A Visit From Shello

By Juli

Before Jac and I started our (award-winning) blog, I used to do all of my writing about life and child-rearing in my Facebook status, where I would regularly write long, rambling statuses that only my friends and family would be able to enjoy, FOR FREE, I might add. Now that we make the BIG BUCKS* on this blog, I figured I have to recycle some of the posts that were popular on Facebook, because recycling is IMPORTANT, if Earth Day taught us anything, which it did.

So, without further ado, here is one I wrote in January of last year. Please enjoy.

*We do not make the big bucks.

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Dusk has fallen. There have already been several attempts by the two small prisoners to bust free of their room, of the shackles of bedtime that are being forced upon them by the cruel parents who now linger, breathless in the shadows, listening for any sound that might indicate an impending jail-break. All has been quiet for several, magical minutes now. The shadow-creature parents have begun to relax, to emerge into the light, to believe that their prisoners have fallen asleep, and to silently rejoice. One of them settles at the computer, her back to the door, her ears still alert. But there is silence, and so she relaxes a bit more, believing that on this night, victory is finally hers. And then comes the sound, the slightest click as the doorknob is turned, and the gentle brush across the carpet as it is slowly drawn open. She freezes in place, her back to the door, her skin prickling. Then she hears it.

“Hello?”

The voice has the distinct chirp of a small girl’s voice, yet it is hollower somehow, as if being artificially deepened to sound like a man. The parent-creature turns to see the small girl prisoner with the blond, unruly mane of hair and the wrinkled pink pyjamas. But something’s different — perched on her face is a pair of black Groucho glasses — her small nose disguised by a larger, plastic, novelty nose.

“Hello!” she says again in the hollow, artificially deepened child’s voice. “I need to come out here for something, okay?”

The shadow-captor is bemused. “Who are YOU?” She says, straight-faced.

“Umm … I am … My name is … I’m NOT S … My name is … Shello. My name is Shello.”

“I see,” says the creature of the shadows. “Well, Shello, maybe you can get into S’s bed for me and go to sleep.”

“Well,” says Shello, “except … Well. I’m NOT S.”

“I can understand that,” says the exhausted captor, “but I really need someone to sleep in S’s bed right now, and you’ll do just fine.”

By this time the second shadow creature, the father, has emerged from his den. Both parents now stand opposite the small man-child who is known to them only as “Shello.”

“Okay … well … actually .. Um… Mommy and Daddy, it’s me, S! It’s actually S!” She speaks, and in one motion whips off the glasses and nose, her eyes and smile wide, attempting to soften any repercussions by drawing attention to the surprise and humour of it all.

“NO! Wow!” Say the parent-creatures. “Amazing! Now please get to bed.”

“Okay. Can you come fix my blankets?”

From the depths of their worn-out bones they sigh. “Yes. And NO MORE getting out of bed.”

And finally, order is restored, the small child is nestled again in her cozy prison cell, and the door closes with a sound “click.” And then the laughter comes.

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