Mrs. Evelyn Dotrice of 2633 Green River Street, Apartment 312, kept a planet in the closet of her spare bedroom.
The planet had followed her late husband Emmanuel Dotrice home one day. Things were always following Mr. Dotrice. Turtles. Wasp-waisted women. 1958 Studebakers. Cryptozoological creatures. Mrs. Dotrice allowed them to stay, knowing that men are just grown-up boys who must have their toys. She did, however, put her foot down after the electromagnetic storm burnt out her new air popper popcorn maker. After that the earthquake, the chamosaur, and the lost alligator they had found floating toward the storm drain one rainy evening stayed in the aluminum storage shed in the back yard of the apartment building.
The planet though was very well-behaved and fit quite nicely on the top shelf of the closet between the sock monkey doll and the trans-dimensional teleporter Mr. Dotrice had bought at a garage sale for forty-five cents. He already had three trans-dimensional teleporters at the time, but he didn't like to not buy something at a garage sale after stopping.
The planet, which was actually a dwarf planet, though Mr. and Mrs. Dotrice never called it that as not to hurt its feelings, had a name; but Mrs. Dotrice, who had won every mathematics competition ever held in the one room schoolhouse she had attended as a girl, was not astronomically minded and could never remember it. She called it Leroy after a Yorkie she had once owned. The planet didn't seem to mind, coming quite quickly when called.
Mrs. Dotrice was glad to have Leroy's company after Mr. Dotrice was gone. Though he returned very soon as an ectoplasmic entity, Mrs. Dotrice found it rather trying to use the oujia board for all her conversations with her late husband. Her arthritis bothered her most days. So though she enjoyed the sight of her Emmanuel dripping eldritch goo on his favorite recliner, Mrs. Dotrice found it much easier to talk to Planet Leroy who had a lovely, clear voice and didn't drip, except when his polar ice caps thawed.
Leroy was an excellent conversationalist. Though he did have a tendency to orbit about and not get to the point, he had seen a great many things in his travels and liked to talk about them. He was also very good at Sudoku.
On cloudy days Mrs. Dotrice took Leroy for walks. Sunny days were bad for his frozen seas. They would go once around the block with Leroy picking up the occasional stray garbage can lid or school principal as a temporary satellite. Mrs. Dotrice never allowed him to keep them. After all, she told Leroy, you never knew where a school principal had been.
The day came when Mrs. Dotrice's children decided it was time their mother went to a Home. It was a fine Home, having the advantage of being far enough away that Mrs. Dotrice's children would never have to feel guilty about not getting to see her more often.
Mrs. Dotrice didn't like her children. She had never wanted children, but they'd come as a free gift with a package of sea monkeys Mr. Dotrice had ordered and she had felt obliged to raise them.
On Saturday the twenty-third Mrs.