Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
A father tells his son an improvised bedtime story
"Daddy," the tot said. "Mommy said you were going away. Is that true? Will I see you again?"
"I..." Jeffery stammered. He hadn't been prepared for this kind of remark, but he decided that the truth was the best to be told. Reality shouldn't be held totally from a child, merely lightened. "I am not sure yet," he answered. "Nothing is official." He wanted to hit himself in the forehead. The words just came out. He was leaving soon, there was no doubt about it. He should have told him that. It was true that the divorce wasn't official, but that wasn't what the child wanted to know. Perhaps he didn't even know what a divorce was. He kissed his sons forehead again and then stood to leave.
"Wait daddy," the child called out. "Would you tell me a story?"
Jeffery didn't look back from the child but stepped forward where a wooden bookshelf filled to the brim with kiddie books was against the wall.
"We have Hop on Pop, The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners, The Paperbag Princess... How about Love You Forever?" Jeffery took the book out from the shelf.
"No. I want a story you wrote," the child demanded.
"You know I don't write children stories," the father said. "I write grown-up bo..."
"Have you tried?" The boy asked with a bit of a philosophical air.
Jeffery turned around and laid in the bed with his sons shoulder over his arms, thinking how pathetic it was to be manipulated by a child. Maybe it would be interesting to go back into the mind of a child.
"Once upon a time there was a prince named..." Jeffery looked around the room in search of a name. Seeing an old colorful video cassette cover for a movie called Yellow Submarine on the floor of the messy room gave him an idea. Quite a few ideas actually. "A prince named Jude. Now Jude was quite a good prince. He always put his dishes in the sink and was quiet when guests were over. Everyone wanted to protect the boy when he stepped on the bad omened red grass..."
"What does 'omened' mean?" Julian asked.
"It means that bad things could happen to him if he wasn't very careful on the red grass. But the red grass was everywhere and so everyone and everything was always watching him whenever he went outside. No one took had more concern for the princes welfare than a wise mother goose and a typewriter who could move by hoping but only speak through typing letters with his mind."
"What about the king and queen? Don't they love the prince?" Julian asked. "How can a typewriter move and write on it's own?"
"Don't question the story. The best thing about make-belief things is that they don't have to be real, you just believe in the impossible for only a few minutes. Now the typewriter and goose made arrangement on times to watch the prince and his time out of the castle. The mother goose always showed up at these times but the typewriter was busy writing stories no one would read, despite the fact that the time spent watching Jude was very little."
"Stupid typewriter," Julian yawned, turning in his bed to find a more comfortable position on his father's arm.
"Yeah," Jeffery said. "Stupid typewriter." After a quick moment of thought he went back into the story. "The mother goose thought that because she was doing everything for Jude when he had his outside time with no help from the stupid typewriter that was wasting his time on stories he was constantly rewriting. The king and queen made the typewriter leave the village for not honoring his agreement which was quite important to the people in the village," Jeffery said, and not wanting to end on a sad note he continued. "He found a village where people liked his stories, mother goose found another bird that watched Jude with her, and prince Jude grew up to be a good man. A very good man. The end."
Jeffery went to leave but found that a sleeping child was on his arm. He couldn't see a way to get up without awaking the precious boy, so he didn't try to. He simply slept with the child upon his arm.