long time ago; but the birthday party thing was quick. Mary heard about Tim"s idea from Terri and the rest just snowballed. You"re not sore, are you Jack?" Of course not partner." I lied. "You know how I am." I put my real feelings to the side and considered the facts so far. "Let me get this straight." I said zeroing in on something in the back of my mind. "First, Timmy is planning on proposing to Christina sometime this week." "Saturday." Tiny put in. "Saturday." I corrected myself. "Number two. Everyone, excluding Christina and me, knows about it." Both nodded to these facts so far. "Three." And this was a crucial one in my book. "Tim here is going to pick her up in a fully functioning Dodge Charger convertible, complete with a 1/16th scale Hemi motor. Is that Jake so far?" Again they both nodded. "Question one." Here it comes everyone. "Does Tim here know how to drive?" The look I got as well as the silence confirmed my suspicion. I nodded and moved on to the next cliff. "Does Christina, in fact, know how to drive?" Again there silence said it all. "That"s what I thought." I said, no longer needing any verbal confirmation. "That means we"re going to have to modify our plan a bit on two points." Notice how I used "˜our plan" instead of "˜their plan?" A minor triumph for my side but it made up on being left out of the loop. They kept their eyes on me waiting to be pulled from their sinking ship. "First change." I told them. "We 86 the idea of Christina driving to this birthday bash. I see no way to teach her to drive without her wondering why she needed to in the first place. After all." I said. "A twelve inch tall chick isn"t likely going to drive a VW bug to the market, would she?" "Second change." I went on. "You Timmy will be the one that learns to drive. That means a crash course; no pun intended, at least I hope." Tim looked from me to Tiny, then back to me before nodding his head; his giddiness was no longer there. "How do we do that?" He asked. "Looks to me like we"re going to have to teach you ourselves." I looked over at Tiny wondering how he"d reacted to this bit of news. All I could see was curiosity. Tiny was like that, never one surprised by what I come up with; even something like teaching a twelve-inch high boy to drive a car. "What"s your plan?" He asked knowing I was already hashing one up. "Well, for starters, we set up some kind of course. A large field somewhere remote would be good." I hadn"t really had a location in mind just yet; stealth, I figured, was a must in order to keep Christina from finding out. "Maybe", I pondered, "over at Jack and Jill"s farm." It was a good spot and that"s a fact, remote and with lots of space. "We start off small first see; then take you onto a real size road. After all", I pointed out, you will be driving on a full size road and not some model race track town." A thought occurred to me then. "Say, how fast can this car go?" Tim looked down at the steering wheel then shrugged his shoulders; I then looked over to Tiny. By the look on his face I could tell he was in the dark also. He turned to his desk and picked up the box lid. "Says here", He began to read, it can go a top speed of thirty-five miles per hour." He stopped with a frown on his face. "Is that all the faster it can go? Bummer. I was hopping it could do a hundred." I pointed out to him that thirty-five miles per hour at 1/16th scale probably was a hundred. That point made him feel better; why, I do not know. "Besides", I went on, thirty-five is a bit safer in my book." Everything was agreed and I told them to head out to the farm now. "Aren"t you coming with us?" Tiny asked. "In a bit big guy, but first I need to get some material to set up our simulated course. That means boxes, cones, spray paint, and some other odds and ends. Don"t sweat it champ, I"ll be an hour behind you at most." As it was it only took me twenty minutes. As I was pulling up to J and J"s place, Mary phoned me wanting to know where I was. I told her I was with Tiny and that we were checking into something. I kept my story short and vague; remember that guys, lies are to be short and vague. She told me she too was out, with Terri actually, decorating the dance hall. I could tell as she was speaking that she thought I knew all about the dance. I of course said nothing. Ending the conversation I got out of the car. Jack, I saw was waiting for me on the dirt road which runs to the back of the house and on into the fields beyond. "Hi ya Mr. Vine." Jack greeted me warmly. We shook hands and I asked where Tiny and Tim were. "They"s out yonder." He said, pointing down the dirt road. "That"a ways a field." He went on. "Pert"ner the flattest ground I got that"s not already tilled over. Packed good and hard too. You"re partner said that"s what y"all were look"n f"r." I nodded and we headed out. ""Darnd"est thing I ever did see. " He was saying as we walked. "Me and the missus were plum flabbergasted when that there toy took off like it was a fox aft"r a chik"n." He grinned and shook his head. "Y"r partner and the little fell"f be under that there big oak tree."I looked to where Jack was pointing and spotted all three standing in the shade of the big tree. Under it I saw that no grass was growing; the shade making it mostly barren. The circular area would work out quite well I thought. "Looks perfect." I told him. "Did Tiny by chance tell you that this is all covert? "If"n ya means f"r us ta keep our traps shut, then ya. Y"r partne"r done said this was all part of that dance we"s all go"n to; and a surprise f"r that little golden gal at that." I nodded and we joined the rest of our gang under the tree. "Hi ya guys." I greeted them, putting down the stuff I picked