An Epilogue That's Really Just Another Chapter But Without a Number
Xlormp flung a pancake at my head.
"Stop that!" I insisted, dramatically removing it's pancake-y form from my disgruntled face.
"Frig, you know I do not eat human food, and yet you insist on making me things like these...these...'pancakes'. You should expect them to get thrust forcefully back at you."
Lou dug his fork happily into his pancakes, sending random bits into the air, which made Larry and Limbo pleased, because it meant they got to partake of the pancakes, too. The hobo seemed oblivious to Xlormp and my argument.
"It's rude to throw things, Xlormp," I explained haughtily, as I heaved a fork at his head. He dodged it, and sent a super slithery tentacle to swipe my feet out from under me. I landed rather ungracefully on my butt.
"CUT IT OUT," I demanded.
Xlormp grinned an alien grin. Oh, how can one yell at a face like that? I climbed up off of the floor and onto my alien snuggle monster and shoved my tongue into his slime folds. Lou giggled. "Do you need a butterscotch?" he asked.
I paused my molestation of the space alien and turned to stare. "A butterscotch what, Lou?"
"Butterscotch, butterscotch, squawk!" Larry intoned ominously.
"You know," Lou said, shoving me suggestively.
I turned back to Xlormp. "Um. Maybe we should save this for when Lou's not around."
Xlormp nodded, tentacles flailing randomly in the air.
A knock sounded on the door.
"Who could that be?" I asked unnecessarily. I clambered off of Xlormp, futilely attempting to wipe the slime off of me. I opened the door to find Christopher (freshly name tagged, she'd crafted a new one upon which she had doodled various pictures and then she laminated it) and Hector 2.0.
"Hello, Frig," Christopher said.
"Greetings, Frig," Hector 2.0 monotoned.
"Hi, guys," I replied.
"Popsicle faces!" Lou threw in, heaving a pancake at Xlormp, who proceeded to knock the chair out from under my hobo housemate. Crying ensued. I shut the door behind me and stepped outside.
"Soooo...what brings you guys by?" I asked.
"I love you, Frig," Hector 2.0 stated awkwardly.
"Actually, that's not it," Christopher butted in, her face silently berating her robotic brother. "We really came by to give you this back. You left it at our house, and well...you probably won't be needing it anymore...now that, you know, your alien is home and everything, but..." She extended her arm out to me, clutching some brightly colored fabric.
"My alien hunting uniform?"
"You deserve it," Christopher said, ducking her head down as I took it. "It looks striking on you."
I held the uniform up to my face, remembering all the crap that had gone down since I first received it. Life is so crazy like that, you know? Like a drunk man with a reputation for telling trashy stories. All of my trashy stories swam around in my head, making me feel like I had a hangover. A life hangover.
The door opened behind me, and Xlormp slithered out. "Okay, that's about all I can take of Lou's insipid whimpering." I watched as his eyes caught sight of the object in my grasp, and I could see them widen and goggle threateningly. I froze.
"Is - that what I think it is?" he asked, stricken.
"Um," I flung it behind my back, not sure how to respond. "Well-"
"Yeah, Xlormp, it is," Christopher asserted, crossing her arms in front of her chest. Oh man, I wanted to die.
Xlormp turned his luscious, chewable face on me. "Why would you need an alien hunting uniform, Frig?"
I stared at him. Now that he was standing in front of me, all wonderful and stupendous, radiating perfection from every pore, I almost couldn't remember why I even had the stupid uniform in the first place. I found myself unable to speak.
So Christopher spoke for me. "She was learning how to defend herself. Is that so wrong?"
"She is pretty," Hector 2.0 added for good measure.
"Frig doesn't need to defend herself! She needs me to protect her from everything in the world, because she is helpless!" Xlormp patted my arm for confirmation. "Is this information correct, Frig?"
I wanted to punch him in the face, but I figured this probably wasn't the right time for it. I was all prepared to respond, I had a whole sentence strung together in my head, but Christopher spoke up again.
"Frig is not helpless. She found The Place all by herself. And she's stood up to alien threats on multiple occasions, and come out victorious."
I figured she was talking about Cliff, and I tried not to giggle. I wondered vaguely if he was having luck building up a Tallybonker army to do battle with me.
"Run program Admonish Xlormp," I heard Hector 2.0 mutter in a robotic way. A few tense seconds later, he said, "Xlormp, you are unfit for such a woman. She deserves better."
"What's going on, Frig?" Xlormp asked of me. I could see that "I really want to vaporize them with my laser vision" look in his eyes.
"It's just that...you left...and I was pissed...and so I got a uniform? Please don't kill my friends."
"Friends?" Xlormp questioned, confused.
"Friends?!" Christopher clapped happily.
"Friends: People whom one knows, likes, and trusts," Hector 2.0 defined definitively.
Xlormp seemed, in an ironic twist, utterly befuddled. He opened and closed his face orifice several times, then, finally, said: "I just don't understand why you need friends when you have me."
I saw Christopher's face crumple slightly. I tried to think of a good way to reply, though he made an excellent point.
"Well, they...um...keep saving my life, for one thing."
Xlormp shrugged. "I guess."
"And also, they hung out with me when I was being all bitchy and hateful because I was mad when you left."
Xlormp slapped me with a flipper. "I never left you, Frig, I don't know what you're talking about."
I grabbed the offending flipper. "Will you stop doing that? You can't just smack me every time you don't like something I say!"
"Why not?" he asked.
I heard Christopher mumble something under her breath.
"Because - because it's mean!"
He raised a flipper to slap me again, but this time, Christopher grabbed it, staring Xlormp down. I could see the lasers forming in Xlormp's eyes.
"Okay, okay, Christopher, you better take Hector home. I'll talk to you about this later, all right?"
I tried to plead with her via my eyes, but Christopher still stared at Xlormp. She did not break eye contact with him for several moments, and my insides were flipping over as if my stomach was full of a bunch of acrobatic circus midgets. But finally, she nodded and let go of Xlormp.
"Come on, Hector," she said, guiding the robot away from the scene.
I sighed, gazing upon the most gorgeous being I'd ever known, the only creature intense enough to make me feel something other than seething hatred. My alien.
"We need to talk."
** ** **
ALL THE CHAPTERS EVER
I know the chapter was way late today, but I hope you can forgive me, as I have some exciting announcements for you! HERE THEY ARE:
1. The print version of this book will be available Monday, December 15th. If you live in the states and you feel compelled to buy it for someone for Christmas, that should give you enough time, Lulu usually takes about a week to ship. YAY HOORAY! The ever amazing opaleyes will be doing cover art for me again, and from what I've seen of her preliminary sketches, this cover should be quite hardcore.
2. The date that the Eclipse parody will start! I have it for you! Are you prepared emotionally? It is:
Monday, February 2nd, 2009
I know, I know, it's kind of far away! But I have some ideas for stuff that I want to do with this one, so I need a little time to figure out how to wiggle them in. I promise you only cool things, guys!
And that's it! Thank you so much, every single one of you, if you are reading this, if you have read any of these chapters, if you comment every time or if you never say a word, reading silently in the comfort of your anonymity, I appreciate you. I love the crap out of each and every one of you. I just wanted you to know that. :)