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The Happy Hostess

Vivian Wu '27

The Happy Hostess 
I’m a traveler, and dear readers, travelers like me go to all sorts of different places. My spaceship 

takes me to anywhere I want in the universe. This one time, my spaceship ran out of fuel and I was forced to land on a planet I’ve never seen before. Well, it was more of a crash than a forced landing. 

I was bracing myself for anything when I felt my spaceship start rapidly dropping but was pleasantly surprised. I discovered that I had crashed in a backyard of some sort. I crawled out of the wreckage and saw a house attached to the yard. A good sign, no lava, no frozen ground, not in the middle of an ocean. But I still had my suspicions. This planet looked similar enough to home, but what if the things that inhabit here are monsters? 

Just as I was sprawled on the ground, thinking about this, I heard distant footsteps coming my way and I raised my head to see a woman, not too different from how you and I look. She wore a red knee-length, polka-dotted dress, with a string of pearls gracefully draped around her neck, and her hair was styled in victory rolls. I scrambled to get up but fell over again. She marched over and offered a hand to help me up. After I got up, she welcomed me with open arms. She embraced me, her face beaming with cheerfulness. 

“Oh, how wonderful! A visitor! And look at the marvelous entrance you've made!" she exclaimed, holding her gloved hands to her heart, her smile widening as if the crash had been a blessing. 

“Uh, ma’am,” I stuttered as I swatted off the dirt and grass on my pants, “I’m so sorry about the inconvenience. Um. I’m a traveler and my ship ran out of fuel?” 

"Inconvenience? Nonsense! This is a splendid opportunity for some impromptu rearrangement!" she chirped and gestured to me to follow her, “please, come into the house, I’d love to host as long as you need.” 

We got across the mess in the yard and into the house. Her high heels clicked against the marble ground as we walked. Click, clack, click. 

The house was spotlessly clean, and every single surface was clearly just wiped down today. She offered me a seat on the green sofa. I anxiously looked around the place and spotted a small container on the tea table in front of me. The Woman, seeing that I was looking at it, immediately started explaining with utmost enthusiasm. 

“Oh, this is my Pilulaetitiae!” She took the container and popped it open, pouring one pill onto her palm and eating it. “You reminded me, I almost forgot to take them this afternoon, with your crashing and all.”. A white cat strolled over and crawled onto her lap. She raised her hand to pet the cat, and it started to purr. 

I was confused, but I didn’t say anything. It was bad enough to crash into this poor woman’s yard, I shouldn’t ask about her medical history. 

Days passed, and I spent them mostly resting and repairing my ship. Every day was absolutely perfect. We ate breakfast at 8:00 am, lunch at 12:00 pm, and dinner at 6:00 pm. The cat was fed at 12 and 4 pm and let out of the house from 5 to 6 pm. When I was not eating, I was repairing my ship. The cat usually stayed with me, but the Woman was gone during those times. However, she was always back to cook and tend to the cat. The Woman was always cheerful, with a smile on her face, accompanied by her bright red painted lips. The Woman never went anywhere without her red dress, white gloves, and pearl necklace. 

One evening, I was just refining the outer shell of my spaceship when I heard a loud thump. I dropped my tools and traced back where the sound came from. I walked around to the front of the house and saw the cat lying on the ground, surrounded by a pool of blood, staining the white brick driveway and its white fur. Panic gripped me as I stared at the horror I had unintentionally caused. 

I killed her cat. 

I killed her cat because I failed to keep an eye on it. The weight of guilt bore down on me, one thought relentlessly echoing in my mind: I killed her cat, I killed her cat while she graciously hosted me in her house, I killed her cat. 

The Woman suddenly appeared from nowhere and stepped over the scene. 

I expected tears, grief, or at least a somber expression, but her radiant smile was unscathed despite the gruesome scene before her. 

"Oh, what an excellent opportunity this is!” she exclaimed, her joy undeterred by the lifeless body before her. “Time to bring out my gardening tools again for a beautiful grave for the little one! You know, I haven’t used them in forever.". She bent down and scooped the Cat’s motionless corpse up, the blood soaking into her white gloves. Click, clack, click went the sound of her heels clicking against the ground, the Cat’s lifeless body in her arms and she carried it like a handbag. 

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