“Nothing to be Afraid of”
November 1, 2014


“Come on, Skipper!” Marlene urged, pulling him toward the Halloween Haunted House in Central Park. “It’ll be awesome!”

“It’ll be pointless! Haunted Houses are so overrated!” Skipper کہا as he tried to resist Marlene pulling on his flipper.

Marlene stopped and turned toward him. “What, are آپ afraid?” she challenged.

“No, I just don’t want to waste my time wandering through a supposedly ‘scary’ house,” Skipper answered.

“Come on, I’ve been anticipating this ever since they started advertising it. I’ve never been in a Haunted House before. I don’t want to go in alone on my first time,” she begged.

“Marlene, surely you’re not afraid to go in alone,” Skipper said.

Marlene shifted. “Well, I don’t know. Maybe it will be lame. I’d just be مزید comfortable with a trusted friend at my side,” she admitted.

Skipper sighed and considered. “All right. Let’s go.”

Skipper looped his flipper in her arm and led her through the bushes so they could sneak into the Haunted House undetected سے طرف کی the humans. It was dark, with an eerie green glow against the off-white walls. They turned a corner and a coffin lit up against one wall, with a fake vampire coming out and baring his fangs. Skipper and Marlene looked at each other and laughed, barely fazed سے طرف کی the clichéd antic.

“Wow, that was just terrible. What’s next, a fake مکڑی falling from the ceiling?” Skipper کہا as they moved forward.

They continued down the corridor until they started to come upon another corner. They slowly stepped around, waiting for something to jump out at them, but so far, there was nothing but another hallway with fake مکڑی webs hanging from the ceiling.

“Come on,” Skipper said, tugging on her arm.

They walked a few مزید steps when a floorboard erupted open out of nowhere. Without seeing it coming, Skipper instinctively grabbed Marlene as she let out a gasp of surprise and turned his back on the trap. After a few moments, they opened their eyes and Marlene found herself burying her face into Skipper’s chest feathers. She looked up at him as he met her eye, and then they looked back to see a fake goblin descend back into the floorboards with the floor closing shut on سب, سب سے اوپر of him. Skipper and Marlene looked at each other again and laughed.

“Okay, that was a new one,” Skipper کہا as he realized he was still holding her and awkwardly released her.

“Yeah,” Marlene کہا with a nervous laugh. “Thanks for . . . protecting me, I guess.”

“Heh, I guess instinct took over for a سیکنڈ there,” Skipper کہا as he walked back a few steps and pressed his feet into the ground in a few places.

“What are آپ doing?” Marlene asked just as Skipper found the right place and the goblin sprang up through the floorboards again.

“There it is. Well played, humans,” Skipper said, waiting for it to go down and taking Marlene’s arm again.

“You weren’t really scared, were you?” Marlene asked as they started down the corridor again.

“Nah,” Skipper کہا without looking at her. “Just a little too quick on my feet.”

Marlene smiled. “Well, I guess it’s محفوظ to say that there really is nothing to be afraid of in this Haunted House if you’re here to protect me.”

Skipper gripped her arm a little firmer. “Correction: آپ have nothing to be afraid of at all because I’ll always protect you.”