This week’s word prompt at Mutant 750 is the word fragment and the visual is Botticelli’s Allegory of Spring (La Primavera), below.
We join the Lindborg family in Florence, Italy on the second leg of their family vacation. Here, at the Uffizi Museum of Art, Françoise and Sebastian try their inept hands at art interpretation. Let’s listen in:
“Dude!” Sebastian whispered and pointed to La Primavera. “Check this one out!”
Françoise’s gaze followed the direction of his brother’s outstretched finger. “Whoa! All the girls look pregnant. Even that little dude with the bow and arrow has a gut on him.”
“Yeah, an’ it looks like he’s gonna fire an arrow right into that one chick’s head. What’s up with that?”
“And he isn’t even wearing a diaper! Those people are really taking a chance letting him fly around with a gut full of gas like that.”
Reading each other’s minds, the boys looked at one another with broad grins and cried “SPLAT!!” in unison.
Their boisterous and uncontrollable laughter was met with the usual “knock it off, or I’ll kill you” look from Mr. Lindborg.
“Um, what’s this picture called, I wonder.” Sebastian commented through muffled laughter.
“Françoise read the caption beneath the artwork. “It says…La Primavera…”
“Hmmm,” Sebastian assumed a contemplative posture. “Like the pasta dish Mom makes once in awhile? No wonder everybody’s bloated!”
Sebastian’s revelation, of course, incited another round of raucous laughter. This time, it was Mrs. Limborg who turned around to glare at her sons, as Pendragon struggled to escape her arms and head toward the boys and their laughter.*
“Hey, look at the guy on the left.” Françoise still giggled. “Why’s he pointing at that piece of fruit? Nobody’s even paying attention to the dude.”
“Maybe he’s trying to make friends with the tree because nobody else will talk to him,” Sebastian reasoned.
“Yeah, but why? That’s what I wanna know.”
“Aw, man. I bet I know!” Sebastian’s eyes lit up. “He’s the one that got ‘em all pregnant, and now they’re mad at him!”
“Hey, yeah!” Françoise exclaimed. “And that little guy with the gut isn’t really aiming at the chicks. He’s the hit man they hired to off that guy. He’s gonna blast that arrow right through his skull while he’s talking to the tree!”
There was a moment of silence as the boys let this new information sink-in.
“Dude.” Sebastian began in a solemn tone. “I think we’re about to witness a murder.”
Françoise nodded and swallowed hard. He opened his mouth to speak as the museum director approached.
“I notice you boys have spent quite a bit of time discussing this painting,” the director smiled. “Are there any questions I can answer for you?”
“Uh, n-no Sir,” Sebastian managed. “I think we’ve figured it out.”
“Excuse me,” Françoise interjected. “I have a question.”
“Certainly, Son!” The director replied eagerly. “What’s on your mind?”
“The guy who painted this…was he ever caught?
“Caught?” The man was clearly perplexed. “Caught for what? I’m afraid I don’t understand…”
“For murder, of course.” Françoise explained. “That little dude gonna fragment that guy’s skull!”
*(It is characteristic of juvenile homunculi to gravitate toward activity and melee.)
They say the truth hurts,
(and they’re right!)
so I don’t tell it.
But, since you insist…
Your father is our
My silence earns us a grand
which is how you got the Maserati.
You happy now?
“Dude!” Sebastian elbowed his brother. “Can you believe we’re on our way to Ireland?”
“I can’t get my seatbelt fastened!” Françoise fumbled with the clasps. “Here, hold Pendragon.”
Sebastian gently hoisted the mini-man from Françoise’s lap. “There’s the little-bitty monkey-guy…goo-goo!”
“Don’t call him that! It hurts his feelings.”
“I’m just joking, Dude. Monkey…homunculus…get it?”
“Duh?” Françoise rolled his eyes. “‘Okay. I’m all set.”
“Here ya go.” Sebastian passed Pendragon back. “You know what else I can’t believe?”
“That Mom & Dad let him come with on our family vacation–even though we have to sit in coach while they’re in first class.”
