This is another tale of the unlikely duo: Melita (the narrator) and Griswold, a monster-child, who lives with Mr. and Mrs. G in the attic apartment.
Having a family of monsters as your upstairs neighbours does have it’s disadvantages: shuffle-thump-leap dancing to shrieky growly-grumbles music. Mrs. G’s infamous primordial stew oozing noxious, hopefully not toxic, fumes that creep under Melita’s apartment door.
There are benefits too. As Griswold’s friend (or pet, she isn’t sure), she plays with him in the moon-lit, wild tangle of the back garden. She never knows what Griswoldian adventure she will be dragged into next.
What follows is Griswold’s first flight in response to Tale Weaver #21: Flight.
One of those perfect early summer nights. The full moon’s light made soft shadows. Fireflies cascaded along the edges of the hedge. The trees whispered bedtime stories. And a strange whizzing-buzz rose and fell at the back of the garden jungle.
Griswold came buzzing-whiz out of the shrubbery. He held his arms straight out on either side, titling to the left then right. Cuff-chortling laughter bubbled out of his ears. He spun around the hydrangea, zagged-zigging his way towards me, calling out: “Melita. Melita. First fright. First fright. Up. Up.” He slide along the grass until he came to a stop a few inches from my flip-flogs. His jaggly-tooth grin flashed up at me. Griswold’s double-up on every word, a recent development, I thought of as his terrible twos.
Given his imitation of an airplane, I thought fright meant flight. An image of the Griswolds on a Jet Blue flight to Disneyworld flashed through my mind. I shuddered.
“You too. You too. Melita. Melita.” Those were ominous words. Me toos ranged from insulting visiting aunts to an “alternate community” birthday party. Being included in Griswold’s world meant a real walk on the wild side.
Should I ask where or by what means? Via a Jules Vernian phantasmagorical flying machine? Griswold resumed his flight path. Using his tail as a biplane rudder, he maneuvered his way to our garden swing. Pushing with his splay-toed feet, the swing swung. Delighted, gaggly-jumbly laughter tumbled out his ears. Griswold, for all his funky wild brown fur, swishy, bendable tail and long sharp talons, was just a child who liked to play.
“So, Griswold,” I asked sitting down beside him and pushing the swing even higher, “where are you flying?” That seemed safer than to ask after the method of flight.
“As in the Scandinavian country?” Griswold nodded yes. “Why Norway?” Griswold put his chin in his paw, scrunching his face back and forth. This was his translation pose; he was equating in human words. “Family reunion. Family reunion.”
I was highly unlikely to get an invite to that. I was not appreciated within the extended Griswold family. Griswold went back to flying. I followed, arms straight out to my side, tilting left then right, making spudding noises. We dipped, wheeled, loop-de-looped flying at least as far as Norway.
At a midnight-madness yard sale, I bought a pair of aviator goggles. From the charity-run store’s “All Night, Give Right” event, the long white silk scarf. Griswold would look every inch a word war one flying ace on our next night flight. He would do his gruff-grimble thank-you dance, clapping his hands, and singing a traditional Griswoldian song comprised of growls, grumble-gomps, loud pings, and squealing tires.
“Melita. Melita. Time to go. Time to go.” An slinky, shimmery, scaly emerald green tail with an arrow-shaped tip swishly-swung back and forth outside my window.
I grabbed my knapsack, stuffing in the goggles and scarf. “Coming. Coming.”
As I climbed up to the roof, I thought” “What was more extraordinary? Invited to a Griswoldian family reunion in Norway. Or flying there on a dragon?”
The other Griswold and Melita stories:
@ phylor 2015