My mother and father, my aunts and uncles, all enjoyed a game of poker. The stakes were low-no one in my family had money-but every other weekend they gathered around the dining room table and played their penny and two poker as if they were in a saloon in the big, bad, lawless West.
Dad, a careful player, played his cards “close to the vest.” My mother would bluff and often won which drove my father a little bit nutty. My uncle often expounded on the finer points of the game-which everyone ignored-and my eldest aunt would ask me to sit by her side to bring her luck, show me her cards and mutter, “Pooh, pooh,” before raising the ante.
My cousins and I would grow restless despite the chance to nibble on candy and nuts that had been placed around the table and would finally escape into the bedroom where we would take turns making up stories. A favorite was The Castle on the Moon.
Whenever the moon ripened and became full, I could see a castle that lived high on a cliff. It towered over the bottomless, sinister ocean that lay far, far below the overhang and sometimes I imagined I could see the princess-cold and friendless-as she wandered through the many rooms and chambers that held her prisoner.
When it was my cousin’s turn to continue the tale, he spoke of rescue. He would find a way to rocket to the moon, take his trusty sword and slither down a rope from the rocket to the castle where he would free the lovely princess we had named Genevieve. His sister, a few years older and a budding feminist turned the princess into a prince who would become King Gene and, being the grateful sort, crown her Queen of the Moon.
Some years later, when man conquered space, I was thrilled but, I must admit, disappointed. No castle was found on the moon. No trace of a princess or prince. No sinister ocean and no rock face. But my imagination still runs wild and I tell stories.
For more about me and my tales, please log on to http://www.elisewarner.com Scene Stealer, my cozy mystery, is available through http://www.barnesandnoble.com, http://www.amazon.com, http://www.borders.com. http://www.carinapress.com
and wherever eBooks are sold. An audio version is available at http://www.audible.com