Spaceman Spiff and the Marriage of Doom! By Joe Cloudheart

Spaceman Spiff walked through the corridors of a hideous alien ship. The walls were covered in booger-like substances. Normally he would have liked that. But not today!!

He kept close to the wall. Little did the aliens aboard know that he had escaped. The fools! Soon he would accomplish the feat of taking their midget sized slime doctors back to his planet and receive a parade of some sort in return, he was sure. He turned the corner. Yes, here in their foul laboratories, with their bubbling pools of gel and goo dripping from the walls, they toiled. Black slime monsters that although smaller than him, still possessed information he needed to extract. Unfortunately that would have to wait...

Dashing in, he threw water on the controls. Ha ha! The disgustingness of the aliens was apparent as soon as he came aboard, but knowing full well that water was their enemy he had brought supplies and hidden them across the ship before being captured... And being captured was even more horrible than he thought! The creatures actually had the appalling and devious idea of trying to make him do math equations! Well, no more!

The controls fritzed out, sputtering and throwing sparks. The ship began to rumble ominously.

"If you value your pathetic, useless lives, come with me!" shouted the intrepid Spaceman.

Soon enough, they were far away. Spiff made sure to fiddle with their controls so that the aliens would be stuck there for awhile. Good! Everything was going according to plan... They landed on a space outpost to refuel. Oh no! The aliens that looked like they were covered in snot had gotten here before him! How was this possible? And what would happen to the slime doctors??

"Calvin, take those things outside...What are those...Are those LEECHES??? Go! Get those out of here and put them back in the woods! For crying out loud..."

Calvin, reluctantly carrying his bucket, walked back outside. Dumping the leeches back in the river he said. "Jeez, this is what you get for trying to further medical science..."

Later, he and Hobbes were playing. It was almost evening, and they were playing Spy vs Spy vs. Calvinball. It was a new game they had made up. They were spies playing Calvinball. It involved such complicated maneuvers so that they were the only ones on the planet would could probably understand its delicate structure and set of rules...

"Hey, whattdya mean your taking sanctuary! You can't do that!" shouted Calvin.

"I can too," said Hobbes matter-of-factly. "I'm on first base, so I can stay here as long as I want."

"That's not what you can do. Not when I have my deadly assassins everywhere, willing to do my bidding!"

"Sure, I suppose you could, but then you would be taking the coward's way out, and you wouldn't be doing anything yourself. And then you wouldn't really be winning, you'd be having others win for you."

Calvin made a couple of angry expressions and then went off to think about this. Hobbes smugly stayed on his base of operations.

Susie Derkins loved walking along the woods outside her house. She never wandered too far off, and the sunset was going to be so lovely. She amiably walked along, appreciating the flowers and the trees for their natural beauty, a wide smile on her face.

Oh, no, she thought, spotting Calvin. It's Calvin...

Oh, no, thought Calvin. "It's Susie! I bet she's come here to sabotage my plans to defend the world! I bet she's been hired by some sort of agency bent on taking over the world and giving it to aliens!"

I suppose I'll just be nice and say hello, she thought.

"Hi, Calvin! What're you playing? I like your jacket..."

"Ha! An easy cover. I see through your disguise!"

"Oh, are you playing spies? Can I play too? I can be a woman spy trying to save the world from you. And you can be trying to convince me that you're in love with me so I wont find out your plans..."

"Hold it right there, sister! I don't take orders from anyone, especially a dame! Especially a dame who's crazy and bent on taking over the world!"

"I am not... Fine. I don't want to play with you and your mangy tiger, anyway," she said, sticking her tongue out.

"Hey, don't call Hobbes that! Even if it is sort of true..."

"No, I suppose Hobbes isn't as mangy as you, but then you've been playing in the mud all day..."
"Its because I was trying to save the world from aliens!"

"Oh, whatever. You're weird, Calvin," she said moodily.

"Yeah,'re a booger head!" he yelled as she began walking away.

"Yeah, well, you can play alone if you want to...I bet you won't have any fun, though! I bet Hobbes must get pretty lonely talking to you, anyway!"

"What does THAT mean?!" Calvin said angrily.

"Well, you probably don't have anything interesting to say, so I guess he must be pretty bored," she said, trying to protect her own hurt feelings.

"Yeah..just shut up! You're just an alien!"

"I think you're the alien! You're the weird one, remember?"

Susie started walking back home. Why did Calvin have to be so mean? Why didn't he ever want to play? There weren't any other children their age in the neighborhood. She sighed. Maybe her mom would have time to play when she went inside.

Spaceman Spiff received an urgent reply from Space Command. The booger monsters were planning an invasion. Only Spaceman Spiff could save them in time! The plan? A pre-emptive strike, starting with the leader...

Susie walked along the path. Her house was in view. Little did she suspect from the rustling in the bushes...

Spaceman Spiff dodged around cliffs on the planet Derkins III. It was the home planet of the booger monsters, so he would need to use the element of surprise if he was to win. His spaceship rounded the corner of the orange cliff. Oh no! The monster was there and huger than fifty aliens put together! Fire! Fire! The command went off in his mind as he used his blaster.

Susie's arm and cheek had been splattered with mud. "Calvin!!! You little jerk!"

Calvin stood there stupidly, smiling like a moron.

Zounds! Firing has only made the creature more angry! Spiff thought.

"Why do you always have to be so mean? What did I ever do to you? Why don't you want to be my friend?" Susie was on the verge of crying. "Well if you don't its your loss!" she said, remembering what her mom had told her. Then she got angry and shoved Calvin down and ran away, trying not to cry.
Calvin looked guiltily back towards where Hobbes was. Hobbes hadn't seen everything, but he had heard most of it.

Spaceman Spiff was suddenly alone on the planet. Victory! So...why didn't he feel like celebrating??

He came back to Hobbes, who was standing on his base of operations. Hobbes had his arms folded and Calvin just looked like he had done something really wrong.

"What??" said Calvin, throwing up his arms in the air.

"I don't think Susie enjoyed the game as much as you did..."

"I didn't see what happened. She attacked me!"

"No she didn't! You just didn't like it when she tried to add new rules!"

"Hey, no one invited her in the first place!"

Calvin went back home. Stupid Susie. Stupid girl.

Hobbes wasn't very talkative that night. Of course, that was because in his tigery mind, something was hatching...

