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The Birthday Party

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"Are you planning to make a mockery out of me?" Leah scoffed.

Leah and Loki sat at the wooden table that was covered in a festive tablecloth covered with drawings of balloons and the words Happy Birthday printed in the center. She sat at the end of the table, her arms crossed, and a blue party hat on her head.

"For the last time Leah, these aren't dunce caps, they're party hats," Loki pointed to the one on his head. "People wear them at birthday parties."

"I personally think a dunce cap would greatly improve your appearance," Leah told him cooly.

"Hey!"

He turned his attention away from her and got out from his chair. He knelt down on the ground and gingerly took hold of the dog.

"DEATH TO ALL!" Thori barked. He squirmed in Loki's grasp as the boy slipped on a party hat on his head. Smoke started to rise from his nostrils.

"There!" Loki clapped his hands together as he let go. "Don't you look handsome? All ready to party."

"There's another one whose appearance improved," Leah remarked as Loki picked up the dog and placed him in an empty chair.

"And last but not least! Ikol!"

The bird flew in from the open window on the far side. It too was wearing a party hat. He perched on the table next to Thori.

"Welcome everyone!" Loki exclaimed. "And a happy birthday to us all! Since none of us know when we were born--or created, I decided to fix that. I proclaim this day to be a day of celebration!"

"But Loki," Leah piped up. "Don't you think this is rather pointless? Why is a moment such as birth important to celebrate if you can't remember it?"

"Because it's fun!" Loki smiled. "And I've always wanted to have a birthday party."

The boy exited the room and returned with a box of pizza.

"I got cheese and pepperoni," he said as he opened the box and started to put the slices on the party plates. "What do you want?"

"What's the difference?" Leah asked.

"Some of the slices has cheese and the others have cheese and pepperoni."

"What's pepperoni?"

"It's a type of sausage. Try it! It's good!"

Loki took off one of the pepperonis from the pizza and handed it to Leah. She nibbled at it.

"And?"

"This is a sausage?" She looked closely at the pepperoni.

"Yes."

"It doesn't taste like one."

"So you'll have cheese?" Loki asked.

Leah took a plate that had pepperoni on it. She took off all the pepperonis and started to eat the pizza.

"So you won't mind if I take one?" Loki reached out towards her plate.

She swatted at his hand.

"I'm going to eat those," she said.

Loki turned towards Ikol.

"Would you like some pizza Ikol?"

"I am a bird," Ikol cawed. "I do not eat human food. But bread products such as that crust are tempting vices."

"You can take mine," Loki ripped off the crust of his slice and gave it to Ikol. The bird dug in.

"And a slice for you," Loki set a plate of pepperoni pizza for Thori.

They ate in silence. Loki had three slices of pizza. Leah had two. Thori nearly burned his slice and Ikol took the opportunity to steal the crust. When Thori realized that his food was gone, he chased the bird around the room, spewing flames from his mouth.

"VERMIN BIRD!" He screamed. "STEALING FOOD FROM UNSUSPECTING BABES!"

"Hey! Hey! Knock it off!" Loki got in between them. "We're supposed to be celebrating!"

Leah snorted. She took another sip of soda to find that a new wave of laughter had overcome her and that there was an unpleasant stinging sensation in her nose.

"Apologize!" Loki told Ikol.

"If you insist," the magpie faced the dog. "I am sorry that you are a woefully stupid creature. You weren't eating your pizza. I was doing you a favor. Now accept my apology before I resort to your methods of retribution. And I warn you; my claws are sharp."

"Good!" Loki nodded.
*************************
After the pizza, it was time for presents.

Loki handed out three hand wrapped gifts along with party horns.

"What a strange device," Leah held the horn part up to her lips. She blew. The paper uncoiled and the sound came out. She giggled and did it again.

Loki joined her on his horn. He started to come up with a beat, trying to fit it with Leah's. Ikol, uninterested in the horn, raised his voice. He chirped along to the horns. Thori attacked the paper part of his horn with his paws and ripped it apart.

When that lay on the floor in shreds, he started the same with his gift.

"Careful!" Loki exclaimed. "Your present's inside!"

It was a bag of tennis balls. Thori gave the bag a sniff.

"It's so we can play fetch," Loki told him.

The dog tugged at the net lining and one of the balls fell out. He picked it up with his mouth and began to chew on it.

"And what do you say?" Loki prompted the dog.

Thori spat out the ball. It rolled out of the room. Thori ran after it.

Ikol pecked at the wrapper paper to find that his present was a jar of worms.

"Why thank you Loki," he said. "I will treasure it always. And when I mean always, I mean in these five seconds that I will eat these worms."

"No problem," Loki then turned to Leah who had just opened her present. She held up a Starkphone.

"A phone?" She asked.

"So we can be in contact, and you can go on the internet, and play games, and--"

"Again with the internet!"

"The internet is a fascinating place," Loki moved his hand from one side to the other.

"It's a cesspool of stupidity," she shot back. "Which in itself is fascinating."

She smiled down at the phone.

"So thank you."
******************
They had gathered around the table again, this time over Loki held Thori up over the candles.

"Now fire!"

Thori breathed out flames. They started to sear down the candles, melting them into tiny, gooey, stubs.

"Happy Birthday to you!" Loki frantically began to sing. "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Thori, and Ikol, and Leah, and Loki!"

"Happy Birthday to you!" Leah and Ikol's voices joined in.

They all blew out the candles. The top part of the cake was charred. Smoke rose from the top.

Thori leapt out of Loki's arms and waddled out of sight.

"I hope this cake is still edible," Loki sighed. He cut into the cake. The slice he cut toppled over and broke into tiny crumbs. He took one of the crumbs and popped it into his mouth. He made a face.

"We could get another one," Leah suggested.

Loki tilted his head and looked at her in surprise. He expected Leah to make a remark about how he should have used a match.

"That's good too," he chuckled.

She did too. Ikol let out a croak.

"I think the bakery in Broxton is still open," he said.

"Or we could just go down to the kitchens and nick one."

"Leah!"

The two children started to head out. The bird spread his wings and followed.