Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Tablecloth Game

It is late summer and the night starts to fall a little earlier each day so there is already some darkness, enough for mystery but not enough for real fear. At the outdoor table a family of four seat: Mum, Dad, the Kid and his Sister.

The end of dinner is approaching and with it the Kid is becoming restless, both for what he hope would happen and for trying to hide its excitement. In a few minutes they could play the Tablecloth Game, their game, only him and his Dad, neither his Sister nor even Mum could play it as only the two of them knew the rules. The first and most important is surprise: it all started as a Dad prank and it have to simulate one now.
At last dinner ends. Mum starts to bring dishes and cutlery away from the outdoor table and Sister is quietly looking around as if searching for someone or something hidden that is calling her, only her. Perfect setup for the Tablecloth Game. Dad takes the pink tablecloth and shake it outside the balcony to toss away the crumbs and, come on, oh come on, yes! Dad does not fold it but with a mischievous smile approaches the Kid that is faking indifference with all of his strength.

So it starts, Dad quickly covers the Kid with the tablecloth and kidnaps him in its arms, spins a few times around and goes downstairs into the garden. He spins around a few more times and walks away trying to distracts the now ghost masquerading Kid with a little tickling. The walk last less than a minute, but under the tablecloth it is much longer and borderline scary.
Then Dad stops and gently puts down the Kid on his feet and ask "Where are we ?"
This is their Game, a little scary blind trip into the garden and then the wonder and little scare of not knowing where he is.

But today the Kid knows the answer, today he knows. Under the tablecloth, today he noticed something, or, to be precise, the lack of something.  There was no rose smell, so they should have turned right after coming down the stairs.  Then, then there was the metallic sound when he was put down and Dad's arms are circling his legs and not his shoulder. He knows.
Many would say that it is not a nice place, someone (Mum will never know, obviously) may even say that it was highly unhygienic, but at the moment it is better than  a throne, a throne on top of the world, just because today HE KNOWS.
Raising the tablecloth over his head, and, if he is lucky it would cover his Dad head he cried "I'm over the garbage can! We are at the garbage can!"
And indeed they were.

Dad, freeing himself from the tablecloth strengthen his hold on the Kid legs and bring him to the floor. The Kid just run away, going back to the stairs and back into the balcony (disrupting his Sister meticulous scan of the neighborhood) and through the door to find Mum to let her know about his success. It would be a long time before he would be able to calm down and go to sleep... something Mum probably would be speaking about to Dad later, with a little glare and a not so little smile.

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