Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore
Don't they know it's the end of the world
'Cause you don't love me any more
Jim trudged down the road listening to the melancholy lyrics in his head. “Cause you don’t love me anymore…” He snorted as he came to a rickety bridge. “You’ve never loved me. I don’t think you really cared about me.” Jim leaned across the wooden railing and peering down into swirling, muddy water, tried to see his reflection. “Maybe I should just jump.” He spoke aloud to the empty countryside. “Do you think he’d notice me then?”
A voice came out of nowhere. “I’d notice you even if you didn’t jump.”
Jim stumbled and almost went over the side. Heart pounding, he looked around.
“Who is it? Who said that?”
“It was me.”
Jim clutched the railings with both hands and peered over. A scream tore from his throat as two brown bulbous eyes stared back at him.
“What the-” His butt hit the bridge with a thump.
The creature hopped up on the rail and studied the man for a moment before opening its mouth.
“You need to be more careful. The slats on this bridge aren’t quite as sturdy as they look.”
Jim scuttled away from the creature.
“Y-you can talk.” He paused, then, “Hey… are you calling me fat?”
The thing grinned; well… if one could call the twisting of the slit that could have been its mouth.
A tiny hand stroked its chin. “You do have quite a bit of junk in your trunk…” It jumped down off the rail and advanced towards him. “…that’s for sure.” Jim felt his heart quicken as it extended the hand towards him. “Unless you plan to sit on your heinie…” The outstretched hand hung between them.
Keeping a wary eye on the creature, Jim stood up. It shrugged and stood with its hands on its hips. He studied it.
“You’re about six inches tall and skinny to boot.” He peered at tiny being. “Your feet are as long as you are tall. How were you gonna help me up?”
The creature grinned and flexed thin arms. “I’ll have you know, my feet can be used as stabilizers, thus enabling me to lift many, many, many times my weight.” The bulbous eye gave an approximation of a wink.
Jim flinched. “Ewwwww. That was just plain creepy.” He glared. “Is that another implication that I’m fat?”
The creature pointed to itself. “Who me? Nah, baby. You’re just the type of man I need- pumps and the bumps.”
“Pumps and bumps?” Jim stared. “Wouldn’t that be a woman?”
A tiny tongue snaked out. “Yeah, baby… you in heels with skirt up to there-”
Jim’s eyes shot daggers at the annoying little thing and he threw up his hands. “That’s it! I’m outta here. Yo- you whatever you are-”
“-I’m a Spocko.”
“A Spocko?” He took in the Blue Boy outfit. “What the hell is a Spocko?”
“A Spocko is me and I am him, or it is he? Anyway, Spocko is the one who is going to help you win your heart’s desire.” He flicked his tail. “Trust me.”
Jim kneaded his forehead before turning to start back up the road.
“The last time I heard that, I woke up in a barn with a goat licking my face and no memory of the night before.”
“I’m sure Gary wouldn’t do that to you.” Jim’s steps faltered. “You know, I can help you get him.”
“You know Gary?”
Before Spocko could answer, Jim held up his hands palms out. “Never mind.” He sighed. “How can you do that?”
Spocko executed a flip that would have done a gymnast proud and landed facing the man. Taking off his hat, he bowed.
“Just call me your personal cupid.”
Jim cocked his head to the side and squinted. “If I trust you, you can hook me and Gary up?”
“I can help you have your heart’s desire.”
The two stared at each other until Jim chuckled.
“What have I got to lose? Okay, my love life, or lack thereof, is in your hands or paws or claws or whatever.”
Spocko leaped to the railing. “Okay, you head on home and I’ll see you around.”
“Wait! Aren’t you coming with me?”
The creature gave his slit-mouthed grin. “Don’t worry, sweet cheeks. I’ll be there when you need me or when you least expect it, whichever comes first.” With those parting words, he leaped off the bridge.
Jim rushed over to look over the rails but he gone. As he turned back the way he came, he mumbled, “Why doesn’t that comfort me?”
“What happened?” Leonard took in the other man’s red eyes and laid a hand on his shoulder.
“W-we and th-then h-he…” Jim was sobbing.
Leonard rubbed his weeping friend’s shoulder. “What did Gary do this time?”