The next day, Hobbes sat eating lunch with Calvin after school on a blanket his mom had provided. Calvin ate his sandwich and Hobbes had tuna. Calvin liked tuna this week because he had transmogrified into several different animals again the weekend before, and one of them was a bear. And they liked tuna. Calvin was pretty sure of this. And he still wasn't entirely over the transmogrification. He had asked his mom for giant squid but she said they were all out for the time being. Wouldn't you just know it? Hmm. Well, okay, the tuna would do for now then.

Susie walked and tried not to think about Calvin, even though she'd probably see him if he was outside. Well, if he wanted to play with her, he could just forget it! She could have plenty of fun without him!

Hobbes came up with an idea. "Hey, you know what would be fun? Calvinball!"

"Hey, yeah. But just regular Calvinball this time. Spy Calvinball has too many rules..."

"Yeah, who needs rules?"

"Exactly! Okay, Ill go get the Calvinball and you stay here, buddy..."

"Right. I'll just stay here and scare off spies who might want to play with us..."
"Good thinking!" Calvin said, running off.

Okay. This was perfect. Calvin was inside, and all he needed now was for Susie to see him...

"Oh..." said Susie. She found Hobbes on the ground, beside a tree. "Calvin must have left you here by accident. I bet he's worried." She stood there with big, wondering eyes. She really didn't want to see Calvin or even talk to him, but he really cared about Hobbes. "Okay," she said. "For your sake I'll bring you back."

After waiting awhile, it occurred to Susie that Calvin might be really sorry for what he did the other day. Well. If he was, she would be sure and listen to him carefully and consider forgiving him. But first he'd have to beg. On his knees. He'd have to beg for forgiveness. "And then I'll make him eat bugs!" she said. A rare, rather evil little smile crossed her face.

"Remember Calvin, you have a shorter time inside...daylight savings!"

"Okay, okay..." he said, grumbling.

Calvin came outside. Susie was sitting on his blanket! And she was talking to Hobbes!

"Hey!" he said, and walked up to the two of them. "I thought tigers were supposed to scare off intruders!"

"Hobbes and I were just talking about that. But since I'm such a close, personal friend, he doesn't include me...besides, I found him way over there, and I didn't want you worrying about him."

"I don't!-You did? I thought I left him here..." Calvin grimaced. "His jungle instincts must've taken over and he must have wandered off. Um...well, thanks. I guess. If you hadn't brought him back I might have gotten pounced on." Hobbes looked up in the air and whistled all innocent-like.

"Yeah, well, bye..." Susie said getting up to leave. "I don't want to get in the way of your stupid precious boy-games."

"Darn right!" said Calvin.

Hobbes suddenly looked covert, and whispered to Calvin. "Shh! No, this is perfect! Susie is a spy! She's been sent here to steal our plans!"

"She has?"

"Yeah! She thinks we're just playing regular Calvinball...but she doesn't have any idea that we've invented all sorts of new rules!"

"Oh. Oh yeah!"

"So if we let her play, she has no chance of winning!" said Hobbes, smiling wickedly from his nefarious plan.

"Boy, yeah! Susie doesn't stand a chance! We'll show those spies who can take over the world and who can't!" said Calvin, rubbing his hands together, in a planning smile. "Hey, Susie! Wait..."
Susie was really surprised that Calvin asked her to play. Still, it was better than sitting at home doing the same old thing. She had plenty of books, but she didn't get to play like this every day! And she'd show Calvin. She didn't play sports at school because she didn't want to be made fun of, but with Calvin she could! And maybe if she played Calvin's game, he'd come over for a tea party later...

"Okay, what're the rules?" she asked happily, her arms at her sides.

"Well, the rules are different every time you play..."

"What? So...what are the rules today?"

Calvin explained that each player could make rules at certain times. There were approximately 23 bases all over the woods and around his house. Points were obtained by freezing, unfreezing, flying over danger zones, and whoever had the most points at any given time could also make new rules...

"Ha ha ha!" he cried. "I've obtained the pail! That means I have 25 points! And Hobbes saw me take it while I jumped over a python, so that's 50 more points"

"Hmm. Okay..." Susie jumped up and pulled a branch down, and pulled off some leaves. "Now I have magic leaves from the magic monkeys. This means I can go wherever I want without dying."

"No way! You can't do that!"

"Well, okay...until I get frozen or something."

"Hmm...okay...we have to freeze her!"

"Got it!" said Hobbes. This was great...they weren't fighting!

Susie ran along the path. She had to find something now. Where was that base. Hmm...

She touched a tree. "I'm on a can't touch me."

"No, but Hobbes can! Pounce her!"

"No...I don't want to get my fur dirty on that tree..."

"What're you talking about??? You're already dirty..."

"No I'm not...and you're jealous because of it..."

"Jealous? Of you??"

"Calvin? Aren't you gonna try and get me?"

"Huh? Oh yeah...hmm...Okay! Calvin ran off and came back with a bunch of marbles. "I have these, which means I can tag you!" Susie ran off.

"Nope, you can't harm me," Calvin insisted later. "I'm at the frog base. See this frog? He doesn't like girls so he puts up a shield around me protecting me from everything..."

Susie rolled her eyes. She politely asked the frog if he would help here out. The frog complied and hopped away.

"Traitor!" yelled Calvin, as Susie smiled contentedly.

After a bunch of laser zapping, and cowboy attacks, and last but not least being helped by the aqua citizen lungfish people of Atlantis VIII, Calvin and Susie were actually pretty worn out.

"Wow, that was pretty fun!" said Calvin to Hobbes as his mom called him back inside.

"See? Didn't I tell you that you could play with three people?"

"Yeah. But no more, okay? If you play with more than three we might wind up blowing up the planet."

"You're right. That would be bad for everyone..."

Susie was completely filthy when she got home. "Susie! Did that Calvin boy bother you again??" The day before, Susie just told her mom she fell in a mud puddle but there had been plenty of times when she complained loudly and more loudly about Calvin being a little twerp.

"No, I actually had fun! We played princess and pirates for hours!"

"You did?"

"Uh huh. I got to make up all the rules. Calvin just helped. Some..." Susie triumphantly went off to take a bath, as per her mother's insistence.

* * *

14 years later...

Calvin was getting ready to leave when the doorbell rang.

"Susie! I was just getting ready to pick you up..."

"Hi.." she said, hugging him warmly. "You look tired..."

"I was up all night on this new comic..."

Susie pored through his work, laughing. "Calvin, this is so great..."

"Yeah, well, I have great inspiration..."


