Charlie Moore

My name is Charlie Moore

Dedicated to most grown-ups.
I am Charlie Moore.  My parents are Alice and Peter Moore.  I live at 371 Auguste Villeneuve Lane.
I have superpowers.  I make myself invisible.  I fly and I can talk to animals.  I am 6 1/2 years old, and my best friends are Harold and Betty. I go to the school where my Mom is a teacher.  I have a few friends that I see at school and play sometimes at the park.  Do you like my picture?
Most of the time I’m at home having adventures with Harold and Betty, sometimes with Mom and Dad.  My house is pretty big and what I like the most in my house is the backyard, it’s big and has lots of bushes to play in.  I have a fort made with Dad’s old camping tarp and wooden boxes that I found.  I pretend that I’m being attacked by aliens, and me, Harold and Betty save the fort from the bad guys.
I’m going to explain to you how I got superpowers and maybe, if you want to, you can get them too.  I have always wanted to have a real friend, you know?  The kind that is there for you when you need them, the kind that will help when you need them to.  Well…that’s how I got the power of talking to animals.  I just wanted so much to have these friends and the kids at school have other interests.  Sometimes they are nice and sometimes they are really bad.  They make fun of me and they hit me.
I just wanted to have friends who were always going to be on my side all the time.  Betty, the spider, was the first friend I got.  She started talking to me and now we are always together.  She was the one who told me it was OK to talk to Harold my dog.  Now Harold is my best friend too!
The other night, when I went to bed, Betty was on the window.  I opened the window and brought her in.  She was crying, a little lonely and cold so I put her underneath the covers.  She told me that she missed her family and that she would like to go for a visit.  So there… since Lilly taught me to fly that day at the beach I decided to take Betty flying.  That night I dreamed about going to the Amazon.  The next morning we looked at the map to find out where we were going.  I put Betty in my pocket and flew to the Amazon.  The Amazon is quite hot and humid with lots and lots of trees.  The smell is fresh and humid with clean air. The jungle had so much noise, all of the animals talking and screaming at the same time.  Worse than when my parents take me downtown.
Everybody at Betty’s was friendly and they offered me all kinds of strange food.  They were so nice that I couldn’t refuse.  Some food was good and some very bad but I tried it all to be polite like my Mom always tells me to.  Betty was busy talking to her family and telling them all about home, she was eating and eating and running from one side to the other.  Finally she told me that it was time to go home and that she was so happy.  I put her back in my pocket and said good bye to everyone and flew back home.  When we got home, Mom was looking for me as always.  When I walked into the family room she was angry.
  “Where have you been?” she demanded.
  “Brazil!” I said proudly as I pointed to the map.
  “I took Betty home so she could see her family,” I explained.
  “Betty?” she said.  She looked at me with that face that she makes when she doesn’t understand, with her arms crossed like she’s expecting a miracle to happen!
  “Yes Mom!  You don’t know Betty, she’s my best friend!” I exclaimed as I pulled Betty out of my pocket.
  “Charlie!!  That is a tarantula!!” she screamed.
Her eyes were like full moons and her face was not sweet any more.  I knew I had to do something to calm her down.
“Mother,” I said calmly, pretending to be one of the grown-ups.
  “This is my friend Betty, she protects me from bad guys and keeps me company when I’m alone at home.  Betty can talk,” I continued.
Betty was in the palm of my hand watching Mom who was backing out of the kitchen with her hands over her mouth.
  “Nothing to fear Mom, I have known Betty for a few months.  Harold is her friend too,” I reassured.
My Mom stopped in the hallway, she looked pale and couldn’t talk. I put Betty on the table and went to hug her.
  “I love you Mom,” I said rubbing my head into her belly, that was my favourite thing to do.  I smelled her sweetness and felt her softness.  She hugged me back and smiled.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The world of Charlie



