Charlie’s Room: Fireworks
Marianne and Charlie were making a house call. One of the neighbors had some sick potted plants and they needed some expert help. Charlie was rather thrilled to be considered an expert.
“Should we bring something to check the pH of the soil?” Charlie asked.
Marianne laughed. “I’m sure they used potting soil. Besides, what would we bring? We’ve never tested the pH of our soil.”
“Good point. I’ll go comb my hair again.” And Charlie was off.
Marianne shrugged. “He’ll be fine once we get there. There’s nothing like plants to take away stress.”
“Even if the plants are sick?” Isaac asked.
“Hmmmm. I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”
After they left, the house was much quieter. It was also colder. It was especially cold outside, and it was taking a while for the house to warm up again. Charlie let all the warm air out taking so many trips back inside for things he forgot.
Isaac decided to wear his warmest fuzzy socks. He trudged down the hall, trying to decide whether he needed a sweater as well. He reached for the bedroom doorknob, but pulled his hand back quickly. Static electricity. He should have done less trudging across the hallway carpet.
Isaac reached for the doorknob again, and pulled his hand back again. More static electricity? But he hadn’t even moved. That wasn’t how it was supposed to work.
Had someone set up some sort of trick? Isaac examined the doorknob more closely. He didn’t see anything stuck to the doorknob, and there weren’t any suspicious wires, either.
However, there was a strange shimmery sort of spot just above the doorknob. Isaac leaned in and squinted. He could just barely make out a round lizard-y sort of shape. And it appeared to have wings.
A dragon? How did a small, mostly invisible dragon end up on his bedroom doorknob? He was fairly certain there wasn’t a dragon in the house before. From what he could tell, life was a little more shocking with a little dragon around.
It probably came in out of the cold. But why the doorknob? Did it need metal to perch on? Maybe it would set things like wood or cloth on fire.
Isaac hurried to the kitchen and returned with a nice two-handled pot, and lots of pot holders. He set the potholders on the carpet, several layers thick, and put the pot on top. Then he took a big step back.
“Look at this pot,” he said softly in his most encouraging voice. “It looks much more comfortable than that slippery doorknob. I bet you’re pretty uncomfortable perched up there. I’ll just go away for a little bit, and you can sit in that pot there, where you’ll be able to rest.”
From what Isaac had sort of seen, the dragon seemed to have a large head and small wings. He was pretty sure it was a baby. That probably meant that there was a mother dragon somewhere out there looking for it.
He didn’t want anyone burning the door down to get inside. Or the roof. He needed to attract the attention of the mother dragon somewhere safe so that she could take her baby back home to wherever invisible dragons lived when they weren’t perching on doorknobs.
What would amplified static electricity look like? The answer seemed clear. Fireworks.
There were a few small fireworks somewhere in the garage leftover from their New Year celebration. It had been cold and they all wanted to go inside early. Isaac found the right plastic tub and opened the metal tin inside.
He sorted through the fireworks left. There was one that made a crackling sound but didn’t shoot any sparks high in the air. That would probably be best.
Time to see if the baby dragon was in the soup pot. Isaac stopped by the kitchen for the pot lid. And a lighter. When he returned to the hallway where he’d left the pot, he was a little surprised to see that the top layer of potholders was smoking.
He’d returned just in time! He put the lid on the pot and ignored the muffled screeching. He put the firework and lighter in separate shirt pockets. He picked up the pot with some of the extra potholders and raced to the entryway.
Should he stop for his coat? The potholders were already getting warm. He stepped into some boots and somehow managed to maneuver himself and the pot through the front door.
The driveway was clear. Isaac set the pot down in the middle of the driveway. He set off the fireworks. Then he took the lid off the pot and hurried back the the front door. The screeching was louder.
It wasn’t long before there was a rush of warm wind and a thump. The screeching stopped. The pot tumbled over on its side. There was a crackling, electric sort of sound and another rush of warm wind.
And then it was very, very cold again. Isaac shivered as he hurried over to pick up the pot and bring it inside. He was relieved that his bedroom doorknob didn’t shock him when he went to get his fuzzy socks and a giant sweater.
He was warm enough to leave the sweater on the couch by the time Marianne and Charlie returned. They chattered about the house call as they prepared dinner together. Charlie was pretty sure that once the neighbor stopped over-watering the plants, they’d recover.
Marianne opened the drawer of potholders. “What happened to the potholders? They look singed!”
“Invisible dragon,” Isaac said. “It was just a baby.”
Marianne looked at the potholder on top. “It must have been a very round invisible dragon.”
“It was in a pot,” Isaac explained.
“Of course,” Marianne said. “Why didn’t I think of that?”