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In our frantic scramble for getting ready to leave, I was the one sorting through all the crap we had, while Dad stayed and helped me to judge what to sell to the townspeople, or give to the church, or keep. He was not helping physically because he was house hunting for cabins in space, which really threw me off. He did it on a weird apparatus that he dug out of the Nagare called “Astupid-outdated-son-of-a-bitch-computer.” The device bowled me over because it was just a little orb sitting on a table, a floating transparent television without its case, and a typewriter in the same design. He said that it was forty years old, which I believed, but it didn’t click, it looked so new and unusual. It looked like the equipment that I see in the medical center, but it seemed far off… I was sitting in my room sorting some old nine-year-old dolls and other childhood possessions that I never had the heart to sell. Dad came in holding a box as big as his belly, that shined a silver color, but in a very dull way. “Carol, my old flame on Starbase 1 sent me this. I told her our plans and she offered me a place to stay. She also heard about you and sent us both some stuff to help. The box is mostly for you to adapt, so get started. It came fast. Postal service in the real world is better then it is here, I tell ya. Anyway, almost everything inside was for you because I already know what’s out there.” He said. Dad then put the box down, and I noticed that it was open already. Dad sighed and started to walk away. “Take a break and explore the box, there’s a hand book that I saw, and a trendy outfit of some kind in there. I’m going to throw my computer out the window.” He said, grunting the last sentence in frustration. Dad shut my door,

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groaned all the way down the stairs, and left me alone with my childhood memories. “An outfit… he said?” I wondered, and excitedly twiddled my fingers like Oliver Hardy. I stood up and stepped over clothes and book piles. My dress knocked them over, damn it. I was never really, into the poodle skirt and ponytail jazz, nor denim overalls, except for farming. I always liked the browns and beiges of the clothing because they perfectly matched the mood my surroundings… I bent down to look inside the box, and noticed a pair of fingerless white gloves that stopped at the wrist bone and wrapped in a bag. I pulled the gloves out, set them aside, and pulled out a large white piece of fabric, held in a clear bag. I unraveled it, and saw that it was a short white dress. By what I could see, the dress was just slightly too small, but it was an idyllic length. I put it with the gloves and noticed a blue box that was no bigger then my hand. I pulled that out and noticed that it was heavy for its size. It had a shocking label with a silhouetted white lady against a blue grid with some zappy sharp looking text that said “Zenith Ray Hedy” as the brand. I didn’t know what that this was, but I opened the Zenith Ray Hedy box. I pulled out a piece of blue metal flake vinyl, like the seats at the malt shop, tied with a piece of fabric. I unraveled it and thought it was a sweater until I saw a long matching glove pop out. That puzzled me. Is this a matching formal dress set? I wondered. I just got a white dress. …and more importantly, what kind of formal dress is in such a small box? How inelegant! It sure does feel weird. I found a turtleneck and stood up to let it roll out, and found out that this malt-shop outfit is probably the strangest thing that I had ever seen. It was all one garment, not a dress and gloves at all. A turtleneck sweater, gloves, and…tights all rolled into one thing. It seemed about four millimeters thick too…how very odd… 2

It was … like a science fiction girl on TV, or a pulp fiction of a kind. I dropped it on top of the dress and searched the box for an explanation as to what this was. I found some white boots with a monster heel that were also in the box, and were nothing like I had seen. I studied the boots and their heel, and found some instructions in the box. The blue thing I mistook for a dress, is called a Hedy, which makes sense on the box now. Its base use is equal to an under garment. I looked at the Hedy for a second, and then contemplated putting it on. I felt it, noticing that it too was too small, but it was elastic so it might work. It reminded me of a film I saw in my theater class when I was obsessed with that field: Louis Feuillade's Les Vampires. The character, I don’t remember who, had an outfit like this… I didn’t want to see the films, but the classmates in a contest held by my teacher, Mr. Lovitz, voted for the silent films for some reason. I wanted to see American Graffiti… Irma Vep; that was her name. I held the Hedy at arms length for a better look. It may have been the color, but the Hedy reminded me less of Irma Vep and more of a female alien on TV. I don’t want to be an outcast once I arrive in… space. I guess it doesn’t hurt to try it… I noticed that the Hedy had no zipper. With uncertainty, I skimmed the book for some help. I didn’t want to rip it, or risk the possibility. The book said concisely to bunch it up and pull it on. It’s so durable that it will never tear. I didn’t know how that worked, and the book didn’t give an answer. I pondered it over for a moment, and then decided to try it out. In a few minutes, I was wearing nothing but the Hedy, and looking at myself in the mirror. It was snug, and was just the right fit, despite how small it looked. I was surprised that I could even squeeze into it without baby 3

powder. It shined like the chrome on a hot rod, and it mirrored everything. I liked it! I slipped the dress on, which had an unusual sheen to it, and had the same snug properties as the Hedy, and put a blue hair band on afterward. It was weird to me how only half a belt was on the dress with the back part sewed on. The handbook says that the clothing is made of something called Elotant for better morphing abilities. Whats Elotant? I wondered to myself. Another mystery to solve… I picked up the boots and looked for some laces, or a zipper. There weren’t any. Why are there boots without laces or a zipper? Where has the zipper concept gone? I checked the instructions written for me and they said to pull the boots on. Are zippers outdated? The heels were ten centimeters round and swoopy and had stylish lines all over them, so why not? I’ll do it. Let’s see how I walk in these. As I put them on, I remembered that Mom never let me have any footwear with heels this big. I’ve seen some in thrift shops, they had a zipper, and they were so cool, but I got either flats, very low heels, or nothing at all. I have some boots with heels like these, just little ones, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I tried to walk… and fell down on top of my stacked books. Shoot…

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