My head was hurting when I woke up, it was late, unusually late for a Sunday, and I had had nightmares. The house was silent, like a Sunday morning.  My mouth was dry and I needed a glass of cold, sweet creamy milk.  Barefooted, I walked to the kitchen, I felt something strange when I went by the mirror at the end of the hallway.
I just needed that milk in my mouth.  I looked around for Harold and couldn’t see him.  He always comes to say hi when I come into the kitchen.  Not this time.  I opened the fridge, and with both hands took the milk carton out and put it on the table.  Then I hopped onto a chair and climbed to get my favourite yellow glass.  I filled it with milk, carefully, not to make a mess.  Haaa…the milk was just perfect, cold and nice.  My head was still hurting.  The hurting was on top of my right eye, and it was like when you have something stuck. I felt something soft caressing my feet, it was Harold!  “Moning Harold,” I said, “I had nightmares last night and my head hurts a bit this morning…how did you sleep?” Harold looked at me as if he was asking what was going on.  You know, animals know more than humans about things!
“I dreamed that I could make myself invisible Harold,” Harold sat down.  “If I put my fists together and press them really hard while I crouch I will become invisible Harold,” I said while I demonstrated.  Harold’s ears lifted up like when he has seen something and opened big eyes. He jumped back and barked twice. “Shut up, Harold you’re gonna wake up Mom and Dad.”  Harold was nervous, he started pacing quickly from one side of the kitchen to the other, then stopped and said, “Charlie…I can’t see you…I know you’re there but I can’t see you.”  He barked one more time.
I looked at the mirror and…“Wow Harold,” I howled, “am I still dreaming?”
Harold sat down again and staring at me he said in his low voice, “No Charlie, you are not dreaming.  What are we going to do now?” At the same time I heard noise coming from my parents bedroom. “Uh oh, I’m in trouble,” I chimed.  My Mom showed up in the hallway and opened my bedroom door.   She looked around and then kept on coming to the kitchen.  I moved to the side and sat on the couch by the fireplace.
The kitchen had an eating area where we had all of our meals.  There was also a family, it’s very cozy, it’s my favourite room in the house besides my bedroom.  I find it big but my parents are always talking about moving to a larger house, what for! I have everything I want here.  There is a fireplace, a real one and sometimes in the winter when it’s cold out we light a fire.  I like the smell of the smoke and the room smells like that all the time.  My Mom is a great cook, the best in the whole world.  When she cooks, the warm smell of the food mixed with the smell of the smoke is my favourite.
I was sitting on the couch when my Mom came into the kitchen, “Charlie, where are you honey,” she called.  “Are you hungry?” I remained quiet, breathing as quietly as possible.  She looked around and couldn’t see me.  Harold played along coming to my Mom’s feet and barked twice, wagging his short tail.  Harold is a white little dog, I don’t know how old he is but he likes to play with me most of the time. Harold doesn’t like to chat like Betty, but he is good company.  Mom got her glass and poured milk.  She drank it while looking around trying to find where I was hiding.
Finally, she gave up and went back to her room. I looked at Harold who was looking in my direction.  “Charlie, how do you get visible again?” asked Harold.  “I don’t know but let me try,” I replied.  I pushed my arms back and a little cracking noise came from my back.  Harold jumped, “That’s it you’re back Charlie!”  I ran to my parent’s room and jumped on the bed and hugged them. “Charlie,” said Mom, “where were you? I was looking for you.”  “Mom…you won’t believe it…I was in the family room sitting on the couch and you couldn’t see me, I was invisible!”  My mother grabbed me, hugged me and said,  “Sweetie you are adorable!”  My Dad was looking at us, over the top of his book.   He mumbled, “Charlie, you sure have lots of imagination, don’t you? Buddy?” Dad rubbed my head with his big rough hands.  He was not like Mom, all sweet and soft with a nice smell.  Nothing smells like Mom, I thought.

Charlie Moore detective.

