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  • “This is going to be a group hug of a day,” thought Florafauna Moonscallop. “I’ve brushed my teeth, said my affirmations, and strangled each and every negative thought in its cradle. Take me, Universe, I’m yours!”

    Flora practically skipped to her car. She was running slightly late for her ferret mind-melding class but she thought there was a good chance she’d make up some time on the Interstate. When she arrived in front of the bright orange building – a former Jewish-Buddhist restaurant called the Delicatessence -- she still had 30 seconds left to spare.

    Flora rushed to take her place in the sacred circle where Alan, her ferret partner, was patiently waiting for her. She and Alan had tried to establish a mental link for three months now, to no avail. Some of her classmates claimed they’d made contact and this made Flora a bit jealous (“No, I didn’t mean that, Universe. I’m fine about it. Honest, I’m fine!”). This time she was determined that she and the ferret were going to score a breakthough.

    She put on her helmet and gently adjusted the chin strap on Alan’s. She tried with all her might to clear every last thought, image, sound and smell (Alan’s was particularly strong today) from her brain. There! Her head was spectacularly empty. Five minutes went by, ten. No human-animal connection. After 20 agonizingly silent minutes she was about to give up (“No, Universe, that was my spirit guide throwing in the towel, not me!”), when she heard a tiny but distinct voice rattle around her skull.

    “Florafauna Moonscallop!”

    “Alan? Is that you?” she exclaimed telepathically.

    “Florafauna Moonscallop. How?”

    “How what, Alan?”

    “How can you believe in such crap?”

    Flora blinked. It was not even 10 o’clock in the morning and she had already made two astounding discoveries: 1) ferrets can talk and 2) ferrets are rude.

    That was as much revelation as she could handle in a single day. She removed her helmet, unhooked Alan and left the Delicatessence.

    Outside her car had two flat tires. “Damn it!” she cried aloud, then quickly amended it to: “Thank you for reminding me that I need more exercise, Universe. I’ll walk to a repair shop.”

    So Florafauna Moonscallop set off down the street with a bouncy gait and a smile for the world, and the world, as usual, grinned a very large grin of unknown meaning back at her. But she didn’t care. In her heart of hearts she didn't entertain the slightest doubt that she and the Universe were BFFs.
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