“Papa. Don’t touch that! ” Eli cautioned, as we made our way up to the fountain that played and gurgled innocently in front of the Creekside Senior Residence. “It’s poisoned!”
One could see the green stuff around the edges and conclude it might just be tainted; but Eli had an eye for danger. I chose not to drink from it. “Good,” He complimented me on my wisdom.
This stop was only part of a journey of discovery as we made our way through a maze of confrontations along tenth street, and into the dark recesses of Shutes Park, two blocks from where I lived.
We were fortunate that we secured our weapons on the way, disguised as fallen tree limbs, as if discarded by earlier bands of warriors. Mine was extremely crooked, but Eli thought it would do. He had a straight one with the bark peeled off. He tested it on a nearby tree.
After cruising the park, having dispensed with every bad guy in the bushes, found lounging around the swing sets, or charging down the slides. we stopped for a drink at the newly installed water fountain. I expected another warning from Eli, but he drank from it, assuring me that it was safe, but that ” not too much, just in case.'” Yielding to his five year old knowledge of such things, I drank only enough to take the edge off my dry mouth.
Noting that the park was free of it’s final intruder, we set forth to our imagined “Secret Village”; home of dangerously disgusting trolls, and most importantly the “bridge that no-one -had -ever-crossed…….Alive !”
It was approaching evening, and we began to see dark forms moving about on the upper decks of the fortress, gathering and dispersing during the cocktail hour, as if communicating the details of our movements as we stole toward the bridge. I was a bit reluctant because a lady on a nearby bench was watching.
Sure enough. a covey… neigh an army of them, had formed on and around the entrance to the bridge that covered the raging creek below. Curiously, some ducks had been caught up in the current and were quacking away, making them extremely vulnerable.
Eli took the initiative…..Sword raised high, and with a blood curdling scream, began the assault. Surely, it troubled whomever it was on those balconies as they began pointing. He led our charge (I have to admit). I was feeling a bit conspicuous.
He caught three of the monsters head on, and severed them at the knees; only to do a 360 and do the same to four more. The remainder of the pack froze as if to wait upon me. As I moved forward raising my sword, copying Eli’s every move; the tip of it struck the bridge rail and fell into the water below. The ducks scattered.
Eli exclaimed disgustedly; “Papaa!’.
In the meantime, the remaining force, surely intimidated by Eli’s superior skill and aggressiveness, had faded into the woods.
Sweat pouring from every pore, Eli collapsed into a lounge chair on the patio. I never broke a sweat, but seconded his lemon aid motion. We left for our apartment, leaving the remaining stick at the outside door, ready for the next encounter.
Eli took his first big sip of Gigi’s cold lemon aid. burped, and quickly reminded me; “That’s how you do it!”! To which I naturally replied; “Do what…. burp?”
“No,” he giggled….”Take care of the bad guys. And, I sure want more help from you next time!”
It was easy to reply; “What next time?”