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by H. Bradley Stucki

“Well dear, have you chosen yet?”

“I can’t decide. Have you seen one you like?”

“Don’t ask me! This was your idea, remember?”

“Yes, but it’s so hard to choose. They all need someone. Couldn’t we just take them all?”

“No way! I agreed only if we got a small one. You’ve been looking at everything but small ones.”

“But if someone doesn’t adopt them, they’ll be destroyed.”

“Better that than letting them run around loose. Dear... Dear, where are you?”

“Over here! Look! This is the one I want!”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure! Look how pretty! It’s not too big is it? Please say it’s not too big.”

“Oh, the size is fine, but it’s sitting alone in the dark. I wonder why it’s out here and not over with the rest? Maybe it’s not healthy. You never know about these strays.”

“That’s why it needs us!”

“Look, here comes an attendant. Oh sir! Yes, over here please. We were wondering about this little one.”

“You don’t want that one.”


“You definitely don’t want that one.”

“Why not? It looks so helpless.”

“It’s anything but helpless. That thing has turned on everyone who’s tried to help it. Sometimes the owners have gotten so frustrated, they’ve punished it horribly. It’s been close to death several times but never seems to learn.”

“Maybe they were treating it wrong. Maybe it just needs some love. There’s more to raising them than rigid discipline, you know.”

“Oh that’s been tried too, Ma’am, more than once. One of the attendants got really close to it. Got right down with it and tried to love it out of its bad ways. It turned on him before he could get out. Killed him.”

“Wow! I’ve heard all I need to hear. Let’s go look at the others.”

“Wait! We can’t just leave it. It needs someone. Can’t we try?”

“Not on your life! The last thing we need is a killer pet.”

“What’s going to happen to this little one, though?”

“Don’t worry about that,” the attendant said. “We’re not going to destroy it. It’s too small to bother and can’t hurt anyone out here by itself.”

“How sad. Poor creature. Do you think that... uh...”


“Will it find a good home?”

“It might, Ma’am. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, but anything can happen.”

“Come on, Dear. We’ll just have to forget about this one.”

They moved off toward the galactic center.

The attendant watched them leave then went back to work.

Copyright © 2009 by H. Bradley Stucki

Open Challenge 321...

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