“Th-there were all these skinny models hanging all over him-” Jim clung to his friend.
Leonard shot a look over Jim’s bent head at his fiancé Nyota.
He mouthed, “Say something.”
She mouthed back, “Like what?”
“What’s all this fuss about, eh?”
Jim’s head swiveled in the direction of the voice. “Where were you?” he demanded.
Leonard looked confused. “I’m right here.”
“Not you.” Jim pointed to the top of his head. “You.”
Leonard glanced at Nyota who shook her head. “Me, who?”
“Spocko?” Leonard tried to lead his friend to a chair. “Come one, Jim; you need to sit down.”
“He’s right there. Can’t you see him?”
Leonard turned his back to his friend and cast a worried look at Nyota. “Sure I can. He’s over there and he’s dressed like a genie.”
“No.” Jim huffed in exasperation. “He looks like a lizard but he has black hair and he’s dressed like a Blue Boy, except…” he paused to regard the creature, “… he has on red.”
“Jim, do we need to call someone?” Nyota’s worried expression caused him to take a deep breath. He shook his head.
“I’m fine… really. I think I just need to go back to bed. I didn’t sleep well last night.”
“Maybe you’re right.” Leonard guided his friend in the direction of the bedroom. “But we’ll stay out here, in case you need us.”
Jim started to protest, but thought better of it. “Of course, I’ll just take a nap.” He started to close the door. “Can you wake me up in a couple of hours?”
Leonard nodded. “I have a hypo to help you relax.”
Jim shook his head. “No thanks. I think I’ll be okay now.” He shut the door.
“That was a close call.”
Jim whirled and advanced on Spocko who was lolling on his pillow. “Where the hell were you last night?” he whispered. “I thought you were going to help me obtain my heart’s desire?”
Totally unfazed, he flapped a claw at the irate man. “And I shall. Now what can I do for you?”
Jim’s body sagged and he plopped down on the bed. “I want to be thin. Can you do that?”
Spocko pretended to pick lint from his clothes. “Is that all?”
“Okay!”Spocko sprang up and rubbed his tiny paws together. “Let’s do this- starting tomorrow…you will be thin.”
The birch switch whipped around his ankles as Jim ran up and down the stadium stairs.
Spocko was dressed in a grey sweat version of his Blue Boy outfit. “Come on, boyfriend, move those legs.”
“Th-this… this is not…not what I had in mind.” Jim stopped to bend over at the waist; he panted for air. “Owww…” The complaint rang through the air as she hot forward up another flight of stairs urged on by the sting of birch.
“What d’ya mean?” The creature pointed up the next flight with his switch, “You’ve already lost 15 lbs. in two week.” He clapped his webbed hands together. “Just like on the Intergalactic Biggest Loser.”
Jim’s lip shot out and he plopped down on the steps. “I refuse to do this anymore.” He pointed his index finger at the creature. “Listen, you little sadist, you’re supposed to grant me three wishes-”
“Do I look like a genie to you-”
Jim snatched Spocko up and brought him to eye level. “-three wishes… and if you don’t-” Jim shook him.
“Okay, okay. No need for the Hercules act. Sheesh.” Jim opened his hand and creature hit the ground. “But you gotta admit, Gary was starting to notice.” Jim took a step towards him. “Uncle, uncle. What else can we do to attract your man?”
“Looking good.” Nyota whistled and Leonard nodded his approval. “Man, how much have you lost?” She pulled out her camera.
Jim blushed. “It was only 15 lbs.”
“It was only 15 lbs.,” Nyota mimicked, “If his eyes don’t bug out when you walk into the party in that outfit, I say, kick him to the curb.”
Spocko gave him an “I told you so” look.
“Oh shut up.” Jim ran a hand through his hair.
“I was only trying to give you a compliment…” Nyota looked hurt.
“Sweetie.” Jim hugged his friend. “I wasn’t talking to you. It’s was just… never mind. Let’s go have some fun.”
“Yeah,” Leonard said. “We’ll show ‘em what for.”
Spocko took in the familiar red-rimmed eyes and shook his head. “Didn’t give you the time of day, did he?”