“Want to come out to play Betty?” I asked.
  “I’m not in the mood, Charlie.” She said.
  “Ask Harold, he likes to play outside when it’s cold and wet.  I prefer to be warm.” Betty was a spider who didn’t like the snow.  She usually stayed at home when went skiing.
That day the snowflakes were slowly falling to the ground, like pieces of cotton. It was a perfect day to play outside and get wet.  I put on my ski pants and a parka. I slid on a pair of socks and my rubber boots, found my fuzzy toque and gloves and asked Betty if she was in the mood to play in the snow.
It was getting late and it would not be long before my Dad got home.  Mom was cooking supper.
  “Mom, I’m going out to play with Harold.” I called to the kitchen.
  “Don’t be late and stay close to home Charlie Moore, Dad will be home for dinner soon,” she replied.  I ran to the front door with Harold chasing me.  I slammed the door and ran, sliding and jumping in the snow. It was getting dark but the huge white flakes and the street lights made it appear lighter.  The street lights were shining yellow and I could smell the cedar trees.
Jeremy and Jack, from across the street, were out making snow balls.  When they saw us they started shooting balls. We avoided them by dodging from one side to the other.  I don’t like to have fights with snow balls and I don’t like to get hit by them.  They hurt!  We ran down the street to Margaret’s house.  She was outside playing in the snow with a red plastic shovel.
  “Hi Margaret, what are you doing?” I asked.
  “I’m making a princess castle, do you want to help me, Charlie Moore?” I looked at Harold and asked him what he preferred to do, play with Margaret of get into a fight with the guys across the street.
  “I’d rather play with Margaret than fight with those kids.  I would, however, like to go for a walk in the park.  Ask Margaret if she wants to come with us,” said Harold.
I like how Harold talks.  He is a short, small doggie and he speaks like a grown up with a pipe and a book.
  “Harold wants to go to the park, would you like to come with us?” I asked Margaret.
  “How do you know that Harold wants that?” she asked as she gave me the look and crossed her arms over her chest.  Typical Margaret. Margaret who was in my class liked to sit in the front and always raised her hand to speak in the class.  I sit in the middle, by the window to watch what was going on outside.
  “He just told me! So… do you want to come with us?”  I said.  She dropped the shovel and with a smile came along.  We walked slowly over the slippery white carpet.
  “Now Charlie Moore, tell me how is it that you know what Harold wants,” grilled Margaret.
I looked at her, proud of myself.
  “Charlie, watch out on what you say to her,” said Harold.
  “I can talk to Harold” I said to Margaret.
  “Betty, my spider friend told me that I could,” I continued.
  “Betty…? A spider friend…? Came on Charlie Moore, have you been watching too much TV?” teased Margaret.
  “Yep, Harold and I talk” I said in a quiet confident voice.
  “Charlie, there is a man entering the Wood’s house!” Harold barked.  I looked across the street towards the Wood’s.  I could see the backyard door from the Wood’s closing behind a shadow.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood was a nice older couple who lived on the other side of the street from us.  Mrs. Wood often gave me cookies that she baked.  She liked to talk to me.  She gave me small jobs and paid me with five dollar bills.  They were away to visiting their daughter who lived in another town.
  “Margaret, somebody went in the Wood’s house.  Let’s go check.” I said.
Margaret looked at me making a face like she couldn’t believe me.
  “Come on Margaret, come with us!” I shouted as we ran across the street.
  “Don’t make noise Charlie,” Harold cautioned.
 footprints in the snow
There were footprints in the snow leading to the backdoor.  I noticed that Margaret was following us at a safe distance. Lowering ourselves closer to the ground we reached the door that was slightly open, enough for us to slide in.  Harold was in front of me, his ears perked up. A noise of broken glass came from the kitchen.
  “Go for help!  Someone has broken into the house. I will start barking. Hurry Charlie, make lots of noise” and he turned towards the kitchen door and started barking.
I ran onto the side walk closely followed by Margaret and shouted at the top of my lungs.
  “Help! Help! A thief is in the Wood’s house!”
Margaret jumped back, scared.
  “Go tell your Mom!” I commanded her.
  “Someone has broken into the Wood’s home.  Call the police!” I ran to the neighbour’s front door and started knocking and ringing the bell, Mr. Chang opened the door.
  “Mr. Chang, someone has broken into the Wood’s house.  We need help.  Call the police!” I screeched breathless and excited.
Margaret was at her house talking to her Mom and Dad, Mr. Fraser. Her Dad took longs steps towards the Wood’s house.  He was a very big man who I always was a little afraid of.
As soon as Mr. Chang saw Mr. Fraser walking towards the Wood’s he start going there too.  Lou-Anne, her daughter who was also in our class came out and watched from the door. Harold was still barking at the back of the house.  I ran to Mr. Fraser who was close to the Wood’s door.
  “He broke in from the back” I shouted, running to the back door. Mr. Fraser ran behind me, along with Mr. Chang. Mr. Fraser passed me and entered the Wood’s kitchen.  He flicked the light on as Mr. Chang was coming in. I picked up Harold in my arms.
“Thank you Charlie, I am so cold and tired of barking.” He rubbed his face in my chest.
A few minutes later Mr. Fraser dragged the thief out by his neck.  The thief looked shaken up and afraid.
  “Look what I have here Charlie!” Mr. Fraser said still holding the ogre-faced scared thief.

