© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
Esme! Esme! It's me! Open the window.
Enid! What's up? Climb in.
Get dressed. Come with me. I saw something. A fiery ball come out of the sky. It ploughed into the ground. Let's go watch it.
Where is it?
Just outside that plant-a-tree grove. It narrowly missed ploughing into the grove.
What were you doing at this time of night at the grove?
That's not important. You don't want to know. Let's go. We don't want to miss that thing coming out of the ground. There! See the----hey!
It's going to spoil everything. Sniffing around.
It found something. It's digging.
Oh, rats. Whoa! What happened?
The dog fell into the hole it dug.
When did that ever happen?
Look! The dog's climbing out.
That's not the dog that fell in. Look at it.
You are right. Trying to walk on it's hind legs only? Now on its two front----.
I'm telling you, that's the alien. It has taken over the dog. It's trying to find out how to walk like a dog.
What do we do?
It's a small dog. Let's go make friends.
Enid, it's not a dog anymore. It's an extraterrestrial alien. It could eat us.
If it attacks, I will throw myself at it. You run for help.
I do not like this, Enid.
Then, follow me from afar. Here, doggie! Doggie!
See? No doggie that size would resist that call. It's not even wagging its tail.
Come on, doggie. There! It's coming. Nice, doggie. It's warm, Esme. Like a real dog. Here, pet it.
Nice doggie. Perhaps we should give it a name?
It might have one already.
Which it would have forgotten, under the circumstances, don't you think?
You are right. You are thinking. That's good. Let's call it Youfer.
You know, short for U.F.O. Huh?
Of course. So? What are we going to do with Youfer?
Take him to my apartment.
Your landlady does not allow animals.
Nor do your parents. But we cannot sneak Youfer into your home. But if Youfer is as smart as we know it is, it will help us get passed the landlady.
Okay. You go on ahead. I have to go home and let my parents know I am not in my room.
All right. Do not take too long. You don't want to arrive too late after I have been eaten.
Any trouble with the landlady?
No. She saw me enter the building, but she seems to not have noticed Youfer. Did I not tell you? It has powers.
Youfer? Where is it?
Napping. In the kitchen sink. I think it loves the cold surface.
Not a thing. I tried everything in the fridge and in the cupboards. Drank most of the water in the toilet bowl, though. I gave it more clean water in the largest dish I have. Drank it all.
Responds to the name?
Like it gave it to itself.
It's certain, then. There's an out-of-space alien in an Earth dog in your kitchen.
Where do we go from here, Enid?
I don't know. I'm so excited. Any suggestions?
Lock your bedroom door when you go to sleep tonight.
It's an alien. Locking a door against it will not help. Can you spend the night?
Yes. Tomorrow is not a school day. I asked my parents. They said it's okay for me to sleep over.
Thank you, Esme. That is a great help.
I think that we should take the plunge tomorrow.
Doing what? What plunge?
Talk to the alien that has taken over the dog.
You think it has eaten the dog?
Enid, it doesn't have to have eaten the dog to have taken over the dog.
So, when it leaves to return to its own world, it will give us back the dog?
It better. There's another, not-so-happy possibility.
Esme, if it was going to harm us, it would have done so already. It's a good sign that it so quickly understood and helped with the landlady problem. Don't you think?
I'm not thinking about being harmed. I'm thinking, what if it becomes aware the dog is not the highest life form here on Earth?
Oh. Wow! What, then?
You prepared to volunteer?
Volunteer for what?
Yes, Enid. Better it be one of us than anyone else. And a volunteer. When it chooses to exit the dog, nothing will stop it from choosing a human, volunteer or not.
Are you willing?
Yes, to save the dog and someone else. But I have family. That complicates things.
And I have nobody.
Look at it like this, Enid. Of the billions of persons on this Earth, you saw it land. This is your destiny. I will stand by you all the way. On the outside, of course.
Of course. Thank you, Esme. My best friend, ever. Youfer seems harmless.
So far. First, let's go into the kitchen to see if it's still sleeping in the sink.
Good. I have to whisper this into your ear. Let's sit at the table, keep an eye on it in the sink, while we communicate to each other in writing. Just in case.
Good. I'll get the pens and paper.
We have to tell someone else. And not let it know. Just in case.
I agree. But not News people or Armed Forces people. Your parents?
I was about to suggest that. We do not let the alien know. And it never meets my parents.
Do you still have that small portable black-and-white television I gave you for your birthday a hundred years ago?
In my closet.
Let's watch it on this table. If it wakes Youfer, that will be a good introduction to our world.
Okay. Let's hope it still works.
It works. I watched all the Saturday-morning cartoons on this.
No cartoons tonight. We don't want to give Youfer that picture of humanity.
A news channel?
Welcome to this news flash just in. Reports are coming in from different parts of the world. Meteorites are crashing into Earth. So far, there have been no reports of fatalities.
And there will not be any fatalities, Enid. Esme.
At your service. Thank you for that sink nap. I really needed it. Do not be afraid. We are here for water. Our world is drying up. This world has so much in excess. We will pay.
By the way, your kitchen sink sinks a little to one side. The pipes underneath are dangerously rusted. And, here, a little something for you. Whenever you need my help.
Esme! We slept at the kitchen table?
Looks like it. We were looking at that primitive black-and-white?
There's a cute little dog sleeping on my couch. Help me get it out before the landlady gets wind of it.
Hey! What's this tag around its neck? Did you notice it?
No. A tiny keypad. Some sort of tracking device by its owners, no doubt? Fourey? Must be doggie's name.
of the message
we won't know where to send it.
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