Chapter 20, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH (or: Agonizingly Slow Things)"
The ship moved painfully slowly. It moved like a turtle who'd been maimed by a competitor in a terrible baseball bat accident, but still wanted to perform in the race, but you could tell that it was at great physical and emotional duress. I sighed agitatedly, and turned to Klaxie.
"Are we there yet?" I wondered aloud to him.
"No," he retorted.
Oh, the agony of waiting! All I could think about was slime, slime, everywhere the slime, all over my body, perhaps I would snort some up my nostrils and oh, how blissful it would be. IF XLORMP WERE STILL ALIVE BY THE TIME THIS SLOW-ASS SHIP MADE IT TO THE BLOBBERSONS.
"Klaxie!" I shrieked irritatingly. "Are we there yet?"
"NO," he worded sassily.
"AAAAAAAUGH," I moaned, incensed.
"If you're so bored, you could go hang out with Lou and Candy," Klaxie suggested.
"Klaxie, why are you being such a complete jerk right now?" I demanded.
"Because I'm trying to fly this ship and look classy in this fedora and you are totally disrupting my Chi."
"Whatevs, Klaxie, whatevs."
I slumped back in my seat, pain running through my body like tiny caterpillars with tiny knives attached to their billions of tiny little feets. I wanted to take those knives and stab Klaxie in the face a lot, it would leave little teensy holes all over him, and maybe when he drank water after, it would all spill out of his face like a fountain and it would be very funny.
I tried counting the specks on the space ceiling, and I got to six-thousand and eighty-two when I went a little stir-crazy again.
"SWEET BABY HIPPOS, KLAXIE, ARE WE THERE YET?"
Klaxie took a deep breath and let it out slowly. I could tell he was contemplating murder or something equally crappy, but he kept his cool (because Klaxie is a cool guy like that).
"Negatory, tiny human," he uttered all alien-like. "But give me five minutes. It's right around this corner."
I leapt out of my seat to look out the window. "Outer-space has corners?" I incredulized.
"No," Klaxie said, "but Planet Wibble does."
"Where the Blobbersons live. You guys incorrectly call it 'Pluto'. You also incorrectly assume it isn't a planet." He shook his head and laughed a little. "Earthlings."
I watched as Klaxie expertly maneuvered the space ship into a parking spot, and my heart titillated with anxiety and panic and joy and also I kind of had to go to the bathroom a little.
"What happens now, Klaxie?" I demanded.
"Well, I don't think Xlormp has actually gone in to see the Blobbersons yet," he surmised.
"How do you know?" I queried, amazed at his precognitive skills.
Klaxie pointed. "Because he's sitting over there, right outside their door, whimpering like a scared little baby."
I looked, and I saw him, my own, my very most precious and incapacitatingly stupendous Xlormpface. "Oh," I said.
Klaxie patted me on the back. "Hey, why don't you go run over to him very slowly, maybe yell his name a few times, shove a few people out of the way, and get to him just in the nick of time?"
I shrugged. "Okay."
Klaxie beamed me down to the planet floor. It was kind of squishy. I began propelling my legs forward, but needlessly slowly, as Klaxie had recommended. As I ran, I thought about ice cream, and how it sure went great with my cake, and how, if we didn't succeed, if I didn't make it to Xlormp in time, I might never eat ice cream again. Because I would kill myself violently and with pain. Because really and for serious, how could one live after watching their boyfriend get crushed to death by gigantic aliens?
I got distracted by a passing poodle, and I knelt down to pet it. It sure was a cute little poodle, with a nose and fur, and I asked it its name, and it said it was Fluffy, and I had no idea what Fluffy was doing on an alien planet. Maybe aliens kept poodles? Maybe it was an alien poodle? Who knows. I thought fleetingly of taking Fluffy home with us and giving him to an Earth humane society, for he seemed lost and lacked a collar with any information on it. Then I remembered I was supposed to be running to Xlormp. I stood up, said, "Oh, yeah," and continued running.
I tripped over a rock. It hurt. I got back up, I said, "Xlormp! It's me!" and I saw my reason for existing at all turn his gorgeous head in my direction. I kept running. I noticed a small purple alien crossing the street about a block away, so I ran over to him, pushed him over, said, "I'm sorry," and turned back to run to Xlormp.
Finally, after what seemed like years (but really it was four minutes), I made it to Xlormp. I stopped running and I stood before him.
He slapped me.
I slapped him back.
I'd never been so happy in my life.
"What are you doing here?" he moaned piteously. "You only torment an already tortured brain!"
I didn't think that was a very nice thing to say, so I said, "Well, you're a jerk, too, jerkface."
His eyes went wide (he'd lost a few in my absence, he now had only three). "Frig? It's...it's really you?"
I nodded. "Yes it is. It is really me." And I slapped him again for good measure.
He made the most bizarre alien noise I had ever heard, and wrapped every single tentacle around my body. He squeezed. It would have been pretty uncomfortable if I weren't so freaking delighted and turned on.
"I thought you were dead!" he cried. "I thought you were a robot built by the Haberdashes to crush my soul and break my heart!"
"Xlormp, I love you so much it's almost stupid, but you are breaking my ribs."
"Oh," he said, releasing me. "Sorry."
"What happened to your eyes?" I asked.
His face flooded with emotion. "I cried them off."
"Shut up, you did not." I shoved him a little.
"I did too!"
I examined his features for truth. I found it. It was hiding behind a blob of slime.
"Okay," I said, and then I hugged him again, and fought the urge to shove his every quivering appendage in my mouth. "Well, Klaxie and Candy and Lou are here, and we should probably hurry up and go, now that you don't have to beat up the Blobbersons, because Schmeertz is locked in the Haberdash's basement for trying to blow me up with a rocket launcher."
Xlormp's face fell a little. "I should have known better than to send Schmeertz to check on you." He ran a flipper down my cheek, leaving a cool trail of tingling slime. Cripes, how I'd missed him.
"Yes, you probably should have. Anyway, the spaceship's right over here." I began leading him off.
But we heard a door open behind us. I dared not turn around. The hinges creaked ominously, and I heard the sounds of huge, booming footsteps. Then a huge, big, bad voice bellowed, "Leaving so soon?"
It's not that easy being green. Or a list of chapters.