“This one will never step foot in this neighbourhood again!” he shouted in the man’s ear.  I was afraid too and so was Harold.

As we walked out the back yard, the blue lights of the police car shone over the fence. A big policeman showed up in the backyard, grabbed the thief from Mr. Fraser and put him in handcuffs.  They started talking amongst themselves saying grownup things.  I went to Mr. Fraser and told him not to forget to fix the broken glass in the kitchen door. He gave me that spooky look and I ran home.
  “Mom! Mom! You have no idea what happened across the street.  Harold saw a thief breaking into the Wood’s.  Mr. Fraser got him and the police are there now!” I said as I dried Harold with the towel.
The doorbell rang. I opened the door and the big policeman was standing there.
  “Are you Charlie Moore?” he asked.
  “Yes I am and who are you?” I asked.
  “I am Constable Prett. I want you to tell me what happened at the Wood’s house tonight”.
  “Well…” I started.
  “I was walking to the park with Harold and Margaret when Harold told me that someone was entering the Wood’s back yard…”
  “Who is Harold?” the constable asked.
  “Harold is my dog.  Haaarold…” I called.
  “Nice dog,” the Constable said stoking Harold’s head with his huge hand.
  “OK.  So Harold noticed someone going into the Wood’s and you picked up?” he said.
  “No, he just told me that someone was going into the backyard of the Wood’s.”
  “Haaaaa… I get it.  Your dog can talk, is that right?” said the Constable.
  “Exactly.  You can talk to him too?” I said wishing he would.
He gave me that grownup look that I often see.  How come they don’t get it, I wondered? I wanted to say “Yes I can talk to Harold and to almost all of the other animals around as well.”
Mom was standing behind me.
  “Charlie talks to Harold,” Mom said to the Constable.
  “Do you get it?” she asked with a smile on her face.
They were talking this language that they think I don’t get.  Wuuaa!
I understand… no imagination…
My friend Betty

Klaus at Bathroad 1994
  “Hi Charlie,” I heard from behind me.  I lay on my back watching the plants from the dirt between the bushes in the back garden.  I turned around and saw her looking at me.
  “Hi Charlie Moore,” she said.
  “You’re not going to hurt me, are you?  How do you know my name?” I asked.
  “I’m not going to hurt you.  Every day I see you playing in the yard, I even go to see you when you are in your room.  I have lived in your garden almost all of my life!” she exclaimed.
  “How come you can talk just like me?” I asked suspiciously.
  “My name is Betty  and I can speak to anybody I want!” she replied.
I sat cross-legged looking interested.  Betty was a spider, a large and hairy one, the largest I have ever seen.
  “Do you know Harold, my dog? I asked.
  “Of course,” she laughed.
  “We have long conversations about you and your parents all the time, we are good friends,” explained Betty.
  “Wow,” I nodded, “I didn’t know!”
My mom is a teacher at my school, grade three, and my dad works in an office downtown.  I don’t know what he does there.  He goes to work every day wearing a suit and carrying a brown suitcase full of pens and interesting stuff.  Mom, she is the best, we walk to school every morning.   We have lunch together in the playground and she always gives me advice that I don’t always follow.   I’m in grade one.
I play in the garden most of the time.  I have a fort between the bushes that I made with plastic and wooden boxes.  I can play there when it rains, but not when it rains too much.  I like to imagine that I am in the jungle, in faraway places that I saw in movies and on TV.  I don’t watch much TV because my Mom doesn’t like it and I have better things to do.  I like to slide on my back on top of a rag.  I push around with my legs.  It’s fun to see everything from the floor up, it’s different but the same.
  “I think you are an interesting boy,” Betty said.
  “I’ve watched you for a long time now, that’s why I want to be your friend.”
  “What kind of spider are you Betty?” I asked.
  “Do you have parents here in the backyard? Do you have brothers and sisters?”
  “I don’t,” she said.
  “Unfortunately no Charlie, I am here by myself.  I was brought in a plane quite some time ago.  I ended up in the house of a man who kept me in a glass cage. One day I escaped from the cage.  I ran as fast as I could to find your house and decided to hide in your backyard because it is the one with the most bushes like where I come from.”
  “That’s great!” I said,
  “Now we can be best friends and I can protect you Betty.”
  “You and Harold will be my best friends.  How come Harold doesn’t talk to me Betty?” I asked.
  “Why don’t you ask him?” Betty said.
  “Good idea!” I said,
  “Where do you live? I mean where do you sleep? Do you have a house… like…a place to sleep?” I asked her.
  “In a burrow that I dug below those bushes there at the back,” she replied.
  “I look for food at night.”
  “Sometimes at night I climb up to your window and see you reading books.  I like the books you read.  Sometimes I see you going to bed and falling asleep,” Betty said.
  “I would like to sleep in your bedroom with you.” This was getting very interesting I thought.  Can I tell Mom about Betty? Dad for sure not, he will get mad and he will put Betty in a cage again.  I wouldn’t like that at all and making dad change his mind is very hard.
Betty is a big spider with lots of hair all over.  Her fur, if you can say that because I don’t know what to call the hair of a spider, is brown with some orangey stripes. Betty is a nice spider, she calms me down.  We talked for a long time, my legs got numb.
  “I have to go now Betty, my legs are hurting. It was nice meeting you and I will call you a bit later to play if you are not busy,” I said.  Betty said ok and I went inside.
Harold was sleeping close to my Dad’s brown cozy chair in the family room.  When I came in he looked at me with his friendly face.
  “Hey Harold,” I said.
  “I met Betty in the back just now, she told me that you are her friend too!” Harold came to me, wagging his small tail and rubbed his nose on my leg.
Charlie Moore learns to fly

