“You wanna do something fun?” Came a sing song voice from behind me.
Sighing, I finished the last stitch on the row of knitting I was doing then carefully rolled the soon to be scarf up. Tucking it away in the wooden box by my feet. I leaned back in my cushy old armchair and looked up over my shoulder.
“The door was locked.” I stated, arching an eyebrow at my guest, unimpressed.
Grinning said guest fell over the side of my chair clinging to the armrest to return my stare. Black eyes glittered as mischievously as the sly grin across his face.
“Well, if you didn’t want me to come in you shouldn’t have given me a key.” He replied impishly. Holding up a shiny, golden, familiar key.
My eyes widened comically, and a skittered laugh escaped his mouth.
“Cosmo! I did not give you a key!!” I replied, damn near breathless at his audacity.
“Well, you shouldn’t have left it out for me to copy then.” He snickered flicking the key from one hand to the other.
I slumped in my chair closing my eyes against his exuberant behavior. Already I could feel a headache forming behind my ears where my glasses rested. It was quiet as I closed my eyes, Cosmo got up and I could hear him banging around in my kitchen. Oh, dear! Not my kitchen! I opened my eyes and quickly got to my feet heading in the direction of the bangs and clangs.
I laughed as I was confronted with the sight Cosmo had made in just a minute passed. He was wearing a ridiculously tall chefs’ hat and an apron that said, “#1 Demon!” A chocolate cake was teetering dangerously on the counter while he started throwing raspberries on top.
“What on earth are you doing?” I asked him, shaking my head at the absurdity of it all.
“Bribery obviously!” Cosmo answered as if it made all the sense in the world.
“Cosmo, you can’t just break into my house, magic yourself a teetering cake and act like it’s no big deal!” I replied with raised eyebrows.
“Avery, dear darling man! Avery, I asked you a question, you have since ignored it. So, I’m doing what I must to make you come with me!” Cosmo announced before snapping his finger with a loud clack.
The snap centered the cake, made the layers even and the frosting defined and elegant. The raspberries perfectly placed. Another snap and his apron and hat disappeared replaced by a sharp suit and bowler hat. He slid his thumb and index finger on the rim of the hat, tipping it with a salacious grin.
“Ugh,” I uttered shuffling past him to the half full coffee pot. “And what question was that?” I asked as I splashed about half a cup a coffee into my mug. I knocked back the caffeinated liquid as though it would help erase the antics taking place in my admittedly, a little tidier now, kitchen.
Cosmo leaned on the counter as I turned to look at him. He propped his head on his folded hand in a pleading position. He took a deep breath, widened his twinkling eyes, and asked, “You wanna do something fun?” In the same sing song voice as before.
I dropped my head slightly and my glasses fell down my nose a bit. Uncaring of that I deadpanned the overly excited man in front of me.
“Oh please! Give me one good reason for saying no!” He said flipping his hat off and setting it on the counter. He darn near danced his way over to me and used his pinky finger to push my glasses back up my nose. “One good reason” he repeated, daring me to come up with something it would seem.
“Vancouver” I stated.
He blinked, backing up a bit. His mouth dropped open, then closed, then opened again.
I snorted, then patted his cheek. “There, there darling.” I stated placatingly moving out of the kitchen and returning to the living room where my old tabby cat had taken up resident in my cushy chair. Purring about as loudly as a running engine that needed to get to the mechanics. I bypassed the chair in favor of grabbing my knitting box to put it up before the tabby got any bright ideas about the loose wool laid out.
“That was one time!” Cosmo stated complainingly from behind me. I glanced back to see that he was now knelt at the chair challenging the cat by looking at the poor tired boy in the eyes and running a hand soothingly down his fur. And by challenging the cat, I mean seeing how much louder the purring could become.
I exhaled loudly out of my nose, a laugh that hadn’t quite formed. I closed the cupboard that held the knitting box out of the cats reach and begun to remind Cosmo of a few other instances.
“Barrie, Alberta, The Yukon, Denmark, oh! And let’s not forget that very memorable trip to Lake Erie.” I voiced as I went to check that he’d locked the door behind him after coming in. After twisting the deadbolt back and forth and hearing the sliding shuttering sound it made I turned back to him.
He stood tall nodding his head, “Yes, well. That clearly wasn’t my fault whatsoever. Barrie was an accident, I would never go to Alberta so no clue what you mean there” Another impish grin thrown in, “And how was I supposed to know that putting a Mosasaurs in the lake would cause such panic?!”
“It’s a dinosaur Cosmo! A freaking dinosaur! You think no one was going to notice?” I exclaimed loudly.
He waved his arms dismissively, “Aw, c’mon! How do you think Nessie came into being anyway? A little tweak here or there isn’t going to hurt anyone!”
