Below is the first appearance of Ernesto Lacuna, in the Post Magazine. I brought the stranger-than-Petey little boy back a few times, and I gave him the strange attribute that Petey thinks he may be imaginary. His name is a reference to Lacuna, a gap or missing section in a manuscript, text or piece of music, and an obscure musical pun on the name of Cuban composer Ernesto Lacuona (boy, this gets a laff every time, but you'll recognize this). You'll notice he plays the oboe and Petey's got a trombone; this was later reversed. Please excuse the awkward formatting.
Ernesto is one of my favorite characters to write for. He's something of a Bond villain in embryo, as is evident from his remark below about the extinct volcano, and he's enigmatic enough that I can write dialog that doesn't always make sense as long as it's vaguely threatening.
Ernesto's actuality is best left unexamined, I think.
Maybe he's a wormholian who can slide between realities (I knew kids like this).
Or maybe he's a projection of the zeitgeist. Whatever, he's good for laffs when used sparingly. Some readers find him annoying, though he was a favorite of one of my best editors. Below is my favorite Ernesto appearance (available in the first CdS book or in the Golden Treasury).