Chapter 18

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by Phoebe

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by Phoebe

I wanted to drive us,
since I'm
the One and Only Bengal,
but Hooman #1
insisted I sit
in the passenger seat
while she takes the wheel
with the promise
she'll follow my directions.
Hooman #A sits
in the backseat
next to Buttercup,
and he's scratching
her torty fur
until she sticks her rump
up at the window.

As we pass
a semi-truck driver
he looks down
and gets a good laugh.

we took off our
mechanical thumb-gloves,
so the trucker doesn't know
Hooman #1 is chauffeuring
the felines trying
to save everyone from
Centauri Proxima B.
I turn to a Buttercup,
frustrated beyond
a mere hiss or growl.

Can't you practice
a little more class
with where you point
your toosh?

Sounds like the old lady
is jealous I'm getting pets
while she's up there
with the hooman driver.

Hooman #A
Please don't fight—

Hooman #1
Or I'll turn
this car around—

No you won't!
I command you
to keep driving!

Hooman #1

Hooman #A
I don't think DeeJAY
would like it much
if we abandoned
our mission...

I look up
into the rearview mirror
to glare at him.

I don't care
about upsetting DeeJAY;
I'm doing this
for America's sake,
before Orange Man
takes advantage of this
base on the West Coast
and wrecks my home—

I think you're still mad
that lizardman stole
Happy Rock
from our front yard.

Damn straight
we're still pissed
about that;
I can have multiple priorities.
Right, Hooman?

Yeah, well,
don't paint your personal
investments in this mission
like it's patriotism.

Hooman #A
Why are you being so sassy?

I just think
it's not helping anyone
when they brand patriotism
with personal beliefs.
It's like when people say
they got to build a wall
"to keep crime out
of this country," yet
it's citizens who rape,
it's citizens who murder,
and it's citizens mixing meth.
Remember that dude
making meth in front of
our old Van Ness apartment?

Hooman #A
I had no idea
you were into politics.

We listen to podcasts
with Alexa
while you're at work.
...And you know he'll never
get impeached, right?
Sometimes I think
our forefathers will rise
from the grave to start
a zombie apocalypse,
like a hooman
bringing a dying animal
to the vet, to ease the pain
of their child's final
moments with sweet,
inevitable peace.

The car falls macabre quiet.

Girl, when's the last time
you got a manicure?

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