up at the hardware store. With the help of Jack and Jill, we put together a reasonable version of a town complete with box buildings. The roads I spray painted in the usual crisscross style you normally see giving Tim the best pattern to practice turns and breaking. I was quite pleased at how it turned out. "Not to shabby." Tiny commented, as he placed the last box. "You could make this into one of them radio controlled car tracks you see on TV." I looked over to Jack seeing a glean in his eyes. Hmm! "OK." I said. "Lets get rolling." I took out a pamphlet, which I had acquired from the local DMV office. "This is the standard drivers guide used for first time drivers to learn the basics. It"s mostly common sense Tim, so you"ll pick up on it fairly easily. I read the pamphlet disregarding all the dumb stuff only a moron would not know and put it away. We can go over it again later at the office if you like." I finished. Looking at Tim I could see that spark of excitement in his eyes as he had back at the office. I hoped he wouldn"t be to enthusiastic. "This is going to be so cool!" He said jumping into the car. The motor fired up right off purring as a cat would. Yes, I thought this could get ugly. Timmy immediately popped it into gear and was preparing to gun it, I was sure. "Hold your horses!" I reined him in. You already forgot several things." He looked at me confused. I clearly saw that his brain was having trouble keeping up with the rest of him. The light bulb lit over his head though, I good sign in my book. "Buckle up and adjust the seat and mirrors." He recited from the pamphlet. I nodded. Brain now engaged, he set everything to his satisfaction. That done he slowly brought the car onto the track; he was by the barbershop if anyone was wondering. We set up four stop light intersection, having only four of us; using long poles with a small box on top. On three of the sides we painted red, yellow and green to indicate the traffic light. Holding it up, we each changed it accordingly. I could go into the details on what went down, but that would have only embarrassed Timmy. Lets just say he stunk at first like we all did. Having replaced the damaged boxes we had him run the course several times over a few hours. By the end of the day, I felt he was as good as Tiny was behind the wheel. "How was that one, Mr. Vine?" Tim asked after his latest run. I gave him the thumbs up and he beamed with pride. Not to shabby sport." I replied happy with the results. "Christina is going to be very pleased with her Prince Charming." I added. "Lets call it a day." I suggested. The next stage was to go full-scale road, so the following day we headed out over near the next county to practice on their back roads. I wasn"t sure what the protocol was so I called up a young up and coming police officer I knew to get the OK. I informed him who Tiny Tim was and the actual size of the set of wheels we were running. I had to wait a bit for the laughter to dwindle down and for him to pass along the story to his mates. "You know, Mr. Vine", Officer Rick Little chuckled, "I thought that stunt with your bachelor party was the tops, but this has that even beat." I could clearly hear his buddies still laughing in the background and really couldn"t blame them. This was, after all most unusual. "Does that mean we got the green light? I asked. "We don"t really have the car licensed or anything and Tim doesn"t have a permit either." Not to worry, Mr. Vine." Rick answered. " Chief here says we owe you quite a bit as it is." I wasn"t sure if he was referring to the removal of their corrupt Mayor and sheriff, or us saving that little baby girl. Regardless, I thanked him and hung up. So-far-so-good I. Out on the real road went better than I expected. Tim told us that everything being so much bigger, gave him plenty of time to maneuver. Lady luck sure was smiling on us and that"s for sure. By Friday Tim was ready; this problem had been solved. Next was the actual surprise party. "How were you planning on giving your Christina her birthday present?" Tiny asked the young lad on the way back to town. "Well", he said thinking it over, "I thought I could still tell her the car was my birthday gift to her when I picked her up. She may not be able to drive it but she"ll know that it is hers. That way, as Mr. Vine said, we could teach her to drive later." "Good idea." Tiny told him, and it was. "You"ll still have her thinking this dance idea was all part of her birthday. When you do pop the question", he went on, she"ll be totally blown away. You"ll score boo-coo bonus points." I guess." Timmy replied with a slight frown. "But that"s not the reason I"m doing this. I just love her that much." Now, I know what you all are going to say. You dames will go "˜Awwwwwe!, while the dudes will just roll your eyes. A well guy, that"s the way Timmy is, so buck up, I"m on the gals" side on this one. The day of the party finally came and somehow I found myself in my car with Mary, sitting outside Tiny"s place. She had pointed out how romantic it would be if we scored the moment on video to give them as an engagement present. Being the romantic guy we all know I am; not to mention the points I"d score, I agreed. "Oh Jack!" Mary cried, pointing the camera down the street. "Here comes Timmy." Sure enough, the little Dodge Charger convertible was cruising down the street at a safe speed and stopped in front of Tiny and Terri"s place. I grinned as Tim Skillfully pulled his chariot up to the curb and laid into the horn. Seconds later the door opened. I knew of course that Tiny was expecting him and was probably standing by the door the whole time. Christina obvious did not, for when she came out her eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Even from here I could see she was crying. She had on a stunning white gown with a red bow in her golden hair. My first thought was how much it looked like a wedding dress. Hmm! "Oh! That"s so beautiful." Mary blubbered. I looked over to see tears streaming down her cheeks too. The camcorder, however, was rock-steady though. "Here toots." I said taking over the recorder and handing her my handkerchief. She blew her nose for a good five minutes. You"d think Christina was her daughter. Pleasantries were exchanged which, to Timmy"s delight, included much kissing from Christina, and the two were off. Having to get going ourselves, I handed the recorder back to Mary and pulled out, staying back several car lengths so as to give Blue-eyes a good view of their trip. No more than a block or two from the dance hall, I noticed something going on outside of the jewelry store. A man wearing a mask and holding a gun in one hand and a sack in the other had run out of the store and was darting down the sidewalk. An elderly man holding his arm, rushed out a few seconds later. "Help!" The man cried out. Stop that thief!" He wailed franticly. My instincts kidded in and I tried to maneuver around the cars blocking my path, I wasn"t making much headway though. As it turned out someone else saw what was going down and had also reacted. Tim, in his red Charger, took off like a bat out off hell; jumping the curb and pursuing the robber. Now, I"d like to point out a minor discrepancy here. The box, which our car came in, clearly said the top speed was 35 MPH. But by my reckoning he was doing at least 45. I made a mental note to look into that later. Within moments, we could see the fleeing crook looking back over his shoulder in stunned amazement. This, as it turned out, was not a bright move on his part for a concrete light pole materialized out of nowhere and he ran full speed into it. "BASH! SPLAT!" It was almost comical watching the thief"s legs and arms leave toe pavement and him sliding down the pole. I had to cringe, as I"m sure one specific part of his lower anatomy didn"t come out well in the deal. Timmy, having seen the impact, veered and skidded to a stop only a few feet away. I was there seconds later. "OH MY GOSH!" Christina exclaimed excitedly. "That was amazing!" She was standing up on her seat hopping up and down in a victory celebration. How she kept her balance is anybody"s guess. A large crowd quickly surrounded the car as well as the unconscious would be thief. The old man, I noticed, grabbed up the sack of jewelry and was clutching it tightly, like a child clinging to a bag of candy. "Did you see that?" A couple shouted to the gathering crowd. "These two stopped a robbery!" "They"re hero"s" another cried out. Mary and me, having got out of our car, kept back a ways and watched. Mary as you would expect had recorder still rolling, during chase and all. Soon police cars showed up in response to the burglary alarm from the shop and took over the scene. Even the news media popped up in minutes. Statements were made and more kissed laid all over Tim"s grinning face, when I looked at my watch. It was getting very late. On cue my cell phone rang and I answered it. "Hey Rocco." I said noting the ID on the screen. He asked what was up and I filled him in on the event, adding that we would be along shortly. After hanging up I stepped over to the ranking flatfoot, which I knew. "Hi ya Frank." I said calmly. "You going to be wrapping this up soon?" I filled him in on what we had seen, who Tim and Christina were and where we were all headed. He of course knew about the dance and quickly had us on our way. Tim and Christina were so hyped up that I told them that I"d drive them the rest of the way and placed the Charger in my trunk we finally made it to the dance. "Did you see what we did?" Christina cried to us. I grinned back and had pointed to Mary with her camera still running. "Blue-eyes here got it all on tape." I said with a smile. "Lets get a move on it shall we." The drive had let the two get their feet back on the ground and when we pulled up to the dance hall were relatively normal. Well as much as you"d expect anyways. Inside Rocci had already spread the word on what had gone down. When we walked in it was to a choir of cheers. Tim and Christina were all smiles. Eventually things settled down and the dancing began. Over in the corner hung a TV, which was tuned into the breaking news. As I watched I realized it was about the jewel robbery. What else caught my eye was the fact that the footage was the recording Mary had made. I turned and saw Mary watching the news also; she had a big grin on her face and a twinkle in her blue eyes. She looked my way and laughed. Someone, I thought to myself, was going to get a spanking when they got home. I then grinned and laughed too. At some point, which I suspected was prearranged between Tim and the DJ, the music stopped, the lights dimmed and a spotlight illuminated the two. Tim looked passionately into Christina"s eyes and slowly got down on one knee. Christina"s eyes went wide as she realized what was happening. "Christina, my love." I distinctly heard Tim say to the wide-eyed girl; man, were the acoustics ever good here. "I love you more than anything in this world. Will you marry me?" Christina, simply couldn"t answer; at least not verbally. Instead she leaped into his arms nearly knocking him over in the process and kissed him over and over. The crowd, which I hadn"t realized was totally silent, erupted in cheers startling the two lovers as they clung to each other. When I looked over at Mary. I once again noticed she held the recorder. The End

