Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I sat in the living room in my pajamas, late well into the afternoon. The couch conformed under my flannelled buttocks. My laptap grew hot against my thighs and I flicked through the television. Behind me, a light glowed outside the rain splattered window, and a spaceship landed in my backyard.

At first it was an unidentified flying object, but then I identified it, using contextual clues, and thus it became a flying object identified as a spaceship.

I muted the television; I didn't need to see a rerun of How I Met Your Mother more than this. I sat up on my knees on the couch, leaning over the back and looking outside. My messy unbrushed hair clumped in a thick scarf-like hood, getting in my mouth, smelling of old shampoos and coffee.

The spaceship was larger than my mom's car, but smaller than a sad mom's car (ie: suv.) It was white but it wasn't that clean. There were no discernible windows or doors. Four metal poles propped it up on our lawn, which would probably have to be refertilized after this. A circular hole opened in the spaceship, widening until it was about four feet in radius. A pair of black shoes attached to thin long legs swung out and a person fell to the ground.

I opened the backdoor- my parents called it the kid door because when we were little we were told to go in through that door so we wouldn't get outside dirt in the front hallway, but now we were allowed to go through any door because we were adults sort of and we played in dirt less.

A few neighbor ladies were looking over the edge of their fences into our yard. A couple dogs were barking. They thought it was weird I had a mental breakdown and had to move back in with my parents, the neighbor ladies, not the dogs. The dogs were cool.

Ignoring the nosy neighbors, I walked barefoot into our yard and helped the strange man to his feet. He was wearing black pants and a long sleeved black shirt. Maybe he was an artist. His skin was green, which I thought was kind of artsy. His hair was black and curly. As he leaned against my shoulder to get up, I noticed the curve of his arm muscles and his long, elegant, flat and compact torso. My cheeks grew warmer. The green man vomited violently at my feet.

"I'm so sorry," he said. "The landing still gets me a bit spacesick."

Oh, it's okay, I thought. Then I realized I hadn't said it out loud. I hadn't been talking a lot lately and my social skills were a little worse for the lack of use. "It's okay," I said. "I can imagine the ride must be jarring."

"Do you have any... I think you humans call it sprite?" he asked.
"Yeah... well something. Maybe it's fresca, but yeah."
"Oh, lovely."
"Uh-huh." I was aware of my annoying tiny black mustache hairs that were coming in.
"May I have some?"
"Yeah, sure."

My parents were away at work. I invited the alien in. I had accidentally locked the kid door behind me when I came out to check on him so I had to make him wait while I crawled in through the dining room window and then ran to the living room to let him in. He didn't seem annoyed or awkward with that at all.

He came in and sat on a chair at the table. I poured him a glass of fresca, made myself a coffee, and ten I sliced up a tomato and put it on a plate in between us. The alien politely helped himself to a slice of tomato and chewed thoughtfully.

"Thank you so much for the soft drink and the fruit slices." he said.
"Not a problem. My mom bought them."

I looked around. The television was still emanating silent storylines and bright colors of pretty people doing silly things.

"So, where are you from?" I asked.
"It's called Drozquaid. You probably haven't heard of it. It's just like 30 light years outside of Frehman."
"Oh, uh-huh."
"Yeah, you know Frehman?"
"So what brings you to Earth?" I asked.
"Earth?" He looked up, alarmed.
"Yeah," I said. "Why are you here?"
"This is Earth? Galaxy 12700? The Gestarian county?"
"Um... I think? Maybe?" I said.
"Oh god. What year is this?"
"Human years... ugh... the conversion of human years is so difficult. You'd think you guys would use the same unit as the rest of the galaxy, but no, you gotta be special."
"Not your fault."

The green man pulled a tiny notepad from a pocket I hadn't noticed in his sleek outfit. He began working out a math equation. His color faded to mint and he gasped to himself.

"What's up?" I asked.
"I've already said too much," he said. He was getting up. He threw his dishes in the sink, which really wasn't necessary. "I need to go. Something terrible is going to happen to the lifeforms on this planet and I can't be here..."
"What's going to happen?"
"Nothing major, it will only affect humans and most earth animals and plants."
"I'm a human."
"Yeah. No important species to existence will be affected."
"Can you take me with you?"

He looked at me, startled by the question. "Why?"
"I don't want to die... Can we take my family and go pick up some library books for the trip too?"
"No, I don't want to disrupt the history line of time and space. You better stay here."

I grumbled and rolled my eyes but pretended like I understood. The alien rain his long thin fingers through his black hair and smiled kindly at me. "Thanks so much for the snack."

I smiled back at him. He let himself out the backdoor and climbed back up into his space ship using a little white ladder that extended downwards. I didn't walk him to his ship, but watched from inside, on my sofa. I turned the volume back up on the tv and microwaved my coffee. He gave me one last look from the opening. His smooth skin tightened up into what looked like a frown. Then the space ship was closed again, a smooth white egg. The metal legs retracted back up into it and it floated for a moment in out back yard and then it was gone.

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