The McDonald’s

My mom pulled into the empty parking lot of the unfamiliar McDonald’s at midnight. The artificial gleam from McDonald’s was the only light for miles. The sun was gone. The stars covered by clouds. The clouds draped in black. The black even blacker than the concrete of the parking lot.

The McDonald’s was still open.

Mom told me to get her a coffee. Said I could get a burger. Handed me a 10.

The McDonald’s was unfamiliar. The glaring light was too bright. The cashier’s glowing yellow shirt had an unsettling deep red stain under her illegible name tag. Her smile dragged like an enormous slit across her white skin as I walked in. “Howdy! What can I get y’all?” My mom was still at the car. I was alone.

My order took longer than it would have at the McDonald’s by my house. I waited in a dark booth, in a corner, away from the cashier. The harsh light still glared, but unable to reach me, leaving me sitting in darkness. I tried to make out the words of the man’s voice coming from the radio. It sounded like another language. It sounded like a warning.

I left the McDonald’s with food and coffee. My mom was still at the car. Had it gotten darker? Where are the clouds? Where are the stars? Where are we? I did not ask as I climbed back into the car with the woman who claimed to be my mother. I did not ask why we kept driving. I did not ask where we were going. The McDonald’s glaring light followed us as we drove on.

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The Dragon Prince

Hello father,

It is Alexander. It’s been a week since the evil witch cursed me to become a dragon and several days since you started your journey to find a cure but it turns out that the royal physicians have had a solution. Apparently it’s pretty simple so I guess you can come back to the castle now. I’m warning you though, I am not going to let them turn me back into a human just yet – it’s not often you can spit fire from your mouth. I just learned how to fly and my wing strength is greatly improving as well. I’m trying to teach myself how to do tricks now.

I’m also in the process of convincing Sophia to pretend to be my captured princess in the top of one of our towers (she’s already a princess so she’s got half of it covered already). She’s not taking to the idea but I think with enough convincing she might agree.

While I seem to be the only one, right now, excited by this fantastic development, I’m sure you’ll learn to love it as well. Mother isn’t too happy and I think she’s yelling at me to change back but it’s hard to hear her when I’m so much larger than her.

Travel safe,

Prince Alexander the Dragon (I’ve added “the Dragon” to the end of my name, cool, right?)

P.S. I accidentally burnt Baron Seymour’s eyebrows off when I sneezed yesterday. He’s quite angry so you may have to have a talk with him later.

P.P.S. Do you think I can lay eggs?

Sunday, Gameday

The over invested parent pacing the field anxiously. The uninterested mothers gossiping at the edge. The random sibling shouting pointless advice. That one mom who’s really just trying to understand what’s happening. That ref who doesn’t even know why he’s here in the first place. That kid sitting next to you criticizing everything the players do.
If you can’t see one of them around you, it’s probably you.