Jim clutched the soggy tissue. “Oh he gave me the time of day.” He spat. “All the way to the party he wouldn’t keep his hands off me.” He wiped the back of his hand across the bottom of his nose.
That drew a wince from the little being. He handed the man a fresh tissue.
“And when the two of you arrived at the party?”
“He said he was going to get us something to drink. Well… I thought he was gone for a long time, so I went to look for him. And when I found him, he was coming out of the bedroom with some... with some...”
“Bleached Blonde Bimbo?” Spocko helpfully supplied. The look Jim gave him could have melted a glacier. He sighed. “So what do you want to do?”
“They do say blonds have more fun….”
“I don’t believe this!” The screech could be heard for a mile.
“Now, Jim, you have to calm down.” Leonard moved in order to put Nyota between himself and his hysterical friend.
“Calm down, calm down.” Jim held out a fistful of hair. “Bones, do you see my hair?”
“Um, I think the bald look is nice on you, besides, I told you I’m a doctor not a hair stylist.” He ducked as Jim grabbed for him.
“Jim, please…” Nyota tried to wiggle from between the two bodies. Finally, she put her hands on his shoulders and pushed Jim into a chair. “Now, let’s talk about this like civilized adults.”
“Civi-civilized? Give me a pair of scissors and I’ll show you civilized!” He lunged at Leonard again only to be brought up short as Spocko floating in the air above the man’s head. “And you, you, you …. Just wait ‘til I get my hands on you.” He grabbed at him.
“Jim! Leonard, help me hold him.”
Spocko executed a backwards flip and landed on a shelf. “Why are you mad at me?” He sniffed and looked at his nails. “I never said you actually had to dye your hair blond.”
“Why you little-”
Leonard shook his friend. “Jim, stop it! If you don’t get a grip-”
Jim suddenly sagged against and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
“Nyota, get her a glass of water. Jim?”
He blew out a breath. “I think I need something a little stronger than water.”
Nyota returned with the water and handed it to Jim who gulped it down.
Leonard sat beside his friend. “Do you need me to give you a hypo?”
Jim shook his head. “No, sorry about that.” He handed the glass to Nyota and stood. “I just need to be alone for a bit.”
Nyota stood and rubbed his back. “Are you sure? You were kinda going off the deep end for a minute there.”
Jim ran a hand over his bald pate. ‘With good reason,’ he thought. He gave a tiny smile. “I’m fine now.” He headed for the front door. “I’ll call you later.” He went out and gently closed the door.
His friends went to the window and watched his air car lift off.
“Do you think he’ll be okay?” Nyota asked.
Leonard just sighed.
Jim entered his house to see Spocko lounging on the sofa and watching a holovid of Grimm.
He flopped into a chair. “Don’t you have someone else’s life to go and mess up?”
Bulbous eyes blinking, he took in the drooping shoulders and the defeated expression. “How have I messed up your life?”
“Look at me.” He waved an open hand to encompass his whole body. Who’d want this?”
“What’s wrong with it? I see a very handsome man.”
“You see a lonely man.” Overwhelmed with the past few days, Jim covered his face and began to cry.
“Lonely.” Spocko scoffed. “You have friends who care about you and a full life. “ Jim snorted. “You have one more wish.” Spocko rubbed his chin. “You could wish to be the wealthiest an in the world.”
“No!” Jim brought his hands up in a cease and desist motion. “Knowing you, I’ll probably end up on The United Earth Police’s most wanted list.” He gave a tiny chuckle as he wiped his eyes. “I’ll just learn to be me.
“And is that such a bad person to be?”
Jim thought for a moment. “No- no I guess it isn’t?” He lifted his chin. “No it isn’t.” He paused and took in the little creature’s expression. “Why the sad look?”
“It’s not nothing, it’s something.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Yes it is.”
They scowled at each other and then laughed.
Spocko slumped back into the couch. “It’s just…”
“What?” Jim prompted. “It’s just what?”
“You’re so gorgeous. I don’t know why you’d want to change just to please someone.”
“You think I’m gorgeous?”
Benjgo shrugged a shoulder. “From the moment I met you. I’m sorry for causing you so much trouble; I really wanted to help.”
