Archer & Zowie by Hans Bluedorn
Chapter 1: The Teleportee
Somewhere on this Earth, there is a pile of hills. They are covered in grass and sprinkled with trees. Ambling through them is a road. At the end of the road is a subdivision. At the end of the subdivision is a house. And, in a room at the back of the house — just past the babysitter on the left — are two friends: Archer and Zowie.
Archer is ten years old, blonde, and wears aviator’s goggles over his eyes. He usually walks around in circles with his head down and his hands behind his back — probably thinking deep thoughts about the nature of reality.
Zowie is small, but has a big smile and a mess of curly black hair. Zowie wears a nicely fitting cardboard box — it is painted silver, has silver tubes of ductwork on the sides for arms, red checker pieces like buttons on the front, and her short little legs shoot out from the bottom.
ARCHER: There, your cardboard-box-suit makes you an advanced humanoid robot.
ZOWIE: This is uncomfortable!
ARCHER: You have to wear it. It’s your imagination stimulant.
ZOWIE: What’s that? What if I have an itch? Where’s your “imagination stipulant?”
ARCHER: It’s “stimulant.”
Archer likes to plan, explore, and find something new over the hill. But Zowie likes to look around, feel life, and find fun right where she is at. Archer and Zowie get along with each other pretty well . . . most of the time.
ZOWIE: Archer, what are you doing?
Archer is at the dining room table, staring at two piles of play-dough with deep concentration.
ARCHER: Imagining all the possible shapes I could build with this play dough.
ZOWIE: That pile looks like a cupcake. That pile looks like dog-doo.
ARCHER: Hmmm. But what could they BECOME?
ZOWIE: If you mix them together you could make a birthday cake?
Archer heads off to the kitchen. There, he looks up at the microwave. The microwave is high up, just out of reach. It is an average looking microwave -— white, with a glass window in the front. It has a bunch of buttons for choosing how long you want to cook your food and a big shiny handle underneath for opening the door when you want to eat your food. Just an average microwave.
Archer grabs the microwave’s power chord and wrestles with it, pulling it. The microwave teeters over the edge and . . . “BAM!”
Archer carries the microwave into the dining room. Zowie trails behind carrying its power chord. Then, he puts the microwave on the dining room table and stares at it for a long time.
ZOWIE: Why are you staring at a microwave?
Archer takes a clothes hanger, untwists it into a long wire and then bends it again into a big V. He tapes the big V to the top of the microwave, like the antennae on a old TV. He writes “TELEPORTEE” on the front of the microwave in permanent marker. Then, he stands back, puts his hands on his hips, and looks satisfied.