Viewers Like You

“Now me show you Elmo’s friends!” babbled the furry red puppet. Three-year-old Suzy watched raptly. Her mother Susan winced and tried to focus on her book, but the puppet’s shrill laughter made it impossible.

Muttering under her breath to avoid disturbing Suzy’s fun, Susan said, “I wish this show featured less of Elmo.” A purplish mist roiled into the living room through the air return. Suzy looked at it and then at her mother, but before either could speak a deep voice said, “Grrrrrranted!” A muscular man appeared from the mist, smiling broadly.

“Now it’s time for Indiana Elmo and the Last Who Said!” cried the red monster. “Who said that? Let’s find out!” Standing at a cobwebbed tunnel, Elmo said, “The patient one will pass.” He paused a heartbeat. “Okay, Elmo’s done being patient!” Elmo ran forward and a scythe severed Elmo’s head at the neck. Elmo screamed and blood shot everywhere. As the puppet flailed, Susan saw foreshortened fingers gushing red, lost in the red fur of the monster.

Suzy screamed along with Elmo. Susan turned on the genie in the fury, but before she could speak he said, “Buh-bye, now!” and burst into a fading purple fog.

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