"I believe you are in a better mood, Miss Turtle."
Mr. Gryphon is sitting on top of a high stone wall. I am leaning against the wall almost directly below him. The sky is bright blue with cottony white clouds. We are taking a break.
"It would seem so even with today's disturbing announcements," I say, "I read online that I'm just a little pipsqueak who can't possibly know the grand scheme of things so why worry? The article also said things never go the way you want them to because they can't. Things are simply the way they are. They aren't supposed to fit with your expectations."
"It is what it is." Mr. Gryphon echoes as he shades his eyes with his hand and looks around from his high perch.
I look up at him now and smile. He reminds me of the person whom he was originally supposed to represent. He seems to sense this, maybe, because he looks down at me and grins. We look at each other for a long time.
"Just get in the water and float," he says. We burst out laughing, then he goes back to looking around. A yellow meadowlark alights next to him on the wall and looks at him curiously before flying off again.
"Are you sure you want to continue as we are? I can fly us out of here in time to be home for dinner, " he says.
"Yes, I'm sure. I have cheese snacks here in my book bag in case we get hungry. Besides, aren't you having fun?"
"Sure, I'm having fun, but you've been in a dark state as of late."
"True, true." I can't deny this fact. My state has been so dark that I've actually been relishing a twisted exaggeration of it.
We are in a giant stone maze and have been for the last couple of days. I insisted upon this little adventure since finishing the last Harry Potter book. Mr. Gryphon hops down from the wall.
"I thought you liked hedge mazes best, Miss Turtle," he says as he fully opens his wings and stretches. His huge claws temporarily expand to their full intimidating length before retracting again.
"I do like hedge mazes, but I couldn't resist seeing you up on that wall. And don't tell me the way out, just point us in the general direction," I say. We start on our path again.
"I should talk to you more often, Mr. Gryphon, you know like in real life. Perhaps when I'm about to fall asleep."
"You do talk to me. Most of the time you're asking me questions about why this happened or what does that mean," he says. There is a pleasant breeze. The warm breeze and sunshine is a welcome change from the low, dripping fog in my real-life neighborhood.
"Must get tiresome," I say. He shrugs and we go round a bend in the maze. He reminds me of someone else and I burst out laughing again.
"What?" he says, but he knows anyway. He produces a paper airplane and flies it at me. It swoops around magically before I catch it. It says "Open Me."
I open the small airplane, read the message and laugh some more.
"I'm safe, Mr. Gryphon. And the reason why I'm safe is the person who might have an inkling about what's going on with the paper airplanes doesn't even know this blog exists. And even if he did, he still wouldn't know what to make of it all. So I'm safe."
"This post is far too cryptic, Miss Turtle. It's a disservice to whoever is reading it."
"Oh well. I guess I can afford to be a little cryptic now and then." We encounter a fork in the maze and I look left and right. I take aim and send the paper airplane off. It goes to the left. I pick it up and we move to the right fork. We round another bend and stop.
In front of us is the center of the maze, all lush green grass and hundreds of rose bushes all in bloom. The air is a riot of fragrance and color. We move forward slowly, taking it all in. Mr. Gryphon reaches out and plucks a snowy white rose and hands it to me.
"For your cryptic ways, Miss Turtle. And I might add that it would be fun to share some of your mysteries. There's plenty of roses to go around."
"I suppose you're right, Sir." Butterflies of all kinds are sailing by us in windy abandon. There's a luxuriously ornate white marble fountain with Posidon and his chariot, complete with diving dolphins, water nymphs, and flying fish in the center of the rose bushes. The water is not running now (to keep from harming the butterflies). We find a green painted iron bench on at the far side of the fountain and sit down.
"Things are never as bad as they seem especially if you focus on the good instead of the bad," muses Mr. Gryphon.
"Such as the paper airplanes?" I ask him.
"Well, they got us here, didn't they?" I smile at him. He produces a cold bottle of water, opens it and hands it to me. The butterflies seem to be flying around us in a bright dance, but that could just be my imagination.