A Summertime Treat


I think I have mentioned that I have a kids blog which I work on every once in a while. It’s fun to change up your writing style and it’s particularly fun to write for kids. Since I have nothing for you today and lots of work on my desk for tomorrow, I thought I would share a story I have been working on for a while. I’m not sure all the technical details are correct yet, but it’s a refreshing little summer treat:

Zombie Snowman at Large

“He needs mittens,” Emily said, standing back with her hands on her hips. “Definitely.”
“All we have are gloves,” answered Sujana, “They will work.” She pushed her black-rimmed glasses up on her face and reached into the box. “Here…”
“Really, his face is pretty uncreative. He needs something….” Emily mused. “Wait! I know. The Halloween costume box. Be right back.” She took off at a run toward the house, her arms flailing and her feet flinging behind her. Good thing she didn’t try out for Track this year, thought Sujana. She busied herself making snow ears for their snow dog. A snow man’s best friend.
She was back in a flash with the box. “Got it. There should be some great stuff in here…..let’s see….vampire teeth, fake eyelashes, my Bell wig from second grade that my brother turned into a Mullet…OOOO and look! The spiked dog collar he used too. He was supposed to be a rock star from the 1980′s.” She gave out a little snort with her laugh.
“Perfect. Let’s use it all!”
They contemplated putting the spiked dog collar on the snowman, but opted for the vampire teeth and mullet wig instead. The huge, fake eyelashes gave his charcoal eyes a strange, wicked, Sponge Bob sort of look.
“Wow, he looks evil.” Sujana mused.
“Yeah. Creepy,” Emily agreed, “It’s almost looks like he’s glowing….” The two girls made scary faces at each other.
“Do you hear that? That growling? Where is that coming from?” Sujana looked around.
“Oh, come on Su-Jay, stop being stupid.” But as soon as the words were out of her mouth Emily felt an icy, cold glove on her shoulder.
“RUN!” Yelled Sujana, but Emily was already ahead of her screaming. Before she could move she felt something pulling on her foot. The snow dog had grabbed onto her boot tassels. He shook his head from side to side and growled angrily at the little puff-balls. Sujana looked up to see the snow man moving toward her. ‘How was he doing that?’ she thought to herself.  When he reached his glove clad branch-arm out toward her she gave the snow dog a swift kick, then another and another. He finally let go with a yelp and she took off running as fast as she could.
“Get in the house! Get in the house!” Emily frantically opened the kitchen door.  Turning back toward her friend she gave a wave as if she could pull Sujana like she was playing a Wii. “Hurry! Hurry!” she demanded, wiggling with fear. It looked like she had to pee. Sujana ran through the door into the kitchen and Emily slammed it behind her.
“What is going on?!” She huffed. “Our snowman is a zombie!! The snow dog too!!”
“I know, I know!! Just calm down!!” Emily screamed. “Ok….hhhuuuu….hhhhuuuu….ok. He’s outside, we’re inside. It’s okay…we just need to think about this situation rationally. What makes snowmen turn into zombies?”
“Are you kidding?! How would I…..wait….maybe I do know. Chemicals. Isn’t it always chemicals or radiation?”
“Sujana, we didn’t make our snowman out of radioactive sludge. Just plain old snow on the ground.”
“Ah! Let me ask you this…did your dad fertilize this fall?”
“Yeah, he always does. Oh! You’re right! Chemicals…”
“Exactly.”
“I need to have the global warming talk with my parent. So, how do we kill it?”
“I don’t know. I’m not a zombie expert like my brother.” Sujana pushed up her glasses, crinkling her nose at the thought of her brother.
“Too bad he isn’t here.” She realized that may have sounded a bit more sincere than she was comfortable with. Manish was so smart, in spite of the fact that he played too many video games, and he would know what to do.
“Wow, never thought I’d hear you say that.” Sujana said. Emily could hear a bit of real surprise in her voice. She just shrugged in response.
The girls both stared at each other. An eerie silence filled the room. “I got it!” Emily finally proclaimed, “we’ll Google it. Google knows everything.”
“Right.” They hurried through the kitchen and down the hall to Emily’s room.
“Well?” Sujana was getting impatient. “Who know where that zombie snowman might have gone off too. He could be devastating the entire neighborhood by now, blowing up cars or eating unsuspecting passersby or kitty’s.”
“Nothing but stupid Youtube videos and video games.” Emily clicked frantically. “Apparently we need an AK-47, which is a no-go. My parents don’t believe in owning firearms and I can’t say I blame them.”
“We wouldn’t know how to use it anyway. We need weapons we know how to use.” Her snow boots made a cold, creaking sound as she paced the short distance between the bed and the closet.
“That’s it!” Emily rolled back her computer chair and reached under her desk. “This is my dance revolution mat. Maybe if we can implant a biochip into the snowman we can use gesture technology to control him. What do you think?’ She looked tentatively at her friend who stood staring at her with a very long, uncomfortable pause.  Say something, she thought. Her foot began tapping unconsciously.
“Yeah sure. Why not? After all, compared with the probability that a zombie snowman might exist, I think the probability of this working sounds much more plausible.”
“Ok!” Emily said enthusiastically and with some relief. “Wait, what about the dog?”
“Yeah, Dog Zombie…” Sujana pushed up her bottom lip and looked down at her de-tasseled boot. Those little puff balls were the whole reason she had got them. Now they were ruined. “What kind of cell phone do you have?’
“An iPhone, of course. Why?”
“4s? With Siri?”
“Yeah. I just got it. I dropped my other phone in the toilet. Luckily my mom got a deal…but, again… why?”
“Good. . So, here is what we are going to do. We (she pointed to herself) are going to implant your (she pointed at Emily) cellphone into Dog Zombie’s head and hope that he obeys voice commands.”
Emily was the quiet one now. She mulled over the consequences of this action in her head. She would get grounded, lose privileges or she could get eaten by a rabid, zombie snow dog.  ”Ok,” she shrugged. “My mom is not going to be happy with me. AND, all of this is conjecture, but then again, what other ideas do we have?”
“None,” Sujana answered definitively, pushing her black rimmed glasses up on her nose for the hundredth time.
“I’ll see what I can do with the Dance Revolution mat…. you see if you can come up with a way to get this done without getting us killed. Or worse yet, zombified….. “

Part II: Dog Zombie Attacks!

