IDENTITY CRISIS • by Shelley Dayton

The little creature babbled on, chatting at me as though telling a friend about some wild new game, never noticing that I couldn’t understand a word.

Its bulbous, bald, green-gray head nodded back and forth with its conversation, and eyes like purple ostrich eggs rolled around. The top of that head reached my thigh, which, as the mood struck, it would pat with a four-fingered hand. I couldn’t tell if it were child or adult, though its talkativeness suggested somewhere in between.

I tried to indicate I would like to sit down.

Since the creature didn’t seem to notice anyway, I sank into one of the waiting room’s well-padded chairs. The room smelled of old, fading, blue-and-tan wallpaper, and the two ferns had leaked and created water stains on the old wooden furniture.

It was the sort of office one would expect while waiting to see a psychologist. We were the only two…beings in the room.

The cheap, hollow door creaked open, and a blonde, curly-haired receptionist in impossibly high heels called the creature to her. It stopped talking, smiled up at me, patted my hand, and walked out of the room. On its way, I noted that its rear end rose up and to a point.

The receptionist turned to me.

“The doctor will be ready for you in about ten minutes.”

I couldn’t keep my jaw shut.

“You saw that… that thing, right? What was wrong with it? Is it from another planet?”

“Him? Oh, that was Harold,” the lady smiled and nodded. “Yes, we see Harold a lot these days.”

She leaned in close to me and whispered.

“He thinks he’s an alien!”

Laughing, she closed the door, and clip-clopped down the hallway.

Shelley Dayton shares her home with her husband, daughter, and pets. The dog’s a chicken and the parrot’s a shark, but so far, everybody’s still got their limbs. Shelley’s first book will be released fall 2009. Visit for more information on… Why Rita Hates Monkeys!

This story was sponsored by
Camilla d’Errico: A character designer and artist who dances on the tightrope between pop surrealist art and manga inspired graphics. Explore her paintings, characters and comics: Tanpopo, BURN and Helmetgirls.

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