“Let’s go Harold,” I said to my loyal dog.  It was a hot day at the beach.
  “Don’t go too far Charlie,” shouted Mom.  I waived to her.
  “I love you too Mom, I’ll be alright.”
Harold and I walked along the beach quietly kicking the odd rock and splashing the water against the gentle waves of Spanish Banks. On a rock, by the water there was a seagull.   “She looks friendly,” I said to Harold who acknowledged with a shake of his head. Harold is not too chatty.
   “Hi, I’m Charlie Moore and this is Harold, what’s your name?” I shouted to the seagull as we approached.
  “Hi Charlie Moore and Harold, my name is Lilly.  Are you enjoying this beautiful day?” she said with a smile.
  “We came with Mom and Dad to play in the beach. What are you doing?”
  “Oh, just taking it easy, looking around,” said Lilly.
  “I’ve always wanted to fly Lilly, I wonder how does it look from the sky?”
  “Ha! Charlie Moore it’s different, you dominate the whole world from up there.”
  “Do you think you can teach me how to fly?” I asked as I raised my shoulders.
Harold gave me a look of disapproval.
Lilly looked around and then looked into my eyes,
  “It’s easy if you really want to fly, I can teach you how!” said Lilly.
  “Yippy!” I jumped a few times and then I sat beside Lilly.     “What do I need to do to fly like you, Lilly?”
  “First of all you need to rub your face in my chest with your eyes closed.”
I kneeled and put my face in her chest. Lilly extended her wings and hugged me, a flash ran up and down my body and It felt like Lilly was covering my whole body with her wings. It was calm, smooth and sweet smelling like my Mom. Something was different.  She opened her wings and said.
  “Stand there on the sand,” she pointed with her wing.
  “Do you know where the wind is coming from Charlie Moore?” she asked.
  “Yeah, I can feel it in my face,” I yelled jumping up and down with my eyes almost closed.
  “Open your arms, like wings and lean forward,” she said.
  “Now this is what is most important,” she said in a lower voice.
  “How bad do you want to fly Charlie Moore?”
  “I want to fly Lilly, I want to fly!” I screamed.
  “OK, keep facing the wind with your arms open, close your eyes and think hard, put your thoughts in your belly. Don’t open your eyes until I tell you.  Do you understand Charlie Moore?” she said as she walked from one side to the other. Harold looked interested.
  “I get it Lilly, here I go…” I took off really easily, I felt I was flying. I opened my eyes and plunged into the water.
 Lilly laughed and held her belly with her wings.  Harold ran into the water to get me.
  “Are you OK Charlie Moore?” he barked at me.
  “You are always getting into trouble, what is it that I am going to do with you Charlie Moore? ”
The water was not that cold, and Lilly wouldn’t stop laughing.  Three seagulls, friends of Lilly’s came to the commotion, they landed nearby squawking loud. She looked at me seriously.
  “Come here Charlie Moore, this time do what I say! Do you agree? I’m having a great time with you guys,” she said and continued laughing out loud.  The other seagulls stopped squawking.
  “One more time Charlie Moore, face the wind, stretch your wings, bend down a bit and concentrate hard with your eyes closed thinking that you can fly! Now Charlie Moore!!” She shouted with a commanding voice. Harold took his place close to Charlie and the other seagulls followed Lilly’s instructions as well.
I got in position, closed my eyes and put all my effort in wanting to fly. I felt my feet leaving the ground, the sensation of flying was cool. I kept my eyes closed. I felt the other seagulls flying beside me but I didn’t want to look. I don’t know how long I was flying when I heard Lilly whisper in my ear.    “Open your eyes Charlie Moore, don’t be afraid of the height, just enjoy the flight.”
I slowly opened my eyes, my belly felt empty and my body shivered for a second or two.
  “Just fly Charlie Moore, there is nothing to be afraid of, I am here with you.” Lilly sounded like my Mom. She was flying right beside me looking into my eyes, giving me confidence. Everything looked different, smaller, I could see much more than from the ground, like a different world. I was over the water, high enough that I saw on one side the beach I left behind moments ago, the trees, the houses, the roads, the people, all together. I looked until I found my parents, I wanted to shout at them but I didn’t, I knew that it was not going to be good if they saw me flying with Lilly!
  “How do I turn Lilly?” I asked.
  “Simple, lean to that side and you will turn, to go down, gently lean your head down. Watch out, going down you gain speed and we don’t want to fly that fast just yet Charlie Moore.”
  “Yes Lilly, thank you.  This is fantastic, I am having so much fun,” I said with goose bumps in my arms and legs. I started turning to one side and then to the other. It seemed easy.  I tried going down, I went really fast.  My eyes began to water from the wind so I lifted my head up to slow down.  I was doing really well.
  “OK Charlie Moore, our first lesson will end with a landing. Now listen to me carefully, landing is not as easy as taking off.  You need both eyes wide open so you don’t crash into the ground, you need to go down and reduce your speed at the same time, it’s tricky in the beginning but with a couple of landings you are going to be an expert Charlie.”
  “OK,” I said.
  “One more thing Charlie, follow me and you will do exactly what I do, understand? Ha! I almost forgot to tell you, we always land against the wind. Can you tell where the wind is coming from Charlie?”
  “No, not really,” I said with concern.
  “Easy, just look at the trees, the branches, the ripples in the water, anything you can see moving with the wind. This time just follow me.”

