33 comments

Science Fiction

“Stop breathing on me,” Kerry said through gritted teeth. 

“Technically, I’m not breathing. I’m filtering. But I suppose it means the same thing here,” Broggo said in reply. 

“Ok, then stop FILTERING on me!” Kerry snapped and got up from the couch in a huff. 

“I sense displeasure. And I believe it has been caused by me. Am I correct?” Broggo queried. 

“Yes, it most definitely has been caused by you! Ugh! How YOU were matched with ME is…is…well it’s unexplainable!” Kerry yelled from across the room of her tiny apartment. 

“Of course it’s explainable. You see, my kind were all entered into the Pinder database detailing our traits. All of your kind were also entered into the database, and through a series of precise calculations and analysis of data we were matched with each other. It is the most sensible way to account for the influx of population of my kind from Sliggo to Earth. We need shelter, and your kind can help us transition to life here. It’s quite genius.” Broggo explained. 

“I KNOW the rationale behind it, you slimy, four-eyed, tentacled creature. I just don’t agree with it!” Kerry lamented. 

“Article 8, Section 12 of the Planetary Habitation Agreement signed by your President indicates that failure to comply with Pinder placements will result in fines, imprisonment, and loss of citizenship,” Broggo reminded Kerry. 

“That seems better right now than this living arrangement!” Kerry said, grabbing her car keys and heading for the door. 

“I’m going to class. Do not touch anything. Or break anything. Or explore. I’ll be home in two hours and will make dinner. Do NOT go near the stove again when I’m gone! I still can’t get the left burners to work and I need another fire extinguisher after your last attempt!” Kerry said and stormed out the door. 

“I believe we are making progress in our interspecies relationship,” Broggo said, turning his blue mouth upwards into a smile. 

Kerry slammed her car door, and turned the key in the ignition. It has been over two months since the sky turned an unnatural shade of green, and spacecrafts made of unearthly metals emanating purple lights descended upon Earth. The majority landed all across the United States, with a handful in Europe and Asia. It was uncertain whether more would be coming, but something had to be done. In an unprecedented meeting of world leaders, it was decided that the best way to handle the situation was to welcome the alien creatures, assigning Earthmates to each one. A system was developed and quickly put into place, systematically matching Sliggon and human. Once assigned their Earthmate, they would be able to acclimate to life on this planet in peace. This planet did not need any more help destroying itself, and just maybe the Sliggons could help in an intergalactic partnership. 

But some partnerships were a bit strained at the moment. Despite the scientific basis of Pinder, maybe not all matches were, well, well-matched. 

Kerry sat in class taking notes on the profound works of various physicists. She couldn’t concentrate, and nothing she wrote made sense upon review. She sighed, set down her chewed up yellow number 2, and rested her head in her hands. She had a headache thinking of what Broggo was likely ruining back at home. 

Back at home, Broggo was ruining Kerry’s favorite dresses as he attempted to color code them in her closet. He did not agree with the current haphazard arrangement, which unsettled his thought patterns. As he pulled each dress down, he tore several and slimed up the others. Tide Stain Remover was no match for whatever chemical composition coated Broggo’s exterior. 

In an unsuccessful attempt to rehang the clothes, he accidentally tore down the bar in the closet they hung on. He stared with all four of his eyes at the wooden bar his tentacled arms were wrapped around. 

“Well. This is not going as I had planned,” Broggo said to the spider plant hanging in the window. He always waited for a reply. He never got one. 

Kerry closed her notebook, gathered her things, and steeled herself against the thought of heading home to Broggo. 

She thought about his attempt to cook her dinner. He took a cup of strawberry yogurt from the fridge, put it in a pot on the stove, and added Cheerios, three Oreos, and several scoops of corn starch. The plastic yogurt cup melted, everything caught on fire, and her kitchen hasn’t smelled the same since. But he wanted to make her happy. That’s more than most people in her life these days. Maybe she wasn’t giving him a chance. She wasn’t the easiest to live with either. She was messy, unorganized, and a free spirit when it came to chore completion. She had a motto of “why do today what can be done tomorrow?” 

