We join Sebastian and François in their shared bedroom/laboratory as they peruse one of Paracelsus’ homunculus recipes.

“So?” Sebastian persisted. “Whaddaya think? Do you wanna do it or not?”

François sighed, shaking his head. “I dunno, dude. It’s pretty creepy…”

“Of course it’s creepy. We’re not makin’ a birthday cake!”

“I know, but…like, I don’t even know what a cucurbit is. Do you —”

“A pumpkin,” Sebastian interrupted. A cucurbit is a pumpkin.”

“Yeah? Then why doesn’t the guy call it a pumpkin?”

“Well let’s see. Maybe because back then they weren’t called pumpkins?”

“Whatever.” François waved his brother’s comment away.  “What about the horse manure? Where’s that gonna come from?”

“Ummm.” Sebastian feigned concentration. “Horses?”

“You know what I mean!”

“What’s really buggin’ you, Frankie?”

“Nothin.'” François rose from his chair and began pacing the room. He jammed his hands in his jean pockets. “Nothin’s buggin’ me.”

“Uh-huh.” Sebastian folded his arms across his chest and grinned knowingly. “I bet I know what’s freakin’ you out.”

The tips of François’ ears reddened, matching his cheeks. “Shut up, Sebo.”

“You’re worried about the number three ingredient, aren’t you?”

François rolled his eyes. “I don’t even know what number three is.”


“Okay, so who’s gonna, I mean, where we gettin’ it?”

Still grinning, Sebastian cocked an eyebrow at his brother.

“No way, dude!” François countered, wide-eyed and nearly begging. “You know what’ll happen if we do that!”

We aren’t doing anything.” Sebo giggled. “It’s a solo gig.”

“Well, I’m not the one who’s gonna go blind!

“What?” Sebo squinted at his brother. “Blind? Frankie, what are —”

“I already wear glasses!Frankie blustered.People go blind from…y’know…solo gigs.”

“Who told —” Sebastian busted out laughing. “Who, toldja that?”

Frankie stood proudly with his hands on his hips and announced, “Mom.


SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman
assorted cucurbits in NC

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