Jimmy and Sally sat quietly in the tree house, sipping coffee from mugs shaped like superhero heads. A box of doughnuts sat on the floor between them. Sally yawned while Jimmy rubbed his eyes.
“Goddamnit it’s early,” Sally mumbled to herself, “what time is the stupid party? I’m going to need a nap,” she said to Jimmy.
“I don’t know. I don’t need to know because I’m not going.”
Sally didn’t want to go either, but she wasn’t about to skip a chance at getting some presents. After all the crazy things she and Jimmy had done for The Society the least they could do is shower them with birthday presents. She figured no matter how boring the party was the presents and hats would make it better.
“It’s gonna blow, that’s why,” Jimmy said before proceeding to explain why the party was going to blow and by extension, why he was refusing to attend. He also added that he planned to throw out all of his True Magick junk and never mention it or the monsters again.
“We’re only 7, Sally. We’ve seen shit, been places. We ain’t like the squares out there. I still like magic and not wanting to be a jerk all the time, but this isn’t working out for me, eventually, I’ll have to think about being a grown up and I don’t want to be like any of the grown-ups we know. I was looking into it last night and it’s possible to be a wizard without being a member of a club.”
“Is that a thing for witches too?”
“I didn’t look into it since it didn’t apply to me but I assume it falls under the jurisdiction of the Fair Mage Act of 1419.”
“It is a lot of bullshit. I mean, I like magick and fighting and all, but the robes and the endless chanting. For what? It’s like most of magick is about getting back the childlike wonder for the world that growing up squishes out of you. We’re still freaking kids! I’m overflowing with childlike wonder all the time.”
“Preach on sister Sally,” Jimmy said, “I’m tossing my stuff in the trash and then I’m going to go hang out with Jake. You want in?”
It didn’t take Sally long to decide that she did indeed want in on this. She checked her phone for the time and announced, “It’s barely 9. Why did we get up so early? There’s time for a nap. The party can’t be before noon, that’s just rude.”
“So is tricking little kids into fighting monsters. And so is trapping them in the spirit world. And neither is a whole bunch of other stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if the stupid party is a brunch thing that starts at 11 and ends at 1:30 and there’s nothing to eat but eggs and strawberries. We’re not going anyway so what does it matter?”
“I don’t know. I do know I’m taking a nap.” Sally made good on her intention and curled up in the corner of tree house on top a pile of blankets that were there for just such an occasion. Jimmy yawned again and sat on the floor, his back against the wall. He’d been experimenting with being half asleep lately and found that sleeping while sitting up made it easier to slip into that state. He read somewhere that Thomas Edison used to fall asleep in a rocking chair while holding an empty glass. When he began to fall asleep, he’d drop the glass on the floor. The resulting noise would half wake him up, so he’d still be half asleep. When he was half asleep Jimmy found it easier to remember his dreams. Sometimes he could control his actions while dreaming. Extra sometimes he could control the whole dream. He didn’t know he was doing advanced True Magick Dream Work, he just thought it was neato.
Sally didn’t fuss much with dreaming. She felt that it was work that took the rest out of sleeping. Why go through all the trouble of going to bed if all that’s going to happen is you do weird, scary stuff that makes you wake up tired? It just made no sense to her and she didn’t really want it to.
They woke from their respective slumbers with feeling renewed, in both body and mind. Sally had put her worry about skipping the party to rest and felt relieved. Jimmy was just as against the party as ever but had mellowed considerably in his aggressiveness towards both parties and adults.
After yawning and stretching as much as they needed and then as much as they wanted to and then finishing off the leftover coffee and doughnuts, Jimmy and Sally left the tree house to prepare for the journey to the junkyard. It wasn’t a long journey, nor would it be a difficult one. There were a few fences to jump and a creek to cross, but that was hardly anything to complain about. There would be no need for weapons or concern. Provisions were also unnecessary, but there’s never any harm in packing a few snacks and some juice boxes just in case. A Boring adventure was still an adventure and as such, carried a risk and risks carry excitement. The fact that the risk was small didn’t mean that it was absent. It would be foolish not to be prepared for as many eventualities as possible. So maybe a weapon wasn’t such a bad idea. Nothing serious. Maybe a switchblade, or straight razor- just in case and because you never know.
Once the snacks and juice boxes and a few light weapons are assembled, there tends to be a realization that pockets just won’t cut it, so a backpack comes to the rescue. Once everything is placed in the backpack, it looks a little empty. So in goes a notebook and a pen, in case anything super exciting happens or there’s a need to leave an encoded note under a rock. Come to think of it, reading goes with writing the way peanut butter goes with jelly, so in goes a book- what if there’s a significant delay? And so it goes until what should have been a sandwich and a canteen becomes a ten-pound sack of regret. It’s just the way preparing for an adventure goes.
Let’s leave Jimmy and Sally to fill their backpacks with whatever they feel might come in handy after in the day. After all, I think all decent people would agree that no one would enjoy preparing for an adventure under the watchful eye of a nosey reader.