Chapter 1, "Trapped in the Cardboard
Listen, Frig, I know you have a lot going on right now, but I'd really like to see you again. Sometime. Maybe soonish if at all possible. Pretty please?
I read the letter over and over again, not because I couldn't remember what it said, but because it intrigued me. It seemed that perhaps Christopher, the author of the letter I was reading, had some other meaning in her words other than the ones I read. I pondered over what that meaning could possibly be, as I sat in my room, feeling miserable on account of being imprisoned here.
Christopher's letter was the only contact with the outside world I'd had. She'd crumpled the letter up into a tiny ball, crammed that ball of paper into the core of a baseball, stitched it up expertly with the eye of a master baseball stitcher, and lobbed it through my window with a painful cry of distressed agony, before swiftly retreating into the night. It had taken me a week of examining the ball to notice the slight variance in one half of the stitches. Upon recognition, I determined the slight flaws were actually a code. I took note of the pattern in which the mistakes appeared, scribbling them in the dirt with a twig I snapped off of a tree from outside my bedroom window. After another three days of detective work, I finally broke the code which explained that the ball contained a message at its center. At which point I deftly fashioned a crude knife out of flint and cat gut, used the knife to carve the outer shell of the ball away, and removed the crumpled wad of paper from the core.
I read it. It's the thing that you read at the beginning of this chapter. So there is no need for me to repeat it to you now.
During this time, I'd been subsisting off of berries plucked from a nearby bush, and my hunger grew steadily with each passing day.
You might be wondering why I found myself trapped in my bedroom like a common criminal, or a moose. Well the thing of it is, Lou (the hobo I lived with) accidentally set a huge and heavy statue of a duck-billed platypus wearing a clown wig in front of my bedroom door, and then went out of town for a month to accompany Sabel Wheefton (a local hobo vying for the position of Hobo King, the previous hobo king had been murdered by aliens) as his second in command to the official Hobo King Election Meeting. As Spatulas Hobo of the Year, Lou also held an esteemed position in the Hobo Council and his vote counted twice.
All this was very exciting and important, but it left me in something of a bind. That bind being that I was trapped in my room.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Frig, how can I be as attractive, smart and witty as you?" The answer is, you can't. I know that you're also thinking, "Frig, why can't your boyfriend Xlormp extract you from your cardboard and plywood cell?"
The thing is, Xlormp was perfectly happy with me being locked in my room on account of the fact that he lacked a fondness for my friends Christopher and Hector 2.0 Haberdash. They had, during his recent bout of absence, taught me a thing or two about hunting aliens, and this pissed off my boyfriend (who was an alien himself) in a seriously planetary way. No, my boyfriend felt perfectly content keeping me where I was, unable to visit my other friends.
And by the way, what kind of a shitty word is boyfriend? I mean, seriously. For a love as powerful, as deep, as emotionally hazardous as ours, "boyfriend" just seemed pathetic and weak. If only someone could create a more appropriate word...something like, "Epicmasterfully Committed Dude" which is actually three words but it could be shortened to ECD or something, and that would almost come close to explaining how I really felt about the guy. Or, I guess he wasn't a guy. On account of the fact that he was an alien.
Anyway, speak of the devil (the alien devil?), Xlormp appeared in my window that very moment. He liked to visit me every day, usually he only left if there was very important blowing-up-the-planet alien business to attend to. I hastily crammed Christopher's missive under my mattress so that he would not see it and get suspicious.
"My most dulcet Frigling!" Xlormp cried, slithering into my bedroom and extending his slimy tentacles out to me. "Did you miss me during my elongated absence?"
"More than anything," I effused, logical thought rendered useless under his extreme grace and beauty. For Xlormp was nothing if not graceful and beautiful. Just in a really slimy way.
"So Frig, I have received an update on the status of your Alien Trial," Xlormp slurped endearingly.
Oh, that's another thing. Since I knew a little more about the Zmeephish-Quian's desire to blow up the planet than the average human, I was awaiting an official Alien Trial for the best way to handle that knowledge. Ideally, they'd vote to turn me into Xlormp's girl-slave, so that I could be powerlessly bound to him for all eternity. However, Xlormp would prefer I keep my brain right where it is. This was a matter of much angst between the two of us.
"What kind of update?" I inquired. "Did they set a date yet?"
Xlormp shook his head. "No, the higher-ups are still deliberating over that," he supplied. "However, they did decide to serve cheese and crackers at the reception immediately following the trial." He grinned broadly.
