Prose Header

A Surprise at Starbucks

by Bertil Falk

A Cosmic Matchmaker
appeared in issue 560.

Since Lars Parker was a Roman kind of Christian and Billie Occasion was a freewheeling non-believer who couldn’t care less, their twins, after some disagreement, were baptized by a Cardinal who had been a classmate of Billie’s mother.

To get Billie to accept her twins’ being treated with what she considered a primitive and superstitious ceremony, they had to agree to her choice of names.

“You can’t give them impossible names like Krxäzpluck and Zcåötrüx,” Lars had argued. “Especially not calling a girl Zcåötrüx.”

“Why not?” Billie had replied.

“From what you’ve told me, it’s the name of a boy.”

“And how do you know that Zcåötrüx is not a gender-neutral name, like Leigh, Jesus and Hillary?” Billie had said, adding: “You don’t.”

“Is Jesus gender-neutral?”

“Well, I meant Maria. Don’t quibble!”

The Cardinal was somewhat suspicious about the choice of names, and to get him to pronounce them properly took Billie an hour-long session. When the Cardinal suggested a concurrent wedding, then Billie kicked, stating that enough was enough.

Nobody could accuse Billie of being a perfect mother. Luckily, Lars turned out to be a perfect father. While Billie loved her kids, Lars took care of them. Every day, after Billie’s breast-feeding in the morning, Lars pushed the double stroller he had bought for 199.99 down the avenue, sometimes having a cup of coffee at Starbucks at the Empire State Building, sometimes at a coffee shop near Washington Square.

Billie had not been bilocating since her quest into the void of eternity, and she had not taken on any clients after getting pregnant. “Let’s call it maternity leave,” she said.

Everything was fine until fate showed its interesting face.

It happened one day in July around 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Krxäzpluck and Zcåötrüx were asleep in their cots. Billie and Lars were having an early lunch. New York One was on.

All of a sudden Billie stiffened and put aside her fork. On the screen was a report from Starbucks in the main lobby level of Empire State Building.

“It seems that some visitor has forgotten a baby here,” the female reporter said and a close-up showed a baby on a table, a baby who looked like Zcåötrüx.

Lars jumped up and went to Zcåötrüx’ compartment.

It was empty.

“She’s gone!” Lars screamed.

“She has been bilocating,” Billie said calmly. “We should have expected something like that. I’m said to have behaved in a similar way when I was a baby, having the ability but not being aware of it and not knowing how to handle it, just instinctively moving here and there without any other direction than visiting places where I had been. It takes time to learn how to control this particular gift of nature. By the way, how many times have you taken the kids to Starbucks?”

“Oh my God!” Lars exclaimed. “What can we do? And what about—?”

Hit by a sudden sense of fear, he turned to Krxäzpluck’s cot and found the boy awake and smiling.

“For the time being the baby will be taken care of by the child support division,” the female reporter on the screen said. “Nobody has seen who put the child here. It seems to have appeared straight out of thin air...”

“You bet she has,” Billie said. “What can we do? Good question, Lars. I think we must wait and see. I think that this problem will solve itself. “

At that moment the drama playing out at Starbucks intensified. The reporter was flabbergasted, to put it mildly. Her eyes took on that particular Bette Davis structure, popping out of their sockets in amazement.

“The baby disappeared in front of my eyes,” she screamed in a jumpy and heated way, her voice moving towards falsetto. “I don’t know what’s going on here.”

A light thud from the cot reported that the problem as predicted had solved itself. Lars took out his daughter and turned to Billie.

“What about Krxäzpluck?” he asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe bilocation is a strictly female behavior.”

Five days later Krxäzpluck proved her hypothesis to be wrong. He bilocated from his cot straight into the arms of his mother.

Copyright © 2014 by Bertil Falk

Proceed to Challenge 567...

Home Page