When my brother was a boy, he had a very rich fantasy life. There were two tropes: Ruff Land, where Matthew Ruff lived (it mostly involved rules) and Spaceduck. Now, Grey has always reminded me a bit of my brother, but plenty of perfectly normal kids don’t build fantasy-tropes that they talk about for months.
Then I encountered The Five Kids.
The Five Kids have awesome powers. They get in fights with bad guys. They reason with bad guys and ask them to make better choices. They get to eat all the Halloween candy. They are orphans. They are brothers. They all die at the end. They keep coming back in newer and better patterns. There are ten of them. (I know! Just makes it more awesome! Apparently the first set of Five Kids were brothers and they met another set of Five Kids and made them brothers so now Five Kids includes ten kids.)
For quite a while I think the Five Kids were actually five of the kids at school — Grey was one, and Lincoln and some of the other kids. But Five Kids has merged, melded, grown, expanded. It fills the dark and bright places of my son’s imagination — his wishes and his fears. The Five Kids are there.
Knowing how transient this can be, I sat with Grey to talk about the Five Kids today. I did explain that sometimes I write stories on the computer, and people read them. He gave his permission and cooperation to share this. Here’s his first ever Five Kids story:
Five Kids and the Bad Troll
When the First Five Kid was very young, and four years old, he had secret powers. His name was Drago. He had ice, fire, no sensitivity* and he had flames. He makes the flames by scraping his hand.
When he walked over the bridge, a big bad troll came and said, “I’m going to shoot you up!”
So he said, “I’m going to flame you with my flames! Kaching! Kaching! Kaching!”
And then the troll ran away into the water and he was free to go.
After this story, I did a brief interview with the author:
Interview with Grey
Q: How did you learn about Five Kids?
A: I went to bowling/wrestling and Jock Cina said, “The Five Kids are around here. Can you cheer?” And I cheered.
Q: Which Five Kid would you most want to be?
A: First Five Kid.
Q: What are the names of the Five Kids?
3) John Michael Robert
4) John Meana (because he’s mean to bad guys)
5) Fire Flame Guy
6) Scooby Lick
7) Fire Ice Squares
8 ) Camera (he blinds his opponents with flash)
9) Light bulb (he, uh, blinds his opponents with lights)
10) John Michael Cina Underpants (he included an illustration of Mr. Underpants)
So there’s your introduction to the Five Kids. If you talk to Grey, this is probably pretty useful, as he will assume you know what he’s talking about. I can’t wait to hear what the Five Kids do next!
*Apparently this means he’s immune to other attacks. The word choice is his.