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    “Hold your horses!” I rained him in. - reined.

    I want to see a working 1/16 scale convertible hemi Charger! Smile
    @ KT. noted and fixed.
    LOL Wouldn't that be cool!
    “Where is it? He asked excitedly. - "Where is it", he asked excitedly.
    “It’s about time!” He exclaimed giddily, - "it's about time", he exclaimed giddily.

    You have a few of these.
    Good story.
    Odd, I was told a question must always end with a designated question mark; that being used makes the added 'he said' capitalized. I was also informed, by the same source, that a comma used in a dialogue sentence is done so only when more dialogue is forth coming and so a period would not be used until that dialogue is ended.

    Example: "It's about time," he said giddily, "that we head out."

    Can anyone else weigh in on these please as I have gone through a lot of my work correcting these issues and if wrong wasted a lot of time.

    Another question to all as I've been wondering this, In dialogue, is a comma used inside the quotation marks or outside? I keep getting conflicting opinions from other much better writers on this issue. I've been treating it the way I see that a quotation mark is done so inside, but now I'm not so sure on the comma.

    I'm getting confused on these a lot
    Pirate- open any book and see if you ever see dialogue written the way you did. I don't claim to be an expert but 10,000 writers can't all be wrong.
    The comma goes after the quotes.
    Damn it! now I have to undo all that I changed. Should have just left it the way I had it in the first place. Thanks Don.
    I think I got them all straightened out now Don. Have another look see if your up to it. Thanks again.