Author : Ben Friedman

I remember your gom jabbar. He was a squeaky clean critter, always huddling skittishly by his water bowl, furiously scrubbing his tiny paws then drying them off with wood shavings. He would drop all his waste in a tiny hole he dug out beneath a low flat rock and would shriek his high-pitched lungs out any time he was witnessed in the act.

That gom jabbar was a menace when you let him out too: always rearranging the linens and vestments in the chifferobe outside your parents’ master bedroom, earning you hundreds of boy-hours in the Circle of Shame and Penitence. But you never took your anger out on your little gom jabbar, and you took full responsibility for every mess he got you into. As any good flob-snasher would.

You used to say the poor creature was never meant to live behind plastic walls, that he was meant to scitter up to the electric heights and transmute into a sky elemental at least once a year, in order to gain direct nourishment from the bosom of the cloud gods. And so, despite your parents’ admonitions, you trusted your little gom jabbar out one spring solstice, hoping that sooner or later, he would return to you.

You opened your gom jabber’s cage.

And for two long years you waited, dreaming of your gom jabber, dreaming dreams that your gom jabber was dreaming, dreaming that your gom jabber was dreaming your dreams too. Only when you were drearily awake did you feel the great distance between you again. Between you and your gom jabber.

But then, sure enough, one summer day your gom jabber did return, a gleeful laser light twinkling in his crystalline ventricles, racing up and down his pleated belly as he descended from the skies, a little smaller in mass, but a lot brighter in voltage.

He cooed and sighed in your lap as you pet him, emitting fragrances rare and exotic from the fourteen corners of the wind. But then, that night, your parents found their silverware carefully interlaced into a Middle-Period style cathedral structure — in which little phantom light-cherubs were celebrating the Perpetual Birth of the Great Order — and they came down on you hard for it.

“You have to gain control of that gom jabber, or you don’t deserve to own one!”

“But you can’t own a gom jabber,” you tried to say.

But they wouldn’t listen.

As soon as he was returned to his cage, your gom jabber stared up at you with those bright lemon eyes. And for a moment you could see the many extraordinary things he witnessed out there: the Flying Whalers of Ekkmandu, the Canyon Carvers of Alesaphia, the Topaz Skyscrapers of the Freznak Empire…

And you could feel his sadness, the immeasurable loss at being locked back up in that little plastic cage again, in this little domestic bubble of a home, rather than out there, free, seeing and being one with the world. And you knew. You knew that your gom jabbar truly loved you, his one and only flob-snasher…because why else would he have come back for you?

Why else…but that you belonged to him…as much as he…to you?

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