An Interview with a Nine Year Old Boy-

Liz: Hey all you Riders! Forever, Liz here. Most of you know me as Liz or Lizzy. Either one will suffice. A lot of authors are doing this thing where they interview their characters. Not that I felt the need to jump on the bandwagon, but Ride is only from Edward and Bella's points of view. I thought some of you might like to hear from one or two of Ride's other characters, and wondered if an interview might not be an interesting way to get inside their heads. Once I decided to do this, the choice was clear who I'd want to interview: Mini Me, AKA Masen. So, here I sit in my living room with Masen Cullen and his Uncle Emmett. Seeing as things are kinda busy in the shop right now, Emmett is acting as the "adult" guardian for Masen, since he's a minor.

Masen: Pfttt. "Adult?" You're using that term loosely, right?

Liz: Ummm, yeah! Pretty much. But he's here to make sure everything runs smoothly and you're comfortable. You are comfortable, right, Masen?

Masen: Oh, sure! This is a comfy couch! (M bounces to accentuate his point.)

Liz: Good! I'm glad it meets your approval. Now, I have a few questions for you. My readers have even submitted a few themselves, but you don't have to answer any question you don't feel comfortable answering, okay?

Masen: Why wouldn't I feel comfortable? I mean, they're just questions right?

Liz: Right! Okay then, let's start with an easy one! What's your favorite subject in school?

Masen: Easy. Anything having to do with music, but specifically- Music Theory & Composition. I really like learning new ways to arrange notes and time signatures and then hearing them come back to me when I play them. That's when I get to create something new that no one has ever heard before. That's pretty cool.

Liz: That is pretty cool! Okay, next one: Who is your favorite composer?

Masen: Well, we study a little bit about everyone in school, B, I mean Miss Swan, says it's very important to get as much exposure to as many composers as possible, but so far my favorites are Chopin, Vivaldi, and Jay-Z.

Liz: Jay-Z? As in the rapper?

Masen: He's more than just a rapper, Liz! He's a freaking amazing musician! If you only knew how much that guy has done... (Masen shake his head in disbelief of my ignorance. OMG this kid is adorable!)

Liz: I believe you M; is it Okay if I call you "M?"

Masen: Sure. Most people do.

Liz: Do you mind that most everyone calls you by some nickname or another? I mean your dad calls you Mini Me, Me, M, Half Pint.... I could go on. Does that bother you?

Masen: Nah. I don't mind. It's always been that way, so it's cool. The only time it isn't cool is when some people, *ahem* who will remain nameless, get a little too creative. (M gestures over his shoulder over to where Emmett sits thumbing through a Sports Illustrated magazine.)

Liz: Oh, really? Like what?

Masen: On the way over here he called me "Chicken Gizzard." I still haven't figured out where the heck that one came from. (From behind the SI magazine Emmett's voice booms)

Emmett: You were nervous, remember, M? I told you not to be such a chicken shit, that it was just a few questions and that you didn't have to answer anything you didn't want to. That's when you told me to "Watch my effin' mouth." So, I changed "shit" to "gizzard." Speaking of which, I could really go for some of those right now....

Masen: Oh, geeze, Uncle Big Mouth! You think you could keep it down over there? I'm doing something over here!

Emmett: Easy, little dude. Don't get your panties in a wad, I was just trying to help out!

Masen: Well, don't. I got this, cool?

Emmett: Whatever. Cool. See if I try to help you again, Grumpy McGrumple.

Masen: See what I mean?

Liz: But you don't mind being called by the usual nicknames?

Masen: Nope. I like them. I think my dad's one of the coolest guys I know, so it's awesome that people think that I'm like him. Most of my friends just call me "M," and the rest of the fam calls me "Mini" or "MM." B calls me "Little Man" sometimes, and that's coolio, too. So, you can call me whatever.

Emmett: Just not late for dinner, or any other meal, for that matter!

Masen: Hush it, mush for brains! Stop interrupting!

Emmet: Hahahaha! Mush for brains... that's a new one! I like it! (Masen shoots him a "no nonsense look" and Emmett raises his hands in surrender.) Hushing.