"But aliens don't eat human food," I pointed out delicately.
"True. However, I've been lobbying extra hard in order to get some human food for you, as you are human,"
How can you resist logic like that? I nuzzled my nose into his armpit and rested there, feeling the cool slime dribble down my cheek. "Say, Xlormpsicle stick?" I whispered gently.
"Yes, my feeble minded darling?"
I chose my words delicately, hoping that he was in a good mood. "I was thinking, the weather is awfully...nice...today." These words did not come without effort. In my opinion, there is no such thing as "nice" weather. "Perhaps we could...go for a romantic stroll?"
I could see the elaborate coin-operated gumball machine that was my green love monkey's brain work to process that information, rolling it up, down and around the metal tracks and eventually spitting out a grape flavored conclusion.
"I think that idea is terrible, my Frigling."
I sighed deeply. "But why? It would just be the two of us, wandering around, happily enjoying the pleasures of Earth!"
"But why would we do that when we could stay here and rub our bodies against one another?"
He made an excellent point, one I felt hard pressed to argue with, were it not for the fact that I hadn't gotten to see beyond the end of my street for the better part of a month.
"And anyway," his greenliness continued, "how do I know you won't try to escape from me to see your anti-alien friends?"
I grumped heavily. "They aren't as bad as all that," I said. "They saved your life, too, if you remember correctly."
"I remember nothing more than me bravely saving the day as you wallowed in anguish! It was a moment of staggering heroism, and I'm appalled you remember it any differently." He crossed his tentacles furtively across his chestal region.
This is something I had discussed extensively with Xlormp. You see, he has the tendency to deny the truth if it makes him look bad. I'd spent many hours attempting to break him of this habit, but it seemed to be deeply ingrained. At least he'd shown progress in keeping the slapping to a minimum. It turned out that Xlormp considered slapping a sort of physical punctuation to his lie. An uncomfortable, gooshy punctuation.
"Yeah, well, I kind of miss them, is the thing," I tried to explain, knowing that despite my explanatory manner, it was already a lost cause.
"No, Frig, I feel it is best for your fragile human-ness that you stay locked up in this room away from outside influence. I shall not discuss the matter further."
"What if I were to attempt to break out?" I challenged.
"Then I would simply vaporize you."
I grunted. "Right. Like you'd vaporize the love of your life." I stared at him pointedly, as if daring to argue back.
He did not. Instead, he grasped my arm firmly and thrust it into his mouth. I nearly fainted from erotic bliss.
I had only just begun to meld into the folds of his slime flab when I heard the statue outside my door scraping against the floor. It was moving! I felt torn between my desire to escape my cell and my desire to continue fondling my alien.
Lou poked his head through the door. "I've developed scabies!" he cried jovially, thrusting his fist into view. Dangling from it was a frantically wiggling ferret. Presumably the latest member of his constantly growing band, The Heavy Sporks. I had never been happier to see Lou in all my life. Xlormp would need to take a rain check.
"Lou!" I shouted, jumping off of the slimeball and running fervently towards my hobo, throwing my arms around him in a tight hug. The ferret spazzed out nervously at my approach. I caught a glimpse of the collar around its neck. It read "Lamp".
"Your ferret's name is Lamp?" I asked.
Lou stroked my face sweetly, the way a runner may lovingly caress a pair of old, worn running shoes, the ones he wore on his very first race. "I didn't eat the banjo this time," he muttered soothingly, as he gazed into my eyes. I didn't realize how much I'd missed the hobo until that moment.
Xlormp cleared his throat, totally ruining my special reunion scene. "Well, Frig," he spoke derisively, "I changed my mind. You can leave your room now, should you choose to do so."
I released my grip on Lou, which seemed to appease Lamp. "You're only saying that because Lou moved the statue out of the way and I can get out on my own now, without your help."
I could see Xlormp's tentacle twitching in an "I really want to slap you across the face right now" sort of way. But he held it together and said, "Balderdash and frippery. I merely chose to alter my decision. You may go."
I crossed the room to him, and planted a kiss on what was presumably his cheek. "Thank you."
The day looked very bright indeed.
Welp, here we go again, guys! You are stuck with me until April 6th, when the final epilogue airs. I HOPE YOU ARE OKAY WITH THAT. Geez.
The chapter list, which contains a piddly one chapter so far, for this book, anyway.