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Charlie Downtown

Open H

It was Saturday after lunch when my parents took me downtown to look for a new place to live.

“We are going to see open houses,” they told me.
 That’s strange, I thought, open houses?  What does that mean?  The doors are open?  Houses can’t be open… what is this idea, open to what?  I don’t always ask many questions, my dad gets upset really fast and I don’t like that.  I didn’t want to move, I was happy where I lived.  After a boring drive we arrived downtown.  It was horrible, full of tall buildings and people walking fast from one side to the other. Nothing nice about it, nothing like our neighbourhood.
DT VAncou

Why did my parents want to live downtown?  It was a mystery to me.  I got my courage and asked, “Why do we want to live here? It doesn’t look nice to me.  Where am I going to play?  There is only super tall buildings and no yards at all!”  My dad was pulling me by the hand, he turned to me a little bothered and said, “You are growing fast and soon you would not like to pay in the yard, you are going to hang out with your friends and such, besides there is a nice park a couple of blocks that way for you to go with Harold and play ball,” giving me a not nice look.  We were walking really fast and I was having trouble keeping up.


We stopped at a huge building and after some ringing on the wall telephone we got in. I didn’t like the ride in the elevator. It was my first ride in an elevator.  It looked quite shiny and when the doors closed, I felt like I was trapped in a space shuttle. The smell of the elevator was new to me.  How can I describe this?  Metal, rubber and I don’t know what else, definitely elevator smells that worked perfectly with the sensation of the ride.  I felt climbing but couldn’t see anything moving, it was a weird sensation.  I felt like I was going to throw up so I slipped my hand in my pocket and touched Betty, who was coming along.  As soon as I touched her fur, I felt relieved.  Betty wouldn’t allow anything bad happening to me. The feeling changed suddenly, I felt light and then the elevator stopped.  The door opened silently and I walked out comforted.

