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Helium-filled Fish

Faith's parents bought Anne a Nemo (from Finding Nemo, not 20,000 Leagues) balloon. Though once the domain of clowns, the balloon has managed to work up quite a scare, especially when I'm working the night shift tending to Caleb.
Last night Anne was howling non-stop for Faith's attention, which was taken up by hungry boy Caleb in the other room.
"I want Mummy! I don't want Daddy!", an extremely familiar refrain for fathers who have the audacity to think themselves adequate substitutes to motherly affection. She screamed and cried, then stood up and pointed to the door behind me.
Relief, I thought – Faith must have finally placated the younger child and was coming into the room. I turned around and instead of seeing my wife's silhouette walking through the door, a huge bulbous shadow loomed in its place. Chills ran up my spine. <em>Stupid Nemo!</em>
Just a few moments ago I was washing milk bottles at the sink, which overlooks a bar counter and into our dining room. Nemo floated from under the bar counter and stared at me with its dead, painted-on eyes.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/annegirl/2413656739/" title="Nemo Balloon by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2260/2413656739_5f407ac5d2.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Nemo Balloon" class="img-center" /></a>
Holy crap, I exclaimed to myself. The darned balloon has got to be the scariest thing in this house.
Oh wait – there's that eerie doll that Anne got for her birthday…

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