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Farewell to Earth
CHAPTER 1 (Pleskit)
A Letter Home

FROM: Pleskit Meenom, on the soon to be distant Planet Earth

TO: Maktel Geebrit, on my beloved home planet, Hevi-Hevi

Dear Maktel:

This will be the last letter I send you from Earth. Things here have taken a shocking turn, and I wanted to let you know about them as soon as possible.

Actually, I am sure you have already heard something about the most recent events, whether on the Interplanetary News or from your Motherly One. But I wanted to give you the inside story. It only seemed fair, since you're going to have to deal with the results yourself before long!

I hope you won't be too upset.

Fremmix Bleeblom!

Your pal,

Pleskit

CHAPTER 2 (Pleskit)


A Bitter End

When Chris Mellblom walked right past me in the lunchroom without even saying hello, I knew something was wrong. From the very beginning of my stay here on Earth, Chris had been one of the kids most willing to be friendly with a purple alien from the planet Hevi-Hevi.

The most willing of all, of course, had been my good friend Tim Tompkins. He and Rafaella Cruz were sitting next to me when Chris walked past.

“What was that all about?” asked Rafaella, looking surprised. “Chris is usually a lot nicer than that.”

“I do not know,” I said, emitting the quiet fart of minor sorrow. Its odor is subtle, and Tim and Rafaella did not even notice it.

“Maybe he's got end-of-the-year jitters,” said Tim, ducking a paper airplane thrown at him by Jordan Lynch. “After all, we've got some major tests coming up.”

This sentence would turn out to be more true than Tim realized-though the tests we were about to face were not the ones that could have been expected.

“If it was only Chris acting strange, I might agree,” I said, shouting to be heard above the cafeteria hubbub. “But he is the third kid to snub me like that today.” I sighed. “I am aware that all things must come to an end, but I was hoping sixth grade would have a better ending than this.”

“Well, you couldn't ask for better weather!” said Rafaella, trying to be cheerful.

In this regard she was right. Earthlings divide their year into units loosely related to the action of their single, rather small moon. We were currently in the unit called “June” and the sunshine and cool breezes were most pleasant. In less than two weeks the school year would be over.

Personally, I took small comfort in the lovely weather and the approaching vacation-especially when the next day even more kids began avoiding me or acting uncomfortable in my presence.

“This is definitely weird,” said Tim, when we went outside for what our teacher, Ms. Weintraub, calls, “The Daily Runaround.” (She calls it this because she says we are too old for “playtime.” I am glad she does not think we are also too old to need the free time the “runaround” offers us.) “I tried asking Chris what was up, but he wouldn't say.”

“Neither would Michael, or Misty,” said Rafaella, referring to two other classmates who had refused to talk to me that day.

“You don't suppose this is about Dolores, do you?” asked Tim.

Dolores used to be one of our class hamsters, until she mutated (for reasons that were only partly my fault) into an intelligent but evil hamsteroid. “Five inches tall and dangerous as a rattlesnake,” is how my bodyguard, Robert McNally, liked to describe her. The reason Dolores was still on everyone's minds was that, as far as we knew, she was living inside the walls of the school, which made us all a bit nervous.

The school authorities had tried to catch her, of course, but setting traps for Dolores was a little tricky, since she tended to do something even worse in response. The last trap they had put out for her ended up in the chair of our principal, Mr. Grand, causing a very painful accident to his bottom parts.

As I've said, Dolores was not merely intelligent, she was dangerous.

Even so, I didn't think she could be the root of the current problem.

Neither did Tim. “I don't see why the kids would be any more upset about Dolores now than they were last week, or the week before,” he said.

Rafaella shrugged. “Sometimes these things build up in people's minds.”

#

As it turned out, whatever was building up, it wasn't just in the minds of my classmates. When I left school that day I saw something I hadn't seen since the early days of my visit to this planet: a group of protesters waving signs with angry slogans such as “Alien Go Home!” and “Earth Doesn't Need Purple People!”

It was only a small group, and they were being held on the far side of the street by a line of police officers. Even so, it was distressing. I mean, can you imagine what it's like to know there are people you've never even met who dislike you so much they want to throw you off their planet?

“Geez-Louise, I thought we were done with this nonsense,” said McNally. (That's what he prefers to be called. No “Mr.” No first name. Just McNally-which has led Shhh-foop, our Queen of the Kitchen, to think Just McNally is his name.)

Someone shouted a rude remark.

McNally shook his head in one of those Earthling gestures I find so interesting, then opened the door of the long black limousine we use to travel back and forth from the embassy.

The limo is heavily shielded against attack. I found this idea shocking when we first moved here. However as time went on I became increasingly glad to have this protection.

Ralph-the-Driver nodded as we took our places. But he didn't say anything. He never does.

Suddenly one of the Earthling vegetables called a “tomato” splattered against the window.

A cheer broke out from the mob. At the same time the police began shouting and pushing them back.

“Drive!” ordered McNally.

Ralph nodded and the limo moved swiftly away from the school.

Behind us I could hear the angry shouts of the mob.

Clearly, something very bad was going on.

But what was it?



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