Number Forty-Seven

“What’s that?” Jenny pointed up to an opalescent ebon sphere that floated, apparently unsupported, about a foot from the ceiling of my room. It was not quite in the center, not quite in a corner, just there.

I looked up from our math homework. “Oh, that’s a sphere.”

“I know that, dummy.” She hit me playfully on the shoulder. “How is it floating there? What’s it for? Where’d you get it?”

I blinked. “Uhhhh, I dunno, I dunno, and it just showed up one day. What’d you get on number—”

“I don’t see any wires.” She stood and peered closely at it.

“There aren’t.” Seeing her reach for it, I added, “Don’t touch it, it’ll shock you.”

“Uh huh.” Then she yelped and yanked her hand back.

“Told you.”

“But… aren’t you curious?”

“Yup. Scientists came here and everything. None of them figured out anything. After a while they gave up.”

“So you just—”

“Yup. Hey’d what’d you think about forty-seven?” With more than a few glances back at the object, Jenny returned to our math books. An hour later, we’d finished the work and she went home.

I hope she’ll study with me again. I think I like her.

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