Madagascar Charm II, The


By Ventrego

Mike seemed kind of quiet and subdued on the drive back to the cabin. When we got there, he emitted a “d’oh!” when he realized we’d forgotten to actually buy me more clothes at the truck stop! He sighed a bit when he shrunk me back down to his size, but didn’t say anything much. When he picked up a book to read after dinner, I decided my best bet was to do the same.

It was after ten o’clock when he finally started talking again. I had been engrossed in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, a remarkably thoughtful book and much better than the movies I’d seen. “Well, Walt, after what you did for me today, I want to do something nice for you.”

“Umm...haven’t you already done enough? I mean, I’m staying in your house, eating your food...” I held up ‘Frankenstein’. “...reading your books. If I did any favors for you, you’ve more than repaid them.”

“That’s not what i meant,” Mike said, sounding a little agitated. “I meant, like with the charm, everyone’s always ordering you around and telling you to do stuff. You should get to turn the tables once in a while. Tomorrow, I’ll do whatever you say.”

I put down the book. “Honestly, Mike, all I really want is some decent company most of the time. Reading tonight’s been really nice, usually everyone who has the charm is turning me into a total horndog most of the time.” Mike smirked a bit at the language but said, “So you’re saying, if you could order somebody to do anything - anything at all - you’d make them sit and read with you?”

I shrugged. “That sounds about right, yeah.”

“You got it, then.” said Mike. “I’m pretty tired - you must be beat after that pounding you gave us in the truck stop. Have I mentioned how great that was?”

I sighed as I stood up. “You want me to do it again?” I’m afraid some of my reluctance crept into my voice.

Mike got a funny look on his face. “Umm...that’s not what I meant. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it, too. What say we both turn in for the night.”

The next day, I asked Mike to recommend some books for me. Soon I had a small stack next to me, among them Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People”, “Sybil” - which I found I could really relate to, and Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. I kicked back and let the books take my mind away from my real life and everything that happened since my trip to Madagascar. I hardly noticed when Mike said he was going to the truck stop and would be back in a few hours.

Around midnight, I put the last book down. “Wow.”

“It’s a lot of fun, isn’t it?” Seeing me jump, Mike grinned. I hadn’t even heard him come back.

“Yeah.” There was a moment of silence between us as my mind played back over everything I’d read that day.

“Well, Walt, I’m glad you enjoyed it. We will definitely do this again.”

Minutes later we were curled up under the warm covers together. I drifted off into the most peaceful sleep I’d had in years. •

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