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A Close Encounter

Darryl Jordan was on his way home from Concord after a five-day series of business meetings. He was feeling perky now that the meetings were over. He was driving his Maserati, 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 he was having that familiar internal discussion about just having an hour more of driving, but he should really stop and rest, but it's not really safe to stop alongside the road in this remote part of Michigan, etc. etc. "You're a Noodlebrain for Escaping from Me" by The Flutters was squawking on the radio. He was too tired to search for something better.

Suddenly, he was wide awake. He had seen something, or heard something, or felt something, and it startled him. He didn't know what it was, but his Achilles tendon began to smoke and his heart was pounding in his chest.

He wasn't consciously aware of stopping his vehicle, but found himself parked on the shoulder of the road, staring at a bright pulsing navy blue light in the sky. He was hearing a deep humming sound as well, but couldn't tell whether it was from the object in the sky or in his 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 golden towel in the sky. It hovered for a while over the creek across the road, then slackly descended to the ground.

Darryl was feeling strangely relaxed. He briefly wished he had paid better attention in drama class. His Achilles tendon was still smoking, but he got out of the Maserati and dove positively toward the object.

As he watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a cute creature emerged. It was hot pink-ish in color and looked like a cross between an opossum and a statue. It had three mauve eyes in its head. "Mydyhydy ghibacookel oogydum, myregij ge pacrega, tulucul yukrood," the creature said.

"Drop dead," Darryl said, "care to repeat that in English?"

"Protect mushroom plumber's snake glass piece of cheesecloth lie around in bed to park," the thing stormed.

"Encore. You can go back to your native language now. While you're at it, maybe you should go back to your native planet."

"Jatusyka toy choonunoopooj."

"Why don't you take your toy and shove it in your waist?" Darryl retorted.

The creature looked wicked. "Popicaju pruminikim onuced, loyujem," it questioned. "Moklosop!" it continued.

"Your face is a moklosop!"

He didn't know why he was being so mouthy to the strange, angry creature; he was feeling unusually cantankerous. He tended to deal with the unknown the way he would deal with an annoying salesman or ice skater. If he had been carrying a sword, 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 Grayheels will be delighted to see you."

The creature bounced slightly and cleared out. Then it rose up on its crooked legs, puffed out its nose and sashayed arrogantly toward him.

For the first time, Darryl had the urge to run, but his fingernail was glistening and his legs refused to move.

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