“Unicorns and monsters are upstairs,” said the giant to Aiden.
Aiden’s heart raced. His adventure was about to begin.
Eager to give battle to any monsters that might be lurking on the second floor, Aiden quickly clambered up the huge steps. As there was no sense in remaining in the open, however, he quickly sought cover under the first of three giant tables once he reached the top of the stairs. It was a fortuitous action, for lying by a chair leg was a yellow sword sharpened to a keen point. He picked it up and jabbed at an imaginary monster, testing the sword’s weight and balance.
Aiden paused as he slashed the air for he heard footsteps on the staircase. A princess, escorted by a lady giant, was making her way to the second floor. She was in search of a unicorn, no doubt. The giant led her to the third table at the back of the room.
“Are you going to be all right here?” said the giant as she lifted her onto one of the huge chairs.
The princess nodded in the affirmative and the giant patted her on the head. She paused at the second table and then descended the stairs.
Aiden peered through the chair legs to get a better look at the princess, but froze when he saw several monsters lounging atop that middle table between him and her highness. He gripped his yellow sword and screwed his courage to the sticking place. Stealth and surprise were his one advantage. Slowly and quietly he eased a chair away from the table far enough to allow him to wriggle out from underneath. Dropping to his belly, he slithered his way right up to where the monsters were gathered. He counted five in all and despite the fact that the one in the middle had three eyes, none of them had apparently spotted him.
With a sudden leap and a “HI-YA!” he lunged at the three-eyed monster in the middle, sending him sliding backwards across the table.
The princess, who was apparently unaware of the mortal danger she was in, screamed upon realizing her predicament. Aiden slashed to his right sending two monsters onto the floor. The two monsters on his left were so awed by Aiden’s bravery that they simply fell over in a dead faint. Breathing hard, Aiden jabbed at them with his toe, but they did not move. He stood triumphant on top of the table.
The princess giggled.
Heavy footsteps quickly ascended the stairs. It was a giant. An angry giant. An angry giant whom Aiden knew very well.
“Aiden Gregory, what is going on up here! Get down off that table right now and quit waving that pencil around! Pick up all those books. You come down here and apologize to Christine!”
The princess giggled again and went back to reading her book.
“Sounds as if you had a grand adventure up there,” said Christine, the owner of the book store.
“Yes, but I’m sorry that I made a [here Aiden looked at his mother seeking a prompt for the appropriate word, which he received, albeit in a slightly distorted way] disturvance.”
“Well, that’s the beauty of books,” said Christine as she placed Monsters in the Alley in a bag and handed it to Aiden’s mother. “They carry us away.”
“C’mon Aiden. We have more errands to run. Thanks Christine, and sorry for the ruckus.”
“Not at all! I wish all my patrons were so enthusiastic.”
Aiden and his mom left. Meanwhile, upstairs, the princess was riding a unicorn across a rainbow.
At a recent book signing at the Winchester Book Gallery, David Stinson and I heard Christine, the owner, say to a young patron “Unicorns and monsters are upstairs.” David remarked about what a great line that was, and so it is that he and Christine deserve credit for inspiring this story!