“But Charlie, it blew in with the wind. See? See?” He pokes his white cane into the air toward a seething mass of teeth-encrusted shadows floating in the air. It is roughly the size of my head.
“It is floating in the air, yes.” I count to twenty. “Do you know what it is?”
“Nope,” Jay says with a huge, beaming grin. “But it likes to hug a lot and! is really sad people keep running away from it.”
“And you don’t think they might have very good reasons for doing that?”
Jay scratches his head at that. “I don’t think humans have good reasons for loads of things they do, though.”
Unfortunately, that’s not really something I can argue with. “All right. We are leaving town, so we need to find a home for it and –.” I pause. “No.”
“I haven’t even asked yet! It really likes to do a sleeping in glove compartments, and our truck has one.”
“Jay. We travel too much to bring along pets.”
“But it isn a pet. It’s a friend,” he protests.
There are some times when all I can do is admit I’ve lost. “All right. It will need a name. And you’ll need to bind it to be safe and make sure it doesn’t scare humans.”
Jay scowls at that but nods, turning to the small floating cloud. “Okay. It wants to be a Carl. With a c, because it likes the sea.”
“Of course.” I head to the door, with Jay and Carl following. To my eyes Carl is now a red balloon floating from Jay’s hand. The balloon has a smiley face with sharp teeth. I don’t say a word.