"I meant Hobbes," he said sarcastically, adjusting the tiger he always kept on the desk in the living room whenever he drew his comics or wrote short stories.

"Oh. Well in that case, I guess I can't help even just a little?" she said, hugging him still."

"Well, I guess. But only because you asked so nicely..."

Hobbes made "kissy noises" Calvin just ignored him.

Calvin was very much the same at 20 as he was as a child. He had grown into a thin, lanky, sandy haired young man, smooth-faced, and his hair still had a little bit of the "choppy" look it once did when he was a child.

Later, after Susie had left, Hobbes walked up beside Calvin.

"New comic?"

"Yep. This one is about space of course."

"Are there any good monsters?"

"Um...I'm working on it. Remember the quadruple headed guys? I'm bringing them back temporarily. I'm kind of stuck, though."

"You know what this story needs? A good tiger..."

"Um...I guess. If I wanted a really lame subplot..."

"Lame! Hey!"

"Only for space..."

"Are you saying, PAL, that tigers can't have adventures in space??"

Calvin and Hobbes eyes each other warily. The next moment they were holding one another by the tail and legs, fighting on the floor. They looked like they were playing Twister.

"Say it! Say tigers make the best heroes!"

"No. Never!"

"You know, you may be older, but I can still claw you up..."

"Okay, tigers make the best heroes..."

Calvin's mom walked inside. "What happened to you??" she said, with some surprise. Calvin was sitting beside the sofa, his hair a mess, and with Hobbes sitting on top of the cushions.

"Oh, I was..uh, just doing some jumping jacks...ya know, getting the creative juices flowing..."

It just shouldn't surprise me, she thought, and went back to her study.

"Hobbes..." said Calvin. "There's something I've been wanting to talk about. Susie..."

"Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees??" said Hobbes, annoyingly, batting his eyes, and holding his hands all romantic like.

"Hobbes, were my best friend for a long."

"I know, Calvin. I know Susie's your best friend now. I always wanted it that way..." Hobbes tried to explain.


"She's the best friend you could ever have," said Hobbes, laying a paw on Calvin's shoulder. "Besides, how often do you even talk to your ol' buddy anymore??" he said, trying to lay on a major guilt trip.

"Can I make up for it with tuna?"

"My gosh, I never would have thought have that! But since you brought it up..."

It was true. In the years since elementary school, there had been campouts, and Calvin had met all sorts of people, made all sorts of odd, wonderful friends that he cherished. There had been dances, and recitals, and nervousness, and triumph. There had been games, and adventures, and sadness, and family joy. There had been Susie, his best friend through thick and thin.

"It's were my first friend."

"I know. But I wasn't your last," said Hobbes, munching his tuna sandwich. "Even though you would have gone nowhere without me..." Hobbes said immodestly.

"Hey, you got me started out in life. Along with some help from mom and dad...I suppose."

"How is your father doing?"

"Well, he should be phoning us any day, now. I still can't believe that he made it onto the international space station. And before me!!!"

"How DID a patent lawyer make it up there?"

"Something to do with his outside projects...he's an inventor too, ya know."

"Well, tell him that if he brings back any hideous mutant bugs, he'll have to help in zapping them into nothing..."

"I will..."

Calvin put Hobbes up back onto the desk, and left. He had class, and he couldn't wait to see Susie. They'd been apart for two whole months! And in that time, when she was away visiting relatives, he'd come to a conclusion...

14 years earlier


"Yes, Calvin..." his mom said, tasting her soup.

"I was wondering...can Susie spend the night sometime?" His mom nearly choked, and soup spattered the tiles of the kitchen counter.


"You know, like a campout? I got that tent from Santa and I barely ever use it," he said, smiling. It was way better than the big tent he had to stay in when his dad took him camping. "I thought Hobbes could protect us in case of any dangerous creatures decide to have us for dinner..."

"Calvin, you're not trying to pull something mean on Susie are you?" his mother said frowning, then more softly: "Because if you are that could be very mean. People have feelings that can be hurt..."

"I know! But she's the only one I can find to play Spy-Calvinball with!"

"Ohhh..." she said, thoughtfully. "So you two actually are getting along??"

"Yeah. She's actually pretty fun to be around. For an alien..."

"I...see," she said. "Well, I'll tell you what. If you two can be nice to each other for the rest of the week, I'll ask her mom if it's okay..."

"Thanks! This is going to be great...c'mon Hobbes, we need to plan ahead. Have you seen any monsters outside lately??"

"Calvin, stay's already dark out."


"Daylight savings, remember?"

One week later, after Calvin had excruciatingly kept himself from pelting Susie with homemade neutron bombs (water balloons) and/or overrunning her forces with his Roman army, his mom called Susie's mom and the two of them got to spend a night in the tent on the lookout, monster-watching.

Susie looked up at some fireflies in wonder, perched in between the tent flaps.

"Aren't they pretty, Calvin? Calvin?"

Spaceman Spiff looked around the corner. "Confound it, cadet! You honestly think these diabolical light bulb eyed freaks are pretty?! Well, you don't have my vast knowledge of the universe. These are the flashlight monsters of Duracell IV! One look into their deadly gaze and you will be paralyzed for life!"

Calvin's mom shined a flashlight in his direction. "You kids alright?"

"ARRRRG! The rays! Must...not...submit...!" Calvin growled.

Calvin's mom and dad watched from the window. The kids wouldn't be out there all night, and they'd move the tent inside when it was time to go to bed.

"A ha! Don't move, cadet!" said Spaceman Spiff. "You're being tracked by invisible alien spies! They're practically crawling all over you...I see them only because I have special dimensional ray glasses!"

Susie didn't bother to tell him those were just 3-D glasses from the movie theater.

"Don't move...I've got them!"

"Calvin! Aaaaaaah!" Susie picked up her pillow and whopped Calvin on the head.

"There's an alien on you, too! Ha! AAH!"

The two tumbled and laughed.

"Wow, we showed those aliens who were boss!" said Susie.

"Does anybody have the number to the space paramedic??" said Calvin, lying on his back melodramatically.

"This is SO cute!" Calvin's mom said, her eyes becoming wide and watery. She felt very moved by this. "I can't believe they're actually getting along..." she said leaning near to her husband.

"I can't believe Calvin is actually taking an interest in camping" said his dad "Hey! Maybe our next fishing trip won't go off so bad...I thought maybe we could bring along some of those new boots I saw in the army supply store..."

"Next fishing trip?" she inquired, rather unamused.

"Oh, and I suppose you would have a better time at your parents' making buttersquash chips..."

