Jewel Beth Davis
and Margi Smith

Margi Smith
Inspiration piece

Working the Magic
By Jewel Beth Davis

Sylvester stood around a large table made of waterlilies and pearls many, many leagues under the ocean surrounded by all his closest friends that he’d invited to his fifteenth birthday party. Usually, birthdays and parties made him anxious but for some reason he felt unusually calm. He’d been meditating a great deal lately and he credited his new habit with his sense of reassurance and calm. There were fifteen candles around his cake made of seaweed and one in the middle for luck. He didn’t really believe in luck, unless it was the kind that you made yourself. He spent a lot of time speaking positively to himself internally while he meditated because that’s how he believed he created his own best successful future. Sylvester was a Seahorse and he bounced up and down softly in the current taking in the jolly faces of his dear friends.

Rodger the Seadog, his closest friend, stood beside him. Never a beauty, Rodger had an under bite; his pointed lower teeth protruded above his upper lip and jaw. If his skin wasn’t so pink and the insides of his ears so yellow, he would have been terribly intimidating to everyone who came in contact with him. But physical impressions were misleading, and Rodger was a dear, sweet soul and good to everyone he met. To depreciate his impression of intimidation even further, Rodger had had a pronounced lisp since he was a little seapup. Sylvester watched Rodger as he seemed to be counting the numbers of the friends who were attending.

“Rodger, what’s up with the math work at my party? There’s no need for equations. I didn’t invite Mr. Zerosky.” Mr. Zerosky was their math teacher.

“No, I know, Thyl,” Rodger said. I just wanted to make thure everyone you invited hath come.”

“Well, that’s good of you but it really doesn’t matter. If they come, they come. If they don’t, it’s their loss. More seaweed cake for everyone else.”

“Thure, thure,” said Rodger. “Abtholutely. Nothing for you to worry about. You jutht forget about it and have a good time. I hate to mention thith, but I jutht thaw Brututh the TheaMonkey dump a half bottle of Thloe Gin into the punch bowl. He’th taking off out the thide cave entranthe.”

“Hold on, hold it,” said Sylvester. “You just used the word worry at my party? Forget about Brutus and the Sloe Gin. No one uses the word worry anywhere if there’s nothing to worry about. If there weren’t, that word wouldn’t have come up.”

(Here the author intrudes to tell you, now that we know Rodger lisps, the author will no longer type the words with s in them as th. So just assume Rodger is lisping. Thanks.)

Rodger craned his neck towards the other side of the water cave. “I think I see some new party comers just arriving. It looks like the Seaworm twins.” And he took off before Sylvester could grab onto his fur coat. Sylvester thought Rodger was acting very strangely. He watched Rodger greet Sanford and Scroggle the Seaworms with warmth and gently move them into the crowd of attendees. Then he stood near the cave door counting who had come to the party and jotting their names down in his waterproof cell phone. He moved his jaw back and forth with concern and raised his thick, hairy eyebrows up and down.

Sylvester had had just about enough of this anxiety producing mystery. He was about to move to the door to confront Rodger when his good friends Seafluff Flower and Seacardinal Red moved up on either side of him, with celebratory smiles. Seafluff wanted to know when Sylvester was going to make a wish and blow out all those candles.

“Can I assist you in cutting up the cake? You know you get the first piece,” Red chirped with excitement.

Sylvester had to have help since he had no arms. “Sure. Rodger was going to do it but for some reason, he’s been standing by the door all night growling and counting.”
Seafluff glanced over at Rodger. “Yeah, I noticed that. I thought he was acting a little out of the ordinary. Hey, Syl, I know you said no gifts, but I didn’t buy it. I made you something.” She produced a beautiful handmade heart made out of silver sea weeds and she pinned it to his chest. “Hope you like it.”

Sylvester’s eyes bugged out. It was exquisite. He blushed. “Oh, wow. It must have taken you a really long time to make. I totally love it. Thanks, Fluff.”

Something caught their attention. The three of them brought their focus to the albino seabeaver named Scooter swimming hurriedly in and out of the celebrants.

“Hey, wait a second. I didn’t invite him! What’s Scooter doing here?” said Sylvester.
Red the seacardinal hopped from one foot to the other. “It’s a good thing you didn’t invite him. Wherever he goes, the next thing you see is the Seawitch!”

“Oh no!” said Seafluff.

The seawitch was a dangerous, threatening being who was dressed in black from head to toe. Her headdress of glittering black cloth extended about a foot to both the right and the left. All that you could see of her was her pointy, angry features and glittery eyes. All the sea teens avoided running into her as best they could.

The three friends watched as Rodger made a grab for Scooter to stop him from escaping but failed. He was clearly going to report the party to the Seawitch, that she hadn’t been invited to. Sylvester finally figured out what Rodger had been doing all night. The partygoers spontaneously broke into singing Happy Birthday to you!

The three near the cake weren’t singing but were on alert. Then the waters in the cave went black and cold and the singing went silent all at once.

The Seawitch appeared at the party out of nowhere. She had grown in size and loomed large over everyone at the party. Scooter waited beside her, a triumphant grin on his face.

“So,” she screamed, “you have a party, and you have the nerve not to invite me!” She threw sparks of lightning across the room. Party favors blew up or burned even in the water. The guests screamed. Sylvester was horrified. What had happened to his joyful fifteenth birthday party? Rodger was surreptitiously moving towards the witch with low growls, his teeth sparkling as he crept along.

Sylvester saw that she was much younger close up than he’d realized. She must have been a teen like the rest of them.

“I’ll destroy all of you and your paltry cake too!” the Seawitch screeched.

Rodger had crept silently right next to the Seawitch now with his mouth wide open. His teeth flashed and drool dripped nonstop from his mouth. His pink tongue pushed out. He was ready to pounce.

Sylvester abhorred violence and decided to try something else. He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly.

“Sorry for the oversight,” he said. He gestured to the party. “I didn’t know your address or your name.”

The Seawitch hesitated, then sank down to normal size. “Sonya,” she said.

“Well, Sonya, would you be willing to help me blow out the candles and cut the cake into slices? It’s too much for me to do alone. Considering we seahorses don’t have any arms.” Syl flashed her a smile that seemed an apology for his flaws. It allowed her an opportunity to save face.

The Seawitch thought about it for a moment. “Yes, I suppose so,” she said.

Seafluff poked Sylvester. “Are you really going to trust her, Syl?”

He responded in a low tone out of the side of his mouth and shrugged. “I really don’t see that I have much choice.”

It must be the meditation changing his life. Whatever it was, it was working. Or so he thought. Sonya blew out the sixteen candles without much effort. Her breath contained some flames and it burned away a little of the frosting. A few sea urchins clapped. She picked up the large knife lying next to the cake and turned with it toward Sylvester. Then she twisted it back and forth under the lights in a sort of weapon choreography. Rodger growled more loudly this time.

And she sunk the big knife deeply into the side of Sylvester’s…cake.



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One Comment

  1. Posted December 7, 2020 at 11:58 am | #

    Very clever, entertaining, and instructive. Loved it. Thank you.