Author : Jason Frank

This is how it ends.

I turn the corner with coffees for us and everything, everything, is on the front yard. I don’t know how she did it (I wasn’t gone long) or how she did it (I thought she loved me). My eyes race over it all and stop at the porch, at her standing there.

I had never dated outside of the Vim Catal and never thought I would. This girl, this Earth girl, convinced me it could work. Her people seemed to see the value of objects as we did; she did not seem to be an exception.

No appreciator of things could throw a complete set of Dorbid Melume’s vidis onto a front yard, a place where they could not hope to avoid scratches, or complete disruption from their proximity to the equally cast out vintage Wultonizers even now sending up a small shower of sparks as they spill out of their encasing Braxe fields.

How could I gather her up in all of my arms after this? How would I feel holding the woman who carelessly scattered my many signed hololids, objects expressive of my earliest attempts at discernment and preservation? How could I forget that in my arms I held the one responsible for the degradation of the only existing near mint copy of Uttie’s “If Space Be My Home” to merely good? Wouldn’t I be haunted in such a moment by images of a rare bust of Prialc, Space Emperor for twenty seven seconds, sinking into the fertile soil of our Ohio?

Perhps I am not meant to hold her again. Her eyes are as steely as Yorka Tleuz’s on the cover of the inaugural issue of ReWtIk, likewise facing me as its spine bends to cracking while I look up and away from it. The sky is dark, very dark. There is, as the Earthers say, a strong chance of showers. This can only be intentional. Can this be a test? It looks like a goodbye, a goodbye with teeth, and not the little things the humans call teeth.

She was the one to draw me in. Her dwelling had copious amounts of unused space, I liked that about her. Her muted interest in collecting was not so strong as to interfere with my own, also a plus. All about her person hung the most pronounced loveliness, this likely sealing the deal. Many times she questioned her own beauty, doubting it for some unknown reason. It was difficult, in these times, to not bring up the general aesthetic shortcomings of humans as a whole.

Rain drops strike my top tuft. A decision is required. I take it all in with a deep breath of Ohio air. I take it all in and hold it, inscribing a full sense memory. Only when the completed nub drops into my back pouch do I act. I reach down with my non-coffee holding middle arms and stretch out the atavistic gliding membrane unique to my federated clan. The winds of the advancing storm carry me onto the porch. Her expression changes. Either she sees that there is so much more to me or she really wants the coffee I hold out to her, still steaming.

I can’t know what’s behind her eyes as I can the tears out front. I reply in kind. She grabs one of my elbows and pulls me into the house with her; it looks to be one hell of a storm. I pull the door closed behind us.

This is how it begins.


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