We walked through a hallway to one of the doors, interesting, I thought, so many doors.  What are they all for?  My dad let my hand go and knocked on one of the doors.  The door opened and a loud man’s voice that talked like a woman greeted us, I was pushed in first and ordered to take off my shoes.  I sat on the floor while my Mom and Dad were walking into the apartment leaving me at the entrance.  Will was the name of the man.  Mom told me that he was the agent.  I wondered what kind of agent he was, like a secret agent maybe?  The agent was wearing black from head to toe, and he looked like a vampire, with that long black coat and red scarf.  He was talking and talking, quite loud, showing this and that to my parents who looked speechless.  I took Betty out of my pocket to show her around, she had not had much fresh air since we left home.
I was very careful to hide Betty from my parents, especially Dad, they get aggravated when they see her. I went skating on the soft, smooth wooden floor of the apartment.  My warm wool socks were perfect for that, it was a good feeling, like skating.  Sometimes my parents would take me skating. I love skating, it is so much fun to go around and around as fast as I can.  Mom and Dad are the best in the world they can skate backwards, they hold hands and dance while going around the ice.  I follow them around and copy what they do.  Skating and skating I ended up in the living room where Will was showing every detail of the place and talking about how good the place was.  Boring, it’s just a boring place, cold, and no garden to play in.   I skated over to the window and Woooow!   Spooky, I was high up, I had never been that high in my life.  I stepped back fast, scared at first and then when I my heart slowed down I crept back to the window.  Wow! It was cool to look out from up here.  Everything looked so different.  I couldn’t wait to show Betty the view.  I took her out of my pocket and put her on the window sill. Betty had her eyes wide open, “this is high,” she said.  Will was talking and talking and moving his arms and hands like my Mom does, he was behind me with his loud funny voice and all of the sudden I heard him screaming, “Ayyyyyyyyy!” I turned around and saw Will grabbing his coat with both hands and putting it over his face.  He looked terrified!  He had seen Betty, who at the sound of the scream jumped up onto my shoulder. “Ayyyyyyy! A monster spider is on your son’s shoulder!” he shouted as he ran away.  Both of my parents were astonished with the scene.  Backing up to the living room wall, they looked perplexed.
I was frightened by all the commotion.  I looked around to find the danger and Betty quickly climbed back into my pocket.  I looked at my parents whose faces had changed from surprise to anger. They tried to calm Will by filling him with apologies and nothing to worry abouts.  Will looked to be in disbelief. I quickly put my shoes back on and walked to the elevator.  Dad gave me the looks and Mom told me that I wasn’t supposed to bring Betty.  I failed one more time to explain to them that I brought Betty for my protection.
We walked a few blocks and then stopped at another building.  I was getting used to the scenery. We climbed into an elevator again, this one was different.  It had nice shiny wood and golden trim, wow rich people must live here, they even have gold in the elevators! The smell was also different, a mixed smell of cigars, magazines and nice cologne, like the one my Dad’s boss wears. The ride up was pretty much the same, uncomfortable, my stomach was not feeling great. The hallways in this building were much wider and elegant, for sure only rich people lived here.  I will tell my friends that we are rich.
This time a woman agent opened the door, all of these agents must be rich too.  They dress so nicely and wear so much jewellery, they smell good and they are so friendly. She put her hands on my shoulders and said, “What a nice boy you are. You must be 8? Do you like toys? Come with me,” she said, directing me down the hall without giving me time to answer.  My parents followed.  It was heaven, a room full of toys.  I looked around, I couldn’t believe it.  I grabbed a Tonka truck and started playing. “Keep Betty in your pocket,” whispered Mom, giving me a rub on the head. There was an airplane, a helicopter, baseball gloves…I wanted this place.  I couldn’t resist showing Betty this place, I looked over my shoulder, nobody around so I reached into my pocket for Betty.  We had a wonderful time in this place, checking this and that, I couldn’t decide what to play with, and I needed more like a week here. “Charlie Moore,” I heard my Mom call, “we are leaving, hurry up hun.” “Are we going to buy this place Dad? This place I like, it’s the best”  The agent looked happy, and so did Mom and Dad. They thanked the woman agent and we left for another ride in the elevator.
