Seyfert, my dear Literati, survived our hiatus from cyberspace just fine. He is the lovable character of Julie Mark Cohen’s imagination. He is everyman, not quite fitting in but too sweet to leave out in the cold on a rainy night. And so cuddly!
Here he is getting into the swim of things in our contest that requires the writer to build a story around a single word: AGAIN.
Seyfert Attends an Intergalactic Summer Science and Swim Camp
by Julie Mark Cohen
“Young fellow. Why are you crying?” said a pink-dappled orange, bulbous-bodied octoped, sporting purple flip-flops, his head turbaned in an enormous rainbow-colored paisley towel.
Sitting, slouched over, Seyfert grabbed his uncoiled, soggy eyebrows and moved them off his lap. He peered past his muddy toes and stared at the third-meter tall being. “You must be the camp clown.”
“Not quite. I understand you’re having some problems learning how to swim?”
Seyfert pushed himself up, exacerbating his asymmetric torso. “I can’t tread water. I sink.”
“Nobody sinks. You have lungs, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course, but I keep finding myself at the bottom of the lake.”
“Did you try the breast stroke or butterfly stroke?”
“Look at me,” Seyfert said, standing, presenting his three unequal legs, one at a time, trying to balance himself with arms flailing. “I can’t do symmetric strokes.”
“Did you try the freestyle stroke, backstroke, or sidestroke?”
“Yes. Each time I spun around the longitudinal axis of my torso, then sank, again,” Seyfert said, wiping new tears from his eyes. “How am I going to earn my swimming badges?”
As the creature removed his head towel, he motioned for Seyfert to sit down. “May I wrap this around you? It won’t hurt.”
Without responding, the creature kicked off his flip-flops and scurried around Seyfert. “This is a high-tech material that is form-fitting, waterproof, and eliminates drag from your shape and profile, friction, and waves.”
“I feel funny. Skinny. Sleek. Webbed?”
“Let’s try swimming.”
“No. I’ll sink.”
“Impossible. You’re buoyant now.”
The creature climbed to the apex of Seyfert’s head. “The view from up here is spectacular,” he said as he nestled his body among Seyfert’s three unequal cranial protuberances, dangling his legs. “Let’s go swimming!”
With curiosity etched onto his face, Seyfert complied, ambulating in a SeyTTT-ian gallop tempered with a vertically-plumb trot.
Once in the lake, the creature disembarked and demonstrated his cyclic swimming technique: stretching his body forward, then squeezing his legs together.
Seyfert followed suit with his five limbs. “Oooo. I’m swimming! Who did you say you are?”
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Copyright 2015 by Julie Mark Cohen