Liz: You mentioned Miss Swan. Many of the Riders want to know if she's your favorite teacher.

Masen: Actually, aside from P.E. and art, she's my only teacher, but of the three? Oh, sure, she's my fav!

Liz: So how do you feel about Bella and your dad dating one another?

Masen: I mean, it's cool. My Dad's had girlfriends before. Some were weird and tried to act like they were my friend so they could impress my dad. There was this one, her name was Tanya, she was one of the worst. She'd try to like, make me do things like she was my mom or something!

Liz: What would she try to make you do, M?

Masen: She'd order me around; tell me to clean my pig sty of a room, she tried to take away my XBox once when I swore at her, and she was always trying to get my hair to stay down. She freaking licked my hair! Ewww! Who does that?

Liz: She licked your hair?

Masen: Yeah! Well, she licked her hand and then ran it over my hair. She may as well have just licked my head. It was nasty. Like her. I have no idea what my dad saw in her.

Emmett: You will, believe me, one day, you will. (Emmett makes an obscene gesture referring to the, er- breast size of what I assume to be the Miss Tanya we're discussing.)

Liz: Well, she doesn't sound like Edward's type to me.

Masen: Actually, before B came along, Dad rarely dated, and if they stayed around for more than a couple weeks I was surprised.

Liz: Why's that?

Masen: Pftt! Please, Lizzy, no one wants to date a guy with a kid.

Liz: Bella's still with your dad, so she must not mind it.

Masen: But she's my teacher and already knew me. She already knew how incredibly cool I am. (Masen laughs an adorable little chuckle, like he's told the smartest joke in the history of jokes.) Plus, she's pretty cool, too.

Liz: So what do you think about your dad dating Miss B?

Masen: Are you kidding me? It's great, I mean, okay- sometimes it can be weird. Like when they get all mushy, but mostly it's really awesome. B is a lot of fun, and I get to spend a lot of time with Mr. Darcy, her dog. He's the best dog in the world! Did you know he could do Frisbee tricks?

Liz: Well, I did, but I'm not sure the Riders know that information yet. So you just gave them a little glimpse at future information. (I can't help myself, and I smile wink at the little man across from me.)

Masen: Ooops, sorry, Liz.

Liz: Don't apologize, buddy. It's copacetic.

Masen: What's copacetic mean?

Liz: It's like "coolio."

Masen: Ahhh, so it's like old fogie slang.

Liz: Something like that. Oh, I have a question from one of your biggest fans, Barbi. (Masen's eyes get really wide, and then he gets a scrunched up, confused look on his face.)

Masen: You mean THE Barbie?

Liz: No, silly. Barburella. The Barbie is an eleven and a half inch plastic doll who I doubt reads my story. No, the Barbi I was referring to is much more interesting and has impeccable taste. Anyway, she was wondering what you like most about hanging out at Eclipse Choppers?

Masen: I've always hung out at the shop. When I was a baby, Dad had a playpen up in the office and Aunt Alice would look after me while Dad worked. Or Aunt Rose would take me down to the garage and walk me around. I learned to walk there, and I've known most of the guys that work there all my life. It's like another home for me and I'm just as happy hanging out there as I am at home. It's cool to see how the bikes are put together, and watch them start as an idea in someone's head and then get turned into something real. Plus the shop is a totally fun place to hang out; all those tools and machines. I can do my homework there, and then I can just chilax and play XBox or whatever until time to go home.

Liz: Sounds like a fun place to chill.

Masen: It really is.

Liz: Where else do you like to hang out?

Masen: Ummmm, the beach...Grandma Esme and Papa Carlisle's, there's this really cool skate park not too far from where we live that rocks, Aunt Alice's, Bella's, my friends' houses. You know, the usual places.

Emmett: Hey! You forgot something! (Masen turns in his seat to eye his uncle)

Masen: Oh, really? Like what, Smarty Spice?

Emmett: Hello? What about my place? We always have a blast when you hang out there!

Masen: Yeah, 'cause I'm there! I bring the fun!

Emmett: Whatever. You know you love me more than the rest of the family.