Kerry suddenly swiped right into the drive-thru of Dunkin Donuts. She ordered half a dozen assorted donuts, a chocolate frozen coffee, and a vanilla latte. Even Sliggons would appreciate that, right? 

She drove home sipping her latte, ready to present her peace offering. She had lost her temper for no reason, and it wasn’t the first time. Maybe being Earthmates wouldn’t be so bad after all if she gave Broggo a chance. And nobody (no creature?) could be worse than her last human one. She still hadn’t forgiven her for stealing her boyfriend right under her nose, then parading him around the apartment. After living in an awkward, uncomfortable sea of tension for two weeks, they both found a new place together.  What was she even thinking? Humans can be awful creatures. 

Kerry laughed and thought “Hmph, good riddance to both of them! Broggo may very well burn the place down, but he’s never going to backstab.”  

And with that, Kerry unlocked the door and went back to her (their) apartment.  She watched with a smile as a thankful Broggo inserted three Boston Cremes into his stomach opening.

Maybe Pinder got it right after all. 

August 09, 2023 13:54

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33 comments

Marty B
04:46 Aug 14, 2023

I like how inter-species communication hinges on Dunkin Donuts! I appreciate your optimistic portrayal on interactions with an alien people -versus the historical (Europeans anyway) of meeting new civilizations and destroying them ;( Kerry need a trustworthy friend, and it took an extra terrestrial invasion- but she found one! Thanks!

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Nina H
21:33 Aug 15, 2023

I’m not ashamed to say my friendship could be bought with Dunkin too 😂 maybe it’s a naive view of the world to imagine an “invasion” this way. But I think alien bonding would just be the icing on the donut if it played out that way 😄 Thanks for reading, Marty!!

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Russell Mickler
15:40 Aug 13, 2023

Hi Nina! Well, off the bat, you establish the rancor and animosity the characters have for each other and confine them in a room. That’s tension-making from the start! I like how Kerry described the alien in dialogue. Wow. We can’t impose stricter gun control, but we can force Americans to house alien critters and tentacles - messed up! The transition between thinking about what Broggo was destroying to Brogue destroying was very good. I did the humor and comedy of the piece and the good-feeling cooperation at the end. I expect to read ...

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Nina H
16:22 Aug 13, 2023

Hey Russell! I’m glad you liked that transition! I was happy with it and it’s nice to know someone appreciated it!! Yeah, I think bringing back a version of the Quartering Act would go over easier than any sort of gun reform here. 😬🤷🏼‍♀️ Thanks so much for the read, and your comments! I always enjoy them 😄

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Michał Przywara
20:33 Aug 15, 2023

Heh, that's quite funny :) And underneath it all, a good lesson about not letting the little things rile you up too much. Ultimately she chose to give friendship a chance, which is a nice, hopeful ending. Also, the scene where he completely trashes her closet by accident is visually hilarious :)

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Nina H
21:26 Aug 15, 2023

Thanks for reading,Michał! And yes, someone else commented that she offers friendship BEFORE seeing her closet… 😂 The ups and downs of cohabitation!!

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Patrick H
17:26 Aug 15, 2023

Yeah this sounds about right. It hits on immigration issues etc and on roommate issues too. Nicely done!

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Nina H
17:44 Aug 15, 2023

Hey Patrick! Thanks for the read and comment! After all the roommates I’ve had, I could probably write a novel on that subject 😂

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Ken Cartisano
16:39 Aug 14, 2023

I am in compliance with this story's philosophy. Human's bah.

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Nina H
18:53 Aug 14, 2023

😂 yep, they can be awful!