“Mom’s crazy about him, Dude!” Françoise grinned. “No way would she trust a babysitter with this precious little bundle.” He bounced Pendragon on his knee. “Whee! Horsie ride…badoomp badoomp badoomp….”
“Yeah, that’s weird in itself.” Sebastian squinted his eyes. “Personally, I thought she’d be grossed out. I mean…wtf, right?”
“Whaddaya mean, grossed out & wtf?”
“Look at him. Yikes!” Sebastian chuckled. “And he wasn’t even potty-trained, for Cripe’s sake!”
“Neither were we, Sebo…if you recall.” Françoise countered. “Anyway, Mom’s maternal instincts must have kicked in. Notice how she sent Dad for diapers and Gerbers before he even finished his cake.”
“Yeah, then two hours later he brings back Depends™ and a T-Bone steak!” Sebastian slapped his knees. “BWAHAHAHA!”
“HAH! I know. Dad kills me.”
“Seriously, though. Do you ever get the feeling that Dad doesn’t like us?”
“All the time.” Françoise shrugged. “I think he wanted girls.”
“Oh, well! Hey, here comes the flight attendant. What should we get for Pendragon?”
“Hmmm. Well, he seems partial to the dark liquors. Remember that night he raided the liquor cabinet?”
“Yeah, and we got blamed!” Sebastian grimaced.
“Yeah, but I liked when we found him underneath the sink, playing with his toes. Mom was so proud of him. I guess it’s a big deal when babies do that.”
Sebastian shook his head. “Dude, how could he miss them? His toes are the size of my fingers!” Sebastian pressed his right hand to Pendragon’s left foot. “See? Freakin’ gunboats.”
“YeeeeeeHeeeeeeHaaaaaawwwww!” Pendragon shrieked, smiling his toothless, gummy-drool smile. “YeeeeeeHeeeeeeHaaaaaawwwww!”
Passengers in all directions turned to stare at the odd trio.
“Sebo! Knock it off!”
“Ooops!” Sebastian whispered. “I forgot he’s ticklish.”
The flight attendant approached warily.
“What can I get you bo…” She gasped as Pendragon reached his giant hand toward her flight pin. “Oh, my! What an…unusual-looking….child?”
“Yeah, he’s somethin’ else, isn’t he Ma’am?” Sebastian snickered.
“Is it, I mean he, your little brother?”
“Not exactly. Frankie here,” Sebastian motioned his thumb at François, “incuba…”
“Uh, we’d like to order some drinks, please.” François interrupted.
“I suppose…” The flight attendant eyed Pendragon with suspicion. “What would you like?”
“Two ginger ales and an Irish coffee.”
“How old are you boys?”
“I’m twelve and Sebo’s thirteen.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Oh, the Irish coffee’s not for us,” François explained. “It’s for Pendragon.”
“Pendragon.” She repeated. “That’s it’s name?
“He is not an it.” Sebastian fired back.
“Are you boys flying alone, or is a parent or guardian somewhere on this plane?”
Françoise spoke before his brother had a chance to mouth-off. “Our folks are in first class, but please don’t bother them. We’ll settle for two ginger ales and a black cuppa joe for Pendragon.”
“Coffee? For a…for that?”
“Yes, Ma’am. If Pendragon doesn’t get his java fix, he turns into a little monster!”
“Okay. I get it.” The flight attendant glanced around, knowingly. “The jig’s up, kids. Where’s the camera?”
“What are you talking about?” Sebastian inquired.
“C’mon! I’ve seen these shows a million times on TV. And this is a baby in disguise!”
“No, wait!” Françoise tried to shield Pendragon, but it was too late.
The flight attendant grabbed Pendragon’s nose and tried to remove what she thought was a mask. Pendragon, overcome with fear and cranky by nature, fought back the only way he could: by attaching his massive, blubbery lips to the woman’s forearm, and sucking. Hard.
She yelled, screamed, and waved her arms like a spastic baboon, but Pendragon
wouldn’t couldn’t let go.
“Dude!” Sebastian exclaimed. “Lookit ‘m go! He’s hangin’ on like a pit bull!”
“That’s gonna leave one helluva hickey….”