I think I startled Don when I knocked on his large rainbow-tinted bubble. He didn’t hear knocking of course, only a glub blub blubbing where my fist threatened to punch through.
I stood straight and proud in my stiletto heels and fuchsia mini-skirt worn with my orange tube top, and demanded he let me in. Don must not have been used to blond bombshell reporters, because he hesitated before grabbing the iridescent surface and pulling it toward him so I could slip through. I saw him glance at my head and my gnome hat. Wide brimmed and rising to a point, it looked like a green traffic cone. I could tell right away by the gleam in his eye he wanted to steal my pointy hat.
“Park ‘er there,” he said, pointing to a wall where a rainbow danced. “Please, allow me hold your hat.”
“I’ll sit on it,” I said. I wasn’t about to fall for that one. “I’m Parker. I’m here to interview you.”
I reversed my gnome bonnet and let the point dig into Don’s bubble. I smiled the toothy fake grin of an auto salesperson and forced a lilting English accent. “Is this spot okay?”
I looked around inside bubble at Other Don, Donnette, Silly Don, Crazy Don, Dumb Don, Frightened Don, Brave Don, Lazy Don, Super Don and seven other Dons. “Are there more Dons?”
“This isn’t all of them. If I let them all out it would burst my bubble. My purposely oversized author’s bubble can hold many travelers.”
He scratched his chin and looked at the gnome hat I sat on. I could almost hear the gears shifting in his head. He wanted my hat!
“Only three Don’s are of importance, myself, of course. Other Don, who challenges every thought going through my head. And my female side, Donnette. Well, maybe four. Silly Don butts in a lot.”
“My first question is…” I startled as the universe wobbled like Jell-O™. “Hey, we’re rising!”
“That was the idea, Lady Parker. We are on the search for readers.”
“Okay,” I said. But it wasn’t okay. I started to slide toward the bottom of the bubble and couldn’t stop. Darn that bubble was slippery! I wiped my hand on my glitter fishnet stockings and resolved to get back to my high level of professionalism.
“How do you determine if something is funny?” I asked him, not a flicker of concern or worry on my face.
Silly Don jumped up and did a flip in the air. His clown feet slid across the ceiling. “I do ‘funny’ by instinct.”
“Sit down, Silly Don.” Don frowned at him until Silly Don’s eyes filled with tears. “I’ll answer the questions.”
Silly Don sagged to the floor, a frown on his absurdly painted face.
“I’ve studied humor,” Don said with pride. “But like Silly says, it’s mostly by instinct. I don’t know how much is subconscious. If it makes me smile or laugh and it’s something the reader would understand, then it works.”
“You mean you love to misdirect and exaggerate,” Other Don broke in. “Play with concepts and humorous thoughts.”
“Thank you, Other Don,” I lied. “Where did your interest in writing begin, Don? The rest of you please be silent and let Don answer.”
“If your high heels or pointy hat pokes our bubble, you won’t have to worry about any of us saying anything other than ‘I’m falling and can’t get my bubble up’,” Scared Don and Frightened Don said in unison.
I looked below my feet and saw the bubble had carried us miles into the sky. I have to admit my stomach took a little jump from fright.
“You could let me hold your hat,” Scared Don said. “You’d find the floor of the bubble quite comfortable.”
“I’ll keep my hat, thank you.” Geez, they were still after my hat! I’d have to remind myself to bring extras next time.
“Ahem.” Don cleared his throat, clearly irritated the others had usurped his interview. “My interest in writing began in grade school, when something I wrote won the teacher an award. She thanked me in front of the whole class!”
“Did the class laugh?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point, Lady Parker.”
I sighed. This interview was not going well. I decided to try another question. “What influences your writing?”
The Dons answered in a chorus, “Writer’s magazines and books.” “A vivid imagination.” “A lifetime of being the class clown.” “Seeing people smile and laugh.” “Harry Potter and…”
“Very interesting. Please don’t speak all at once,” I said. “It’s confusing.”
“Confusing to you?” Don said, and laughed. “You should listen to it from inside here.” He pointed to his head.
I could only force a weak smile. I started to worry about the weight of all the Dons in the bubble, and our height in the sky. I nervously checked my notes.
“Tell me about your current project,” I demanded, hoping to get back on track and end this interview as soon as possible.
“Finding readers for Return to UKOO and work-playing with a second novel, Cloud Riders.”
“UKOO? What’s that about?”
“UKOO is about a homicide detective who at age forty returns to the land of his birthplace unaware of the fact he is a national hero. Cloud Riders is about our parallel imagined lives.”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flock of birds heading our way. I nervously grabbed at the bubble wall and got my hands sticky.
“Any book we’re presently reading,” Other Don said.
“J. K. Rowling and E. B. White,” Don said. “Of course E.B. White stories have stopped since his death.”
“Look out!” Donnette cried. “Bookworms!”
“Where?” I asked, holding my breath. I have to admit I thought it was yet another ploy to distract me and get my hat. I paled to see large blue and purple worms spiraling through the sky.
“Why would those bookworms be coming our way? You answer, Donnette. Us gals have to stick together.”
“You mean, like glue? Darling, I don’t love you that much.”
“Oh, Donnette. Answer the question.”
“Yes, ma’am. What was the question?” Donnette put her soft hands on her hips and thought for a few moments. “Well, I think because of Don’s imagination and humor. His spirituality.”
“My belief in life-illusion mixed in a magic fantasy stew,” Don said.
Other Don butted in. “Maybe because he and Silly Don are Siamese twins.”
I kept my cool and crossed my legs when I noticed the group stared at them. “If you didn’t publish, would you keep writing?”
“If I didn’t write,” Don said, “the beast in my head would chew me up and spit me out, where I’d turn into a carpet stain no cleaner would ever get out.”
As Romance bookworms bounced off the bubble, Fantasy bookworms started to drill through.
“Where’s the Interminator? Don asked Scared Don.
As I stood, I heard Don whisper to Donnette, “Grab the hat.”
Donnette reached for it and tugged. I tried to snatch a handful of rainbow bubble mud to throw on her, but a loud popping sound stopped me. My spiked heels had punched through the bubble and we dropped like an elevator with severed cables. The Dons screamed as we hurtled through the air. Romance and Horror bookworms devoured and tossed off by a collection of Humor and Fantasy bookworms.
“Harry Potter will save us!” Don cried.
I don’t think so, I thought. Right before we hit the ground, I realized Don had grabbed my hat and hid it inside his overalls.
He tried to distract me by giving me some meat for my article. He closed his eyes and lifted his face toward the sky as if in prayer.
“In the end I have to say I’m all about imagination and humor. I’m about a view that ‘all is illusion’, that our perceptions are our reality. I’m about putting me into flights of imagination because so-called life-reality is too much of a fantasy.”
“Okay Don. Thanks for the interview.” I looked from east to west for the nearest convenience store. I had to get out of there!
He turned and looked at me with a mischievous grin.
“So what do you say, Lady Parker, want to help me repair my author bubble and go back to look for those bookworms? Maybe we can patch some up.”
“Sorry Don, I’ve got another interview in fifteen minutes.” I smiled my most dazzling smile and started walking as fast as I could. I was halfway down the block before I realized he had finally managed to steal my hat.Powered by Sidelines