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Galaxy Girls

On my way out of the public library three days ago, I saw two very thin creatures that looked like they were on an adventure. So I decided to follow them.

I think it was their slightness that drew my attention. Their meager legs that jutted out from the bottom of their long coats gave them an ethereal look, like they could slip through sidewalk cracks, or disappear forever if they walked into a crowd. They both had slippery straight hair that helped to shield their faces from the overly curious passersby. They even had trench coats on. Well— one of them did. The other had a beige parka that fell so loosely on her boney frame that it looked like it surely didn’t belong to her.

As the two nervously exited through the metal detectors out onto the cold pavement, I followed their warped shadows, only occasionally glancing up at their substantive—barely substantive—selves. First we cut across Broadway, then walked up three blocks to 59th street, then headed west toward the water. All the while I listened for scraps of conversation, but I swear, neither muttered a word. As we approached the pier and the wind off the Hudson swept our left sides, their dark wispy hair swung right and danced violently in the air.

We continued north for a long while, nearly twenty minutes. As I paced along, I grew worried that at some point they would notice me lurking behind them and then vanish into the breeze. I scolded myself for not choosing my quieter shoes that morning; my current pair was releasing a low squeak every few steps. But it seemed that the two did not detect my presence, or if they did, they sensed that I was no source of danger to them.

After walking a straight path for over a mile, I got very excited when the two made a sharp, synchronized left toward the boat basin. They approached the dock, while I stood stationary about twenty feet back (I didn’t want to push my luck by following them too closely. If they had noticed me and shooed me away, I would have missed the ending, which I knew would be the best part). Trench coat was now stepping delicately into a grungy rowboat. Parka was already inside, untying the ropes that were holding them to the dock. I watched the ropes splash into the river and the boat drift slowly away.

Once the boat was almost a speck against the darkening sky, I could see a metal saucer hovering just above it. I stepped forward towards the water, securing a good spot, as a crowd formed behind me and multiplied by the minute. In only a few moments I would see a thin, green ray of light shine down on the boat. The light would suck the two creatures up into the stars and out of existence, vanishing them from our very ordinary, earthly world. So I stood at the tip of the dock, waiting for this moment, waving goodbye.





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