"Let's not talk about that now..." she said.

"Okay, Hobbes," said Calvin. "We have a young, inexperienced cadet under our leadership. What do you think we should use her for?"

"We could have her go outside. Then if any monsters are around, we'll know about it!"

"Yeah! Hey, Susie..."

Susie looked up from the coloring book she was working on. Happily, she wondered what Calvin would look like as a knight.

"Would you go outside for a second? We want to make sure there aren't any monsters out there..."

"Why can't you check yourself?"

"BeCAUSE. I'm the captain and you're the cadet..."

"Well I think the captain should be the one to look out for his crew and check for monsters," she said, folding her arms in a matter of fact matter.

"Darn! She's trying to outwit us! I didn't go to the Space Academy for this!"

"Maybe we should just go inside. I'm hungry..." replied Hobbes.

Munching on crackers, Hobbes and Susie watched TV with Calvin's parents. The movie was "20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" Calvin kept wrestling with his blanket under the table.

"Calvin, get out from under there..." his mom told him.

"ARRG! I can't leave the confines of the Nautilus, ye bonne lassie! ARG! Giant squid off the port valves! Dive, dive!"

"Is he always like this?" Susie asked.

His mother, standing there dryly said, "You have no idea..."

That night, Susie actually did sleep over, but in the guest room. Susie's mom thought it was actually a good idea because then she and Susie's father could go and visit some relatives themselves and Susie and Calvin could just wait for the school bus together like they always did.

The next morning, Calvin was eyeing his cereal suspiciously. There were "unrecognizable bits" of "some nefarious wheat mutation" in the new mix.

"Those are just parts of the cereal...they make it taste better," said Susie chipperly. Calvin gave her a dirty look. Girls just didn't understand anything about breakfast.

"Mom, can I have a pop tart?"

"No Calvin, you haven't even finished your cereal..."

"Can I?" asked Susie.

"Well...I don't see why not. Just one, though. And I want you to have a piece of fruit, too."


Calvin witnessed this spectacle in shock. He eyed everyone. They were pod people! He'd have to find a way to infiltrate their midst. Where was Hobbes when he needed him to eat his cereal for him?? Unfortunately, Calvin procrastinated and didn't eat his cereal until the bus was almost there. He didn't get a pop tart for breakfast like Susie did.

"It's your own fault..." she said simply, while they waited for the bus.

School was average. Calvin started playing by himself over near the merry go round. Susie came up to him. She asked if he wanted to push her on the merry-go-round. How could he resist!?

Spaceman Spiff looked the young cadet over. Yes, she would be vomiting for quite some time, but hopefully this would teach her a lesson. The velocity of the new rocket-ship was uncertain, but it was a very experimental model. He rubbed his hands together gleefully. This would show her her stomach wasn't as strong as she thought.

"Calvin? Woo! Hey! Wheeee! Whoo! Okay, Calvin, you can go slower now! Calvin!!! CALVIN!!!!!"

Susie got off very dizzy. Then she became very angry. Calvin smiled innocently, hoping that the young cadet wouldn't try to usurp his authority.

"Hey!" he said as she chased him, "I'm the can't do this to me!" Susie took no notice of this and continued chasing him. Ending up on the ground dizzy himself, Calvin noted that for future reference, "Cadets are certainly a tempermental sort..."

14 years later



"I wanted to ask you something..."


"Um...did you do something different with your hair?" Calvin asked, over-nervously.


"I'm going to go upstairs and look for that book I was talking about.."

"Alright..." Susie continued to examine Calvin's work. They both went to college and Calvin had been talented enough to earn himself a position working for an actual comic distributor! Susie was so thrilled that he got to take all of that energy and be rewarded by it at the same time.

Calvin went upstairs to his old room. Even though he lived on campus he still stayed at his parents' often as he could. He didn't appreciate it back when he was a kid, but the location they had picked was so ideal...the woods just at their doorstep. The scenery was so beautiful...

"Hey, Hobbes..." Hobbes languidly lounged on Calvin's bed, in one of his "I'm sleeping, and yes this is a very important activity" looks.

Calvin scratched Hobbes' belly. Hobbes smiled.

"I'm going to ask Susie to marry me..."

"WHAT???!" Hobbes eyes went as wide as dinner plates, and as he got up he almost fell off the bed. "You ARE? That's...that's...why didn't you say anything before?"

"I thought you mighta..sorta already picked up on it..." replied Calvin.

"I should have! I was the one that got things going between you two..."

"I know...thanks," he said, hugging Hobbes warmly. "But there's sort of a problem. I don't have a ring..."

"Hmm." Hobbes pondered on this. "You could use the special decoder ring...the one you sent away for with cereal box tops a million years ago..."

"I am not that old..." Calvin shot back, with an irritated look.

Hobbes smiled.

"Still...I don't think that'd really work. I want to ask her to marry me, but I need a ring. I need something..."

"Well don't look at me. I'm not moving away..."

"You're not even going to come and visit...?"

"Well, perhaps..."

"I'll be sure and tell Susie to make sure we have Friskies..."

Hobbes adopted his cross, "don't be messing around with me look" "I hope that was intended as a joke, pal..."

Susie heard scuffling upstairs. She shrugged and continued reading. After a while she was wondering what was taking so long.

Calvin came down the ladder that led into the attic, where a lot of his old stuff had been placed. He put it back up, and walked downstairs.

"Susie? I need to talk with you for a minute..."

14 years earlier

"Hi, Calvin! Whatcha doing?" Susie inquired.

"Hobbes and I are taking our place among the distinguished aeronautic pioneers of history, that's what."

"Oh, you're playing pilots?"

Calvin sighed and looked up at the sky. "Yes. And we can't be bothered right now."

"Can I help? I could give you directions from the ground..."

"We don't need directions! We're famous pioneers!"

"Pssst," whispered Hobbes. "Let her do it. And we'll let her do it under certain conditions..."

"Yeah..." Calvin said, adopting his evil little grin. "We can make her dig for coal in a mine! Or scrape up toxic waste!..."

"Actually I was thinking more of tummy rubs..." Hobbes said.

Calvin sat on his Carboard-Aviator while Susie made plane noises and zoomed around him in circles. "I can't believe we didn't get to give any good directions..." he said.

"Then again, these cookies of Susie's are pretty good..." said Hobbes, munching on one of said cookies.

