have learned so much over the last three years. As I look back on
the work I’ve done so far, I can really see improvement. It’s been
fun to try a lot of different things.
a new year, and so it’s time for a change. The biggest change is
that I’m planning on posting three days a week with a two-week
rotation. I’m hoping this will give me more time to work on bigger
will be other changes as well, starting next week. I’m nervous, but
looking forward to trying new things. Please let me know what you
you for reading and joining me on my journey!
upon a time, there was an orphan. Well, his parents hadn’t died yet,
but to propel him on his journey, they had to die. Okay, fine, they
were only temporarily dead. The hero had to go on his journey to fix
that. He had to find some sort of anti-temporary-death flower.
“Oh no! What happened here? Mom? Dad?”
This temporary death was orchestrated by the villain who was going around making people temporarily dead. I’m not sure why. I’m sure he has a good reason in his backstory. I’ll figure that out later and reveal it during the final showdown. It will be appropriately motivating.
“Who are you and what did you do to my parents?”
“What do you think?”
“But why did you do it?”
“Hahaha. You’ll never find out. And your parents will be temporarily dead forever!”
The hero found a clue in a mysterious book that led him to learn about the flower he needed to find. Maybe the book was in his house, but he’d never seen it before. Or he found it at the library. Or a nurse gave it to him when he checked his parents into the hospital. (Did he check his parents into the hospital? It seems too sensible for the typical orphaned hero. I like it.)
“I’ll be back. Just wait here. I’ll find the cure and everything will be like it was before.”
Of course, to guide him on his journey, he had a wise mentor that he met along the way. At the garden center. Or the library. It doesn’t really matter, because the mentor died too. The hero has to complete his journey on his own, of course, with the map his mentor gave him. Fine. The mentor was only temporarily dead, too.
“Nooooooooooooooooo! How much more suffering must I endure?”
This led to another showdown with the villain.
“Hahaha. You’ll never stop me. Next I’ll temporarily kill your dog too.”
“That’s what you think! I don’t have a dog.”
“Are you so sure? What’s in that box behind you?”
“What box? Huh. A puppy. It’s so cute! Hey. Where did the villain go?”
With his trusty companion at his side, our hero journeys far, in a perilous journey to find the anti-temporary-death flower. He finds clues and shows his kind-hearted side by saving kittens and old people and lost spiders and such. There are sad, slogging setbacks where he thinks he’ll never find the flower.
“What happened to the flower? I heard it was growing on this isolated mountain peak, but there’s nothing here. Wait there’s a note…‘I’ll get you and your little dog, too. P.S. I ate the flower for lunch. It was delicious with a little salt.’ Nooooooooooooo!”
Fortunately, our hero learns that there are other flowers.
“That’s good. I was worried there for a moment.”
Finally, there is a desperate race through a ravine for the last known anti-temporary-death flowers. The villain manages to pull ahead by killing the faithful puppy. Temporarily, of course. Our hero is left to check the puppy into a hospital and grieve, uncertain that he’ll ever be able to save anyone. And then, tucked under the puppy’s collar, he finds a single petal. The local medicine maker believes it is enough to figure out the necessary properties for the anti-temporary-death medicine, and then they can make enough for everyone.
“I know what’s coming next. The villain is going to try to come and ruin everything.”
That’s right. It’s time for the showdown.
“Well, he won’t mess everything up this time. I’m going to guard the medicine maker’s house and stop the villain when he shows up.”
“That’s what you think. I’m already here.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“My parents died, so I think no one should have parents!”
No. I just couldn’t think of anything better. Does it really matter?
“How will you stop me? Nothing’s worked before. Time to temporarily kill you too!”
“Too late. While you were telling me your backstory, I took your weird, temporary death weapon. Take that!”
And the hero vanquished the villain. Everybody is saved. The puppy, the mentor, the hero’s parents, even the villain are all restored. The villain goes to jail. He’ll probably escape, but what can you do?
Our hero is newly grateful for his old boring life and his new puppy. Life is good. For now.
“You did well on the math test?” Marianne guessed.
Charlie smiled. “Well, yes. But that’s not what I was thinking about. Guess again.”
