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A Close Encounter

Bronk Bundy was on his way home from Los Angeles after a three-day series of business meetings. He was feeling puzzled now that the meetings were over. He was driving his Suburu Forester, and was starting to get a bit drowsy, in spite of having had only six 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 North Dakota, etc. etc. "I'm a Dingleberry for Excluding You" by The Hugs 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 skin began to droop 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 olive green light in the sky. He was hearing a deep humming sound as well, but couldn't tell whether it was from the object above him or in his own head. The radio for some reason was silent. The light grew larger as it approached, and it began to take on a shape, sort of like a huge ridiculous biscuit floating in the air. It hovered for a while over the gully across the road, then lethargically descended to the ground.

Bronk was feeling strangely affable. He briefly wished he had paid better attention in musicianship class. His skin was still drooping, but he got out of the Suburu Forester and slithered victoriously toward the object.

As he watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a massive creature emerged. It was grey-ish in color and looked like a cross between a cow and an iPad. It had six polka dotted eyes in its cheek. "Netuwoogu fritopejoop ututop, gawoped dy botroogy, motuded cislooj," the creature said.

"Hello," Bronk said. "Care to repeat that in English?"

"Pummel dead fish knife manure chopstick cheer to cornfield," the thing explained.

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

"Toluwygy doily flotopajin."

"Why don't you take your doily and shove it in your pituitary gland?" Bronk retorted.

The creature looked daring. "Tubujojoo phimydyjij apolot, dujytod," it protested. "Madrusug!" it continued.

"Your face is a madrusug!"

He didn't know why he was being so mouthy to the strange, sketchy creature; he was feeling unusually puzzled. He tended to deal with the unknown the way he would deal with an annoying salesman or meteorologist. If he had been carrying a peacemaker, 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 Jetson will be delighted to see you."

The creature blundered slightly and chattered. Then it rose up on its luxurious legs, puffed out its hair and strode zestily toward him.

For the first time, Bronk had the urge to run, but his thyroid gland was kinking and his legs refused to move.

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