“You legitimately made everyone believe they were having a mass hallucination due to possible LSD contaminants in the water.” I stated monotonously.
“Fine, if I promise that I won’t bring any dinosaurs along will you come do something fun with me?” He pleaded pouting like a five-year-old begging for candy from the top cupboard they can’t reach.
“Ugh!” I complained pushing up my glasses so I could cover my eyes without shoving them into my skull. “I can’t look at you when you do that!”
My arms were moved down from my face and my glasses fell back down on my nose. Cosmo delicately pushed them back into place with his pinky finger and pulled that face at me again. Pleadingly and in full view of my bleeding heart.
“Ugh!” I cried again, this time I covered his face with my hands to hide his expression and let my head fall onto his shoulder. “Fine” I conceded, “Let me go get dressed.”
“Yes!” He cheered holding me at arms length. “But no need for that.”
“Oh, no, no, no!” I muttered trying to back away from him.
He just smiled widely and repeated opposite to me, “Oh, yes, yes, yes!” and snapped his fingers with a resounding click.
My purple fuzzy housecoat and matching penguin pajamas were suddenly gone, replaced with clothes of Cosmo’s design.
“Cosmo?” I questioned, bafflement coloring my tone.
“Yes?” Came his questioning reply.
“Why the ever-loving Hell am I wearing full winter gear? It’s the middle of a mild Autumn right now!” I asked the question, feeling dread at what the answer might be.
“Well, obviously we’re going to the Arctic Avery.” He answered slowly, as though it was the most natural thing in the world.
Eyes wide at the answer, I nodded at his explanation, “Obviously” I echoed a bit vacantly.
Cosmo snapped his fingers again and his sharp suit and bowler hat turned into a matching set to my own winter gear. His in-chocolate brown and mine in black. He wadded towards me, impeded by his puffy winter gear. He threw his arms over me, and I heard another tell tailing snap muffled by puffed fabric.
Cold wind howled loudly, whipping back and forth in every direction. I felt Cosmo pull away from me and heard the muffled snap again. The wind immediately ceased to a dull breeze, and I pulled the hood of my parka down a bit so I could see my surroundings.
White on white on white. Different shades, some darkening with the shifting ice. Some whiter than others because the snow had been dug up a bit, fluffing on the ground. The sky was wide and just like the ground went on as far as the eye could see.
I turned in a slow circle, doing a full one-eighty. My breath came out in streams of steam that filled the air and fogged up the lenses of my glasses. I heard Cosmo’s low chuckle as he plucked my glasses off my face and snapped his fingers again. I blinked as he returned the glasses to my face, no longer fogged, with his mitted hands on either side so he could handle them back into place. Vision now cleared I stared into his laughing face feeling completely gobsmacked.
“Antarctica.” I stated in blatant disbelief at my surroundings earning another laugh from Cosmo’s delighted face.
“Yep!” He quipped lightly.
“A desert, we are in a frigid desert,” As I was saying this, I caught sight of something not too far away from us and my deadpan turned up a notch to disbelieving excitement. “PENGUINS!” I shouted.
I grabbed Cosmo’s arm and twirled him around so that he could see what I was seeing. A group of penguins were waddling and sliding about right in front of us. Well, not right in front but amazingly close. A few of them made loud honking sort of sound. Each of them sounding off on one another.
“Yes, penguins! You can thank your jammies for that Avery!” Cosmo explained with a teasing lilt to his voice.
“What?” I asked looking at him incredulously.
“Your Pajamas, they were a penguin set. Do you not pay attention to what you wear?” He replied fixing my glasses yet again as they slid down my nose.
“You just decided to go to Antarctica based of the whim of what I was wearing? Why? Seriously, you are absolutely crazy!” I exclaimed wildly.
“Of course,” He now patted my cheek with his mitted hand and a laughing smirk, “My inspiration.”
Sending him another deadpan expression, which he laughed at I looked back at the penguins.
“What do you even call a group of penguins?” I asked furrowing my brows contemplatively.
“Dunno, Penguin-ians, Penguettes, Oh, Gala! Definitely Gala!” Cosmo suggested nodding to himself in assurance.
“Gala?” I repeated, “Why Gala?”
“The suits, you only see that many suits in fancy settings. Galas are very fancy, trust me I’ve crashed like, a million of them.” He answered with a nod.
“Right, of course you have. Now, what are we supposed to do out here? Cause I wanna play with the penguins but on the other hand I don’t wanna, like… bug them…” I trailed off my voice soaked in questioning uncertainty.
A snort came from Cosmo followed by, “By mischief you are such an introvert! Penguins like to play, so come on!”