* * *

The intrepid Spaceman Spiff looked out from his outpost on Nagulon 9. This was a barren landscape...home to the dreaded Eraser handed Sponge Giants! Oh no! There was one now!

Miss Wormwood looked down at Calvin, who was struggling with invisible tentacles. She dragged him back over to the line where the other children were and left him there.

Spaceman Spiff, captured by the Eraser handed Sponge Giants, has now been made a slave in their underwater factory. Should he try to escape he risks drowning!

"Hey, hurry up and take a sip already!" said someone behind him waiting to use the water fountain.

Calvin went back to the original line. Today there was a dodgeball game. Somehow he felt that things would be way better if he didn't need to play by rules that other people made...why, he could think of a dozen better ways to play! He sighed.

Susie watched Calvin from across the playground. He didn't seem to be having very much fun. All the girls would watch from the sides when dodgeball was played. They skipped rope or played on the playground.

Calvin was really struggling right now. He couldn't seem to catch the ball when it came to him. She felt a little bit angry that things were the way they were. The worst part of recess was Moe. He was a big poo poo head as far as she was concerned. He often intimidated other children into giving him what he wanted. She didn't care for him at all. And look! He just shoved Calvin and no one did anything about it! The physical education coach was talking with another teacher off somewhere.

"Hey, you big jerk!" she yelled.

Moe, not being the fastest cookie in the box, looked across the blacktop towards an irate, short haired little girl.

"What's the big deal?!" she shouted. "Can't you find any mastadons your size to pound?"

Calvin swung his head around. "Susie?!"

Moe grinned, like a big dummy. "Hey. I'm bigger than he is. Why should I care?"

"Why? Gee, I dunno. Maybe it's because if someone told your mother about what you do, it might not wind up being so fun" she said matter-of-factly, folding her arms.

"You're not gonna snitch, ARE you?" Moe said, making fists out of his hands and approaching Susie. "I don't mind pounding a girl, ya know..."

"Hey, Moe, leave her alone!"

Moe turned around. Calvin went from his angry face to smiling nervously.

"Why??" he said tauntingly. "Is she your GIRLFRIEND??"

"What?? No!" Calvin said defensively. "But it's just...your brain is so small it might burn out if you put too much strain on it!"

It was an actual insult. It didn't go over well.

"Come here, you squirt!" said Moe, running after Calvin across the playground. Susie went back to the edge of the playground. 'He actually cared!' she thought...he rescued me from Moe!

"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!!" screamed Calvin in the background.

* * *


Susie peeked in the nurses office. Calvin was sitting there on the paper lined cushion.

"You can't come in here...only us medical professionals can."

"I just wanted to say thanks...I..I feel really bad about Moe hitting you and all..." said Susie, somewhat guilt ridden, rubbing her toe into the ground.

"Yeah, well, someone had to teach him a lesson," Calvin said with bravado, pointing towards himself.

"Okaaaay, Calvin" said Susie, rolling her eyes. "But you should know...the principal expelled him! It was so great!" She didn't bother to also tell Calvin that she mentioned to the principal what Calvin had done (saving her from Moe because he was about to pound her)

"Wow, really?"

"For a whole week!"

"Wow!" he said. "A whole week without Moe!"

"Do you think he'll still be mad at you when he gets back?"

"Don't worry...if anyone tries anything, I can get Hobbes to take care of him...he has sharp claws for a reason ya know...I won't go into the gory details of his previous victims."

Somehow that didn't comfort Susie... She wanted to thank Calvin. But how? An idea brightened in her head. She dug through her backpack and found what she was looking for. It was this special decoder ring that she had gotten from cereal boxtops. She even knew Calvin wanted one since he lost his! He said Hobbes stole it, but she had figured he just dropped it somewhere.

"Calvin? Um...I got this. I..uh...found it lying around. I was wondering if you wanted it..."

"A decoder ring?! Where did you get one? Are you a spy??"

"No, I spy gave it to me..." she explained.

"Oh. Okay. Neat!" Calvin slipped it on. It even had a whistle... Susie smiled and left Calvin as the nurse came back with some disinfectant.

She heard a bunch of screaming, too, which made her eyes go wide with shock. Geez, Calvin was melodramatic sometimes...

A few days later, Calvin was trying to play a good game of Calvinball with Hobbes. Halfway through the game, the furball decided that he was just going to take a nap! He said he earned it because he scored enough points to take a nap break. No amount of convincing was going to work, so Calvin just sulked by Hobbes' body as the animal snoozed.

Susie happened along them some time later.

"Hi, Calvin. Are you playing with Hobbes?"
"Aw, he's not in the mood right now...he won't even get up today."

"Boy, Hobbes must be pretty tired. Maybe it's from all the tea I gave him earlier..."

"You gave him tea? When was this?? How come you don't tell me these things?!" he shouted at Hobbes angrily. Hobbes twitched his tail and continued snoozing, deciding that he would reply to Calvin later.

"Would you like to come and have tea, Calvin?"

"Uh...I dunno...the cootie factor would be a pretty high risk," he said to a frowning Susie.


"ARRRG! Mizzen up the mast, ya matees! Throw all the tea overboard!!"

"What are you doing?!" cried Susie.

"Playing tea party..." said Calvin.

"As surprising as it is to see you know about history, that's the wrong tea party..."

"Dad told me about it. He told me that's what Grandpa did during college..." Calvin said smiling.

"You're not supposed to play tea party like you're throwing into the ocean," she insisted. "You calmly sit and talk..."

"That's it???" Calvin said, mortified.

"I've told you this before and you've left before...don't you remember?" she shot back.

"Oh's all coming back to me now..." said Calvin, rubbing his chin. Susie clasped her eyes with her hand melodramatically and grumbled.

"So there aren't any pirates??"

"Well...I suppose we could have pirates. I'll be the princess," she said, smiling.

"What?? There weren't any princesses on pirate ships!"

"Who do you think they were fighting over, stupid?!"
"You're the one who's stupid! This whole game is stupid! And you need a hat to be a pirate..."

"That's not my fault. But I have a hat..." she said, pulling her Halloween costume's pink princess hat from her backpack.

"This isn't what I had in mind," said Calvin, as he used his oars to stroke. Susie belted out orders from her cardboard horn. She grinned petitely.

"If you'd like to do something else for your ruler, I'm open to suggestions."

Calvin the Pirate, under the evil and auspicious new command of the She-Villain, the Princess of Pain, toiled all day in the sun. He towered above the other crew members, but he was still under the whim of her evil command. But suddenly, a giant wave crashed into the ship, rocking it from it's calm and uneventful path! Calvin the Pirate, taking the situation into his own hands, breaks free from his chains, picking the lock with the skill of a magician!

