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by Kyle Hemmings

Its flying saucer crashed in the backyard and vaporated into a green blob in the shape of a shrine with a mushroom head. I took It in and tried giving It a home. After all, the both of us, in some sense, were stranded. It on this planet, and me, in my self-exile on a small square of earth called Apartment 224c. This is what I assumed. Since I've been alone since "she" left, I assumed It and I were two similar peas from different pods.

Each day after work, It would be waiting for me, playing with the tv remote, sitting on the couch with Its revolving glass oval head, refractive metal body box, the spindly legs and arms. Its hands were very white, as if wearing ladies' gloves. Sometimes, It, perhaps out of boredom, would try playing this game with me. It''d make a series of blips and half-way intelligible sounds in Its characteristically squeaky tone. I had to try to guess what It was saying. "Duck?" I responded. Its head spun faster. "Duck soup," I said. "You want duck soup for dinner? Is that what you want?" It made two blips, a pause, and a jazz dash. "Duck it?" I said. "You want to play a game of ducking it. Like ducking a ball thrown at you. As in dodge ball." Its head spun in an opposite direction. It made four Pascalian Blips, one amazingly long Mach 6 pause, and five concerted huffs in E flat. It attempted the sound again. I leaned forward from the recliner. "Oh, Ducky Doo," I said. That old farmer's song from the North. "Ducky Doo, Ducky Dee, Lucky you, Lucky me, A girl who fell from the sweetest tree." In an act of what I interpreted as self-destruction, It began to rip out some inner cords connecting Its gruffti to the armentium.

"Wait," I shouted. I then strapped on the Delanium III Deuce Decoder, reserved for special occasions, as its energy consumption was high. After turning the knob to "max," I then realized what It was trying to tell me. Ducky was the name of my ex, whom I dumped in a fit of jealousy and despair. It wanted to know if Ducky was still available. One thing about It. It knows me like a book. It can see through my hunger-denial synergy snaps and my raw Appolinian M traces. It loves to stay up all night, the little balls of Its antennae flashing green like a cheap nightlight, as It browses my old photo albums or complains in indigenous Hex code that I fart too loudly. It's just a difference in planets, I suppose. Later, It and I went driving, me at the wheel, It doing the Ganglionic Waffle Bug to a techno beat, as we'd drive all night if need be, looking for Ducky.