A Fancy Adventure
When we first stepped into the wardrobe, I thought for certain that my three young cousins were about to drag me into some stupid kid games. I was quite happy to be as drunk as I was; my days of imagination-filled adventures are behind me, and I have long since preferred the blissful silence of inebriation to dragons or unicorns or dragon-corns or griffo-plorps. Babysitting is a tough gig and you can’t expect sobriety from a properly trained child-care professional.
I’m not one for delving into other people’s closets, but these three spunky kids pointed out the old house on the hill, screaming things like “It’s our grandfather’s mansion!” and “We should go exploring!”
They kept mentioning a wardrobe, some big old closet that their “grandfather” kept in the attic. I’m pretty sure the little bastards were lying, but I was six beers deep and, honestly, I just don’t give a shit anymore. After breaking a few windows and rooting through drawers for pills I could sell, we made our way to the attic and found the wardrobe. We pushed through the dusty coats and unidentifiable furs that were tightly packed in the antique wooden box. Peter led the way, his blonde hair and Aryan features making him the ideal lead character. The little girl followed close behind, dangling a ratty teddy bear from her tiny hands. Directly in front of me was the boy with shifty eyes who eventually turns evil but redeems himself through courageous actions or something. I think his name is George. I brought up the rear, cracking open another Modelo and cursing them beneath my breath.
“This is stupid,” I said.
“No!” yelled Little Girl, “It’s an adventure!”
I bit my tongue, half because I didn’t want to scream obscenities at a child and half to make sure I could still feel things, and the temperature in the wardrobe suddenly changed. The stuffy, dusty smell was replaced with crisp, fresh air and I could see my breath. The scratchy wool coats we waded through became pine branches, sharp and sticky with sap. That shifty little bastard George let a branch whip back and hit me in the face, and I was about to punch him in the back of his little head when a burst of sunlight temporarily blinded me.
“What the fuck,” I yelled, ignoring the innocent ears. The children were frolicking in the snow when I regained my vision, and if I wasn’t so bitter and jaded I would have marveled at the fantasy wonderland that lay before me. We were in the midst of a beautiful forest, trees stretching to the impossibly blue sky, everything covered in a fine layer of clean white snow. It was so pretty that I felt like vomiting. I mean, I did vomit, but I can probably pin that on all the Taco Bell that I slammed before my morning Four-Loko.
“Where are we?” squeaked Little Girl in a passable English accent. Peter, being the oldest and therefore noblest of the children, brushed a golden lock of hair from his forehead.
“We must have crossed into a magical world!” I rolled my eyes and threw an empty beer can at a squirrel.
“I think we should back,” sniveled George. “It’s cold and
“I agree with the weasel-faced kid. It’s cold out here and I double-parked my car.”
“But you didn’t drive,” Magical Protagonist Nazi Boy said. “You took the train t get here, right?”
I shot Mein Kampf an icy look but he was busy lobbing snowballs at his siblings.
I had to follow them through the forest, hating myself all the way. After countless stops to look at cute animals and observe beautiful vistas, we came to the end of the trees and looked out at a vast landscape, littered with fantasy stereotypes. There was a castle shining in the distance, an ominous mountain churning smog and bringing darkness into the world, and, directly next to us, a bright eyed half-goat half-man.
“Hello-o-o-o-o children! Welcome to the magical land of…”
“Hey, goat boy, shut up for a second.”
“I…oh, I didn’t see you back there, skulking in the shadows. Usually…usually only children can pass through the magic portal."
I lit a cigarette and blew smoke into his stupid goat face. “Yeah, well, I have the innocence of a child. Or maybe your time machine doesn’t work anymore. Either way, I don’t really give a shit. Where can I get something to eat around here?”
“Well,” the goat-thing said, “you could come to my little cabin, dug into the side of this beautiful grassy knoll! I’ll make elderberry pancakes and chocolate mousse! We’ll drink fizzy tea and discuss the grave political matters that plague our fair nation of..."
“Yeah right,” I said, taking a knee and placing my hand on Little Girl’s shoulder, “let’s follow a strange animal person down a hole in the ground. No horror movies start like that.”
The goat man wrinkled his nose and narrowed his eyes. “I assure you good sir, I am a noble faun. We treat our guests with respect and…”
“It’s an adventure!” the kids yelled in unison. It’s like a prolonged migraine, the joy of children, so I popped a few Xanax and we made the hike to Goatlinger’s place.
On the journey in the middle of our journey to some other journey, the fucking kids kept singing songs to the tune of our goat-guide’s fruity pipe. It took everything in me not to just drop my pants and engage in an old-fashioned pants-free goat killing session. The only thing that kept me from committing trans-species murder was the thought of eating that goat-person once we got to his place.
TO BE CONTINUED