Grace awoke the next morning with a burst of excitement. Could it be possible that after all of these years she could finally have a friend? Excited for the new day, Grace climbed out of bed and looked around the room. She couldn’t find Chompy. He wasn’t anywhere. Worried of what Damien could have possibly done with him, she walked outside to the monkey bars and found him sitting on top of the bars.
“Damien, have you seen Chompy?” Grace asked, timidly.
“What would make you think that I have him?” Damien teased. Alex and Hazel played nearby. Both of them were too scared to get involved so they continued playing by themselves. Sophie walked up and stood quietly, watching the situation unravel.
“Damien, please…” Grace pleaded.
“I saw him take Chompy this morning.” Sophie said, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
Damien glared at Sophie then pulled Chompy out of his pocket and set him on the bars.
“Damien, may I have him back, please?” Grace asked.
“If you want him so badly, you can come up here and get him.” Damien teased. Grace’s eyes widened. He knew she would never go near the monkey bars ever again. Especially not after what he did to her last year. Damien saw the fear in Grace’s eyes and smiled.
“What, you aren’t still afraid of the monkey bars, are you Grace? That was a year ago.” Damien said, mockingly.
Last year, Damien double dog dared Grace to play on the monkey bars. Normally, this wouldn’t be terrifying for a child, but when the monkey bars were installed, they weren’t cemented in properly making the entire structure sway when kids played on them. Damien discovered that if he shook the bars at just the right moment, kids would fall off. Last year, Damien double dog dared Grace to hang upside-down from the bars. Tired of his antics, she agreed. Climbing to the top she kept thinking about how dumb she was. It was dark, she could barely see the bars in front of her, and Damien couldn’t be trusted.
Poor Grace was right. Right as she got to the top, Damien shook the bars hard and Grace’s foot fell through. Unable to hang on, Grace fell off of the monkey bars.
Instinctively reaching out to catch herself, Grace fell hard on her wrist. Pain shot up her arm and Grace let out a scream.
Terrified that she might have broken her wrist, she sat there, stunned. She wasn’t so much concerned for her own safety as she was scared that if it was broken, it was going to cost Miss Derby in doctors bills, and that fear alone shook Grace.
Over time, Grace’s wrist healed. She never knew if it was broken as she never told a soul that she fell. She didn’t want to risk getting in trouble.
“Well, are you going to come up here and get him or what, weenie? What, are you too chicken?” Damien laughed. Grace stood there, frozen. “You’re never getting him back. Besides, I think he likes the view.” Damien said.
“Damien, just give it back.” Sophie said. Shocked, all of the kids turned and looked at Sophie. No one stood up to Damien. Ever. It was just a known fact that Damien did what ever he wanted.
“You think you can come in here and boss me around?” Damien said, pointing down at Sophie. “You have another thing coming. Better be careful. I hear Miss Derby has a fireplace in her bedroom and she falls asleep with the fire going. You may have survived one fire, but I will make sure you get burned this time.” Climbing down off of the bars, Damien passed by Alex and Hazel and kicked the toys they were playing with and strode off towards the house.
Grace just stood there and looked at the monkey bars. Feeling helpless, she bent down and collected small rocks to try to toss up to Chompy to knock him down.
Sophie, remembering Grace’s kindness from the night before, and seeing that Grace was not going to climb onto the bars, climbed onto the monkey bars to help out.
Thankful for Sophie’s help, Chompy was once again safe in her arms. Grace decided to ask Sophie what Damien was talking about with the fire later. For now, she had her Chompy back and he was safe.