The three of them headed up through the trees that night without speaking. Each one had a heavy weight to bear- Hans a chainsaw, Maggie an old doctor’s bag, and Jeff 7 carried the dead dog. An iridescent mist trailed behind them. When they reached the crest of Farmer’s Ridge they rested, gazing down at the valley below with its confetti of lights. Look at all them little windows, Hans said, waving the chainsaw to indicate the whole valley. Inside one of them houses someone’s getting fucked, meanwhile in another someone’s taking their last breath.
Highly unlikely, said Jeff 7.
Unlikely? Which part? Hans looked at Jeff 7, his chainsaw still raised.
Both things. I sense a deep yearning from the people of this valley. An unrequited longing for something they don’t yet have.
You and your Spidey senses. Just a bunch of simple humans down there. Your simple, average humans don’t yearn for anything. They eat, fuck, and die. In between they give each other a hard time.
At this point Maggie had claimed a large boulder for a seat and removed a flask from her bag. She took a long drink before twisting closed the silver cap. Shut up, Hans, she said. What do you know about humans?
Hans inadvertently scratched one of his pointy ears. He looked at Jeff 7. See what I have to deal with? he said.
Let’s go. There’s not much time, said Jeff 7.
When they arrived at the pulsating spacecraft they stopped. Any last words for planet Earth? Jeff 7 asked. Hans? …Maggie?
Good luck, idiots, said Maggie. She carried the doctor bag up the ramp into the blue saucer.
Hans? Jeff 7 waited.
No, I guess not. They’ll all figure it out themselves eventually. Hans started toward the spacecraft.
I disagree, said Jeff 7. I don’t believe they will ever figure it out. Hans stopped and looked at him. What are you saying, Jeff 7?
I’m saying we leave the dog, he said, setting the inanimate dog down on the dry leaves of the forest floor. We make it alive again and fill it with messages to spread to all the humans. Everything we think they should know.
No, we need to bring that dog BACK with us, Jeff 7! Møstroh said to.
Screw Møstroh. There’s an entire race of sentient beings down there that could really use a hand. I mean look at how they behave with each other.
Screw Møstroh? Are you serious? Hans stared.
I’m leaving the dog, said Jeff 7.
Well good luck bringing it back to life. I ain’t helpin you. I ain’t gettin’ banished by Møstroh to the Corynthian Galaxy again. No-siree. Hans headed up the ramp, swinging the chainsaw.
Has Interstellar Interface really made you that callous? Jeff 7 asked.
Yup, Hans said before disappearing into the ship.
Jeff 7 sat cross-legged in front of the dog. He waved his six-fingered right hand in circles over the dead animal. He murmured some incantations. The beast did not revive. He glanced back up at the ship. The ramp lights were now flashing and there was an urgent beeping noise. He saw Maggie look out from one of the portals for a second before disappearing from view.
You’ll spread the message to these beings, he told the dog. Then he went into his incantations again with a manic intensity. The dog appeared to stir for a second. Jeff 7 went on intoning magical phrases as fast as he could while behind him the spacecraft ramp was being raised. He laid his hand on the dog’s fur as the ship commenced spinning at a blinding speed. Leaves and branches were whipped into small twisters. When the ship shot off into the starry sky, Jeff 7 was still talking to the animal.
After the leaves and branched of the forest had settled, a lone human came stumbling down the path. What you got there, a dead dog? The human asked, swaying with inebriation.
Jeff 7 remained cross-legged, eyes closed, his humanoid form gradually dissipating. As Jeff 7 faded, the dog jerked to life spastically, like a marionette. Its eyes glowed. Don’t… Be afraid, the dog said to the human observer. I.. Come… In… Peace?