Flash Fiction Month 2019, Day 10
O Muse! Sing of Seymour, and his crazy explanations. Seymour, his boasts so outlandish that Chalmers must eat of the lotus ere he suffer them. Verily, when the superintendent hears the principal’s exaggerations, the city shall be riven with strife.
Our tale begins at the end of a great journey: Chalmers arrives, despite his directions.
In way of tribute, Seymour promises an unforgettable luncheon.
But hubris begets nemesis. Seymour cries to the gods: his roast is ruined! Flames like dogs’ tongues lick the fatted meat.
Yet Seymour was devilish—delightfully so—and soon devised a plot. As Prometheus set out meagre bones as an offering to mighty Zeus, so would he purchase fast food and disguise it as his own!
Here came Chalmers, calling Seymour by name. Caught with one foot out the window, his scheme was surely exposed.
Still, Seymour’s words were sweeter than a siren’s song: he claimed that this was isometric exercise, even inviting the superintendent to join him.
However, Chalmers was not deceived so easily as Polyphemus by Outis. He demanded to know why smoke billowed from Seymour’s range.
This, Seymour said, was not smoke but steam—steam from the steamed clams they were having!
Satisfied, Chalmers took his leave, and Seymour too: he ventured forth through the window to the house of the green-haired harlequin. Here, like Orpheus claimed Euridice, Seymour claimed a luncheon fit to serve his guest. Four mouthwatering hamburgers he brought back to the world of the living.
But as Odysseus found himself faced with Penelope’s suitors after his return from Troy, so too did Seymour face a new challenge when he came from Krusty Burger. Chalmers’ suspicions were aroused: had Seymour not said they were having steamed clams?
Yet like the roast in the oven, Seymour’s cunning was not extinguished: “Steamed hams,” he proclaimed, a Grecian name for the meat of burgered ham.
“Really?” asked steadfast Chalmers. “Well I’m from Ithaca and I’ve never heard anyone use the phrase ‘steamed hams.’”
“Oh, not in Ithaca, no,” said Seymour. “It’s an Agistri expression.”
Here once more Chalmers called Seymour into doubt, for he knew the feasts of Krusty and this repast was similar indeed.
Unswayed, Seymour claimed it was a recipe passed through the ages from father to son.
Yet still Chalmers protested, for who would call such meats “steamed hams” when they were obviously grilled?
Now did Seymour’s plan unravel. His tongue served him no longer, and he had need to retreat into the kitchen to collect himself, though that room now burned brightly.
After mere moments, he returned, declaring his fatigue.
At first it seemed the superintendent would acquiesce, but “By the gods!” he cried, “What is happening in there?”
Two words then Skinner spake: “Aurora borealis?”
Here Chalmers was astounded: Aurora borealis? At this time of year, at this time of day, localised entirely within the kitchen of his host? He begged to see it.
Yet “No,” said Skinner, and bade Chalmers take his leave.
This he did, and it seemed the principal’s struggle was won.
But “Seymour!” cried his honoured mother. “The house is on fire!”
“No mother,” said he, “it’s just the northern lights.”
Here, at their parting, steadfast Chalmers declared to devilish Seymour that he was an odd fellow but he steamed a good ham.
Seymour took the blessing gladly, and there was then a covenant of peace between the two contending parties.