Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting- would be the night-
The night when SapocFM (or so he was told his name would be spelt in this language called English. What did these earthlings need vowels for anyway? His name was perfectly pronunciable without the “A” and “O” sounds in between) could finally raid the house of the Jones and gather his supplies for the next step of the mission. The larger and more difficult step.
It had taken him a one-month wait to get around to the first task. He was way behind schedule but oh well!
Technically, he need not have waited a month. He need not have waited at all.
All he had to do was stealthily break into the living habitat of an earthling and gather a few of those soft pieces of material they called cloth and collectively, clothes.
(Yes, he had been practising his vocabulary words, it was an essential part of his mission on Earth.)
But he had taken a special liking to the four-legged creature with the golden fur residing at the Jones’ house. He did not look like the others nor did he speak English.
SapocFM had learnt that it was a “dog”.
He would pass as a human if he wore their clothes and put on a mop of hair on his head.
Fortunately for him, these humans had this palette of colourful powders which they proudly caked their faces with, and after the use of that… erm.. fake up?
That’s what they called it.
(He knew he should’ve paid more attention while researching Earth Culture than he did.)
So after using this make up, he would be welcomed into their herd.
He looked into the window of the Jones’ again- he got a good view from the tree he was sitting in and it provided good cover- getting impatient that the female member of the species was spending hours trying on different clothes before leaving the house.
“Honey! We’re getting late- don’t want an incident like last time’s now, do we?” the male called out to the female in a reprimanding tone.
It fascinated SapocFM that the men (aah yes! MEN! He had been racking his brains for the correct word!) seemed to dominate the world here.
Back home, both men and women were given equal rights and most of the times, gender of people wasn’t even brought up. The only few times when it was taken into account was at the hospital, in schools while teaching biology or during some scientific researches!
Maybe he would put this point under “Peculiarities of planet” in his project.
Yeah…okay, so this wasn’t actually a mission.
It was just a school project.
And it was very lame.
So lame, in fact, that while it said to visit the planet chosen for field visit, the actual report would only consist of it’s “Geography”, “Climate” and a little bit about the culture.
Nobody even bothered to visit, they simply used the UWE (Universe Wide Entanglement) to find the information and then put it into their projects.
But SapocFM was going to make this wonderful project and become the star of his school!
So he devised his own mission, one with obstacles and challenges along the way.
This also made the project a lot more fun.
And all of those things aside, who in the right mind would turn down an opportunity to take their new spaceship on a ride to another planet?
So far, he’d only been allowed to take it out in his own galaxy, but this was for school. Nobody could stop him; which is why SapocFM had chosen the farthest galaxy he could find and picked up a planet in it.
The next step of his mission (he was calling it a mission, not a project) was to dress up like humans and interact with a few, this meant he could experience firsthand what it was like to be the dominant species inhabiting the planet Earth.
He was getting really impatient now.
Were the humans ever planning on leaving?
Just as he was about to go back to his spaceship to rest for a while, he heard a shuffling sound somewhere very close to the tree he was hiding in.
He became alert immediately, looking around for the source of the sound.
As he looked around, someone patted him on the back.
He would’ve fallen off the tree as he nearly jumped out of his hide had it not been for his Adherinator 333. Using it while he sat on the tree had beed good thinking. It was mostly just useful on planets that didn’t have gravity. He only bounced a bit before being restored to the perfect position he was in, pre-stranger attack.
He looked up to see said stranger smiling at him. He seemed to be young. Probably just the same earth-years old as SapocFM himself. No, a little younger definitely.
“Hey! Who’re you? I’m Ben. What’s your name? What’re you doing up here in this tree?? I have a treehouse on the other side of it- would you like to come play with us?”
“My name is SapocFM. What’s a treehouse?”
SapocFM racked his brain trying to remember what it meant. He wasn’t sure if he had learnt about it.
“It’s a house we made up in this tree.C’mon! I’ll show you!” This new human named Ben told him and started climbing higher on the tree.
SapocFM hurriedly switched off the Adherinator and tried to keep up with Ben lest he was left behind.
“Benny! There you are! What took you so long?” said another voice a little higher up in the tree.
