‘What is it? Can I take this blindfold off yet?’
‘Nearly… There!’ Rodney stood back, arms apart in one of his tada! gestures that Jessica found soooo irritating.
Jessica blinked, eyes adjusting to the crepuscular light. ‘It’s a tree.’
For a scintilla of a moment, Rodney couldn’t hide his disappointment, shoulders slumping. But he’d not spent years developing his perky persona without being able to overcome disappointment. He perked. ‘But look!’
She followed where he pointed. She peered. She squinted.
Rodney would have held his breath had self-induced asphyxiation not been the inevitable outcome. ‘Well!?’
If the pause could be described as pregnant then this pause had done its forty weeks and was being prepped for a caesarean. ‘It’s a tree with a hole in it.’
Rodney could no more have stopped his bouncing from foot to foot as Jeremy Hunt could have not lived up to his misspoken last name. ‘And…?! The message?! In the cracker?!’
Jessica turned with the deliberation of an arthritic oil tanker. She cracked a yawn so large that it reminded Rodney of a pedal bin opening. She shook her head. ‘Not the one about finding a portal to another world?’
Rodney fizzed, doing his best to mimic the devotional gyrations of the Bouncing Nuns of St Loon. ‘Exactly! And that’s not even the best bit!’
Jessica crouched and looked through the hole. There was an odd shimmering on the far side that distorted the image of the grass and trees beyond. ‘What is the best bit, then?’
‘When you go though,’ accompanying the bouncing Rodney had begun clapping, ‘you chose the alternative reality you’re in. Free ice cream, no spots,’ he glanced at Jessica, ‘a nose that doesn’t embarrass you. Whatever you really want. We could go boating. Or eat Percy Pigs flavoured with ooooo whatever.’
Jessica blocked out his witterings. ‘How does it work?’
Rodney became serious. He crouched next to her. ‘You hold in your mind the change to reality that you want and close your eyes. Then you crawl through and… Tada!’
She really wished he wouldn’t keep Tadaing! ‘Ok. And coming back?’
‘You reverse through the hole. Time stands still here. Shall we go and make marshmallow castles?’
Jessica smiled at him. ‘Yes, let’s.’ Without another word she scrabbled through the hole. She felt an odd wobble and the sun on her face. Opening her eyes, she stood and looked around. ‘Rod? Are you there?’ She called twice. Satisfied the portal did work as described she set off to find the beach and the boy band she’d called to mind. One afternoon without Rodney in the company of five oiled hunks may be just what she needed to appreciate his many qualities. She spotted the sand and shimmering sea and Gerald Hotbod waving. She waved back. Then again she might just stay….
this was written in response to one of Sue Vincentn’s writephoto prompts