Grace really loved her new house. Though it wasn’t large, it was comfortable and snug, and well, cute. She especially loved her wood stove, a beautiful, elegant piece of antique technology. She was standing in front of it now, admiring the cream and gold enameled finish as she scrambled eggs and fried bacon on a cast iron griddle.
The french windows over the table were open wide, admitting a fragrant summer breeze and the sounds of birdsong and cicadas. Sunshine poured through the windows, falling on a beautifully set breakfast table, complete with a ceramic vase of wildflowers and a pitcher of fresh orange juice. A bay pony stuck his head in the window and nickered. Grace smiled at the animal absently before going back to the stove, looking out the window over the sink at the hummingbirds at the feeder, dancing around like so many fairy jewels. “Good morning, honeybunch.”
She heard an odd ripping noise, and looked down toward the sink. A large black goat was standing there, contentedly munching on a dishcloth. “No,” Grace cried, “stop that! No eating the dishtowels! Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes! So please — just wait!” With that, she pushed the horned animal out the back door and shut it decisively. The goat gave her a wary, wall-eyed look before wandering off into the yard.
The dishware on the table began to rattle rhythmically to the sound of several loud thuds coming from upstairs. Grace scolded, “Stop shaking your head, dear, and come down for breakfast. I have some Tylenol down here for you next to your plate. And watch the tusks, or we’ll have to repaint again!” A large tusked creature in round eyeglasses came downstairs, carefully wrapped one large clawed hand around the enormous fork she handed him, and took a plate of food with the other. He peered owlishly through the spectacles to find his seat at the table, and dutifully swallowed the painkiller and a vitamin.
The pony neighed excitedly and began to eat the wildflowers. She whisked them away just in time, setting them out of reach and giving the pony a bowl of oatmeal. He dove right in, shaking his head and splattering the window with oats.
Just then, a enormous black rabbit with a giant bow tie and a bowler hat came downstairs. Grace handed him a plate as well, and he looked at it with horror. “Is this Fred the Pig and Henrietta’s latest brood?” His whiskery voice sounded just a tiny bit hysterical.
“Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry!” She whisked the plate away and handed him another, which was mysteriously full of carrot salad. He sighed happily, relieved, and went to sit next to the goblin. “How are the kids this morning?” he asked.
They were fine the last time she checked on them. She pulled a blanket off a wooden box near the stove and peered at what was inside. She has named the three girls Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. Their little black-furred brother has been named Peter, of course. “They’re fine, their eyes are almost open.” They grow up so fast.
A big black dog opened the kitchen door, jumped up onto a kitchen chair, and waited for his food, ears pricked and eyes shining. He gets a plate, too, and he licked her face enthusiastically, making her chuckle. “Now, eat your food before it gets cold.”
Then Grace heard an odd crunching noise from outside. She’s forgotten the goat! She ran outside to find that the outside of the house was made out of gingerbread studded with gumdrops. The goat was eating the siding. “I’m so sorry, I’ve forgotten all about you,” she cried, “please stop eating the house and come inside.” She opened the door, came in with the billy goat, and gave him a plate of eggs and bacon on the floor. He began to eat.
They all turned and looked as a toy car rolled into the room, honking its horn. The little doors opened and Hal and Lucas step out, dressed in full clown gear, honking horns and spraying each other with seltzer. “What’s for breakfast?” they asked in unison —
Grace wakes out of her doze with a start. She’s laying on a blanket on the floor in Pen’s living room, Lucas tucked into the small of her back, snoring loudly. Her head is pillowed on Hal’s arm, and he’s snoring too. How they all fell asleep in the middle of a hurricane is anyone’s guess, but the perfect little house and the menagerie were definitely a dream. A really strange dream, maybe even a prophetic dream. Well, she’ll never be bored, not if she lives to be a hundred.
Hal wakes and stares at her blearily. Looking at him just makes Claudia laugh harder.
a bit of fantasia here from googledocs by numaari.