One hundred and twenty three years goes by so quickly it seems. Laloux knew perfectly well that a heliump has a limited lifespan (one that ends exactly on the 123rd birthday), but it seemed like yesterday that Lambchop hatched from that black pea-sized egg and brought her life such joy. In truth though, it had been a while since Lambchop had been able to float very high at all. That was a tell-tale sign of the beginning of the declining years. He was always so thrilled to go for floats, but these days he was not able to get his limbs off the ground. They just slowly pulled him along with the aid of what remained of his failing helialumous glands (which went like clockwork on the 122nd birthday). It almost made Laloux not even want to go for floats any longer, but you could still see the joy in Lambchop’s cloudy eyes when Laloux would jingle the collar and ask “Want to go for a float?”. Laloux would think to herself, that these outings were hardly floats nowadays and in reality they were walks or sadly even drags at times.
As big as cow, Lambchop was curled up on the sofa sleeping with a wheeze and tiny snore occasionally. There was hardly room left on the sofa for Laloux to sit, but they made it work. With great love, Laloux slowly stroked Lambchop’s bulbous and faded hide as she looked at her favorite cushioned spot in the ceiling corner that Lambchop would never use again.
“What a good boy you are.” She said with some sadness in her voice.
His eyes opened from some dream and found Laloux.
“Remember when your skin used to be the most beautiful shade of the palest blue? I bet you do.” Laloux smiled. “Let’s see if I have something for you.”
She fumbled for her purse as a glimmer of excitement fell over Lambchop’s face. His dusty-brown stinger (no longer the proud shade of purple of his youth) began to wiggle with happiness.
“I think I have something here.”
Having rummaged through an exterior pocket and not finding what she wanted she opened the main zipper and pulled out a brown apothecary jar labeled ARSENIC and shook it with the rattle of a single stone left inside.
“I’ll get some more tomorrow.”
The nuggets of arsenic stone were too hard for Laloux to eat, so she saved the nuggets for Lambchop as a special treat and cooked with the powder for herself. She removed the cork stopper and poured out a silver stone the size of a blueberry into her hand. Panting with anticipation, Lambchop lifted his head and pulled himself up with creaky joints. Tounges reaching for the arsenic nugget. He began to perform a somersault on the sofa, the way he used to in the air for a treat (but lately was forced to do on the ground) and Laloux stopped him from doing it before he started and gave him the treat with a smile.
With more ease than Laloux had expected, Lambchop hobbled over to his leash and collar and began to make his anxious and excited clicking noises.
“Are you sure?”
Lambchop got even more excited.
“Ok..we can go…” Laloux almost finished with for a float and then almost said for a walk but didn't want to conclude the proclamation with either.
Instead she said “…outside!”
Lambchop still had plenty of months left with plenty more “floats”, but Laloux decided to make this one special.
“I have an idea!”
Instead of heading out the backdoor, they made their way to the den, where the Ingress device was set up. After slipping into the outfit from the dock on the wall, adjusting settings on the suit and on the device, and turning the Ingress device on, they headed through the swirling ether that formed in front of them and stepped onto soil that was light years away from their home in Baltimore, Maryland.
Mist hung heavy across the fields of varying fungi that ranged in color and size. The atmosphere was quite different from where they had just been and so was the gravity. Glee swept over Lambchop as his feet left contact with the ground and he floated next to Laloux (a few inches off the ground) while tethered by the leash while the outfit kept Laloux grounded. With the aid of his helialumous glands he used to be able to float a bit higher on this moon, but this was still a joy. Lambchop felt one hundred and twenty one again. It seemed like old times. As they strolled through the fungi field Laloux didn’t have a single sad thought. She just smiled. It was their favorite place. It felt like they both were a century younger - when Laloux didn’t have a care in all the worlds and Lambchop would float as high as he wanted.
As of October 2016, I intended to use this blog as an accompaniment to my Facebook page and Instagram page. On this blog I post information and updates about my work as well as once a month I highlighted an artist whose work I like (I stopped doing this when I opened my gallery www.GalleryBlueDoor.com). As of March 2017, I began posting a monthly Story Entry with an accompanying illustration of mine. In mid-2019 I took a break from this, but it will resume.