Masen: Not. But you just tell yourself whatever it takes to get ya through the night, Uncle Em.

Emmett: I'll remember that next time...

Masen: When, next time? (At this point I feel like I'm watching a frickin' tennis match!)

Emmett: The next time you want something from your cool Uncle Emmett that no one but me will give you. That next time. (Em goes back to his magazine and Masen turns back to me.)

Masen: So, what's next?

Liz: Ummm, here's a fun one from another big fan, LuvBethie. She wants to know if you could have one wish, what would you wish for?

Masen: Just one? Don't you usually get like, three?

Liz: I don't know! I'm just repeating the questions I was asked to ask.

Masen: Well, is she like stingy or something? Why only one?

Liz: Again, I didn't write this one, M. Take it up with Bethie if you think she's gypping you! Hahaha!

Masen: Humph, I think she's keeping the other two for herself.

Liz: Maybe? So, what would you wish for?

Masen: More wishes.

Liz: No fair wishing for more wishes!

Masen: (Giggles infectiously) You never said I couldn't wish for more wishes!

Liz: That's a standard rule, and you know it, Little Man!

Masen: Fine! I'd wish LuvBethie wasn't so stingy with the wishes she's handing out. I want three!

Liz: Alright, you can have three wishes. Now what would you wish for?

Masen: Yessss!!!! (As his fist pumps into the air.) Okay. Um, first I'd want a dog, exactly like Mr. Darcy. He's the best dog ever.

Liz: He is pretty amazing....

Masen: I know! Next, wow, this is harder than I thought!

Liz: "With great power comes great responsibility."

Masen: Did you just quote Spider Man?

Emmett: Yeah, Busy Lizzy, did you?

Liz: Uh, I think I did. Is there a problem with that?

Masen and Emmett: (in unison) No!

Masen: Anyway, I guess my second wish would be for the most awesome gaming system in the universe!

Emmett: Now there's a wish I can get behind! (They "air fist bump," and as corny as it is, it's actually endearing.)

Liz: Okay, First wish- cool dog. Second wish- "most awesome gaming system" the universe has ever seen. Got it. Third wish?

Masen: That's easy. A magic genie in a lamp. (I must look confused, because M clarifies...) You know, so I can have more wishes!

Liz: I could object, but I'll let that one slide 'cause it was so darn creative!

Masen: Thank you.

Liz: Your Uncle Emmett's nick name for me... now that's a different story. Really, Em? Busy Lizzy's the best you can do? I'm disappointed.

Emmett: Oh, I'll do better next time, I promise.

Liz: I won't hold my breath.

Emmett: What's that supposed to mean?

Liz: Let's face it, Em, E.E. Cummings you're not.

Emmett: (under his breath) That's not what Rose says....

Liz: Okaaayyyy... TMI.Back to the interview. Here's one, Masen: What's your biggest fear?

Masen: Wow, well it's kind of embarrassing....

Liz: You don't have to answer it if you don't want to, hon. I was just curious.

Masen: No, it's okay. I guess that would be two things actually. I have this fear of falling from someplace high. I don't mind heights so much, just falling from them. Like, I can stand at the balcony and be fine, but I don't like feeling like I could fall from somewhere up high. Know what I mean?

Liz: Yeah, I do. I hate heights, myself. I can't stand on a chair without getting dizzy! That's nothing to be embarrassed about, M. Lots of people are scared of heights.

Masen: Well, I'm also kind of scared of the dark. Mostly when I'm not used to a place. I don't sleep with a night light or any sissy crap like that. I'm just not comfortable being in the dark in strange places.

Liz: I understand that, too. No one likes the feeling of being disoriented. The dark is the quickest way to make a person feel exactly that way. You shouldn't be embarrassed.

Emmett: How much longer you think this interview's gonna last, Lizard Lips?

Liz: That's just rude, Emmett.

Emmett: Hey, that's just who I am.

Liz: Fine, I can accept that. I just hope you can accept that you'll be in a pink tu-tu in the next chapter.

Emmett: Don't throw a tizzy, Lizzy! I was just asking. Inquiring minds wanna know these things.

