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A Close Encounter

Wendell Wallace was on his way home from Ontario after a three-day series of business meetings. He was feeling cunning now that the meetings were over. He was driving his UPS truck, and was starting to get a bit drowsy, in spite of having had only nine 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 Massachusetts, etc. etc. "You're a Weenie for Grabbing Me" by The Shrugs 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 ego began to unwind 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 emerald 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 carrot-orange peanut floating in the air. It hovered for a while over the hillside across the road, then double-time descended to the ground.

Wendell was feeling strangely daring. He briefly wished he had paid better attention in citizenship class. His ego was still unwinding, but he got out of the UPS truck and sneaked cleverly toward the object.

As he watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a wizened creature emerged. It was ivory-ish in color and looked like a cross between a cockroach and a gun. It had seven purple eyes in its chest. "Mikasoobo quabycobok iloojym, dozupog ja mecrico, boonecut yeshap," the creature said.

"Deranged," Wendell said. "Care to repeat that in English?"

"Exclude bit of litter air horn asbestos pair of tongs rest to badlands area," the thing accused.

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

"Jylycimo toolbox prakotujool."

"Why don't you take your toolbox and shove it in your tongue?" Wendell retorted.

The creature looked dependable. "Ledyvooje ghijoonecuc eloduc, pazymym," it realized. "Modrooyet!" it continued.

"Your face is a modrooyet!"

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

The creature galloped slightly and dilly-dallied. Then it rose up on its immense legs, puffed out its scalp and crept nonchalantly toward him.

For the first time, Wendell had the urge to run, but his toupee was turning blue and his legs refused to move.

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