A Present for Pat

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First published in Startling Stories Jan 1954

Eric Blake, returning from a work trip to Ganymede, brings a minor Ganymedean deity back as a present for his wife Patricia. This ten-inch creature, when offered a bit of food, wakes up and explains he is actually from another dimension on the hunt for the evil Nar Dolk. Eric’s co-worker Matson from Terran Metals shows up at the house and offends the ornery god who then changes him into a toad. Patricia has a fit about that, and the god turns her to stone. 

Eric’s boss Bradshaw demands he come to work right away to report on his trip. Bradshaw isn’t happy that Eric let one of their best workers get turned into an amphibian, so he fires Eric but keeps the toad. Back at home, Eric, Patricia (benevolently no longer a statue) and the deity plot how to get Matson back when the police, along with Bradshaw, surround the house. Turns out it is illegal to transport non-Terran life to Earth. Eric makes a deal to change Matson back to a human if they call off the troops, which his boss accepts but then reneges on once the deity has converted Matson back. Just then the deity realizes (long after the reader) that Bradshaw is the evil Nar Dolk in disguise, and the two of them fight before disappearing to their own dimension. 

Cast of characters

  • Eric Blake – brings Tinokuknoi Arevulopapo to Earth from Ganymede
  • Tinokuknoi Arevulopapo – a Ganymedean deity
  • Patricia Blake – Eric’s wife
  • Thomas Matson – Eric’s co-worker
  • Horace Bradshaw – Eric’s boss
  • Jennings – works in the biology lab at Terran Metals