The Alien

The Alien

A Story by Bookworm1223
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A science fiction short story

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               Flora sat at her desk and absent mindedly tapped her pencil against the hard surface. This class is so inane, she thought to herself. Thanks to the new legislation passed, every tenth-grade student had to sit through a whole year about the possibilities of space travel and intelligent life somewhere out in the universe. She mentally rolled her eyes. Maybe we should try to find intelligent life on our planet before we look through the galaxies. She scanned the room. Definitely none here.

               The bell rang and announced the end of the school day. Gathering her belongings, Flora set off on her walk home. The trees overhead rustled dryly �" their leaves having already fallen. An unseasonably warm breeze blew by and jostled her jacket. She waved to some of her classmates and merrily skipped down the road. She had lived near her school her whole life and her walks to and from school were her personal time to relax and unwind.

               When she reached her home, she let herself in and called out to her mother and father. Neither answered and so she assumed they were both still at the university where they taught. Her mother taught grammar, her father science. She set her items down, and rummaged for some food. Sadly, there were no leftovers. “Guess we’re ordering out again.” She said to no one in particular.

               After having reached her favorite fast food place and being assured her order would be rushed right over, she sat down to do her homework. The more she tried to concentrate, the more the words swirled before her. Sighing, she abandoned the cause in search of something more entertaining.

               Getting settled, she watched the flickering screen before her. Cheery faces advertised new breakthroughs in cleaning technology, starry-eyed children played with the latest toys, and yet none if it was grabbing her. As she was about to abandon this cause as well, she heard her father come in the front door. She swung herself up and headed to greet him.

               “Hey! How was school?” She enjoyed asking her parents that everyday, she thought it was funny.

               “It was A-Okay. What about you? Anything new and exciting going on?”

               “Nothing I would call ‘new’ or terribly ‘exciting.’ That stupid space class is killing me. Who cares if there’s intelligent life out there. Don’t you think if there were they would have stopped in to say hi or to harvest our brains or something?”

               “You know, I wouldn’t be so nonchalant about aliens. Some of my coworkers in the research department have been hearing some pretty freaky things on our space satellites.”

               “What, were they trying to order some take-out?”

               “Very funny. I don’t think that homework is over there doing itself, why don’t you get on that. But speaking of take-out…?”

               “I already ordered.”

               “That’s my girl.”

               Some cheap take-out and a few assignments later, Flora’s mom bustled in through the doorway. She was heavily laden with work from her class that needed to be graded.

               “Sorry I’m home late, ladies and germs. Those office hours are killing me.”

Through a mouthful of food, Flora’s father replied something genially non-committal, and with that her mother sat down and joined their feast.

               “So Fauna, Flora was telling me how she thinks her space lessons in school are ‘unnecessary.’”

               “Flora!” Her mother shot her a chastising look.

               “Those weren’t my words… exactly… I merely said I didn’t see the point in searching for intelligent life. I think it would have found us by now.”

               “Well I don’t know about you, but all that’s going to find me is an auditorium full of angry college kids if I don’t grade these papers. With that, I bid you adieu.” Rising from the table, Fauna scooped up her documents and sought out the sanctuary of her study.

 

***

              

               It had been a long day, and Flora was ready for bed. After dinner and homework, her mother had retreated to her study and her dad had headed to “his spot” to relax. Taking in the early night scene outside her window, she prepared herself for bed. A flash of light caught her eye, and she was drawn back to the night outside. A strobe of white light pulsed weakly from somewhere in the dark forest behind their house. Maybe some kind of camper?

               Dismissing it, Flora continued her nightly routine. After getting comfy and closing her eyes, she rolled over. A flash of light breached her eyelids. She ignored it. Another flash. Another. Grumbling, she got out of bed and tried to focus on the source of the light. All she could tell was that it came from the woods. It didn’t seem very far into the trees, and if it was a camper, they must have needed help. She was a reasonably mature and capable young woman, she could help whoever it was. Sliding on her slippers and jacket, she quietly crept out of her room.

               After slipping silently through the back door, she headed for the tree line. The closer she got, the better she could hear a slight beeping noise. The beeping had an urgent and panicked sound to it, almost like some kind of alarm. She was getting close now, she could see a strange silver cylinder as the source of the strange strobe light.

               Reaching the light, she leaned down and picked it up. It continued to blink as she held it. The beeping was definitely some kind of alarm, and now she could hear some kind of faint words being repeated over and over in tandem with the beeping. The voice emitting the words was hollow �" it sounded robotic. It was at this moment that Flora realized she might have gotten in over her head. She set the strange silver cylinder back down and started to back away out of the woods.

               As she turned, she heard a new sound. An odd, low groaning noise was coming from around the same area as the beeping. Fear began to course through her. What had she walked into? Bracing herself, she decided she was being melodramatic. She forced herself to walk towards the beeping.

               A mass of what seemed to be flesh laid on the ground. It twitched and emitted more of that guttural groaning. A viscous liquid oozed out of wounds all over the flesh mass, maybe that dark fluid was its blood?

