The Elsie & Nora dialogues, 4: The Orange Crate

– When I was a tiny girl I lived in an orange crate with Sputnik the Space Earwig and it told me the secrets of the stars.
– Did you really?
– No.
– Who really lived in the orange crate?
– Laika the Space Dog.
– Really.
– A terrier. But it downloaded Laika’s consciousness.
– Did it?
– No.
The terrier would never come out of the orange crate so one day I crawled in and it was conducting an entire choir of earwigs.
– Was it?
– No.
One day it was snowing and an orange glow came from the crate so I crawled in. The terrier snarled but the earwig welcomed me.
– Did it?
– No.
They had a lovely warm fire going made of the dried bodies of ants and were sipping hot Future Juice.
– No they didn’t and they weren’t.
– No.
I would curl up on a mat of matted curls the earwig had snipped away and listen to their tales of other worlds.
– But did you?
– No, I didn’t.