Jim Van Dorn was on his way home from Buenos Aires after a three-day series of business meetings. He was feeling affable now that the meetings were over. He was driving his Ford Mustang, and was starting to get a bit drowsy, in spite of having had only four 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 Alabama, etc. etc. "You're a Renegade for Seeing Me" by The Snorts 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 little finger began to sting 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 green 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 jagged pair of pliers in the sky. It hovered for a while over the meadow across the road, then diligently descended to the ground.
Jim was feeling strangely exuberant. He briefly wished he had paid better attention in archaeology class. His little finger was still stinging, but he got out of the Ford Mustang and inched frenetically toward the object.
As he watched, an opening appeared in the side of the ship, and soon a winsome creature emerged. It was orange-ish in color and looked like a cross between a beagle and a computer. It had three navy blue eyes in its chin. "Kymyzipe slinicoocoob agagam, byrolul ba biclogy, tugoolop cooprook," the creature said.
"Cock-a-doodle-doo," Jim said. "Care to repeat that in English?"
"Strip twig polishing cloth posts and beams potato peeler flail to valley," the thing queried.
"Glaack. You can go back to your native language now. While you're at it, maybe you should go back to your native planet."
"Gecasimy screwdriver phemejotec."
"Why don't you take your screwdriver and shove it in your shin?" Jim retorted.
The creature looked selfish. "Nilaroopu wrinojagig anekeg, jujucog," it panted. "Nyflujal!" it continued.
"Your face is a nyflujal!"
He didn't know why he was being so mouthy to the strange, muddled creature; he was feeling unusually hysterical. He tended to deal with the unknown the way he would deal with an annoying salesman or physician. If he had been carrying a sling, 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 Irvin will be delighted to see you."
The creature pranced slightly and ruminated. Then it rose up on its slimy legs, puffed out its larynx and paraded properly toward him.
For the first time, Jim had the urge to run, but his tail was spreading and his legs refused to move.Next Chapter