One summer, long ago, a few of my friends and I had the idea to "camp out" in a tent in my backyard. There were four of us in total – Danielle, Miranda, Jessie, and myself. Well, it was five if my dog, Buddy, counted. He would be staying in the tent with us that night too.
Now, there was a good reason that Buddy was joining us, along with a couple baseball bats and makeshift weaponry. See, my mom would often work late nights, and occaisionally in the summer, when she arrived home around 2 or 3 am, from the storm drain in between my driveway and my neighbors would crawl out a raccoon.
Oh, it's just a raccoon. They're everywhere, what's the big deal?
This raccoon was the size of my other (smaller and lazier) dog Sparkles – making it about 40 pounds.
I had always dreamt of being some great hero, like from the adventure books I read so often, and this raccoon was my beast to slay. At first I had named it GRTLITSNMH (Giant Raccoon That Lives In The Sewer Near My House), but that ended up being a bit of a mouthful, so I changed it to GRIMS (Giant Raccoon In My Sewer).
The four of us had it all planned out. In the middle of the night, Buddy would start barking. That meant that GRIMS would be on the move. Jessie would calm Buddy down – we didn't want him scaring off our monster. Then, ever so stealthy, we would each grab our weapons. Danielle and Miranda each had a baseball bat, Jessie had a tennis racket, and I had my killer pair of drumsticks (they seemed like a great idea for a weapon at the time). There was an entrance to the tent on each side, and we'd unzip both (super quiet so GRIMS didn't know what we were up to). Jessie and Danielle would go out one side, and Miranda and I would go out the other. Buddy would be left in the tent – we didn't want him getting in the way or hurt. This way, we could surround GRIMS and victory would be ours.
In my head, the battle would be dramatic. Bloody. Epic. It had to make a good story, of course. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to write about it when I became a rich-and-famous author (I just knew I would be the next JK Rowling. I had an idea for an epic series and everything).
First, Jessie would get overexcited and try for the spotlight, and run ahead of everyone else. She'd try to defeat GRIMS all by herself, but she's a lot weaker than she'd like to think, and he'd jump on her while she charged. They'd fall to the ground together, but before he could do any real damage Danielle would be there and with one swoop of her bat Jessie would be free. She'd be winded, but she's always been a crybaby so she'd stay where she was and, well, cry for a while.
Miranda was tough, but she would prioritize taking care of her friends higher than being a hero and defeating GRIMS. She would keep her bat with her, for defense, but she'd focus on comforting and protecting Jessie. She was just a good friend like that.
That left Danielle and me to defeat GRIMS. Danielle was stronger than I was – that was for sure – and she had a more powerful weapon (the bat). However, I was faster, and had dual-weaponry. So, if we used teamwork properly, I would distract the beast with a series of quick blows and then she would take it out with a powerful swing. Efficient, but the story could do so much better.
So instead, while Danielle and I approached GRIMS, he would try to attack Miranda. She's keep him at bay with her bat, but she would be too flustered to do any solid damage. Danielle would reach him first (I was supposed to be the faster one, but Danielle would be closer. It worked better for the story). She pulled her bat back, ready to swing, and that was the beast's opening – he jumped at her, claws going for her neck.
Now, I couldn't allow my friends to be hurt for any reason – not even for my favorite thing, an "epic tale". So of course, that was when I would arrive, drumstick crossed in front of me like a shield, and block GRIMS attack. Then it would be a one-on-one battle between me and the great monster. This was it – the scene everything led up to until now. The climax. The final battle. When I was famous for my heroism, and telling my tale, all of my audience would be on the edge of their seats. I would have their complete attention. They all want to know how the story ends.
At first, I would be winning. I'd hit him again and again with my drumsticks – I could make a rhythm of it, like the monster was a drum that I was playing to the war music in my head (I was going to have a soundtrack, of course). Fighting, I would spin-hit-kick-hit-step-hit-hit. It would look like I was dancing while I defeated the beast. The whole scene was choreographed in my head – it was going to look beautiful, amazing. My friends would be awe-struck as they watched the battle go down. Yeah, that'd be awesome.
Then, suddenly, I'd make a teensy little mistake – a simple misstep, a stumble. GRIMS would have an opening, and now he was angry. He'd attack, and the tides of battle would turn against me. I'd go down, my clothes would get ripped (except nothing that showed anything indecent, of course) and bloody. I might even break a bone or two. I'd go down, and Danielle would try coming to my rescue. But she wasn't the hero of this tale, I was, so she'd only distract it a bit. Then, I would find a strength I never knew I had, deep within my soul (because that was cool). I would have lost the drumsticks when the raccoon beat me up, but I didn't need them anymore. Now, I'd simply deliver a swift-but-powerful downward kick to its back and its spine would break.
I was victorious, and there'd be a moment of pure glory as I stood over the defeated monster, it's reign of terror over. Then I'd go to the hospital, recover, get a bunch of flowers and stuff, and be on the news. I would go down in history as a hero.
I had some pretty wild and specific dreams as a kid. In reality, though, it was just a sleepover in the backyard. We woke up in the morning, came back inside the house, and my mom made pancakes. But hey, a girl can dream, can't she?