Aloe Vera, in “Secrets”

Sid is a boy. He is playing.

Suddenly Aloe Vera arrives.

“Hello, Sid!” says Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera is a magical spirit. She is two feet tall. She wears an aloe hat.

“Hello,” says Sid.

Sid is dubious at first. Then they become the best of friends.

Aloe Vera is everyone’s best friend.

“I love you, Aloe Vera!” says Sid.

They hug.

Later, Sid grows up. Sid becomes a terrorist. Sid plots to destabilize the U.S. government.

“Are you a terrorist?” Agent Simmons asks Sid.

“No, sir!” says Sid.

It’s a clever lie to escape punishment! But it does not fool Agent Simmons.

“Lock him away,” Agent Simmons says.

Agent Simmons’ associates put Sid in a box. Then they dial the Aloe Vera hotline and hand Agent Simmons the phone.

“Hello, Aloe Vera!” says Agent Simmons. “We have a terrorism suspect—but he won’t confess!”

“I’ll help out!” says Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera runs across grassy fields. Aloe Vera runs across busy streets. Aloe Vera runs across deserted shopping malls. Her dog Lanolin barks and bounds at her heels.

Sid’s door opens. Sid looks up. He is haggard. He is hungry.

“Aloe Vera?” Sid says.

“Hello, Sid!” says Aloe Vera. “Friends tell friends about plots to destabilize the U.S. government, right?”

Sid hangs his head.

“That’s true,” he admits.

Aloe Vera taps her foot.

“Well?”

“I guess my contacts and I were going to smuggle biological weapons into Merit City under the business name Fat Beagle Industries,” says Sid. “Then we’d grandstand for the media. We were going to call our actions ‘the moral alternative’ and lobby for reduced corn overproduction!”

“I see,” says Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera nods.

“Thank you for telling me, Sid. You’re a good friend.”

“You’re a good friend, too, Aloe Vera. That secret was eating me up inside.”

Aloe Vera hugs Sid.

“I’ll tell the extra-judicial examiner you have a good heart,” Aloe Vera says.

When you have a secret
And it hurts to keep
You can tell your friends
And get some stress relief!

— A Special Aloe Vera Message to You

Later, Aloe Vera forgets all about Sid.

3 thoughts on “Aloe Vera, in “Secrets”

  1. I don’t know why, but this story made me incredibly sad.

    I guess it’s because Aloe Vera is such a jerk, forgetting about a friend like that.

  2. Somehow Aloe Vera reminds me of Thess and Kyrievo. More Kyrievo, I guess, since Thess still remembers Jane. (I begin to wonder, does Jane feel betrayed by the brothers who failed?)

    Did people poke Sid while he was in his box in Merit City? That way, there’s a terrorist in a box – and it’s Sid! Two theories in one!

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