Where the Heart Is
Mary E. Lowd
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Copyright © 2011 by Mary E. Lowd
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Any human in the room would have seen an oversized koala bear, a bushy red-wolf, a long-tailed, green lizard, and a large blue fish wearing a diving helmet, floating bizarrely above his barstool. But there were no humans in the room. It was the All Alien Cafe on the interstellar meeting point known as Crossroads Station.
"Do you ever miss your home worlds?" the red-wolf asked the others. He was a Heffen, and his species were refugees from a planet whose yellow dwarf star had expanded into a red giant. "I miss the wide open savannahs," he said, ears pointed forward and his long, canid nose pointed down.
The other three exchanged worried looks. They could tell when their friend was feeling melancholy. Over the years, the four of them had learned to read each other quite well, despite their very different physiologies. The koala, in particular, was tuned into the every nuance of the Heffen's mood, and the expression in her sparkling eyes became especially concerned.