SapocFM carefully climbed up and took a look at the source of the other voice.
Not that he would admit it to anybody, but he was a little scared now.
He relaxed a little when he saw that it was just a little girl like Ben. Maybe a little older.
“Soph! How many times do I have to tell you not to call me Benny! I’m not little anymore. I’m seven! Have a look at who I brought up here.”
“I’m gonna call you Bennydoodles even when you’re 50!” Then she turned to SapocFM and kept staring with wide eyes, “Who are you? You look… different. Are you new here? And I’m Sophie, Ben’s sister.”
“My name is SapocFM”
That’s the only way he had learnt to introduce himself, and he believed it to be precise. He was confused about how Ben and Sophie said that they were their given names.
How can humans be their names? Their names were just their names, something they didn’t even choose themselves.
“Don’t start asking him questions now, let’s go see how Puzzles is doing. Oops! I shouldn’t have said that! Now SapocFM knows too. No but he doesn’t really know who we’re talking about when we say Puzzles, does he?
But we could let him in on our secret. Shall we let him in on our secret?? Please, let’s! Please!”
“Alright! He probably already knows- and what with your blabbering, it won’t be long before Mom and Dad find out too! So much for keeping Puzzles a secret”
Ben excitedly turned to his new friend and told him all about the little brown puppy they had secretly adopted.
He also explained why they were calling him Puzzles, “Our mom said that it puzzles her why we suddenly want to have cereal twice a day now. But you guessed what we do right?”
He looked expectantly at SapocFM.
Undettered by a lack of coherent response, Ben went on, “I’ll tell you! We put milk in our bowls in the evening but don’t actually put cereal in it and then secretly bring the milk up here for Puzzles. It was Sophie’s idea! Isn’t it fun? She is smart, isn’t she? She can be annoying sometimes, but you’ll like her”
“I am not annoying!” Sophie said annoyingly.
“You are too!”
SapocFM really had no idea what Ben was telling him anymore (he didn’t know what a puppy was. He kept racking his brain because this time, he was sure he had learnt about that word before), but it made him really happy to be here in their queer little house up the tree, and thought their quarreling was fun and he thought he knew that feeling.
It felt like family and friendship.
He had friends back home.
He missed them now. It had been a month since he met them.
So he smiled at Ben and asked awkwardly “Can I see… Puzzles?” Then looked at Sophie, because it felt like she was in charge.
She smiled at him, but before she could say a word, Ben was already dragging him deeper into their treehouse (which was, as he was just noticing, exceptionally large and very colorful with lots and lots miniature land-vehicles and books lying around) where stood a smaller and an abnormally cuter version of the dog he had seen in the house of the Jones.
Of course! That’s a puppy, the offspring of a dog!
At the sight of Ben, Puzzles came running upto them and started licking Ben’s hand. SapocFM knelt besides him and- although frightened- touched the puppy’s soft fur.
Puzzles started licking his hand too and it felt warm.
Sophie came in with a bowl of milk which she set in front of Puzzles and excitedly looked at SapocFM, “You’re the first stranger he likes! He doesn’t even go near my friend Mel! The other day she offered him a biscuit but he hid behind my legs!”
“I’m your friend too now, aren’t I?”
“Yes you are my friend too!” Ben said without skipping a beat.
SapocFM and Sophie laughed.
Sophie said, “Yes you are! And I’m gonna call you Sappy!”
“Even when I’m 50 years old?” SapocFM asked.
“Even when you’re 50 years old.” Sophie replied.
As he laughed along with Ben and Sophie, SapocFM realized how not-lame his project was.
Tonight, after a month of waiting, SapocFM was with friends.
This short story was written by yours truly.
If you liked the story, do leave comments here or anywhere around this blog, complimenting her about it.
I’m sure she’ll like that (I am very confident about this statement this time).
This short story is a part of a series I’m posting written by my friends based on Harry Potter prompts. You can read the post where I explain it all here.
This is the previous story in the series.
The prompt “Perhaps tonight- after a month of waiting- would be the night-” is from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
I’ll put up the next story on the 25th of December (yes, Christmas day. The story is kinda magical) and the prompt is “Meanwhile, a very loud crashing noise was coming from the other side of the house.”