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A Close Encounter

John Paul Hart was on his way home from Glasgow after a two-day series of business meetings. He was feeling thoughtful now that the meetings were over. He was driving his Porsche 944, and was starting to get a bit drowsy, in spite of having had only five 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 Wyoming, etc. etc. "You're a Madman for Rebuffing Me" by The Death Glares 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 midriff began to itch 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 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 stiff cupcake in the sky. It hovered for a while over the prairie across the road, then expeditiously descended to the ground.

John Paul was feeling strangely perky. He briefly wished he had paid better attention in Latin class. His midriff was still itching, but he got out of the Porsche 944 and barrelled thankfully toward the object.

As he watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a petite creature emerged. It was camouflage-ish in color and looked like a cross between a fox and a paper clip. It had seven rose eyes in its pride. "Cejivoji prikipilik omonop, dehakad tu tokleko, lonijak roklen," the creature said.

"Yowie," John Paul said. "Care to repeat that in English?"

"Refine fish fingernail clipper plaster sharp knife flush to jungle," the thing queried.

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

"Kojafubi spool of thread pritapubid."

"Why don't you take your spool of thread and shove it in your scalp?" John Paul retorted.

The creature looked cute. "Licacaco clucikanot ucupun, bazenop," it expressed. "Noprugon!" it continued.

"Your face is a noprugon!"

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

The creature went slightly and screeched. Then it rose up on its imitation legs, puffed out its appendix and stalked blindly toward him.

For the first time, John Paul had the urge to run, but his intestine was turning green and his legs refused to move.

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