Julie Mark Cohen becomes Intergalactic…AGAIN–the contest


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?”

“DeNovo Finis.”


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Copyright 2015 by Julie Mark Cohen

18 thoughts on “Julie Mark Cohen becomes Intergalactic…AGAIN–the contest

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Let’s begin this review by considering the name of “De novo” which in Latin as a law term means, anew or starting over, thus theoretically again. I enjoyed once more the clever hyphenated words and images projected as vision to the imagination of this reader.

    The reader if a regular to A Word With You Press contests will either be fond of this piece as to whether they are a Seyfert fan or not. With that said, Seyfert is a Sci-fy story combined with summer camp follies that are a swimming success after almost drowning.

    • Tiffany V says:

      Kenneth, you nut. I love it. My imagination went into Beatles-mode conjuring up the images of Seyfert and his situation. This was like reading jazz when you’re a musician. The progression never goes where you expect it to.

      BTW – Skinny, sleek, and webbed is how I often feel, especially when I’m getting dressed up for no one.

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    YESSSSS you did it!!! I recognized that little bulbous creature. Good to see Seyfert learning the earthly fun of water floating. Love it Julie.

    • Julie says:

      Diane, thank you. A long-time writer friend in northern California was the first among us to post the story about the pink-ish octopus. I shared the story, but it seems that I couldn’t let the creature disappear into the night. He needed more publicity and a name.

    • Julie says:

      Sheri, Thank you!
      I have about 90 stories, so far — some drabbles (100 words), some flash fiction (up to 1000 words) and a few up to 4500 words — all chronological. I’m aiming for 75,000 words total.
      IF Thorn permits a second entry to the “Again” contest, Seyfert will appear… again… If not, then he’ll reappear when he finds an appropriate occasion.

    • Julie says:

      Sal, thank you. Your idea of a children’s book is a good one, but not for Sefyert. Most of his stories are inappropriate for children. Also, the story endings (feghoots, twists, surprises) are geared for adults.

    • Julie says:

      Monica, thank you. Are you sure you want a SeyTTT-ian? They are what we call “high-maintenance.” There’s more that may not appeal to you…

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