by N.D. Coley
Danny-Do-Good lived up to his name. He had never taken a cookie when he wasn’t supposed to. He always ate his broccoli, even if he ran out of melted cheese. He always did his homework as soon as he got home from school, and if he didn’t understand his math problems again, he always told his pals that he had to study and couldn’t throw the ball around that evening, and when he did throw the ball he was always polite. If the ball went over a fence, he always knocked on the door and asked if he could, with his deepest apologies, go and get his ball, and that he was oh so very sorry to bother so and so.
Danny-Do-Good had an imagination on him, too. His reading teacher always told him that it was like a bundle of firecrackers that was perpetually dangling over a camp fire, and that you just wait, Danny boy. One day, one of these days, those firecrackers are going to go off, and your mind is going to explode an explosion of a thousand colors.
Danny-Do-Good said lots of nice things, though he was ashamed to say that he wrote about very bad things. Once he wrote a story of a little boy who broke into an old woman’s house and ate all of her snickerdoodles. The woman was old but strong and not frail at all, and there was a little black magic about her ways. In Danny-Do-Good’s story, she snatched up the bad little boy and strapped his arms and legs to a chair, and she stuffed cookies into his mouth until cookie vomit came out of his eyes and nose and mouth and ears. The boy ended up as a giant pile of snickerdoodle goo, and she divided him up into gooey pieces and baked a whole new batch of cookies out of him. She fed the boy to all of the other neighborhood boys, and everyone declared, unwittingly of course, that it was the most delicious batch of cookies that anyone had in a very long time.
Danny-Do-Good had to keep his stories hidden, as his mother and father, true bred Do Good’s themselves, would never have stood for such filth in their home, let alone from the mind of their little Danny, their only child.
Danny-Do-Good built a hut in the nearby woods where he kept his stories. He built it out of some scrap plywood that was never used when the local hospital closed down several years ago. In the hut he kept a hole, and in the hole he kept a box, and in that box he kept all of his stories. The stories of Danny-Do-Good, the good little lad who wrote about that which was very, very bad.
The weather had not been very kind to Danny-Do-Good’s little hut, and it was after a heavy week of September rain that he decided that he needed a new roof. There was probably something he could use in the abandoned hospital. Danny-Do-Good’s father did not have any spare lumber, and Danny-Do-Good did not have any money. He knew that stealing was a bad thing, but that maybe it wasn’t so bad if whatever was stolen was long left behind. That made sense to him. He had used stolen lumber before, after all.