Uncle Caleb (Calling out to the boys): Leave your bags by the door boys. It looks like you are both loaded down. In my day we never had to walk with so many schoolbooks, as a matter of fact…
Connie (interrupts him before he gets started on a long story): Uncle Caleb, these are my friends Kristov Lis and Derek Chang.
Uncle Caleb: Well boys, what a pleasure it is to meet you both. But tell me something; are any of you from Jamaica?
Derek: No, none of us are. My parents are from Hong Kong, I was born here at St. Joseph Hospital. You can almost see the building from your window.
Uncle Caleb: You know something, you are quite right. I’ve been promising myself to get to know the names of all the buildings that I can see from here, but I just never get around to it. Well, well, well, not many of us are Canadian by birth, that’s interesting. One of my greatest pleasures is meeting people from different cultures, and this is certainly the country for it. But what about you Kristov, are you Canadian born too?
Kristov: Not really, I came when I was four. My family are from Poland. We’ve been here eight years.
Uncle Caleb: Do you still remember how to speak Polish?
Kristov: Yes. We speak Polish all the time at home, but hey, I’m better in English.
Uncle Caleb: Its such an advantage to have two languages. No wonder you boys are interested in literature. I always said that Connie should continue to study the Spanish she started in Jamaica; it cannot but help to enhance her love of the written word.
(There is a knocking at the door).
Uncle Caleb: Who is it?
Aunt Rita: Its me, Rita.
Uncle Caleb (opening the door): You forgot your key?
Aunt Rita: No Caleb its just that my hands are full.
Connie said that she might bring her friends over today, so I went over to Queen Street to pick up a few Jamaican snacks.
Narrator: The friends are introduced, and everyone sits down to enjoy the snacks that aunt Rita has brought.
(Sounds of laughter, of crackling bags opening, and drinks being poured).
After the meal Uncle Caleb and Aunt Rita decide to retire to the kitchen to listen to the news on the radio. Alone with her friends, Connie immediately turns on the TV. She finds a music video channel and turns the sound down low.
(Sound of some contemporary music in the background).
Connie: Good, that sounds awesome, and now there’s no way they can hear us from the kitchen.
Derek: So what’s up? You weren’t serious about that creature you were telling us about earlier on, right?
Connie: You bet I was serious. I even have a name for it.
Kristov: Where the heck is it anyways? What’s its name?
Derek: Is it male or female? Is it dangerous?
Connie: Come on, cool it with the questions, I don’t know for sure what the creature is, or even where it is. You’ll know more about it when I call it, and you can see for yourself.
Kristov: Get out of here, that’s hysterical. You don’t really think there’s a creature here in the apartment do you? Holy! Is it wild or something? How come no one else sees it?
Connie (laughing): Don’t get so spooked. You’ll soon see that Tabix is really gentle. Its kind of cool that I’m the only one that’s seen him. But that’s only because I’ve been careful, but it’s like I can call him anytime, just watch, I’ll whistle for him right now.
(Sounds of Whistling)
Kristov (Sounds annoyed): Just as I thought, nothing happened. I don’t know why I believed you in the first place.
Derek: Yeah right, you never believed! What planet are you on anyway, Kristov? Give Connie a break. What if this Tabix thing is afraid of us? Have you thought about that?
Kristov: Well, how about calling it again?
But Connie, the first time you saw this so called creature, did it jump out of the TV to frighten you? Or did it crawl out of a nightmare in your microwave oven?
(Sound of giggling)
Connie: Cut that out Kristov. You won’t be laughing when Tabix shows up, I’d tell you all about what happened when all this began, but I hardly know where to start.
Derek: Well you did say that it started with a book, didn’t you?
Connie: That’s right Derek; it was a book from the school library, called World’s Greatest Spells. It was awesome, with a huge bunch of magic spells and stuff. But the weird thing is, I was like drawn to a section in it called Recipe For A Friend.
Derek: So what did you do, cook something up?
Bernadette Dyer is a Toronto Writer. She is the author of the short story collection, Villa Fair (Beach Holme, 2000); the novels, Waltzes I Have Not Forgotten (Canadian Scholars Women's Press, 2004) and, Abductors (Rain Publishing, 2007).
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