Jim grinned. “Well, in your roundabout sadistic way, you did.”
“Really, besides you’re kinda cute too.” He leaned his head to the side. “In a lizard-like scaly way.”
Spocko gave his lizard’s grin. “So you like me for me.”
Jim nodded. “I do.”
“Do you like me enough to give me a big wet juicy kiss?” He wiggled the place his brows would have been if he had any.
The man gave a hearty laugh. “You do love to press your luck. Alright…” He picked Spocko up. “Thank you for helping me to understand that I am fine just the way I am.” Then he gave the creature a peck between his eyes.
Suddenly, Spocko began to shake. With a grasp, Jim dropped him to the ground.
The creature continued to convulse and small moans emitted from his mouth as he elongated and changed.
Spocko raised a hand in front of his face as a brilliant flash of light blinded him.
When Jim cracked opened his eye, a tall man stood before him. He gasped and opened both eyes to take in the lanky frame, twinkling brown eyes and the wide grin.
The man nodded.
Jim reached out a hand to touch him, but pulled back. “What happened?”
“Me?” Again, Spocko nodded.
He held out a hand to Jim. “Please, let me explain.” After a moment, Jim smiled and took his hand; Spocko led him back to the couch, settled on it and took Jim in his arms. “My name is Spock and I am a Vulcan prince.”
Jim pulled back to look at him. “I heard of the planet Vulcan but I’ve never met one.” He pulled back to look at Spock. “Besides, are you too emotional to be a Vulcan?”
Spock coaxed Jim back into his arms. “My mother was human.”
“Ahhh…” Jim’s brow wrinkled. “Wait a minute, you said you’re a prince; when was this?”
“It was during the 21st century, and don’t I look like a prince?”
“It figures you’d be an old man.” Jim grinned. “You look more like a pauper to me.”
Spock nudged Jim with his shoulder. “Ha, ha very funny. Do you want to hear this or not.”
Jim gave him big eyes before settling back against him. “Okay, I’ll be good.”
Spock shook his head happy to see Jim’s playful side. Jim opened his mouth to make another comment. “Hush.” Jim closed his mouth and stuck out his lip. “My appearance was very important to me and I only wanted the most fair among my acquaintances.” He sighed and shifted positions. “My father had horses and I enjoyed riding them. one day as I was riding though the desert, I came upon a young lad and let us say that he was not one of those I would give a second look. As I turned to gallop away, he had the nerve to present me with a flower and to ask me for a minute of my time.”
Jim’s expression became grim. He knew where this was heading.
“I gave him the tongue lashing of his life. ‘How dare you,’ I said, ‘you think yourself to be worthy of my time? You are filthy, smelly and ugly as a lizard.’” I turned my steed to ride off, but found myself frozen.
“’You,’ he raised the flower at me, ‘have a pleasing outer appearance, but your soul is corrupt and ugly.’” As I sat, he circled me. “’Until you learn inner beauty to be more valuable than external and you teach this lesson to another, you shall bear the form with which you would curse me.’
“It felt as if one thousand arrows pierced my body and I toppled from my mount. The pain ripping through me made me long for the embrace of death. I fell into blackness and have no idea how long I lay there. When I came to, both my horse and the wizard, for surely that is what he was, were gone. I tried to stand but my legs wouldn’t cooperate. When I looked down…” He closed his eyes.
“You saw you had changed,” Jim supplied.
Jim felt a tear land on his arm. “I wanted to curse the fates; I wanted to lie down and feel sorry for myself but I had brought this upon myself. My father warned me of my hubris.” He gave a laugh. “Even though the reality was a bitter pill to swallow, I had a lesson to learn.”
“And have you learned it?”
Spock nodded. “Too bad it took me so long? Or…” He put a finger under Jim’s chin and lifted it to gaze into his eyes. “Maybe it wasn’t the time.” He slowly closed the distance and gave Jim a gentle kiss.
When Spock pulled back, Jim grinned.
“Who is going to believe me?” Jim snuggled in Spock’s arms. “Meeting and falling in love with a Vulcan prince…it’s magical just like in the fairy tales.”
Spock smiled and kissed the top of Jim’s head. “Yes. Being in love is a kind of magic.”