Danny watched from the door of the windmill as the man sped off, eyes narrowed and arms crossed. “Vicious, interfering… ugh, MAN!”
He turned and walked through his yard into his home, entering to find Danielle already inside in the main living room and kitchenette, playing with some wooden toy soldiers. “Confounded man! Who does he think he is?!”
He walked over to the coat rack and hung up his jacket, every line of his body rigid with anger. “Coming in here and trying to tell me how to raise MY daughter! HA!”
He turned back to the room, looking around half mindedly for something. “Do I need someone to tell me how to raise my child, hmm? DO I? No, of course NOT!”
He looked under a pillow in the armchair before sighing and turning to Danielle. “Where is my cardigan?”
She giggled. “Under your jacket, daddy.”
“Under my jacket. Of course.” He went back to the coat rack and lifted his jacket back up to find his blue cardigan. “Self-righteous busybody,” he continued to complain, laughing derisively. “Well, he won’t be bothering us again.”
“Oh, but I liked him daddy!” Dani exclaimed with a pout. “He was nice! And VERY handsome!”
Danny paused as he was putting on his cardigan, staring off into space for a moment, lost in thought. “Yes… Yes, he was.”
A heavy flush coated his cheeks as he realised just WHAT he was thinking about, and pulled on the rest of the cardigan more viciously than needed, huffing. He turned to look at Danielle as he tried to button it, looking a tad forlorn.
“Do you think your father’s a… a crack pot?”
Danielle pointed at his chest. “Your cardigan is inside out, daddy.”
“Hmm?” Danny looked down, deflating slightly. “Oh…”
He roughly pulled it off and put it back on the right way, continuing to talk to his daughter as he flusteredly tried to button it properly this time. “Do you think I’m a lunatic? Wasting my time on these… These silly inventions?”
Danielle looked appalled. “But they’re NOT silly! They’re WONDERFUL! Nobody else could think of them!”
Danny straightened up, head held high and proud. “Yes… Yes that’s right! Nobody else could think of them!”
He turned around, running a hand along his chin. “Besides… What makes the battle worth the fighting? What makes the mountain worth the climb?”
He turned back to Danielle, matching her grin. “What makes the questions worth the asking? The reason worth the rhyme?”
She stood up from her toys and approached him when he held his hand out to her, giggling happily. Danny chuckled, happy to see her smile, and knelt down to be closer to her level as he began to sing, voice soft and sweet.
“To me, the answer’s clear~
It’s having someone near, someone dear~”
He spun her as he sat down on the stairs, pulling her into his lap.
“Someone to care for, to be there for~
I have youuu~
Someone to do for, muddle through for~
I have youuu~”
Danny leaned down and gave her a kiss on the forehead, only to pull back with a frown as he realised just how dirty she was. He raised a scolding eyebrow, causing her to smile sheepishly.
“Someone to share joy or despair with~
Whichever betides you~”
He stood and led her to the kitchen sink, helping her wash up her hands and face.
“Life becomes a chore~
Unless you’re living for~!
Someone to tend to, be a friend to~
I have youuu~”
The young father helped her dry her hands then lead her over to the kitchen.
“Someone to strive for, do or die for~
I have youuu~”
Danny suddenly dropped down to one knee before her, holding her hands and looking into her sweet smiling face adoringly.
“Could be, that we~
Get along so famously cause~”
He gave her nose a little boop, making her giggle. “You too, have me~ And I have youuu tooo~”
Danielle pulled her daddy up to his feet with a heave, making him laugh. He moved into the kitchen while she went to get the cups from the cupboard. In the kitchen there was a huge contraption, another one of Danny’s more finished inventions. He spun a couple plates around, making Danielle giggle, before setting them down on a wheeled track. He switched on the machine and watched closely as sausages were placed on the plates, soon followed by a sharp instrument cracking some eggs. A flame lit up underneath the plates, cooking the meat and eggs easily. Danny came over and sprinkled some salt and pepper on the cooking food, but as he turned away to put the spices back he sneezed loudly, causing him to trip.
Danielle was suddenly there, grabbing on to his arm so he didn’t hit the table. She grinned impishly up at him as she sang. “Someone to care for~ To be there for!”
“I have youuu~” Danny finished, spinning her around. He grabbed the tablecloth and started to lay it over the table as Danielle set the silverware down, still singing.
