I spent day five of my project in the Eastern Townships where it was lovely but sleepy, snow floating on the branches and silence everywhere. "How," I asked my daughter and her friend, "am I going to find something to do here that I've never done before?"
"You can be the demon in our game."
Their game was the creation of a world. They had already been playing it for a day and a half without me, and had themselves assumed multiple characters, like Shakespearean actors. They were Maximum and Patricia and Jeffrey. They were Whitecoats and they were Children Who Were to be Eaten. They were the Orthsavora.
As the Demon, I knew where the Children were hidden. I had a rabid gerbil which attacked Maximum, who had stolen my rose-petal mantle and my magic foot coverings. I enlisted the help of The Monster (who has appeared in previous entries eating my seatbelt and wearing a pink sweater), a confidante to whom I could whisper the names of hiding places, and whose bad smell warded off Jeffrey.
The antidote for being poisoned by my rabid gerbil was not pomegranate seeds, though those were tried. It was ice cubes held against the insides of my elbows while I roared Demon agony and then had salt sprinkled over me. I became more Demonic until I frightened Maximum and Patricia. Then I had to get up off the floor and return to the quotidian. I had a ham to paint with cinnamon, mustard, pomegranate seeds and tangerine juice.
"I didn't know," said Maximum, "that you could be so creepy."
"Your mother," said Jeffrey, "should be an actor."
I felt a teeny bit proud of myself as I peeled the potatoes.