“You know, Emily. We haven’t even considered the rational response here.”
Emily pushed her barely-brown bangs out of her face and looked up from the Dance Revolution mat. “What rational response?” She asked her friend.
“Why don’t we just call the police? Or my dad. He is probably already home.”
“What are we going to say? ‘Yes officer…that’s right, zombie snowman….Yes, sir, and his little dog, too.’ Really?”
“I see your point,” Sujana said with a sigh. “It’s just that…well, I mean I’m confident that the biochip thing will work, but where are we going to get one? And will the moisture from the snow short out the iPhone?” She began pacing again back and forth, her boots creaking loudly on the wood floor. “I hate to say it, but I think we need help. I’m not sure I can do this, Em, I mean I only have a B+ in Science and I’m really not a great dancer.”
“Listen, Su-Jay, we all have our moments of self-doubt. Who won the gold medal in the spelling bee in 3rd grade? You. Who is captain of the Chess team? You. Who was the only person in the history of Middleton Middle School to ever to get an A+ out of Mrs. Thomas’ class? You. If you can do that you can do anything. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the dancing.”
“Thanks, Em.” Sujana said with a little smile. She was pretty proud of that A+ after all.
CRASH! CRASH! MEEEROW! HHHHIIIIIISSSSS. It came from the living room. GGGGGRRRRRRR.
“Albert!” Emily cried out, “it’s Albert.” Both girls ran out of the room, slide around the corner and raced down the hall back to the kitchen. Albert the cat was perched on the kitchen counter. His long hair puffed out as he hissed and growled at Dog Zombie. The little dog growled back.
“How did he get in?!”
“Cat door.” Emily replied, pointing a finger at the kitty escape hatch her dad had put in. “What are we going to do?!” Dog Zombie began barking furiously and obnoxiously.
“We need to catch him! I know! Doesn’t your dad fish?”
Sujana didn’t need to say any more. Emily ducked passed the dog and practically threw herself through the door to the garage. In seconds she burst back through with net in hand.
“Get him! Get him!” Sujana was screaming and kicking as Dog Zombie pulled furiously on the remaining puff-ball on her left boot. Swoop. Emily missed. He had seen her coming a took off down the hall.
“Where’s your phone?”
“In my room, charging.” Emily called, starting after Dog Zombie.
Sujana turned completely in the opposite direction and began digging through the kitchen drawers.
Emily stopped. “What are you doing!? I said it’s in my room!”
“I just had a thought about the iPhone. We could wrap it in cellophane. My uncle Chetan does it with all of his remote controls and electronics. The signal should still get through….I think.”
“Smart.” Emily admitted frankly before she took off again after the little snow menace.
Sujana tore a piece of cellophane and dashed down the hall toward Emily’s room. She could hear a commotion in the bathroom. GGGRRRRR. RRRUUUUF! “Stop moving, you little….dog!” Emily yelled. BANG! THUD! Then she heard the toilet flush. That was odd.
‘How does my uncle get this stuff to stick so well?’ Sujana thought as she struggle with the iPhone. Dog Zombie rushed past the door down the hall with Emily hot on his tail and frantically swinging the fishing net. Another crash.
“I got him!” Emily screamed in triumph. Sujana arrived to see the little ankle-biter wriggling under the net. “Ok. Here is what we are going to do. You get ready and when I lift the net, you shove the phone into his head.”
“Why do I have to do the dangerous part?” Sujana asked.
“Hey, like this isn’t dangerous!” She shook the pole attached to the net for effect. “You weren’t just in the bathroom…”
“Ok, ok.”
“On the count of three. Ready? One….two…..three!” Emily lifted the net and Sujana plunged the iPhone into dog Zombies head. Direct hit.
“Stop!” Emily yelled. Dog Zombie froze.
“OMG. It actually worked….” Sujana stared in disbelief. Dog Zombie cocked his head and lifted a little snow ear toward her. “Sit.” Dog Zombie sat. “Roll over.” He did a quick little roll on the floor and popped up again, looking up at her with anticipation.
“Play dead.” said Emily. Dog Zombie flopped onto the floor.
“Funny.”
“Now we just need to take care of the Zombie  Snowman. I don’t think it’s going to be this easy…”
“Me either,” Sujana replied. “Hey. What was with the toilet flushing?”
“You don’t want to know.”

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of Zombie Snowman at large: Penguin Problems…

__________________________________________________________________________

Mango Strawberry Snow Cones – a perfect summer treat from the food network.

  • Ice
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 lime juiced, plus wedges for garnish

Fill a food processor with ice. Process until the ice is very fine, like snow. Add the mangoes and strawberries and pulse to blend. Pile the crushed ice into dessert glasses or dishes and squeeze over the lime juice. Garnish with lime wedges; serve immediately.

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