Liz: I know your mother taught you better manners than that, Emmett. Besides, we only have a few more questions left. Don't get your panties in a wad.

Emmett: Oh, don't worry, I'm not wearing any.

Liz and Masen: (in unison) TMI!

Liz: Alright, Masen, this next one is kind of serious, and if you don't wanna answer it you don't have to, okay?

Masen: Just ask me the question, Lizzy.

Liz: Okay, so, Betty was wondering what you thought about your mom moving back to town?

Masen: Um, that wasn't what I expected you to ask me. Well, I guess it could be a good thing. I never get to see her. It's been, like, two years since I saw her last time. But it'll be an adjustment. It's no secret that she and Dad don't get along. Dad tries to be nice when I'm around, but Jess doesn't always make it really easy to be nice to her.

Liz: You call her "Jess?"

Emmett: (From across the room) I call her the Wicked Bitch of the West.

Masen: Shush it, Em. Yeah, she's always insisted that I call her by her name. I've never called her "Mom." I actually called Aunt Alice "Mom" when I was little. But then I grew up and realized that she was my aunt, not my mom.

Liz: So what do you see happening when Jess moves into town?

Masen: Honestly, I don't know. She's my mom, but I really don't see her that way. Aunt Alice and Aunt Rose have always been moms to me. I guess it just depends on how she acts when she gets here, you know? It would be really weird if she came into town and just expected to be a mom all of a sudden. If she wants to be like a friend or an "aunt" then that might be okay. But we'll just have to see.

Liz: That's fair enough. Here's a lighter subject: Bethie was wondering what you least like to do.

Masen: Uh, go to the dentist. I think that's a given for all kids.

Liz: Most adults, too! What would get you to do it willingly?

Masen: A hundred bucks.

Emmett: That's my man! (Snickers and air fist bumps, again.)

Liz: And here's the last question: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Masen: Happy.

Liz: Wow, M, that's kinda profound.

Masen: Not really. I just want to be able to have fun. Like my Dad: he does what he loves, he's always done what he needed to be happy and make sure we were both taken care of. Now that he has B he seems happier than I ever saw him before. He's my best friend, and I want to be just like him when I grow up. Is that profound?

Liz: I think so, but I'm an old broad so I try to find meaning in things that probably have no meaning what-so-ever.

Masen: Nah, you're not so old.

Liz: You're a sweetie, M. Thanks for talking with me today. You did a great job!

Masen: Anytime, Lizzy! This was fun! (Masen reaches out to offer me a fist to bump. I, of course, accepted. And I think I just melted!)

Liz: Awesome! Could you give something to Mr. Darcy for me?

Masen: Sure! What is it? (M hops off the couch and stretches before I give him a package wrapped in butcher paper.)

Liz: A tasty bone!

Masen: Oh, he'll love this! Thanks, Liz.

Liz: No problem. Have a safe ride home.

Emmett: Oh, he's in good hands.

Liz: Don't I know it...

Emmett: Are you flirting with me, Lizzy?

Liz: Who, me? Never! You're a claimed man. (I walk them to the door and Emmett bends down to whisper to me.)

Emmett: Admit it, you wanna take me for a spin.

Liz: I'll do no such thing.

Emmett: (As he walks out the door.) But you didn't deny it.

Liz: I plead the fifth. (That's when I reach out and pinch his butt.)

Emmett: Lizzy!

Liz: What? "Freedom of the press," and all. Bye, Masen! Talk to you soon!

Masen: Later, Liz! (I watch them climb on Em's bike and drive away, Masen clinging to his uncle for dear life, and Emmett smirking as they turn and head towards the beaches.)

I hope you all enjoyed this little glimpse into the inner thoughts of our youngest Cullen. I loved having the opportunity to spend some time with just him. Well, mostly just him. Special thanks to Betty, Bethie, and Barbi, my "B Girls," for submitting fun, thoughtful questions for Masen to answer. I love you ladies!

Extra special thanks to TwilightMundi for making this legible. GG to the rescue once again! Thanks, dear. I love what you do to my words.