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       Henry got out of Marie’s car, shut the door, and walked into his building. He approached the elevator, thoughts
filled with plans for the rest of his day. He figured he would go up to his room, and then... do stuff. Perhaps they weren’t
the best plans ever, but they suited him just fine.
       The elevator opened with a pleasant “ding,” and Henry stepped in. He then stepped out backwards, his jaw
dropped nearly to the floor, as he saw the current occupant of the stark elevator: a penguin.
       “You... You’re dead!”
       “It is not for you to know.”
       He then ran like hell.



       The car was making a noise not unlike a robotic moose being choked to death. Marie scowled as she turned the
key for the fifteenth time since dropping Henry off. She began to consider that perhaps just his very presence causes
even inanimate objects to lose all interest in ever doing anything. As she pondered the possibility of such a nexus of
apathy, silently cursing her car, there was a sudden thumping on the passenger-side door.
       It was Henry.
       “What?” queried Marie, after rolling down the window.
       “I have to get the hell out of here!”
       Marie sighed, rolling her eyes, and said “In.”
       “Fucking penguins, man... bad news,” Henry muttered, entering the vehicle. At the precise moment he closed the
door, the car started.
       “What?”
       “I saw a penguin in the elevator.”
       Marie glared at him.
       “No, seriously. Not a hallucination this time. This has happened before.”
       “Before?”
       “Yeah, I just randomly ran into a penguin once before. They’re totally bad news.”
       “Do tell.”
       “Well, I just woke up one morning, and...”
       “Morning?”
       “Shut up. So, I woke up, and there was a penguin right next to me. A penguin, in my bed, staring me directly in the
face. I asked it what it was doing there, but it just yelled ‘It is not for you to know!’ What the hell am I supposed to do with
an answer like that?”
       Marie rolled her eyes. She would repeat this expression several times during Henry’s story.
       “Anyway, I figured the best thing to do was ignore it. I took a shower, and after about three minutes I noticed I was
still clothed... so I retried the shower thing, dried off, and went to get dressed. Penguin was still there. I told it to fuck off,
and all it says is ‘It is not for you to know!’ I tried watching some TV, since “As the Globe Turns Inside the Microwave”
was on, and Gerald was going to propose to Cynthia, not knowing that she was a werewolf, and having an affair with his
St. Bernard...”
       “Get. To. Point.”
       “Well, the damn penguin thing destroyed my TV. Caused it to implode. I went out for a walk, and the damn thing
followed me... but it got hit by a car. And now I just saw the same damn penguin sitting in the elevator.”
       By now, Marie was banging her head against the steering wheel.
       “I’m serious.”
       “Whatever.”
       “So... where are we going now?”
       Marie shrugged. “Mall?”
       “Sounds like a plan.”

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All text 8 2004 R.