“Someone to do for~
Muddle through for~”
“I have youuu~” Danny sat down, brushing some of her hair from her face.
“Someone to smile once and awhile with~
Whenever you’re lonesome~
I’ve a happy lot~
Considering what I’ve got~!”
He helped Danielle get seated, tucking a napkin into her dress. “But, I couldn’t do more~ Than you do for your poor father–”
“Daddy!” Danielle shrieked, pointing over his shoulder into the kitchen. He turned with wide eyes to see a part of his contraptions spinning wildly out of control. He lept to his feet and ran towards it, stopping it from wrecking anything.
“Things go asunder~!
And I wonder, why you bother~”
He came back and lowered a ramp onto the table, before taking Danielle’s hands as she sang with him.
“Could be, that we~
Get along so famously cause~!”
“I too, have you~”
“And I have you, toooo~”
They sat down together and banged their silverware against the table just as the first plate of food rolled down onto the table. Danielle raised her arms in cheer. “Yay, food!”
Loud footsteps bumbled up the front steps. The door flew open and Jack, Danny’s pudgy father, squeezed his way in. “Do I smell food!” he exclaimed.
“Hey, pops,” Danny called. “Could you bring over the bread?”
“And salt and pepper!” Danielle called, waving a fork at him.
“You got it!” Jack replied, saluting smartly. He lumbered over to the pantry and grabbed a plate and a loaf of bread, licking his lips at the smell of the food. “Ahhh, sausage and eggs! My favorite!” he exclaimed.
“How was India?” Danny asked, smiling to himself through a mouthful of eggs. He was used to his dad’s eccentric nature.
“India?” Jack replied, face lighting up. He walked over to the table, setting down the bread. “Well, I got up this morning and I shot an elephant in my pajamas! How a–”
“‘How an elephant got in my pajamas I shall never know!’” both Danny and Danielle laughed.
Jack coughed. “You’ve heard it before.”
The other two just nodded as they laughed goodnaturedly. Danny started to cut slices of bread as his father moved to sit on the other side of the table, just as another plate of food came rolling down the little ramp. However, instead of cooked sausage and eggs, only a single hard boiled egg rolled around on the plate. Jack held the egg up and looked at his son in an unamused fashion.
“Now, how in the world did that happen…” Danny wondered, looking over at his machine with a curious and confused expression. Before he could stand up to investigate, his daughter caught his attention.
“Daddy? Could I ask you something?”
“It’s about Mr. Lancer.”
“Oh? What about Mr. Lancer?” Danny asked, handing some bread over to his father. Danielle shifted around in her seat anxiously. “The junk man wants to take it away! But Mr. Lancer said if I asked you first–”
“Asked me what first?”
“He’s a horrid mean old man!” Danielle suddenly exclaimed, making Danny turn to look at her in confusion.
“No, the junk man! He says he’s gonna take it away and chop it up and put it in a fiery furnace, it’s terrible!”
“Whoa whoa, slow down there!” Danny said, cutting her off on her rant. “What are you talking about?”
Danny blinked, finally catching up. “Ok, yes, what about it?”
Danielle huffed, putting down her silverware as she talked. “Mr. Lancer is selling it to the junk man, and the junk man is gonna put it in a furnace, and melt it all down!”
“Oh, I see…” Danny concluded, leaning back. “That’s terrible. We can’t let that happen, can we pop’s?”
Jack glanced up cluelessly from picking the shell off his egg. He looked at Danielle, then at Danny; his son nodded at him. “Uh, no! Uh, definitely, not!” Jack hastily agreed.
“I knew you’d say that, daddy!” Danielle exclaimed happily. “Mr. Lancer promised to hold on to the car until you can give him 30 shillings!”
Danny froze, gulping shakily. “30… 30 shillings?”
He glanced up to share a look with his father, Jack making a slight wincing face. Danny sighed, glancing back down at his plate. “W-well, I’m sure something can be worked out…”
Danny put his silverware down, glancing at Danielle’s empty plate. “Are you all finished?”
“Yes, daddy!” she said proudly, taking off her napkin.
Danny nodded. “Then I think its time you run off to bed, okay?”
“Okay! Goodnight, daddy! Goodnight, grandpa!”
Danny and Jack watched as she ran up the stairs and out of sight.
The older Fenton huffed, raising an eyebrow at his son. “Well, looks like you’ve done it now, haven’t you?” he demanded.
