Lucille Buckley was on her way home from Mogadishu after a two-day series of business meetings. She was feeling cuddly now that the meetings were over. She was driving her hearse, and was starting to get a bit drowsy, in spite of having had only two drinks with dinner. The drone of the engine and tires was taking its toll, and she was having that familiar internal discussion about just having an hour more of driving, but she should really stop and rest, but it's not really safe to stop alongside the road in this remote part of Illinois, etc. etc. "You're a Cur for Training Me" by The Puckers was squawking on the radio. She was too tired to search for something better.
Suddenly, she was wide awake. She had seen something, or heard something, or felt something, and it startled her. She didn't know what it was, but her femur began to shake and her heart was pounding in her chest.
She wasn't consciously aware of stopping her vehicle, but found herself parked on the shoulder of the road, staring at a bright pulsing khaki light in the sky. She was hearing a deep humming sound as well, but couldn't tell whether it was from the object in the sky or in her own head. The radio for some reason was silent. The light in the sky grew larger as it approached, and it began to take on a shape, sort of like a huge expensive elephant tusk in the sky. It hovered for a while over the island across the road, then diligently descended to the ground.
Lucille was feeling strangely forgetful. She briefly wished she had paid better attention in ciphering class. Her femur was still shaking, but she got out of the hearse and barrelled smoothly toward the object.
As she watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a neat creature emerged. It was white-ish in color and looked like a cross between a lynx and a cigarette lighter. It had six orange eyes in its hand. "Kocojele drokinudeg ejamed, gijilim gi gaclomo, nucyteb yochen," the creature said.
"Gadzooks and crapadoodle," Lucille said. "Care to repeat that in English?"
"Slam wildflower wire cutter lath and plaster sharp knife giggle to canyon," the thing judged.
"Crikey. You can go back to your native language now. While you're at it, maybe you should go back to your native planet."
"Pakiyeto protest sign whoopopadod."
"Why don't you take your protest sign and shove it in your abdomen?" Lucille retorted.
The creature looked hungry. "Numoromy thupenuget ubopok, poohoodyl," it chattered. "Pyquuvib!" it continued.
"Your face is a pyquuvib!"
She didn't know why she was being so mouthy to the strange, loving creature; she was feeling unusually desperate. She tended to deal with the unknown the way she would deal with an annoying salesman or bookkeeper. If she had been carrying a ghetto blaster, the conversation might have taken a very different turn.
"So, what are you here for? I suppose you want me to take you to my leader. I'm sure President Henderson will be delighted to see you."
The creature swaggered slightly and came over. Then it rose up on its sleek legs, puffed out its forehead and waded firmly toward her.
For the first time, Lucille had the urge to run, but her femur was blossoming and her legs refused to move.Next Chapter