"Calvin, don't you dare!" Susie said, as Calvin lifted a pitcher of lemonade she'd set out, as he was in the middle of throwing it in her general direction. But some still splashed out of the pitcher as he yanked it back, and Susie got lemonade in her face. Calvin grinned, in his "innocent" grin, but Susie simply frowned.

"Great Neptune's flying fish! The Princess of Pain is angry and taking her terrible wrath out on her captor!"

"OOOH! You come back here, Calvin! I'll get you for this!!" Susie shouted.


Princess Susie sat on her throne, aboard her personal Royal Yacht. Her pirate bodyguard, the lowly Calvin, was being allowed on deck to scrape barnacles. Today was so boring, so she placed her personal entourage (her stuffed toys) along with the new ambassador Hobbes, as they listened to her daily decree.

Calvin sat listlessly to Susie ranting on and on. He felt like he was in class...

Princess Susie lifted her veil and saw Calvin the Lowly Stable Boy (whom she had rescued from real pirates)

"Hey, I AM a pirate! You can't make me a stable boy!"

"I'M the princess! And I can do it, so there. But if you really want to be a pirate, I suppose I can hire you as one. If you do a good job, you'll be rewarded..."

"Once a pirate, always a pirate!" Calvin triumphantly shouted. "But you're not really a princess. I think you're more of...hmm...more of a...a wench! Yeah, that's it! You're a wench! Now get me some ye olde lemon ale, wench! We need to prevent scurvy!"

"WENCH?? You wouldn't know a princess if she tossed you off a ship!"

"I'd like to see you try!" he said as they started to go head to head again.

With his head in a bucket and a nearby mop leaning against him, Calvin the Lowly Stable Boy was once again at odds with his pirate and princess captors...

"You should really try bowing to her majesty," said Hobbes.

"Shut up! Why didn't you attack her when you had the chance! If you'd have helped me I wouldn't have been outnumbered!"

"I couldn't" Hobbes said simply, "Ambassadors don't do that type of thing..."

"Susie needs to go soak her head. Hey..." said Calvin smiling, and picking up the bucket. Hey Suuuusiiiiie!!!"

More adventures followed before the salty brine air started to make Calvin nauseous.

"Whoa," said Hobbes. "Who would have thought that fighting could make you so seasick?"

"Did pirates have good surgeons?"

"I don't suppose you've ever heard of the number of pirates with wooden legs and hooks for hands..." said Hobbes, rolling his eyes away. Calvin's eyes opened wide with shock."

"Hey, yeah, that's what I need!"

"Oh no..." said Hobbes, putting his hand over his eyes.

"Calvin! Time to come in for dinner!"

"You're lucky, wench! Tomorrow we will make you walk the plank!"

"Bye, Calvin! Bye, Hobbes!" Susie planted a big smooch on Hobbes.

As she left, Calvin's mom ushered him indoors. "You big sissy! Traitor!"

"What can I say?" said Hobbes. "She had me at hello..." The tiger put his arms up together in a romantic like gesture while Calvin gesticulated with his tongue how grossed out he was, continuing to make gagging sounds.

"Calvin, just eat your dinner..." his mother commented.

"It wasn't your food, mom. It's Hobbes. He's grossing me out..."

"Mmm hmm..."

14 years later

Calvin sat on the couch next to Susie. Through the window he could see birds flying under the cloudy sky. It had just rained that morning and the ground was still wet. Spring hung heavy in the air.

"Susie? I have something for you..."

"But it's not a book?" she asked.

"We'll get to the book later. I wanted you to see something." Calvin took a box that he had in his hands and placed it on the table. He looked so excited, she thought. They had grown up together, but more so, he was always there for her. No matter how bad things seemed he made them better. He could make her laugh like no one else.

"I..." he began, "put a bunch of stuff in here when I was a kid," he said, opening the lid. "I forgot about it for a long time, but..."

She looked through the materials. There were little things like acorns, and movie stubs. What looked like letters, with child written scrawl on them. A number of "top secret" items, like a wooden stamp, and a bunch of marbles. Then Calvin removed a piece of paper from among the rest.

"I want you to read this..."

Susie unfolded the paper and began to read the crayon writing. "Susie Derkins said that she wanted to be my girlfriend, and I might let her. This document is legal and binding..." she laughed. "From this day, Susie Derkins, if she wants to be someone else's girlfriend, can't because she said she wanted to be mine, so if she breaks the law, she'll have to go to Mars for the rest of her life..." she laughed even more. Especially since they didn't actually start dating until they were both in high school. "Signed by Calvin, Also signed by Hobbes, the witness..."

She put down the paper. "That's cute..."

"Susie, something you might not know is that, if you want, we can make it legal..." he said. From his pocket he took the ring she gave him when she was just a little girl.

"You gave me this once...and I'm just returning it now. But soon I'll give you one of my own. But for now, I had to ask the question. He held her hand. If you would wear this ring. And I also wanted to know if you would marry me..." he said, as tears began to stream from her eyes. "Susie Derkins..."

Calvin heard sniffling. Hobbes was on the top of the stairs crying.

"Yes of course I'll marry you..." she said. " have to promise me just one thing..."


"You'll let me pick out your tux? You have horrible taste..." she said, sniffing.

"Alright, Susie."...he said, as they both laughed and he hugged her intensely, trying to keep back from crying with joy. He slipped the decoder ring on her finger.

She picked up the paper. "Wait, there's something else... P.S." she started to read, "There were no princesses on pirate ships." Then, scrawled below it, "But there were tigers..."

10 years earlier...

Hobbes stretched and yawned. He scratched his nose with a paw and turned around the corner to make his way over towards the staircase.


Hobbes eyes became wide as Calvin leaped on top of him.

"I gotcha!" The two wrestled for a couple of seconds before Hobbes released himself from Calvin's grip.

Hobbes took a growling stance at Calvin.

"Hobbes, I did it! Can you believe it? I actually pounced on you! I did it! Hobbes?"

Hobbes didn't even talk to Calvin. He just gave him a dirty look. Calvin had never gotten the better of him like that before. He sulked out of the room leaving Calvin, who was now ten, behind.

Calvin had of course grown taller. By just a head or so. And spent less time with Hobbes over the years. Especially lately. He had so many more interests now. Oh sure they still played, but it had become a trickle lately.

