The living room was covered in a blue patterned white wallpaper. The deep blue carpeting was soft to the touch and allowed anyone to walk across it without making a sound. Lace curtain panels framed the bay window, which showed off a tree lined street. Mom sat in her burgundy recliner, a yellow house dress covered in large pink and purple flowers adorned her slight frame. There were three old cardboard boxes sitting on the coffee table.
“Go ahead and look through them and take what you want,” she said, lighting up another cigarette. Rachel and I pawed through the boxes as excited as two kids on Christmas morning. Mom said she got the books from her sister but her eyes were just getting too bad to read anymore. Knowing how much I love to read, she told me to call a friend and take all the books we wanted.
Though pretty absorbed in the sorting of books, I couldn’t help noticing people walking down the street in costumes. “What’s going on?” I asked mom.
“Oh, they are holding a parade down on Main Street today,” mom said. “That must be some of the participants.
“Oh yeah, I heard about the parade, want to go see it?” Rachel asks. “I know a shortcut.”
“Why not? It sounds like fun,” I said. “Want to come with us mom?”
“Oh no thank you,” she replied. “Just tell me all about it when you get back.”
We headed out the back door and walked down an alley, just chatting about work and books and all we’d do with a million dollars if we ever won the lottery. Shortly we came to a small expanse of grass with quite a large hole filled with water. Bobbing on the surface was a tiny puppy desperately trying to keep its head above water. Reaching down, Rachel pulled the puppy out of the water only to discover there was another one right behind it. Trying to dry them off with our jackets, we heard a strange noise and looked down. There was a chicken in the hole as well. Rachel grabbed it up and set it on the ground along with a nest of eggs. Though the three animals were barely alive, one of the puppies went for the eggs and the chicken screeched at it. All of a sudden a cobalt blue cobra fell out of the sky landing by the eggs. Raising its head, it looked as if it was about to strike the chicken. With a cry of hiieee Rachel karate chopped the cobra, sending it hurling back through the sky.
After making sure the puppies and chicken were sufficiently dry to care for themselves, we carried on down the alley. We’d come to the top of a small hill and could see where the parade participants were gathered. However, the alley was blocked by a fenced in yard. The cyclone fence was topped with razor wire. The backyard was nothing but raked dirt. Not a rock, not a weed, not a flower, not a piece of grass could be seen in this yard. We tried to get through the back gate knowing that through the yard was our only way straight to the parade. But the gate was locked and there was no climbing over it. As luck would have it, the back door of the house stood outside of the backyard gate. Trying the back door, I found that it opened easily. We scurried inside, found the front door and dashed out of it, going through the house so quickly our only observation being the house was dull brown and undecorated like the backyard.
We managed to get to the front yard where a large, old SUV sat in the driveway with the hood up. A man in a baseball hat and brown flannel shirt poked out from under the hood. An old, beat up radio sat on a rusted metal table close to the truck, serenading the man with old rock music. A nondescript woman and a dirty child sat by the table. The front yard has the same raked dirt as the backyard.
“Hey, what the heck do you think you’re doing?” The man yelled. We ran down the hill trying to get away from him before he could catch us. Rachel shouts, “Hey do you know you have better security on your backyard than you do your house?” We laughed and continued running.
We finally made it down to the parade starting point. There were several people standing around wearing multicolored costumes with gossamer wings attached. Many were also carrying wands. We walked up to a short, skinny girl in a green tulle tutu and pink tights and body suit. Her face painted white, large eyes and large lips were drawn in with makeup. She wore a pink bobbed wig and puffed on a cigarette. Walking closer to her, I said, “hey don’t you know they will stunt your growth?” Anger turning her large eyes to tiny slits, she complains about us to a tall fairy with brown tights and brown ringlets who proceeded to have us removed from the fairy parade.
As we walked away from the fuming crowd of fairies, Rachel says, “don’t worry I know a great burger joint just over the hill.”