A Birthday at Home
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A Birthday At Home by Sam M. Raife
Benji is a Superhero.
With no powers. Zero.
It’s his birthday.
Is he destined to stare out the window?
Benji woke up from a nightmare.
Where nobody was there.
No one to play with, nobody to care.
He wanted friends and family to shout hip-hip-hooray.
Whilst he blew out candles, on his third special day.
This nightly vision had no presents, no cake.
Worst of all no friends would come, to help him celebrate.
He woke up sad and lonely, and started to scream.
Until he heard Mum and Dad call “it’s ok, it’s alright, it was only a dream.”
In to his room bounded Dad, with an excellent plan.
He was dressed all in blue and announced “I’m the spectacular Daddy-man”
Mother-Marvel was next, just as fun.
She appeared dressed in pink and blue bubblegum.
Then he heard Mrs Marvel bellow and cry,
“We need you Benji, to help catch the bad guys.”
First, his hero costume to be created.
Masks, capes and pseudonyms pontificated.
Underpants over trousers, calculated.
Then, origin story incorporated.
Super powers, negotiated.
Fortress of solitude, located
Finally, Benji-man’s smile, activated.
The mission was clear,
Evil was near.
Grandma and Grandad wore bad guy head gear.
A pre-recorded video showing their evil deeds.
Stealing birthday treasure, he wouldn’t let them succeed.
“We’ve buried our stolen treasure, somewhere very near.”
Said the evil bad guys through laughter and jeers.
The hunt was on.
Find clues around their home.
One in the bathroom, another in the hall.
One was huge and another small.
A teddy zip wire hung over the stairs,
Benji-man watched as clues zoomed down with his bears.
Benji-man and Dad flew to the living room,
Where the door was blocked with colourful balloons.
Pop! With a BISH, a BASH and a marvellous BOOM.
The heroes cleared the path, ready to face their doom.
As they broke through the door,
An “X” marked the floor.
Then a familiar cackle erupted, followed by a manly guffaw.
On the TV were two villains with a dastardly test.
“You won’t beat us at musical statues, we are the best!”
On the screen,
was Aunty Lou covered in green.
And there too,
was Uncle Mark smothered in blue.
“But if you do,” his uncle said “we might just help you,”
“Bust a move” called his aunty “and we’ll reveal your last clue.”
“Are you ready Benji-man?”
“And a one and a two…”
The music erupted,
Benji-man’s robot dance thrusted.
Then all of a sudden the music got interrupted.
All the statues were still.
Showing superb skill.
Uncle Mark said “my moves are super-chill.”
As the music started again,
His uncle shuffled his legs like a train,
and spread his arms like a plane.
Then, suddenly the music, stopped.
His uncle was left with no option but hop.
And fell to the ground gentle as a raindrop.
Uncle Mark cried out in defeat.
Aunty Lou said “I won’t be so easy to beat”
The rhythm took hold.
Benji-man was bold.
Mother-Marvel and Daddy-man watched his superpowers unfold.
He wiggled his bottom.
Aunty Lou had a problem.
Benji-man’s Bum-Rumba had gone and got’em.
She was too busy rolling about on the floor.
Laughing at Uncle Mark, snorting like a boar.
Mother-Marvel and Daddy-man gave up a great cheer!
Aunty said, “You’ve won Benji-man! Now listen carefully my dear.”
Your birthday treasure is very near.
Go out the backdoor,
Follow the arrows on the floor.
“X” marks the spot, when you can’t see any more.
So he ran to the garden as fast as could be,
Finding arrows all over, even hidden in trees.
He went this way, that way. Forwards, backwards and over the Irish Sea.
And ended up at the front door as confused as he could be.
The front door was ajar, but the living room was shut.
He could hear little whispers, then silence. Abrupt.
The door creaked open, with familiar faces on TV.
All his friends and family shouted “SURPRISE!” With sudden glee!
“Happy Birthday Benji-man!” Was the next grand shout out.
“He’ll take a minute to come about.”
“Hasn’t he grown!”
“Look at his face!”
“He’s the sweetest Superhero in the whole human race!”
And so, Benji-man had saved his third birthday.
Surrounded by friends and family shouting “hip-hip-hooray.”
As he looked at the candles on his giant chocolate cake,
His heart filled with love as they continued to celebrate.
Benji blew out his candles and closed his eyes tight.
He knew his heart would always be filled with light.
But what’s in his present. What could it be?
Like all good superhero stories, you’ll have to wait and see.
Benji’s birthday was at home.
But he was never alone.
He always had powers. Not Zero.
Family and Friends make the strongest superheroes
I wrote A Birthday At Home during the Covid-19 crisis. My Son, Benji, is due to turn three and for various reasons, this was meant to be his first big birthday party. Obviously not the biggest issue during this time, but it was important to us. I thought about all the children who couldn’t celebrate their birthday with their friends and family and the idea of creating a story that showed a few fun things that could be done around the house whilst giving me a platform to put my son (who is genuinely Superhero obsessed) in his own heroic story.