Bye Baby Bunting

By Leia Fee


Byers picked up and examined a fluffy hippopotamus briefly before replacing it on the shelf.  He stared at the array of stuffed animals and wondered how you were supposed to choose.  He shook his head and turned to ask Frohike and Langly if they had any particular preference.  Neither of them was where they had been a moment before nor were they anywhere in sight.  However a cacophony of bleeping and toneless mechanical tunes suggested that one, or both of them had found the electronic toys section.

Byers followed the sound but stopped when he passed Frohike standing in the centre of an aisle waving his hands at a shelf. 

Byers stared at him.


The shorter man jumped and spun round.

“What are you doing?” Byers asked in total bemusement.

Frohike looked momentarily embarrassed. 

“It’s a baby monitor,” he explained.  “It’s supposed to tell you when the kid wakes up.  It’s got a motion detector.”  He waved his hand over the monitor triggering it.  “See?”

Byers left Frohike experimenting with the range and sensitivity of the motion detector and continued to search for Langly. 

The electronic racket had died away and by the Byers reached the interactive toy section there was no sign of Langly.

Suddenly a familiar sounding yell echoed across the shop and somewhat apprehensively Byers hurried across to find out what had happened to Langly now.

He found him back by the soft toys, waving one of them excitedly in the air.  Byers had to stare at it for a long moment before he realised what it was.

“You’re getting that?”

Langly nodded, a happy grin on his face.

“Langly, it’s a stuffed crab in a hat.”

Langly again nodded happily.  “Clarence.”

Byers shook his head ruefully, deciding it was easier than arguing.

“All right, let’s find Frohike.  The store’s going to be closing in a minute.”

“’Kay.  You got something?”

“I couldn’t decide.  It doesn’t matter.  We’ve got Frohike’s gadget and I’m sure the baby will like the… uh… crab.”

They retrieved Frohike and the baby monitor and headed to the checkout. 

Langly put the stuffed crab on the conveyor belt with some reluctance. 

Byers flipped through the magazines on the end of the checkout and glanced through a box of clearance items.  A small flat box caught his eye and he picked it up.  Langly leaned over his shoulder to peer at it. 


Frohike moved to look at it too and smiled. 


Byers nodded.

“Yes.  I think that’ll do.”

He added the dangling star mobile to the other two items.


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