Child’s Play

“Your mother was very specific!” cried Lester, the babysitter. “You two need to be in bed by 8:00 PM!”

Two boys, ages 9 and 5, sat one behind the other astride a saddle upon a massive iguana which, like the babysitter, was falling from the sky. The 5-year-old pouted, hugging his brother about the waist, with his face buried in the back of his brother’s green striped shirt. Their matching dark tresses lashed upward violently.

The iguana’s icy amber eyes challenged the babysitter with a sideways stare.

That reptile was up to no good. From the moment Lester had arrived at the Whorlsey home that morning at sunrise and Mr. and Mrs. Whorlsey departed for their day trip, that creature had been up to absolutely no good.

Having reached terminal velocity, Lester felt stationary in the sky. As if floating. It would’ve been a spectacular experience it weren’t for the wind stinging his face, painful watering eyes, clouds flashing white past his face, and his total lack of control of the situation.

He shouted above the atmosphere whistling past his ears. “Let’s go home!”

The boys wailed together, “NOOOO!!”

The iguana’s scaled bulk twisted minutely in the air and, for a terrifying moment, Lester thought it would swim away through the air, merrily leaving him behind. To fall. Alone. And most certainly die.

Sweat shone on Lester’s forehead. “L-Look, guys,” he blurted, “I personally don’t care if you stay up and extra few hours! But we can’t get caught, okay?”

The boys beamed.

This is the absolute last time I babysit for this family.

Once again at the kids’ mercy, Lester waited as the 9-year-old withdrew a magic wand made from striated crimson-and-white agate quartz. Saw the boy mouth a spell. Watched sparks flash and blue fog swirl. Avoided eye contact with the intimidating iguana.

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