Rebekah and I stood in the playground arguing. Usually we got along fine, but today she wouldn’t see reason. She didn’t want to kill tanbark monsters, and there was no convincing her otherwise. I scowled and looked at the baseball diamond. Dad was at bat with his straight billed baseball cap worn too high. A guy from church underhanded a softball at him. They were all wearing short shorts and socks that came up too high. Too busy to play.
I picked up the only stick in the area and contemplated compatible games. The twisted branch forked at the end, leaving a large scooped section where the main part met the two prongs. Since the bark had been peeled off it looked like a suitable handle. The stick was too twisted to be a sword though. Not long enough to be a lance either. No good for a gun or harpoon. Maybe a wizard’s staff though…
The game took shape in my mind as I placed my hand on the smooth section and hefted my new weapon. Just in time. Phantoms crept out from under the slide. I called lightning and fireballs with my staff and directed the flow. Power surged through my six year old body, crushing goblins and cutting shadow lurkers. Some bad guys got through but I finished them off with the sharp ends of my stick. They broke. They fell. They ran. They fled before the terrible Wizard of Cal Park.
Before my arch nemesis (“Red X” if you must know) sent reinforcements, a man appeared at the playground. A real guy though, not one from my imagination. He walked towards me and smiled. He asked me what I was playing and what the stick was. My eyes grew wide of their own accord. Trolls, magic and a complete list of spells gushed from my mouth, and were received with smiles and thoughtful nods. He said he would play. He took special interest in my magic staff, and the complicated way he would have to wave it in order to utilize its full power (he had to know in case it got wrenched from my grasp during battle).
He came near me as we prepared for the second wave, but Mr. High Socks and funny hat himself showed up on the tanbark. Dad, the eternal spoil sport. He said something terse which I no longer remember, and gave the nice man an alpha-male stare down. My friend wandered off without protest to some other game.
I bit back disappointment as he left, and Dad went back to his game heedless of the monsters.