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Tom Skye
16:37 Aug 13, 2023

Firstly, this was a brilliant premise. Story had a light silly feel(in a good way)but you could definitely sense the political allusions throughout. Nice "swipe right" pun into the donut place as well :) Good job. Really enjoyed it

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Ayndy Lou
15:40 Aug 13, 2023

Aw, that's a really sweet and cute story! 😁 I like the idea that they gave everyone earthmates as a peaceful way to integrate them.

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Nina H
16:25 Aug 13, 2023

Thank you Ayndy Lou! It’s kind of like in elementary school when a new kid comes and the teacher tells everyone to play with their new friend, show them around, and be nice 😂

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Vid Weeks
10:16 Aug 13, 2023

funny and surprisingly touching, loved it.

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Nina H
10:23 Aug 13, 2023

Thanks so much, Vid 😄

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Fernando César
21:43 Aug 12, 2023

Hi Nina! I enjoyed reading this story! I specially liked the beginning, and how you set up the context of the story. I did feel the middle was a bit too long. All the flashback to explain how they were set up and how the aliens arrived, I think I would prefer something more on the lines of “show don’t tell”, but as always, very subjective! As someone else said, I wasn’t expecting a humorous dating app criticism with this prompt, so kudos for the creativity.

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Nina H
23:05 Aug 12, 2023

Hi Fernando! Thank you for your feedback! A valid point about “show don’t tell”. I did try to keep it short and sweet there, but don’t want to lose the reader’s attention. I wanted to explain the process that set them up though with a little detail. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!! 😄

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21:07 Aug 12, 2023

Never expected to see this prompt get used to make a lighthearted commentary/parody of dating apps. Very nice.

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Ellen Neuborne
20:54 Aug 12, 2023

The Odd Couple meets Alien! I enjoyed this. Adorable characters.

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Nina H
23:06 Aug 12, 2023

Lol!! You’re so right!!! 😂

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18:34 Aug 12, 2023

He sounds adorable and disgusting all at the same time lol I was highly amused by this story and would have loved a longer version. Very well done!

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Nina H
20:17 Aug 12, 2023

Lol!! Doesn’t he though?? 😄 Thanks so much for the kind words, and I take it as a wonderful compliment that you would have liked more!! ☺️

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Joe Smallwood
12:12 Aug 12, 2023

"Broggo said to the spider plant hanging in the window. He always waited for a reply. He never got one." lol Creature compassion on display here. I enjoyed this. Thanks.

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Nina H
12:41 Aug 12, 2023

Thanks, Joe! It’s a small detail, but revealing, and I’m glad you pulled it out!!! 😄

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08:00 Aug 12, 2023

Haha very good Nina I can see this being a thing when the aliens get here lol And yea, alien, human, its so hard to find a good match! Fun story, I once went glamping and the place had no crockery so i had to buy some plastic ones from a store. next morning, on autopilot, i put breakfast cereal and milk in a plastic bowl---and put it in the microwave to heat it!! lol you can imagine the rest!

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Nina H
10:11 Aug 12, 2023

Ah Derrick! You microwaved your plastic breakfast! 😂 well, live and learn and laugh, right?? I’ve found you should also not microwave a whole egg. That didn’t end well for me. 🤣 Thanks for the read, comments, and fun story!

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Karen McDermott
06:55 Aug 12, 2023

A cute and funny story. Thanks for sharing!

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Nina H
10:13 Aug 12, 2023

Thanks for reading, Karen! 😄

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Mary Bendickson
20:20 Aug 09, 2023

But she hasn't seen her closet yet! Funny premise 😂

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Nina H
20:44 Aug 09, 2023

Lol!! True!! Maybe she’ll take it all in stride as he was just trying to help again 🤣

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Mary Bendickson
20:50 Aug 09, 2023

Let's hope she discovers his true talents soon.

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Unknown User
18:50 Aug 15, 2023

<removed by user>

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Nina H
21:29 Aug 15, 2023

Hi Joe! I don’t know, I may be giving humans too much credit with how an alien species would interact with us 😂 Thanks for the kind words and reading!!

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