“What’s that?”

“This?” He held up an object. It appeared to be made of crystal, cube shaped. Almost. Something seemed wrong about its shape, though she couldn’t say what. It glowed with a blue light. But the color shifted at odd intervals. “I don’t know. I found it along the side of the house. Thought it might be part of someone’s holiday decorations. But I can’t find a battery compartment or anything. I’ve been trying to figure it out.”

“Are you sure it’s safe?”

“Since I don’t know what it is, I guess I can’t be sure. But so far it has been harmless.”

There was definitely something wrong with the shape. It was obviously a cube, but it seemed to have too many sides. Maybe it was the light, now red, that made it difficult to focus on it long enough to count the sides properly. “I don’t like it.”

“Why not?”

“It just seems… off. You should get rid of it.”

“I don’t know about that. There’s something fascinating about it. I’m just trying to figure out what it is.”

She looked as closely as she could at the object in his hands. Her gaze kept sliding off. “There are no openings or seams. How can you figure anything out?”

“Not sure yet. But that’s part of what intrigues me.”

There was a knock at the door. He jumped up to answer it before she had a chance. As he opened the door, he yelled briefly, as if he had had a shock. The cube dropped to the floor.

The man at the door wore a dark suit. “Good evening…” he started, and then he spotted the cube. Quicker than she would have thought possible, the man reached out and snatched up the cube. “Thank you for returning it. Goodbye.” He started to ask something, but the man had turned and left too quickly.

A look of confusion settled on his face as he closed the door.

“Well, that was strange,” she offered.

“Yeah. I wish I had had more time. I thought I was getting close to understanding something. Ah well…” He turned to go into the kitchen.

“Uh… You need to come back.” He turned around, the obvious question starting to form on his lips. She just pointed to the coffee table. The cube sat there, slowly pulsing a steady green.

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