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by Val Kerry

So you want a bedtime story?” said the father as his son clambered into his lap. The kid was in pajamas with orange pumpkins on them. His father pulled a book from the shelf next to the bed. “How about this one?” the kid shook his head.

“No”

He stuck out his tongue; “All those ones are boring! Make one up form me!”

“Just like that?” asked the father.

“Yeah!”

“Ok, I’ll see what I can do.” He thought for a moment.

“Once upon a time there were five friends. And they lived in a big city…”

“Wait shouldn’t that be a castle or sumthin’?”

“No…anyways they lived in a big city, with smoke and smog and trash. Fortunately for them there was a better part of the city. Where the only smoke came from dragons and all the trash was biodegradable…”

“Bio-what??”

“Nevermind. So these five friends were named Peter, Lillie, Natilie, Mikael, and Grady. Peter was wild and furry, kind of like a hippie, and he loved to sing and play the guitar. Lillie was short and dark, a bit younger than the others and was known to be an insatiable prankster. Natilie was rather bossy and thought a great deal of herself ‘cuz she was quite beautiful, with long blond hair and pale blue eyes like princesses from fairy tales. Mikael was tall and lithe, with dark skin and a wonderful voice, his true love was traveling for he never got lost. Grady was the biggest of all of them with broad shoulders and big muscles, not that he wasn’t smart…he made a 1473 on his SAT’s, but he had a big heart and was just a tad shy.”

“So one day they decided to go adventuring. They packed their food, a map and some clothes, jumped into Mikael’s Winnebago and took off. For weeks they traveled without anything more interesting happening than Lillie putting chocolate covered grasshoppers into Natilie’s box of gourmet chocolates. After stopping to buy some pepto bismol for Natilie they set out again for parts unknown.”

“ Pretty soon after the chocolate incident they ran across an small town whose local diner was run by a tiny man named Fritz. Now Fritz had a rather large problem for such a small man. A large gang of bikers had moved into the town and just about taken over the diner at night, terrorizing the local patrons and chasing his wife around the bar. (Why the friends wondered for she was a large woman named Olga with a mean uppercut.) So the five of them offered to rid the diner of the menace for a year’s worth of free meals. Fritz gratefully accepted their help and cooked them a huge breakfast. After wards they headed over to Nooks and Crannies, a bookstore owned by Catarina who it was said knew everything that went on in the town. While Lillie tried to figure out why Peter had called Catarina nosy (He nose was tiny!) Grady and Mikael asked what Catarina knew of the gang. She told them that during the day they hung out at a bar called the Fear Factory near the industrial side of town, she also told them that the gang’s leader was a dark woman protected by a demon whose wailing voice could cause brave warriors to wet themselves. Armed with this information the five headed off to find the Fear Factory. They found it pretty quickly, as if the glowing neon red sign had made it difficult. Inside they made their way over to a group huddled in the corner of the bar. Finding the leader of the gang was easier than finding the bar had been for she was the only woman in the group. Peter, Mikael and Grady approached the woman while Natilie hung back with Lillie so she didn’t get herself into too much trouble. Grady tapped the woman on the shoulder and asked if they could speak with her in private. She agreed and they all went into the back room to talk….”

“Dad! She’s a villain! Villains don’t just agree to stuff!”

“Shh! Don’t interrupt it’s just getting to the good part.”

“Oh alright”

“So when the got into the room the lady turned out to be quite nice and told them that she really wasn’t the leader of the gang but her brother was and that she had just taken over while he had some kidney stones removed and that she hadn’t gotten the hand of leading yet. When Mikael told her what Fritz had said she apologized and said she’d make sure they behaved next time and that they would tell Olga they were sorry for chasing her but she had sat on Demon. When Lillie asked who Demon was Rudy - that was the name of the biker’s sister - told them it was the gang’s pink poodle, who turned out to be kinda cute in a yappy sort of way. So the gang apologized to Fritz and Olga and the five friends enjoyed another free meal before heading out in their Winnebago.

And they all lived happily ever after….

. Except for Rudy’s brother who got an ulcer the next year.”

“The End”

“Geeze dad, even I know that couldn’t happen, and I’m only seven. Now I remember why I ask Mom to tell me bedtime stories.” The kid hopped off his Dad’s lap and went to find his Mom in his sister’s room.

“It couldn’t happen” the father shrugged as he stretched his unusually large muscles. “I’ll have to call Mikael to see what his son thinks…”

Really, The End

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