Danny rubbed his face. “Ugh… “ he muttered. “You think Lancer would make a deal? Give me a week, or–?”
“LANCER? That man down the road, SURE!” Jack replied sarcastically, hoisting his girth up out of his chair. “That man’s so mean he… wouldn’t light your pipe if his house was on fire!”
Suddenly, a distant rumble of thunder rolled overhead. BOOOOM…
Jack’s eyes flicked up to the ceiling. “Did you hear that?”
Danny grimaced as his dad stalked over to him, tapping the table pointedly. “You know what that means, don’t you?” Jack reiterated, scowling. “I’m gonna be up all night! Rain pouring through my bedroom roof!”
“Dad, c’mon, why don’t you sleep in the workshop?” his son said. “It’s nice and–”
Danny winced again, propping his head in his hand as Jack continued to rant. “Danny, my boy, listen,” he told the younger man, pulling out a chair and sitting back down, staring angrily at his son as he tried to prove a point. “It’s time YOU woke up! Now, when I was your age, I worked an honest day–!”
“Making an honest day’s pay polishing the colonel’s boots, dad.” Danny interjected.
“And when my brigadier went into action, the fuzzy wuzzies were so BLINDED by the shine on his boots that they couldn’t SEE the fight!” Jack declared heroically.
Thunder rumbled. Jack hesitated… then sighed.
Sure enough, rain poured through his bedroom roof. Wrapped up in rubber and long johns, Jack tried to sing a song to keep himself merry and he grabbed an umbrella and opened it over his head. It was gonna be a long night…
As the rain continued to pour over the Fenton household, Danny found himself wandering through his workshop. He was bundled up in an old sweater against the cold, rubbing his arms half mindedly. He looked around at his inventions with a forlorn sigh. He stopped next to his sweets making machine and picked up one of the sweets. He grimaced as he studied it.
“He was right… Who wants sweets with holes in them?”
He tossed it away, causing it to clatter against the stone floor as he made his way over to a nearby rocking chair. Cujo, who had a bed in the workshop, got up to go see what his master had tossed aside. Danny hung his head, rubbing at his temples, when a sudden strange whistling sound filled the air.
Toot! Toooooot toot!
His brows furrowed. “Cujo, would you stop that awful whistling…”
The whistling continued, causing Danny to look up in confusion as what he was hearing finally dawned on him. He came over to kneel in front of Cujo, curious. “How are you doing that?”
Seeing the sweet in Cujo’s mouth, Danny turned and took another sweet from the machine. He put it between his lips and blew.
Danny blinked in surprise, before looking down at his dog with a blinding smile. “Cujo, you’re a GENIUS!”
The next morning, Danny and Danielle were dressed up in their sunday best as they entered Master’s Sweets, high class confectionary factory. Danielle wore a pretty white lace dress with a big white ribbon in her hair, while her daddy were his best suit. It consisted of a pair of light grey slacks and matching coat over a blue button down. He wore a matching blue ribbon in his neatly combed hair, held up in a ponytail. The two of them looked around in awe at the lobby of the factory, before a thin bespeckled man came into the room. He wore a black suit and had slicked back black hair. He eyed Danny in distaste.
“Employment offices are in the REAR.”
Danny blinked before laughing the comment off. “Oh no, I’m not here for that.”
The bespectacled man walked over to his podium with a reservation book, his stride like he had a pole up his back, and Danny followed him. “See, I’ve invented these sweets!” he continued, pulling a candy from a white paper bag full of them.
“Oh, really,” the reception drawled. He picked up a pen and began to write. “Name?”
Danny turned the candy in his hand, nodding approvingly. “Whistling Sweets!” he decided.
“Mr. Whistling Sweets…”
The young father blinked, glancing down at the receptionist’s writing, then dissolved into nervous laughter. “Haha! ‘Mr. Whistling Sweets?’ Hahaha, no!” he scrambled to correct him. “I’m, ah, Fenton.”
The bespectacled man raised an eyebrow at him, but fixed it and set down his pen.
Danny adjusted his tie. “Um, may I see the management?” he asked politely.
“Lord Masters sees no one without an appointment.”
The young inventor pleaded with the receptionist, oblivious to a door opening behind him – and someone very familiar stepping through. “Well, how do I get an appointment–?” he started to ask.
And then he heard it.
“Why, hello, Danielle!” came a friendly exclamation.