That night, as Calvin was in bed, he tried talking to Hobbes.

"Hobbes? I'm sorry that I..."

"You don't have to be sorry for anything, Calvin."

"But you're my friend. I haven't been a very good friend, have I?"

"You've been the best friend," said Hobbes sitting up. "It's just that...I think I need to go soon."

"Go? But...why?"

"Because...Calvin. I knew this would happen one day.''re becoming an adult tiger. It happens to every cub, I know. I guess I just never thought it would happen to you..."

"Hobbes, I'm not a tiger," said Calvin, cutting him off.

"I know all you cubs go through the same thing..." Hobbes said, sighing. "I guess I didn't pay attention to the fact that you were growing up..."

"I'm still your friend." Calvin said, sitting up.

"I know. But I'm still going to go for a little while. Maybe the attic, or around the world even. There are places with tigers that I've never visited. But I'll always be there for you when you need me...even when you're a fully grown tiger..."

"Thanks," said Calvin, smiling. "I'm scared, Hobbes."

"Everyone gets scared. But you have lots of people other than me to help you..."

Calvin paused. "I know," he said. "I know..."

"And Calvin?"


"You really pounced me good...I'm proud of you..."

Calvin smiled, very touched by Hobbes' statement.

"But don't ever try it again or I'll claw your insides out," said Hobbes, tersely and frowning, warning Calvin.

Calvin opened his eyes widely. For some reason, he felt like he would be awake late tonight... Hobbes, seemingly, slept peacefully.

Ten years later

"I can't believe how grown up you seem..."

"Oh, c'mon mom, I'm not that grown up...look, I can still make noises with my armpits..." said the young man, and he lifted up his arm to do so. Somehow it seemed odd to see him in such a nice shirt doing that.

Calvin's mother rolled her eyes. "But wait until your father hears the news! Oh, I can't believe it!" she said, pausing. She looked at her son, with her hands clenched up beneath her chin, and her eyes began welling up.

"I'll be okay, taught me well...all of you..." he said, thinking of his mother, his father, Rosalyn, and of course, his childhood tiger. Hobbes faded out of his life for long periods of time before he finally came back to roost on whatever desk Calvin was writing on, sometimes even visiting him at college. Calvin would visit his parents often, and Hobbes would often be there, always with a warm smile. Calvin had been here for winter break, and it seemed the perfect Christmas present to tell his parents that he would be getting married.

* * *

At work, Calvin's mother rushed from person to person, always busy, and happier for it. She was good working with lots of people around, and her store was in one of its busiest periods of the year. Christmas decorations were on sale, big discounts everywhere for that matter. People rudely shoving one another in different parts of the store. People shouting over intercoms every five minutes. She was in charge of most of these younger people, and also had to appease a customer who was extremely dissatisfied with the service, as well as briefly comfort the young girl the irate, old man had made cry. Taking care of so many things at work, she then hurried to make sure she could get to the dry cleaners before they closed.

It was raining that day. She drove through the rain (which was a welcome break from just snow) and on an errand saw a woman struggling with her three bratty children at the side of a store. One of them was throwing a temper tantrum and the other two were complaining and whining, crying. She heard them as she walked outside of the grocery store, and quietly thanked herself she'd only had Calvin. One hyperactive kid was enough, she couldn't even imagine three. Of course, Calvin hadn't been that bad as a kid. He was actually very kind in comparison to most of the little monsters that weren't her sweet baby. Okay, maybe she was stretching things just a bit, but really, Calvin was a good kid. He was in heavy need of discipline sometimes, but what an imagination. And what a heart. He was never untouched by the problems of the real world, and he was always perceptive to the problems around him. He cared about a lot. And for that she was extremely proud.

Driving home, she saw a policeman arresting a few scraggly looking men from their car. She also saw a crazy woman walking down the street, shouting at no one. She saw parents accompanying children and plenty of normal, happy people as well. But she also saw a cat that was laying dead by the side of the road.

When she got home, she was feeling many things. She walked into the living room feeling flustered.

Calvin walked down the stairs and through a doorway saw his mother, clutching Hobbes to her chest. She saw him.

"I...sort of had a not-so-great day,"

"I don't think he minds..." said Calvin, hugging him mom from behind. "Hobbes is good for those sorts of things." He let his mom go and even helped her out with cooking dinner that night, making his famous "Rice-a-Roni Casserole Ala Calvin" They made stuffed peppers, and some fancy Asian noodle dish that his mother wanted to try. And of course they topped it all off with Pop-Tarts.

They told his father that evening. His father hugged him, congratulated him. Then said to Calvin's mother:

"You know how expensive weddings are, don't you?"

Calvin's mother rolled her eyes.

"Don't worry, dad. We're saving on cost by having the wedding outside..."

* * *

About a week later, Susie asked Calvin if he could pick up her little brother from school. Thom had been in some trouble that day, apparently. A bully had beaten up on him. He sat on a bench outside of the principal's office when Calvin finally found him.

"Hey, I found out what happened.." he said, as Thom, who looked a lot like Susie with his short, dark hair, looked up sullenly.

"Hi..." he said, unenthused.

"Hey, I'd hate to see what the other guy looked like," said Calvin.

Thom didn't really respond.

Calvin tried cheering him up. "Hey, now you're gonna have me around even more," he said. "You won't be able to get rid of'll need napalm."

Thom smiled.

"I know something that can help..." said Calvin. "I want you to wait right here...I'll be right back...don't go anywhere..." Calvin dashed off towards his car. He tore into the backpack lying in the back seat.

He came back with a wonderful little stuffed tiger

"Thom, I want you to meet Hobbes. Hobbes, Thom. Now..." said Calvin matter-of-factly, in his indisputable-voice, "Hobbes... was my friend when I was your age. He can help you fight off any bully."

Thom looked at Calvin sort of disbelievingly. "He can?? What can he do?"

"Are you kidding??" returned Calvin excitedly, "He can jump over ravines, he can take you to other planets! He can explore lost ruined cities, and help you invent things that no one has heard of!"

Thom smiled increasingly, holding Hobbes precariously in his hands. Hobbes felt so warm. Thom hugged him gently.

"C'mon buddy, let's get you home..."

On the way home, Calvin told Thom that bullies were really just afraid most of the time. Either that or they were so stupid they didn't know how to have fun like normal people. Even if they didn't change, Thom wouldn't always have to worry about being unreasonably attacked. "Because," Calvin said, "A lot of people in this world are a lot better off by taking a lesson from tigers, and just not making such a fuss over things..."

