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The End of the Mission

by Kat Beyer

I was sitting on the front porch of my guesthouse, waiting for the mothership to come, enjoying the hot evening, when out of the grass they rose, one by one, little whirring beings with lanterns in their bottoms: blinking on; blinking off; blinking on. A local alien had told me the day before that this blinking was the way these little lantern-beings spoke of love.

I was still pondering this when the great beam blinked on and pulled me up into my mothership, among all my friends and cousins, "home sweet home" as the aliens say, and a surprise party for the end of the mission besides. Somebody had even hand-programmed a holograph saying "Happy End of Mission!" The cycling on it was wrong so it blinked on, blinked off, blinked on.

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