by Rae J. Angrem
From: zandrae_132@arcology11.nebraska.org.us 
Time: Fri, Oct 22, 2037, 10:38 AM CST 
Subject: Hey! 
To: zindym_216@nebraska.arcology11.org.us 

Dear Zindy: 

     How are you?  Haven't talked to you in a while, since you moved to the 216th Floor.  So I thought I'd send you a quick email & catch you up on the news.  I visited Naria's new place last night (it's much smaller than the place she lives in now), & Larbara & Tarcy live there, too.  They live in Indonesia now, or maybe Malaysia; anyway, I took the public BeamNet booth on the south side of the arcology to get there -- didn't want my parents to know I went -- & I can send you the access code if you want to visit. 

     But here's the amazing news:  They've got a Head! 

     It was incredible.  I've been dying to see one, & I suppose you have, too.  So I'll tell you everything (sure hope they make Heads legal here).  Here goes:  In their living room is like a "playpen," with those weird double-frogs, a purple thing I couldn't identify, a big brown water-spider (I guess), & a big, kinda porcelain vase. The vase is attached to a box that's attached to a covered "couch."  This is equipment that the Head needs so that it can live in our dimension.  Hard to believe, but Naria claims it's true.  Anyway, the playpen has a dip in it -- that is, its floor is somehow lower than the rest of the living room to provide a place for shallow water for the animals. 

     What lives in the vase is the Head!  It's something like an orange octopus with a large head, very short, almost non-existent arms.  It's like a very tame cephalapod (Naria's word!), like the rest of the "pets" (I think they're pets!?), & it crawls around in the shallow water & squeezes into the vase when it needs to be underwater.  When the Head is in the open air or in the water, it "breathes" loudly & raggedly in a snoring sort of way, & it also "grunts" at times.  It is wrinkly with large eyes, & its head seems to be 2 to 3 times the size of a human skull.  Sounds kinda gross, I know, but EVERYONE was taking turns hugging this huge, orange Head!  When the Head finally looked at me with its eyes, I just loved it, loved it, LOVED it!  I started crying & sobbing, too, and it was like taking the cleanest shower I've ever had!  Naria's place is visited constantly, & I found out that even my cousin Tatie & her family go there (they live in Madagascar, so it's not such a long trip for them).  I told Naria I've GOT to get one, & she gave me a spore from the Head.  Now I've got one growing in my bedroom closet in a pot of water! 

     I can't tell what the Heads eat, but Naria says they don't eat at all (Naria looks like she doesn't eat, either.  She's skinny like a toothpick now -- I'm so jealous).  But I just hug it all the time, when I can.  It's my pet & my baby, & I don't want to do anything else, anymore.  I really have to force myself to leave my bedroom & go to school (only one more year of high school!  Yay!!). 

     Oh my god, I can't believe I told you all of this.  Don't tell anyone, Zindy!  My Dad would be so pissed!!  He claims the Heads are bad aliens that landed here only a few months ago, & that the United Nations almost right away asked them to leave Earth for some reason.  But he said some countries (like Indonesia, or was it Malaysia?) have already given the Heads diplomatic immunity.  Anyway, I didn't tell my Dad that I don't believe any of it (AND that I've already got one of my own), because I'm 16 years old, & it seems like the Heads have been here all of my life.  But I don't ever watch the news, so who knows? 

     Hey, y'know what?  I think I'll go ahead & snail-mail you a spore!  The Head's got lots of them -- they shed all the time.  It's so adorable!!  I know you're gonna go just wild about it when yours is grown! 

     BTW, no offense, Zindy, but please don't write me back unless you have to.  I won't be able to answer my email for a while cuz I'll be busy hugging you-know-who!! 

Take Care! 
Zandra   *

Story copyright ©1997-98 by Rae J. Angrem <andy@planetmag.com>  

Illustration copyright ©1997-98 by Romeo Esparrago <romedome@aol.com>


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