Thom agreed wholeheartedly. And so did Hobbes. Thom got along great with Hobbes.

When he dropped Thom off, the child ran to his parents, who were in the yard raking leaves.
"I hope this is alright with you..." said Calvin.

"This is perfect!" said Hobbes "I can't wait! There are all sorts of adventures for Thom and I to have!"

"I'm so know I just want him to have what I did."

"He has a good example..." Hobbes said, smiling.

Calvin laughed. " good example..."

"'re right. Well, what makes you think I'm talking about you anyway?! Susie is his sister, ya know..."

Calvin eyed his old friend dryly, then smiled as Thom came to collect him.

"Now you take good care of him..."

"I will! I'll never let him out of my sight!!" he said, running up enthusiastically to show his parents his new friend.

Susie walked up to Calvin.

"Calvin, are you sure? Hobbes was your favorite growing up..."

"I know. I want him to have it."

"You are SO sweet," she said, pinching his cheeks.

"I am not!!" he said, laughing. Girl cooties!!, he heard a voice from his past say. Where was a rocketship when you really needed one? He shrugged. He supposed he didn't need one. At least not for now...

Later, that spring...

The wedding was perfect. His father was able to delay his next trip up into space and his mother had gone crazy with the cooking. People assembled at tables out in the open among the trees, and all the chairs fit nicely in rows on the green field.

Calvin saw to all the guests, greeting everyone as they came. Friends and family, they all showed up. A lot of them, in the humor of the theme of his fathers new pastime, as well as Calvin's various fictions, wore silver space outfits. The guests were a hodgepodge of tuxedos, fine suits, and little wire antennas. Calvin didn't wouldn't have had it any other way.
There was so much talking and so much cheer. And Susie's family up front and center.

"Calvin, come look at this..." his mother said. She led him over to where Thom was. Susie was there as well. She took the tiger from Thom and held it up for Calvin to see. Hobbes was wearing a little miniature tuxedo, bowtie included.

"Where did you...this is so cute!"

"I knew you'd like it..." she said. "Why don't we put Hobbes where he can have a good view. She placed the tiger on the table where he could see the vows exchanged. He was the best tiger, after all.

And finally, the reception began. The couple said "I do." A nose blowing loudly into a handkerchief from Hobbes' direction.

There was feasting, and dancing, and singing. When he got a chance, Calvin came over by the table where Hobbes was.

"I'm so proud of you," said Hobbes. "You got through this without making a scene...I raised you so well..."

"Hey, speaking of which, how are things going with Thom?"

"Oh, he's not even half the little monster you were at his age..."

"Yeah. The poor kid..."

"Scoff if you will. At least he knows how to treat a tiger. But he has taken a shine to Cal-er...Hobbesball..."


"Hey, what do you want? You're married. Speaking of which...I suppose it won't be long before we hear the little pitter patter of little Calvins..." Hobbes said, with his hands perched in the air, all romantic like.

"Um..we haven't really talked about it..."

"What have you said?"

"I said I wanted a cocker spaniel..."

:"Ha! That's just what your father said!"

Calvin looked nervously over at Susie, who was being embraced by several relatives. Meanwhile, Calvin's father was dancing up a storm while the band played some unrecognizable swing tune.

"Hey Calvin, come on! What do you think?? Huh?? HUH??" said his father, dancing. "Oh c'mon dear, dance with me!" he yelled across to Calvin's mother, who looked reluctant.

Calvin adopted his secretive look, and nonchalantly to Hobbes said "I'll get the net, you hold him down..."

"Will do..." said Hobbes, secretively back.

But soon the festivities came to a close, and Hobbes waved goodbye as Calvin drove off with Susie. He was sure to see much of Calvin, and in the meantime, had plenty to do with Thom. Because, as he remembered someone telling him long ago, the days were just packed.

* * *

Spaceman Spiff roared ahead in his spaceship above the dangerous cliffs of Matrimonia 7. He pushed the throttle to full velocity, all to escape the clutches of...

"The Queen of the Cootarians!!!"

"That's right, Spaceman!" she said, her own spaceship moving closely behind his own. "You're going to have to try a lot harder than that if you're going to get rid of me!"

"Ha! Outwitting you is like sinking a stone in a lake! I fear no woman, not even one with an insect army!"

"They aren't insects! They're flower gnomes, and they all have pretty names and costumes..."

"Enough of your babble! I will have no more to do with your pedestrian little empire!"

"You're just mad because I'm as good at flying spaceships as you are!"

Spiff pondered this for a minute. The Queen, he thought, in her purple hero-mask, and green jumpsuit was speaking some sort of gibberish...but how to dislodge this nuisance.

"Spiff, just land already! You must be getting thirsty...we can have a picnic..."

"Never! I'll never give in to your nefarious brainwashing techniques!"
"I was just trying to be nice! Fine," she said, and fired at him with her laser, hitting his ship.

"Hey, what're you doing??! Are you crazy or something??" said Spiff from his spaceship, as it jolted heavily.

"You fired on me..."

"That's completely different! I'm the good guy!"

"Well I'm the good girl..."

"You just don't know how to do this right..."

"Fine. I guess we'll just get dizzy flying around the planet while you die from not eating. Is that better??"

"Confound this woman's logic!" he spoke aloud to his sensors. "Clearly this is part of some sort of larger plan she's orchestrated! What option do I have left?"

Spiff sat on the blanket that Queen Susie spread out for them, munching oh so carefully on a sandwich. " doesn't seem to have any traces of poison..."

"Would you like some tea, Mr. Bunny?" the queen offered to one of her alien cohorts.

She poured Spiff some tea. Suddenly he had an idea. Before she knew it, he leapt in her spaceship and powered off, leaving her angrily looking up into the air as he laughed and headed toward the heavens.

"I'll get you, Spiff!!! And your little tiger, too!" yelled the Queen, and she jumped into Spiff's abandoned ship and took off after him. Little did he know it was her piloting skills and not the ship that mattered. She zoomed off after him into the air, the both of them yelling at one another.


"A ha ha! You'll never get me, Queen of the Cootarians!!"

"That's what you think!" she said laughing. And Spiff laughed as well. The universe was really a funny place when he came to think of it.

* * *

Susie looked down at the unfinished story. Calvin was now asleep and she didn't want to disturb him. She loved the way his mind worked, but there was a little room left at the bottom of the page. She took a pen and scribbled in some block letters the immortal words: