Chapter 17, "Things Are Maybe Going to Get Happy Again"
I looked, not daring to believe. I recognized the human being sitting in the lawn chair next to Lou. I recognized her because she had a face and hair and hands and shoes, all that I had seen before in past moments of my life.
When she stood up only to drop to the ground, her entire body in the air balanced only on one hand, I knew for sure.
"Candy! What are you doing here?" In case you don't remember, Candy was Schmeertz's girl-slave.
She spun a few times, then sprung to her feet, arms crossed, and said, "Word."
"Word indeed, Candy, but that doesn't really answer my question."
Lou got up, too, wandering over to us, somehow not waking the slumbering Limbo and Larry. I thought to myself how interesting it was that all of their names started with L. Perhaps they should take that into account when naming their band. That might make a little more sense than The Heavy Sporks, but it didn't really matter, since Lou kept forgetting what they were called anyway. He approached us and high-fived me, saying, "The sun makes a shiny face at me sometimes!"
I nodded. It's true, sometimes the sun did the same thing to me. But that really wasn't the pressing issue here.
"Candy, seriously, I thought you guys were in outer space."
Candy mumbled and hissed a little. Despite being the only girl-slave I've ever met capable of real speech, she still sounded ridiculous when she tried to talk. She clamped her nose shut using her fingers and thumb, and shook her head. "Smelly."
I nodded, realizing what was probably going on.
"Ohhhhhhhh," I said. "Is something bad going to happen?"
She nodded, flinging her arms out and spinning around uselessly. "Smelly like dead fish." Then she beeped a few times for good measure.
Just then, all three of us looked up into the sky, and not because we all had psychic powers that told us when to simultaneously look into the sky, but because we all heard a rumbling noise, and the rumbling was coming from the sky. I thought fleetingly that I recognized that noise. Then I thought much less fleetingly that I recognized that noise. In fact, I acknowledged with all of my acknowledgers that I recognized that noise.
That spacey noise...
It was a spaceship. Oh, but not just any spaceship. A Zmeephish-Quian spaceship. And with our skyward-facing eyes, we watched as the spaceship maneuvered into place and hovered delicately over us, like a snowflake on a cloudy day. In March. Probably it was a Tuesday.
A beam erupted from the bottom of the ship, and in less than one second, a dark green alien stood in front of us.
He wore a blue pinstripe tux and a Fedora.
"Slap me five, my little homegirl," he said.
My innards did a weird swoopy thing. "Klaxie!" I hollered loudingly, and ran over to him, smashing myself into a slimy, tentacle-y hug. "What the crap is going on?" I cried, noting that my face grew wet with unintended tears. I blamed the Haberdashes entirely for this pathetic show of unnecessary emotion. It never would have happened a year ago.
"Well, Frig, you see, it's like this. Your friends have kidnapped Schmeertz."
"Oh," I said, letting him go. "My bad."
"Kind of it is, because we were supposed to disappear from your life forever, which is really sad for me, because I missed the crap out of Earth, you guys have the Discovery Channel, you know." He looked over my shoulder at Lou and Candy, and pointed. "What are they doing?"
I turned around and watched for a moment or two. "It looks like they're playing Miss Mary Mack."
"Ah. Is this an Earth game?"
"Indeed it is."
I saw in his eyes a glint of longing. As if he thought that perhaps, without knowing how to play Miss Mary Mack, his life was somehow incomplete. If Klaxie missed Earth this much, I wondered...
"Klaxie," I cautiously opened my mouth to say, "does...Xlormp...also miss Earth?"
Klaxie made a loud "Pssssssssssssh" noise, waved a few flippers around, and said, "No."
"Anyway, the thing of it is, Candy's going crazy without Schmeertz. Literally. We can't keep her tied down anymore, either, because she sings when she's tied down, and I don't know if you've ever heard her try to sing, but it's pretty terrible."
I took note of this, and then I took note of something else. "Hey, Klaxie, where's Monica?" Monica, you of course remember, was Klaxie's girl-slave.
"I left her on the ship. I just came down here to pick up Candy, she managed to escape her handcuffs and teleported her way out. I don't think she knows what to do with herself if she doesn't have Schmeertz around to fondle."
I nodded. "So you guys really need to get him back, huh?" I questioned sadly.
"Yes," Klaxie affirmed yessingly.
"And then you're going to go away forever again, aren't you?" I demanded bitchily.
"Yes," Klaxie lavished gooshily.
"Okay." I said it with finality. But that was stupid, because I opened my mouth to say more words. "Take me with you this time."
Klaxie perused my features, as if searching for a reason to deny my request. As if such a thing could be found on a face. As if...something else, probably, I mean, everything in life is similar to at least three other things, so probably there was something else he was "as if"ing.
Lou ran up in the middle of all this, dragging Candy by the arm, and hollered, "She's my new bass player, oy!" He patted Candy on the head, then asked her, "Would you like the key to my pineapple?"
Klaxie shrugged. "You can come," he said. "He has to stay."
I looked at Lou, who was now leading Candy around the lawn in a waltz. It looked like this physically pained her, as that position incapacitated her ability to flip over onto her head.
"It looks like he might actually help keep Candy calm, though," I pointed out.
Klaxie made a weird sucking noise with his face. Finally, he said, "Okay. You both can come."
I clapped with excited glee. Aliens! I had missed them. Maybe on the ship lived Xlormp, and I would get to see him again! And here I was, with no javelin on my person. Oh well, I thought to myself, life's full of regrets.
Klaxie clapped his flippers once, and I felt a sensation I hadn't even realized I'd sorely missed, as we all transported onto the space ship.
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