He grabbed me and dragged me through the snow towards the group of penguins. I sucked in a breath as we got closer to them.
“Holy Hell!” I whispered.
Hours later a snap resounded, and the heat of my living room was incredibly stifling. Another snap and I was in a new pair of pajamas. These ones were specifically imprinted with the emperor penguins Cosmo, and I spent the day with. I fell back onto the couch that was diagonal with my cushy chair, where I noted idly, my old tabby was still asleep on.
Cosmo collapsed onto the couch beside me and snapped his fingers once again. Hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top appeared on my coffee table. He picked one up, handed it to me, then turned back to pick one up for himself as well.
“So…” He said nudging my shoulder gently to avoid spilling the hot beverage that was warming my chilled hands.
I just turned my head to stare at him, my brain malfunctioned right around the time a penguin came up to hug me earlier in the day. I was so overstimulated by every amazing thing around me that I was in a constant state of mindless awe.
He smiled at me sweetly, “You did have fun. See, it wasn’t like Vancouver at all!”
A laugh startled out of my chest, and I gently sipped my chocolatey drink. Bitter and rich, made perfect with the sweetness of the marshmallows on top. Exactly how I liked it.
“I did have fun; you are absolutely daft! I cannot believe you took me to Antarctica to play with penguins.” I huffed laughter clear in my tone.
“Well, that makes you daft as well because you enjoyed every second with the Galas. Speaking of we should go to a Gala. I’d love to see you in a fancy suit!” Cosmo mused pursing his lips as though already trying to figure out exactly how my suit should look.
“Oh!” I uttered suddenly, standing, and setting my mug down on the coffee table.
I crossed the room to the desk that was settled in the corner where my laptop was charging. I flipped it open and tapped a few random keys to wake up the sleeping screen.
“What’re you doing?” Cosmo questioned, sounding like he settled more comfortably onto the couch. A purring started sounding in the room which told me that the old tabby had clearly vacated my chair for the comfort of Cosmo’s lap and pets.
Chuckling at the image I typed my password into the waiting box and clicked enter to gain access to my device.
“I’m going to look up what a group of penguins are called.” I answered as the screen loaded.
“Aw, really?! I like Gala. It’s adorable.” Cosmo whined.
I pulled up google and typed in my question and pressed enter. “A group of penguins in the water is called a raft but on land they’re called a Waddle!” I recited from the definition that was now typed across my screen.
“Oh.” The dumbfounded sound came from Cosmo.
I turned around to look at him. The cat was indeed seated in his lap and nuzzling his head into Cosmo’s hand. A wide smile crossed his face, which in turn caused me to smile as well.
“Oh what?” I asked.
“Waddle is so much better than Gala. That’s not fair! It’s adorable!” He replied wrinkling his nose in annoyance.
“Are you annoyed cause it’s better or that you weren’t the one to come up with it?” I laughed with one eyebrow raised. I crossed back to the couch, grabbed my hot chocolate, and settled back in.
“I’ve been around for hundreds of years! I should have been the one to name them!” He complained.
“Oh, come on. Next you’re going to complain that you didn’t get to name yourself!” I said shaking my head at his pouting.
“I did name myself, what are you talking about?!” He said scoffing lightly.
I blinked multiple times at that tid-bit of knowledge. “You, you named yourself Cosmo?”
“Yeah, why?” He shrugged, then set his mug down and decided that I was now his pillow. He laid his head down on my lap and repositioned the tabby on his stomach.
I looked down at him in bewilderment. “You are a chaos demon and you named yourself Cosmo. You do realize your name means order, decency, and beauty, right?”
He looked at me with a slightly soured expression, “Yes, so?”
“You are literally the opposite of order!” I snorted with disbelief.
“Be that as it may, I am exceedingly beautiful and decent!” He sniffed haughtily.
A low chuckle sounded from my throat as I pushed my glasses up on reflex. Cosmo reached up to bring them back down again with a huff.
“Considering your name means ruler of elves you can’t talk!” He argued than fixed my glasses again as if it was a reflex to him as well.
“Fair enough.” I stated.
“Humph.” Was all that came from Cosmo now, with a firm nod, he settled deeper on the couch.
I smiled as I looked down at his face. His eyes were closed, and a light smile drifted over his handsome features. As extroverted as he was, I was equally introverted. And he was right in the beginning. No matter what we did together I always had fun when he was around. I set down my empty mug on the side table so not to disturb Cosmo. Then gently pushed his thick brown hair away from his face. He turned his face closer to my torso which allowed for me to stroke his hair.
Contented, warm, and tired. That is how I fell asleep after a day I would never forget. All thanks to one simple sentence. You wanna do something fun?