So, I’ve crossed the 30 day mark of my challenge, but I want to keep on writing my young adult fantasy satire. What scenes am I missing? Well, I think I need a scene where Charlie Weaver stumbles into “The magical” world. But how?
I’m torn on this one. There are so many options. Should it be accidental? Like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole or Gregor the Overlander falling down a hole in the laundry room. Or should it be intentional? Like Harry Potter running into a wall on Platform 9 and 3/4. Decisions, decisions…. I may try a few different things, so fortunately (or unfortunately) for you readers, you’ll get to see me throwing Charlie Weaver into a variety of “Gateway To Another World” situations.
I’ll start with the most absurd one first: THE GATEWAY IS AT THE MALL!!!
As I watched one mother drag her wailing toddler from the play area, the lights flickered in warning. Aunt Bertha slapped herself on the forehead head. “Damn it. Mall’s about to close. I still gotta get me some of those pads for my shoes. My corns are killin’ me,” she frowned at me as if I had caused her foot problems, before turning to my oldest cousin. “Mary Jane, keep an eye on the kids. I’ll be right back.”
“But Mama,” Mary Jane pouted, and tossed her head. Her blond curls bounced, which was amazing considering how much stuff she sprayed on her head each day. “I wanted to go with you to look at shoes. Get Charlie to watch them.”
Aunt Bertha looked at me doubtfully. Mary Jane pounced on her opportunity to saddle me with Susie and Tobey. “They’ll be fine. All he has to do is keep them in the play area,” she flashed a saccharine smile in my direction. “Even Charlie can’t mess that up.”
“I don’t know,” I said nervously, as I watched Tobey shove Susie off of the large, plastic banana. She landed head first on the carpet and started wailing. When Tobey approached her, she slapped him across the face. “I could mess that up.”
Mary Jane’s blue eyes narrowed. “No, you won’t. You’ll do a great job, won’t you?” It was a threat. She and her friends would beat the snot out of me at school if I messed this one up.
“Sure,” I swallowed. “I’ll watch them Aunt Bertha. You two go and get your stuff. The kids will be fine.”
“Well, okay,” Aunt Bertha nodded and grabbed me by the shirt. I could feel her long fingernails digging into my shoulder. “Boy, you better watch ’em good or I’ll beat your ass when we git home.”
I nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” The moment Aunt Bertha and Mary Jane disappeared from our view, Tobey and Susie sprinted off of the playground. In opposite directions.
“Crap,” I muttered, instinctively running after Susie. For a toddler, she moved quickly. She kicked me in the face as I dragged her out from under the display truck by the food court. By the time I threw her over my shoulder, Tobey was no where in sight.
“Son of a,” I said, as Susie pulled my hair. Her mouth clamped down on my shoulder. I bit back an expletive when I felt her small, but very sharp teeth through my thin shirt. “No, Susie,” I said sternly, swinging her down from my shoulder and holding her at arm’s length. “Stop it.”
“Fuck, fuck,” Susie shrieked, pointing at the truck. Tears streamed down her rosy cheeks. She looked like an angel in distress. An older woman walked by me and scowled.
I flushed. “She’s trying to say the word truck,” I explained, before quickly walking away. I shook off my embarrassment and racked my brain trying to remember Tobey’s favorite places in the mall. I had to find him before Aunt Bertha did.
It suddenly occurred to me that he may have returned to the carousel at the opposite end of the mall. He loved that thing. I strapped Susie into the stroller, quickly gave her some Cheerios, and sprinted to the other end of the mall. The carousel ticket booth was still open. I ran up to the counter.
“Excuse me, have you seen a little boy who looks like this?” I quickly pulled up a picture of Tobey on my phone.
The lady in the booth studied it for a moment and nodded. “Oh, yeah. He was just here. Some lady took him to that store over there,” she replied, pointing to a store behind me.
My heart sank. What lady? “Thanks,” I muttered quickly and pushed the stroller towards the store. The first thing that hit me was the smell. It reeked of candles or some other flowery thing. My eyes watered, but I pushed the stroller towards the back of the store, frantically looking for Tobey or the lady who had him. “Tobey, where are you?” I called out. “It’s me. Charlie.”
“Oh, there you are, Mr. Weaver,” a voice said behind me. I whirled around and stared in shock. “We’ve been expecting you.”