01 – Best Day Ever

Beltane 2004

My mommy is acting weird. She has been crying all day. I think it’s because of my daddy, but she just keeps saying she will fix it. Everything will be alright. We are dressed in funny costumes. The little black boots on my feet hurt, but I don’t complain. I don’t want Mommy to cry more. We were supposed to go see Grandma Finley, but something happened, and now we are in this place and it is way past my bedtime. I have my blanket with me. He’s named Specially, and he is a little yellow mesh blanket with silk trim all around. He’s so soft and snuggly that I take him everywhere with me. Mommy jokes that there is Hell to pay if someone tries to take him from me.

They never try twice.

Right now, I am hugging him to me while I watch Mommy. She is reading from her big book of secrets. Her fingers are moving in the air and there is a scary breeze. I scoot a little closer to Mommy, scared. It is really dark out here. This part of the park does not have lights like the other parts do.

Mommy is speaking her special magic language. I try to mumble the words with her, but they are really hard. She looks like she is in pain. I don’t want Mommy to hurt, so I put Specially over her while I hold the corner. Mommy doesn’t seem to notice me. She is really scaring me. I don’t like it at all. The wind is getting louder and there is a glowing light around the trees in front of us. I blink as the forest changes. It is sunny and bright in the big circle Mommy is making. My eyes widen. Mommy screams and falls back, taking Specially with her. “Mommy?” I ask with a small whine. The big sunny hole is forgotten. “Mommy,” I say louder.

There is a growl behind me and I turn around. My eyes go wide. The sunny, bright hole is gone and standing there is a great big, “PUPPY!” I shriek in delight and throw myself on him. If I knew Mommy was bringing me here to get a puppy, I would not have been so upset. I wrap my tiny arms around the puppy. He is great big and I have to stand on my tip-toes to get my arms around him. I think he is scared because I hear him whine and he squirms as I wrap my arms tighter. “Mommy! Mommy! Puppy!” I hold on for dear life. Puppies run away and get lost, and I don’t want him to get lost. He growls at me and I dig my little fingers into his fur, holding firm. “Mommy! He’s too big! Help!” He finally knocks me down and rips himself free of me.

I bawl my eyes out. Mommy isn’t moving and Puppy is being mean. “Mommy,” I whine between tiny sobs. Puppy stops stalking and stares at me. Then his ears shift and he looks beyond me. I watch as he gives me a wide berth to circle up to Mommy. His head cants, and he looks down at Mommy. I get up and I wipe my tears. “Mommy, wake up.” I shake her again. Puppy gives a sniff against me and nuzzles me. Then he leans down and licks against Mommy’s cheek, nuzzling her. I’m glad Puppy likes Mommy. I would be really sad if he didn’t. Mommy won’t let me have pets. She says I’m not big girl enough.

It’s like Puppy’s licks are magic! Mommy starts to stir.

Puppy sits back on his hind legs, and I lean against him, petting him. “Mommy, please can we keep him? He is so nice! He licked you,” I start to plea with Mommy, who is making an awful noise as she sits up. There is blood coming out of her nose. I get scared again, and whimper. I really want Specially now, but Mommy is squishing him under her butt. When she looks at me, then at Puppy, she screams and yanks me away from Puppy to put me behind her. “Ow! Hey!”

“Run, Lily.” My mommy is being weird, and she hurt my arm when she yanked me. I watch as she moves to her feet slowly, facing Puppy with her arms out. I don’t understand what she is doing until I see her making the magic face again.

“NO!” I shriek and I fling myself back onto Puppy, “No, Mommy! No!” I’m crying hard and loud. Puppy makes a grunting noise as I collide into him, but doesn’t fall over, or do anything else.

It’s then Puppy does something really weird. He isn’t Puppy anymore! “There, there, little one. Do not cry.” I have no idea what he is saying as he talks really funny! Like the Swedish chef on the Muppets, only with a growly voice. Mommy jerks me again and puts me behind her. I peek around her skirts as Puppy stands up to his full height and looks down at her. He is HUGE, definitely taller than my daddy. I cling to the long skirt Mommy is wearing and yank up Specially now that he’s free from her butt.

“Who are you?” Mommy is now talking in the funny language, too. My mommy knows everything. I wish I knew what they were saying.

“I am Viggo Ivarsen, son of Ivar Svetsen. What is this place?” He inhales a bit and gives her a grin. “You are mine. But what is this you are wearing? Why is it nightfall? Who is the child to you?” He comes closer and Mommy backs up, moving us. She is really scared. I can tell.

“You… you aren’t from 1821,” she stammers out. “How did you get here?”

“What is this 1821? I was hunting for my lunch. Then I suddenly found it to be night. At which point I was beset upon by the child. She shrieked a strange thing. ‘Puppy’?” It’s the only word I understand between them and then my mommy looks down at me and he closes the distance between them, pulling Mommy close. She lets out a yelp but his hand is on her chin and I think they are about to play kissy face when he turns her head side to side. “Witch?” He sniffs her and then I realize he does not have any clothes on.

“Puppy! Your pee-pee is showing!” I erupt into giggling. This makes Mommy look at me, then back to Puppy, and her hand flies to my eyes. The next thing I feel is Specially being yanked from my hands. I start screaming and fighting with Mommy. “No! Give him back! He’s mine! MINE!” I shriek at Mommy.

“Lily,” I hear her say in the Mommy voice.

“No! Specially is mine! Mine! Give him back!” I throw myself to the ground crying harder and make a loud scene in this dark part of the park.

“What, in Odin’s name, is she going on about?” I hear Puppy’s strange language.

“It is her security blanket,” I hear Mommy’s voice as I am wailing and crying on the ground. I don’t understand them again, but I can see they are both watching me as I scream and holler. “She is my daughter.”

“You have lain with another?” Puppy growls even though he looks like a person.

“Oh, please. Viggo, it is 2004. You were pulled through a portal I created to the future. Things are different here. My ex-husband and I had her four years ago.” Mommy’s voice sounds really upset. I don’t care. I am going to scream myself hoarse until they give me Specially back.

“How long will she carry on like this?” Puppy’s voice sounds concerned.

“Probably until she passes out,” Mommy rests her hands on her hips, which means she is not going to give me Specially back. I wail louder. Then I feel Specially is being dropped on me and Puppy is lying on the ground next to me again. I stop wailing and cling to Specially with my little fists as I look from Puppy to Mommy. He wags his tail and leans in to lick my cheeks. It makes me giggle, then hiccup. Mommy throws her hands up in the air. I move closer to Puppy and he nuzzles me. It makes me feel better. I watch Mommy pick up her book and then turn to face us again. “Get up, Lily. Come on,” she takes my free hand and I watch as Puppy follows along. His tail wagging behind him.

The walk back to our little apartment is long and I am sleepy by the time we get there. Mommy picked me up after I decided I was too tired to walk, and I am nestled against her shoulder. I fight really hard not to go to sleep to make sure Puppy follows us all the way home. I lose the battle about halfway there as Mommy is warm.

This was the best day ever!

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