The Saga continues: My night at Jane’s house, attending a family celebration unlike any I, an only child, have ever attended before.
Maegan is pulling on my arm, “play Barbies with me! Play Barbies with me! You promised!” and the other kids are looking suspiciously at me. They kind of look similar, three of the boys and two of the girls, probably all from the same parents. Then there’s a really skinny awkward kid that has quite large teeth and a perma-grin and there’s a two or three year old toddler that is still in training diapers.
They all talk to me at once, with their high pitched yelling voices. “Why are you here? Are you Leena’s boyfriend?” “How old are you?” “Did you get my note in the mailbox?” Xena is shaking violently in my arms at all this yelling.
“Whoa! Wait, everyone stop talking.” I say. “The first person who brings me a brownie, or a peace of chocolate cake from upstairs, will get to wear my magic Lord of The Rings ring that can make you invisible.”
There is a second of hesitation, as my words hang in the silence. Then they’re off! Running towards the narrow staircase, pushing and clawing and scrambling their way up. I am left with Jane, who gives me a questioning look, but then a little smile escapes her and we give each other a high five. The toddler has been left behind too and Xena barks at her.
“Why don’t we put Xena in my room?” Jane says to me and to the toddler who is reaching her chubby hands at Xena. “I will lock her in there so the kids won’t accidentally step on her.”
As she heads for a closed door a loud rumbling sound makes me duck involuntarily. I’m worried the cieling will collapse until I realize its the kids, racing down the stairs and pounding their feet like elephants. Their eager bodies spill out at the bottom of the basement stairwell and run towards me, chocolatey hands outstretched. The tall and lanky kid with large teeth reaches me first, the others bang into one another, tripping, squishing brownies and dropping pieces of chocolate cake on the floor.
“He reached me first.” I say, pointing at the tall kid. There is a chorus of complaints of why it isn’t fair. “But!” I say “the ring is evil.”
Everyone stops compaining and listens. I try and think fast.
“Whoever has the ring is invisible and no one can see him, so he can steal from your homes.”
“What homes?” The lanky kid asks.
“Who wants to play medieval village?” I announce, putting my hand up to get a show of hands.
All hands go up instantly for playing ‘Village’, a game that I just made up on the spot, no questions asked. I look down at this group of eager children, practically begging for a leader to tell them what to do. I will be their King and rule them all. Now the party is about to begin.