“You’re wearing your lucky socks?”
Charlie shook his head at Isaac’s guess. “Nope. Do you give up?”
Isaac and Marianne nodded.
“I get to write an essay about my favorite movie. I need to watch it again for research. I have a list of things to watch for. Can we watch it together after dinner?”
Marianne smiled. “I can, but your dad has some paperwork he was planning to do.”
“If Charlie needs help with his schoolwork…” Isaac began.
“I think we can handle it,” Marianne said. “Let me know if you need any help.”
After dinner, Marianne and Charlie popped some popcorn and took pens and papers and the list to the living room. Isaac put off the paperwork a little bit longer by doing the last of the dishes. But, when he heard the movie start, he knew he couldn’t put it off any longer.
He trudged over to his desk and sat down. It was his least favorite part of the week. But he’d agreed to be in charge of the paperwork when he and Marianne divided up chores as newlyweds. Allergies prevented him from doing yard work, so Marianne really had the harder list of things to do.
He hummed along with the soundtrack of the movie, imagining the scenes as he worked. Slowly he worked through the bills and such for the week. As long as he regularly kept up on it, it really wasn’t so bad. It was just really, really boring.
He checked income versus expenditures and compared it against their budget. Things were going well. He could even add a little extra to savings. Having a little extra in savings always made him nervous. It seemed to attract trouble.
Marianne thought this was a ridiculous idea. She said that trouble would come, no matter what, and weren’t they lucky that they always seemed to have just enough in savings to cover it? Perhaps Charlie’s lucky socks were more powerful than they guessed?
It looked like he was going to finish up in time to catch the ending of the movie. Isaac filed things away with extra focus. He was so intent on his work, that when he heard a knockg on the sliding glass door near his desk, he jumped.
He turned and looked through the door. There was a kangaroo in the backyard. Isaac blinked.
It was still there. Why was there a kangaroo in the backyard? Did it escape a zoo? And why was it knocking on the back door? Was that normal behavior for kangaroos?
Isaac stood up and walked over to the door. He opened it, but not wide enough for the kangaroo to go inside without permission. “Hello. How can I help you?”
“I was passing through, and I wondered if I can graze in your backyard? The trip home is a bit long, and I only brought a tucker bag.”
The kangaroo held up his paws. “No worries, I can find somewhere else.”
Isaac shook his head. “No, you are welcome to graze here. I just wasn’t expecting you.”
The kangaroo chuckled. “Too right, I’m not your normal kangaroo.”
Isaac raided the vegetable drawer and fruit bowl. The kangaroo stood by the door, telling him which things he’d prefer. Isaac paused at the cupboard. “Would you like a water bottle? Can you open one?”
“I’ve got teeth, don’t I? Who needs thumbs?”
Isaac added the water bottle to the pile of food. The kangaroo tucked it into his bag. “Why are you traveling so far away from home?” Isaac asked.
“Haven’t you ever had something that you just felt like you needed to do?” the kangaroo asked.
Isaac glanced at the desk. “Well, I do have paperwork that I was just working on. It isn’t pleasant but it needs to be done.”
The kangaroo clucked. “I don’t think it’s the same thing.”
Isaac shrugged. “It’s not an adventure into the unknown in order to find myself or the meaning of life, but it is a way for me to take care of the people and things that are important to me. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it to me.”
The kangaroo nodded slowly. “Maybe you do understand.”
Isaac shrugged. “You don’t always have to leave home to learn the important things. The lessons can find you when you’re ready for them.”
The kangaroo nodded again and turned to leave. With a thump, thump, thump he’d bounded away and was gone. Isaac closed the door.
He finished filing away the last few bills and left out the things he would put in the mail on his way to work. The soundtrack to the dinosaur movie got louder and he could hear roaring. He’d finished working just in time to watch his favorite scene. He smiled, turned out the lights and left the room to join Charlie and Marianne in the living room. He hoped they saved him some popcorn.
Isaac looked the baby bird in the eye that he could see through the hole in its eggshell. “I’m not your mother,” he said. “I know that,” the baby bird said. Its voice was muffled. “You’re much too small. You look more like food. Besides, mother’s voice sounds different.” “I’m