               “Um, hello there… My name is Flora. Do you need help?”

               The groaning continued, sprinkled with the occasional twitch of an oddly hairless limb. After a few minutes of uncertain, awkward hovering, Flora was about to walk away and leave that thing to its fate when it made a noise. Actually, that wasn’t a good way of putting it, as it had been continually making low groaning and moaning noises. This was a different sound, almost like a vague vocalization.

               “Hey, are you ok? I’m Flora. Can I help you?”

               More vague vocalizations. The thing began to attempt to sit up, moving one awkwardly hairless and vascular appendage at a time. A ripped and torn white vest hung limply by a few strands of sad thread around what appeared to be this monstrosity’s torso. The creature lifted one limb, apparently reaching for something on the vest. Bruised digits sought purchase on a small silver pin.

               The sound of static filled her ears, the pin seeming to be the cause. The thing made more vague vocalization sounds, and this time, words came out through the static.

               “Name... shhhhh… is… admiral… shhhhhh… Johannson. Shhhhhh… Need. Shhhhhhh… help.”

               With the last words, the creature lost consciousness. Flora’s thoughts spun. Was that thing an alien? What did it want? Why was it here? Why did it need help?

She took in the situation in front of her. This… alien… was a strange color of peach, nothing like the purple skin tone that graced her healthy face. Not only was the flesh color wrong, but the only hair it seemed to have was on its head. It had a thick shock of dark brown hair, but it ended at the base of the skull and a bit above the odd eyes set deep into its head. This thing seemed to be missing a few crucial sets of eyes. As she thought that, she made sure to blink all six eyelids. She paid special attention to the two on either side of her head that protruded from their customary eyestalks.

Even though this thing was disgusting, she vowed there and then that she would help it as best she could. The Gtho trees shook in the early Lufst wind. If she didn’t go get the alien a blanket, it would surely freeze to death. Or would it? She wasn’t going to risk it. She ran on her lovely lavender tentacles back to her room and grabbed her warmest blanket. She also stopped by the kitchen and grabbed some canned Eok. She was never one for Eok, but like an alien would know any different.

She draped the blanket over the body of the alien. It was twitching again. Opening the can, she force fed it the Eok. The alien regained consciousness for a moment and reached for its pin again.

Shhhhh… I came… shhhhhh… from a planet… shhhhh… called Earth. Shhhhh… We’ve been… shhhhhh… watching you… shhhhh.”

Flora didn’t know what to say. Earth? What kind of a name was that. Sounded made up. Watching you? Wait, like watching her? Or watching her family? Or her town? Or her planet? She didn’t understand. Why would aliens be watching anyone from her planet? She gently shook the squishy alien, trying to wake it back up. It opened its two eyes and looked at her blearily.

“Can you understand me if I don’t speak through the pin?” The alien nodded its head slightly. She thought that meant yes. She continued, “Who were you watching and why? I don’t understand.”

Fingering the pin again, the alien spoke through the static. “You were only other… shhh… planet with intelligent… shhhhhh… life. Had to… shhhhhh… ensure your civilization’s… shhhhhh… wellbeing. I need… shhhh… medicine from my pack. Shhhhh… Pack is in shipwreck… shhhhh…

Flora got up and searched for the shipwreck the alien spoke about. Behind some trees she could see a shiny clump of twisted metal. She approached it and poked through the wreckage, looking for this “medicine” it had spoken about. A small plastic container lay in the midst of singed fabric and sparking wires. She picked it up, and took it back to the alien. It lifted its head weakly in anticipation of the medicine. She popped the lid on the bottle and eased some of the liquid inside down its throat.

Within a matter of moments, the alien was less groggy and seemed to be much more alert. The wounds Flora could see were pulling together and mending themselves. It reached for its pin, “Thank you. I feel much better now. We Earthlings became aware of your planet a few hundred Earth years ago. Yours was the first planet with intelligent life we found. We searched billions of light years, and yours was the only one. So we watched you. We wanted to make sure that your civilization evolved enough to communicate with us. We Earthlings are the first to plumb the frozen abyss of space. We are the first race to have the technology.” He �" Flora was beginning to get the idea it was a him �" paused, “Well, at least that we know of. We were lonely. Floating on a rock through space with no other life surrounding you can do that to a race. I was sent here as an ambassador, but my ship crashed and I was seriously injured. If it weren’t for you, I would have probably died. So what do you say, cosmic neighbor, friends?” The alien stuck out its naked arm. Flora extended her furred tentacle.

“Friends.”

               And thus Flora became the first of her kind to be friends with her cosmic neighbors.

© 2016 Bookworm1223


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I thought Flora was the human. I was actually a bit confused about what I was reading until I got the the part where the alien said it was from Earth.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Bookworm1223

2 Years Ago

That was the plot twist. You weren't supposed to know until the end. Did you like it?

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Added on December 15, 2016
Last Updated on December 15, 2016