“Are we buying this one Dad? Because I like it a lot!” I exclaimed.  Mom gave me that sweet look, “We are just looking hun.” I love my Mom, I held her soft hand. Everything here was much the same, a thought crossed my mind, what would happen if I got lost here? I wouldn’t know how to get home. We kept on walking, I was feeling tired and dizzy. After a few blocks we went into another building.  There was a bunch of people waiting for the elevator. One more time we jumped in. The elevator stopped and some people went down, I looked around to find Mom and my heart jumped in my chest.  Mom and Dad were not in the elevator. I stayed in the elevator until everybody got out, I wasn’t afraid. The elevator went down on its own and at the first floor I got out.
I looked around for my parents, I still couldn’t see them. How do I get home now? Nobody seemed to care that I was lost, people were walking all around me, not like at home where everybody knows me and asks me what I am doing.  Different!  I reached into my pocket and told Betty that we were lost.  “Nothing to worry about Charlie,” she said, “I know how to get there but it would be better if we find your parents first, they must be missing you.” It didn’t cross my mind that my parents would be missing me, I thought that they were only interested in looking at apartments.  Oh well, Betty must be right, let’s get back into the building and wait for them in the lobby.
I pushed the door and it didn’t open. I couldn’t reach the enter phone, I was too short and I didn’t know the buzzer number. I looked around waiting for a miracle and there, the door made that electric noise and a man went in and so did I.  I followed him into the elevator. “Which floor are you going to young man?” he asked.  “I don’t know, I came with my Mom and Dad, they want to buy an apartment downtown.”  The elevator stopped and the man took me by the hand, “come with me, I’ll help you find your parents.  Let me first take my groceries inside and then I will help you.”  He looked like a nice man so I followed him in.  His apartment was different, it was dark and quiet.  There were piles of books laying everywhere. “Can I use your bathroom?” I asked.  “Of course, make yourself at home, I’ll be ready in a minute and then I’ll help you find your parents.”  I went to the bathroom, it was big and grey, piles of books there too.  It smelled nice, like books that smell nice.  I came out and the man was still busy in the kitchen.  I went to the living room and looked out the window at the scenery, it was fascinating. “I’m ready,” he said in a soft voice, “do you like to look out the window?”
“My name is Sylvester,” he said, “what is your name?” offering me his huge hand.  “I am Charlie Moore,” I said shaking his hand. “How come you have so many books all over your house?” “I like to read,” he said, grabbing his chin. “I like to read,” he repeated. “What else do you like?” I asked since he looked like a nice person. I sat down on a chair close to the window prepared to listen. “Well,” he said, “I like to write books, I like animals, birds, I like to fly…” “I like to fly too!” I burst out, “do you know I can fly? I can talk to animals too!” he looked at me intrigued. “Are you afraid of spiders?” I asked, “I have one in my pocket and I promise you she will not do anything to you.”  He looked at me with a sweet face and said, “Take it out.”  I got Betty out of my pocket and placed her on top of a pile of books on the coffee table in front of me. “Her name is Betty, she is from the Amazon.” Betty looked Sylvester and said, “he can’t hear me, he’s a grown up, but he’s a good man Charlie.” Sylvester was not afraid of Betty as most people are. “I always wanted to have a spider friend,” he said.  “Tell me more, how did you meet her?”
Sylvester was interested in Betty and my stories!  He stood up and said, “Charlie, we better look for your parents, they must be worried about you.  Betty jumped up onto my shoulder and crawled into my pocket as she always did. “Can I come to see you again Sylvester? I want to tell you about my adventures.” “For sure, let’s go find your parents,” he said.  We took the elevator down to the lobby, and there they were, Mom and Dad, talking to people nervously.  “Mom, Dad!” I shouted when I saw them and I ran to hug them. It wasn’t that I missed them or that I was afraid, it was more for them because they looked afraid.  I grabbed Mom’s hand and said, “This is Sylvester, he’s my friend and helped me find you.” Sylvester was standing with a nice smile.  Dad said thanks to Sylvester. “I want to come to see Sylvester again, can I come Mom?” “Of course Charlie,” she said with wet eyes and hugging me as usual.
On the way home, I told my parents that Sylvester was not afraid of Betty.  And also that he couldn’t hear Betty speaking, just like them.  I was tired, I fell asleep in the car.