I am sitting in Lithia Park as I write this, and I have a secret.
Lithia Park is in Ashland, Oregon, by the way, which is not so far from you! I am here at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival a whole week, watching plays in the afternoons and evenings, and taking walks in the mornings.
Today when I went to the park, I decided to do a little writing instead of walking. I sat on a nice bench and took out my favorite notebook. The leaves flashed yellow and orange and the brightest pink you’ve ever seen. I started doing some regular writing, but then a group of bandits crossed my path.
They were disguised as small children, not too much older than you. They hailed from the southern playground, and came running with their stick swords held high in the air.
“Yaa!” they yelled.
I pretended to be busy writing, so they would not suspect that I had seen them.
They charged right on past my bench, then turned right at a small path in the park, and crept behind me. Not right behind me, of course. Or else I would have been scared. They walked back into the bushes where a large, grey boulder sat. If you ask me, I think someone brought the boulder in from outside the park. It looks unnatural.
And maybe even a little magical.
The bandits laid their swords down, then crouched behind the boulder.
“Did you bring it?” one of them whispered.
“Yeah, where’s the potion?” the others hissed.
I heard one of the boys fiddling with something in the leaves. Then I heard liquid swooshing around and around. I couldn’t turn around though, or else the bandits would know I was onto them. So I looked right ahead, pretending to write normal things like group-ups do. But really my hand just wriggled back and forth. My brain wasn’t on the page before me, though. It was in my ears, listening.
Where is your brain right now, Brinley? Is it in your ears too? Or maybe it’s in your eyes, looking around you. Or it just might be in your nose, if you smell something particularly interesting…
Well right around this time, I started to smell something particularly interesting… At first it smelled only of rotten eggs. But then I smelled flowers and minerals, and things I could not name.
“Should we drink it?” the one boy asked. “Is that what the potion is for?”
The others did not answer. I slowly began to turn my head back toward them. Each young bandit boy had a hand on the magic boulder. A plastic bottle of liquid sat on top.
And Brinley, let me tell you, that liquid looked an awful lot like potion. It glowed in a way that have the bandits pause.
“Time to leave!” a teacher voice called.
The boys ran back past me, leaving the potion behind them. And guess what I did then? The secret I now keep…
(I drank it!)
To be continued.
Love you always, Auntie Rosewater