Chapter 19, "Mr. Leader Is Kind Of A Jerk"
Xlormp managed to get out of his foosball gear on the way to Lou's, which is kind of a shame because I thought it made him look extra sexy. He'd left it on so long because it protected me from his poisonous sweat, but now that he had calmed down a little (and made me promise not to make out with him) it was less of a threat.
"Don't waste time, Frig," Xlormp spoke sternly and with sternness. "I will beam you back up here in exactly one minute."
My head and heart ached with the thought of this goodbye. Also my foot ached a little, because I'd knocked it against something when Xlormp was carrying me away from Zmeephish-Q. If I had more time, I might ask Lou for some Advil, but this would have to be a quick conversation. One minute was only sixty seconds, you know.
I hoped he was home and not off pillaging dumpsters.
Luckily, upon beaming into the front lawn, I saw him. My own, lovable, brain-fried hobo, this time without Hector.
"Lou!" I shouted.
"Polka-dotted snapdragon!" He hollered holleringly, and waved me over to where he stood.
"Listen, lass, if you stand right here, you can feel your soul in your big toe." He stood still and closed his eyes, presumably for maximum soul feeling.
"Lou, I don't have time for that," I hoped my words sounded urgent enough.
"Squawk! Don't have time! Don't have time!"
"Larry, be nice, we have guests," Lou patted the parrot on the head.
"Lou, the tallybonkers are trying to get me."
That did the trick. Lou's eyes narrowed, and he shook out his foot as if trying to rid it of his soul so he could pay attention better.
"Schnoodle, I got them all out of your mattress. You are safe!" He looked at me, concern clearly coating his features.
I shook my head, tears burning my eyes, threatening to leak out like broken sprinklers of pain. "No, Lou, they are searching every planet for me. They...want me, for something."
Lou punched the air, hopping around from foot to foot. "I can take 'em! I can take 'em all, I'm a very good cook, you know."
I glanced at my watch. I had about ten seconds. In an unexpected show of emotion toward another human being, I grabbed the bouncing man in a tight hug. "I really appreciate everything you've done for me, Lou," I spoke quiveringly. "I will miss you."
I didn't have time to see his reaction before getting beamed back onto the ship. I tried to pull it together, be strong and all that business, so that I wouldn't worry Xlormp.
But it wasn't just Xlormp who greeted me. Another alien stood next to him. An alein wearing a very distinct hat.
"Qzrudle, I have this under control. You can leave my ship now," My lava lamp of love requested.
Mr. Leader's eyes turned to me. He had more than Xlormp, and it was intimidating. These eyes goggled in with disdain rather than love. "You lied to me, Xlormp. You said this was an average girl-slave, nothing more."
"I did say that, yes. That is what I said,"
"But she is more than that. She is human."
Xlormp rolled his eyes. "Aren't all girl-slaves human at some point in their lives?" He suggested.
"At some point before they are girl-slaves, yes. But if I say too much, she will know too much." He spun in a bright green circle. "She already knows too much."
"She doesn't know anything, Sir," Xlormp appeared panicked, probably because he'd hoped to be off the ground by now.
"She knows enough to have the tallybonkers after her. They don't seek out just anyone, you know."
I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. "Do you know why they want me?" I cried.
Mr. Leader slithered toward me ominously. "I do not know why. But I know that they are now invading our planet looking for you. And I know the way to get them off of your trail."
"Really?" I breathed, feeling as though a barbell lifted from my chest. "How?"
"No, Qzrudle," Xlormp screeched, thrusting himself between me and his alien master.
"Babykins, I want to know!"
"Babykins?" Mr. Leader lifted an antenna.
I ignored his insolent comment. "Tell me!"
Mr. Leader leaned his head around Xlormp. "All we have to do is eat your brain."
Oh. Oh, I see. That was not a viable solution.
Xlormp grasped Mr. Leader's would-be neck and pulled firmly. "You will leave this ship."
"You know I'm telling the truth!" The other alien choked out, flippers reaching for the floor. "You know they will keep coming, unless-"
"If anyone eats her brain, it will be me. Now go," and he released Mr. Leader in a loud "kerthumpfthhhhpt". With a flash, the hatted alien disappeared.
Xlormp glanced at me, scooting toward the controls. "I wouldn't recommend touching me right now, Frig. My poison has returned."
I nodded, even though all I wanted to do more than anything else was to hug him with both of my arms, and possibly one or two of my legs.
"Will you really have to eat my brain?" I whimpered, shaking. "Is there no other way?"
Xlormp did not speak.
"...am I going to die?"
Nothing. Just the clanking of levers.
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