“When is liontamer going to wake up?”

The sentence floats up the stairs and into my room, nudging me awake. I fight it off and pull the covers over my head, but within a few minutes the room is full of copies of this question and I realize that I have no choice. I have no option but to go downstairs and answer:


Things, however, are very strange in the house that I call home. My parents are in their sixties and I had assumed that during my time in Asia, the two years that I had’t been home, that they had been happily planning their retirement. To my surprise, I come face to face with the truth. My mother has decided to become a helicopter pilot and my father is apparently planning to lead the life of a pirate.

I rub my eyes, thinking this is just part of my usual early morning confusion and walk into the kitchen for a much needed cup of coffee.

You can’t go in there!

The same voice that launched the earlier questions yells out.

“That’s the landing pad for the helicopter.”

I turn around, and sure enough, my mother is nodding her head in agreement. My father is brandishing a sword behind her, standing on top of what used to be the couch. The old sofa has magically transformed into a pirate ship and my father seems to be in charge. One of my juggling balls lands at my feet. Wait a minute, it’s not a juggling ball! It’s a canon ball. I am under attack!

I quickly hide under the living room table, or what was the table and is now a tank, and try to sort out just what has happened to my family. They were normal last night. After about five minutes, things seem to quiet down and as I am about to crawl out, I hear the voice one again. It says:

“[liontamer], you have to make some swords,” it says to me.

Yes, of course. I am sword smith, after all. As I am fashioning the swords in the oven, I hear the ferocious growling of large cat. I see a cheetah descend the stairs and I assume it must have once been our pet cat since it nuzzles me before continuing to the basement.

I finish the swords and present them to he who rules the universe, he who owns the voice. It seems the swords are much needed because an army has been spotted approaching the house and we must prepare ourselves for battle. I am very glad that my father is on our side since he is a mean looking pirate with my scarf wrapped around his head in place of an eye patch. The four of us, mom, dad, myself and the Master prepare to fight.

We do not fair so well, my mom is horribly wounded and my father’s leg is cut off. The Master and I get them upstairs to safety, but we find that my room is full of monkeys. We go to another bedroom and I see on our way past the bathroom that the tub is full of baby dinosaurs. I am no longer phased by anything.

As I am about to call 911, I glance out the window. What I see floors me. It’s a spaceship pulling up. I don’t know what to do now. Not only do I have casualties, but now we are all facing abduction. At the same moment, the volcano in the corner explodes and spews lava all over the floor.

We run downstairs. Mom and Dad have miraculously recovered. I don’t ask because at that moment the doorbell rings. I didn’t think aliens were so polite, but nothing surprises me any more.

Except this. Instead of little green men, the Master opens the door to my sister. My sister is an alien. I’d always suspected as much, but my parents had never believed me.

“Hi, Mama. You missed it we fought a battle and Dziadek lost his leg and Auntie [liontamer] made me a sword…” our leader is saying quickly.

He continues in half formed sentences, relating the events of the morning, in fine detail. My sister only nods her head, her eyes wide with feigned amazement. She clearly does not understand the trails we have endured.

“Time to go home,” my sister takes her son by the hand.

My parents are no longer pirates or pilots and the house is restored to its original self. My nephew turns and waves at me and walks out the door. As the door closes, the house grows silent and the cat, back to being a cat, follows me upstairs. I lay down to have a much needed nap.

That’s when I find the wand under my pillow.

For my nephew Calvin Jack