Me: Okay, you… time for bed. It’s after nine already!
Me: Don’t you “but” me…. Now move over. There’s only seventy more days until Christmas, now.
Daughter: Can we get a Christmas tree? You said we could get one after thanksgiving.
Me: That was Canadian thanksgiving just now. We’re not Canadian, so it doesn’t count.
Me: Now pay attention. You’re going down a passageway. You hear your footsteps echoing and the light of your torches flickers on the walls. You can see up ahead that the passage makes a sharp turn to the right. What do you do?
Daughter: I go right.
Me: As you turn the corner, you can tell that the passage is beginning to slope downwards. You can’t tell how far it goes.
Daughter: Do I have a party?
Me: No, it’s just you.
Daughter: But I want a ballbearian.
Me: Okay, you can have a —
Daughter: And I want dwarves and elves and a giant cat.
Daughter: I’m riding the giant cat.
Me: Okay, you’re riding it. How many dwarves do you have with you…? Like… ten?
Me: Okay. As you continue going down the passage, you see something glittering up ahead.
Daughter: We go closer to it.
Me: You see some kind of chest.
Daughter: It’s a trap!
Me: It’s a really nice looking chest with shiny brass-looking bits on the corners and edges. What do you do?
Daughter: I open it.
Me: It’s locked.
Daughter: The ballbearian smashes it.
Me: Okay, the ballbearian takes his sword and–
Me: The ballbearian takes his axe and smashes the top of the chest. The resulting thud seems to reverberate through the tunnel. He swings at it again and it still doesn’t open. As he hauls back to hit it again, you hear a thumping sound coming towards you out of the darkness ahead.
Daughter: We go up to it!
Me: As you get closer, you can see it’s big ugly guy. He almost fills the passage completely. He has a funny beard and big orange hands.
Daughter: It’s you!
Me: Um. He says, “don’t open the chest– if you do, untold evil will be unleashed upon the world.”
Daughter: We get him.
Me: He awkwardly turns around in the passage and then runs off into the darkness.
Daughter: We chase after him.
Me: He drops some sort of balls behind him…. They explode! You and your ballbearian can’t see at all. It must be some kind of pepper spray or something.
Daughter: Are we okay?
Me: After crying for about ten minutes, you seem fine.
Daughter: We go back to the chest.
Me: Okay. You see what used to be a really nice looking chest. It has two big gash marks on the lid.
Daughter: I have a spell to see inside it.
Me: Yes. You see… some sort of metal pieces wrapped in cloth. The pieces look like they fit together like a puzzle or something.
Daughter: Does the spell really work…?
Me: Yeah, it’s pretty reliable. It’s always worked before….
Daughter: Is that metal gold?
Me: It might be. If it is, the contents of that chest could be worth millions of dollars.
Me: And it’s getting really late. You need to go to sleep now!
Daughter: But we want to open the chest!
Me: You don’t want to open it just before you go to sleep– that’s too scary.
Me: Look, just grab the whole thing and take it back to town. Maybe you can find a sage or something to tell you more about it.
Daughter: Yeah, yeah– that’s what we do.
Me: And now that you’re back in town, your party needs to go to sleep.
Daughter: Okay, we go to sleep.
Me: Good night, you.
Daughter: Good night!