Seyfert Visits His Best Friend, Seyllium, for a Sleepover in the Backyard
by Julie Mark Cohen
“Muck monsters in the pond!” Seyfert screamed, galloping toward his friend Seyllium’s house.
Seyllium followed close behind. “Run for your life!”
Both yelled toward the kitchen window. “Muck monsters!”
Seyllium’s mother, Seyannie appeared in the kitchen door. “What’s going on?”
“Monsters. We saw them through the cracks in the tent.”
“Don’t be silly,” Seyannie said.
“I want Daddy. He knows how to get the monsters to leave.”
Seyannie said, “It’s late. Why don’t you two get some sleep?”
“I’m s-s-scared,” said Seyfert. “Those aren’t shadows. They’re real. They-”
“Seyfert, you must be frightened. Look at you.”
Seyfert stood in a deepening pile of black gooey flakes streaming from a chitinous patch on his torso. He turned his back toward her and smirked.
“Seyllium, you’re shaking,” Seyannie said.
“Go get Daddy,” said Seyllium, turning toward Seyfert, chuckling under this breath.
“What’s going on out here?” Seymichael stamped his three feet. “Every time we invite this young fellow to visit our son, something bad happens. Seyfert, turn and face me.”
Seyfert spun around on his longest and mid-length legs, holding his pajama toga sleeve over his mouth.
“You boys, go in the house. Seyannie, you’re coming with me,” demanded Seymichael as he grabbed two flashlights. “I need to get to the bottom of this.”
“There’s probably nothing beneath the surface. Just two boys seeing shadows in the light of the moons.”
The boys watched and listened.
“I’m afraid this won’t work,” Seyllium said.
“Of course it will work. Shhh. We don’t want them coming back too soon.”
Seymichael and Seyannie plodded across the lawn, then froze four meters in front of the pond.
“Oh, my stars! Muck monsters,” Seyannie said. “I’m going back to the house.”
“You’re staying here with me. They seem to be moving when we move,” Seymichael grabbed Seyannie’s hand. His voice softened. “I’ll protect you.”
Seyannie leaned against Seymichael, catching a glimpse of the tent’s interior. “Are they too young to program a responsive simulation?”
Inside the house, Seyfert said, “I told you it would work. Your parents aren’t arguing any more.”
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