i had to write this for an assignment, it’s based off Daniel Pinkwater’s Borgel. Also I happened to remember ‘Befluscu’ from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels but I ended up using ‘Belfuscu’ instead.
I was sitting down in my room reading a book when the doorbell rang. I thought mummy had come home from work so I went to the door feeling excited. But when I looked outside, I saw a strange man I have never met. He was fat, bald and had a very nice smile on his face.
“Hello young man, I’m Borgel. Can I come in?” said the man.
I was confused and a little shocked, and I must have stood there for some time because the man spoke again.
“This is Mr Ludlow’s house, right? I’m Borgel. Can I come in?”
Well my father IS Mr Ludlow, but nobody told me anything about any guest so I yelled for my grandmother.
“GRAMMA!! Someone’s at the door!”
Soon my grandmother came out of the kitchen, curious to see who was at the door. The moment she saw him she broke into a huge smile and said “Borgel! I didn’t expect to see you here! Come in!”
I stood aside as Borgel came in, carrying with him five big suitcases.
“Hello young man, what is your name?” Borgel said as soon as he was done, and he stuck out his hand.
I realized I had been standing there with my mouth open, just staring at him. I quickly closed my mouth and shook his hand.
“I’m Nivlem, nice to meet you,” I said with a goofy smile. I couldn’t help but feel happy when I shook the hand of this strange man Borgel.
“Nivlem! What a splendid name! Ah Nivlem, are you busy?”
“Then how would you like to follow me, I just realized I’ve left a very important thing behind at my house, and I thought we could use this time to get to know each other,” he said, and then looked at my grandmother for approval.
“Well it’s the holidays, and seeing as to how you haven’t met Nivlem, I think that’s a splendid idea. When are you leaving?” my grandmother asked.
“But you’re going to your house, isn’t that quite far away? Won’t you like something to eat first, or even take a day’s rest?” came the question.
“Thank you Avrenim but I feel quite alright and besides, this matter cannot wait.”
“Well in that case I’ll pack some things for Nivlem, and you can all go.”
“Oh actually that won’t be necessary. I always keep boxes of emergency supplies in my car and I have a box for a ’12 year old male’ and judging by his height… yes, everything in that box will suit him just fine.”
I just stood there watching, getting more confused by the second. Grandma knew this man? I was going somewhere? He kept boxes of things in his car?
“Alright then! Nivlem, put on your shoes and you can follow Uncle Borgel. I’ll tell mummy when she gets home. Oh she’d be so delighted to know that you’ve come to spend some time with us Borgel, what pleasant news indeed!”
“And I am so lucky to have amazing family such as you all. Now, Nivlem, where are those shoes? We ought to leave now!” Uncle Borgel said as he stepped out of the house.
I hurriedly put on my shoes and ran to catch up with him, my head swarming with thoughts and questions.
“I believe you have many thoughts and questions, young Nivlem, but not to worry! We’d have plenty of time to talk about that on our short trip!”
I didn’t say anything, I just followed Uncle Borgel’s lead. Honestly though, I couldn’t help but feel very excited.
We walked till we reached a small road hidden behind a set of blocks. There, we came upon an old, beaten-looking car. I’d never seen that model, maybe it was from another country?
We got into the car, and Uncle Borgel started up the engine. Then he looked around, as though checking to see that no one saw us, and he asked me to do the same. I didn’t understand but did it anyway. When he was sure we were not being watched, he lifted a small plastic case on the dashboard, under which there was a red button. He pressed it.
I expected something fascinating to happen, but nothing changed.
“Now that we’re invisible, we can safel-“
“Wait, what?” I cut him off.
“Wait for what?”
“You said something. Invisible?”
“Yes, we are, at present, invisible. Therefore we can safely take off,”
“What do you mean take off?”
“I mean do what this car does after you pull this lever over here,” and he pointed. “So please pull this lever over here.”
I wanted to believe we were invisible, that we would take off, so I held my breath, hoped for something amazing, and pulled the lever.
Uncle Borgel started laughing and my heart sank a little. I thought he had played a joke on me.
“You didn’t think we’d take off just like that, did you? I forgot to release the emergency brakes!”
It all happened so fast. Uncle Borgel pulled another lever, and suddenly the car jumped a foot in the air and stayed there.
“Whoa!!” was all I could manage as I looked out the window and around me. We were really floating! This time all I felt was excitement and joy, and a lightness as I’ve never felt before. I realized I was smiling from ear to ear and my heart was racing.
“Hang tight, boy, we’re going to go pay a friend of mine a visit,” and with that he gave the car some gas and we sped through the air.
We sped over roads and buildings, trees and lakes, until we finally got so high up in the sky that all I saw was clouds or sky. My heart was still racing and I was still trying to make sense of what was happening. Was this some sort of special aeroplane or helicopter? Maybe some propellers appeared after I pulled the first lever? Where on earth were we going?
A few minutes later, Uncle Borgel pressed some buttons on a fold-out keyboard from the dashboard, then he sat back and smiled.
“Don’t worry, we’re on autopilot. I won’t have to take the wheel again unless a huge bird appears out of nowhere or the engine suddenly fails and we start plummeting to near certain death.”
“Does that happen very often?”
“Well there’s a one in seventy-three point four chance, but I’m pretty confident today.”
“I guess that’s okay then.”
“Right! Moving on then, I’m sure you’re dying to know more about the politics of my home country and the reason as to why two of my classmates refused to sit an extra year to get their honours.”
“Um, actually I’m more interested to know about you. Like, how are we related? Where are you from? How no one told me about you?”
“Those are splendid questions! Why didn’t I think of them? I’ll get right to them, but first…” and he pulled out a bag of chips from a hidden compartment between our seats, “Chips?”
I gladly accepted and made myself comfortable in my seat, turning my body to face Uncle Borgel. He made a show of clearing his throat and stretching his face and neck, then he began.
“For you to see the whole picture, I must first tell you an important story. I call it… ‘The Birth of Borgel the Boy in a British Boat By the Bay of Befluscu’…”