The Alien in My Headphones

I settled the headphones over my ears. When I inhaled, I felt a little lurch in my stomach.

Every time I turned them on, I was afraid I’d lost the signal. And every time I turned them on, I was afraid I hadn’t.

This was getting out of hand. This…investigation that I’d gotten caught up in. But if it was a prank, it was—I was going to say “epic,” but that word gets overused. It was…extravagant.

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The Unicellular Detective

There’s something you should know about me, and it’s not that I’m a plankton.

I mean, aren’t we all? Plankton, floating around in the great pond. Except, I don’t just float.

See, I was born with some pretty powerful flagella. What is that, you ask? Flagella, they’re like…like long limbs, protruding from all over my body—hey, don’t make that face, they’re not gross. At least, my parent told me they’re not. Some days, I show ‘em. Most days I don’t. But they’re not just for show. See, I’m a paramecium. We’re only supposed to have cilia, short little hairs that let us kind of get around. We’re not supposed to have flagella. They let me do what most plankton can’t do. They let me decide where I want to go. Instead of letting the Drift decide for me.

What is the Drift, you ask? Boy, you multicellular organisms sure are curious.

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