Short Story Science Fiction – The Alien
It was a cold day in June. I hurried home after my shopping which had left my spirit high and purse depleted. It was dark, the shadows overlaying each other on the floor as I walked on the sidewalk, before entering my garden pathway. It was chilly and I was very hungry having resisted the snacks and ice creams at the mall eateries. Somehow the mounting hunger made me irritable and I hurried to my house.
Just as I walked up the steps that led to the doorway a sudden dazzle hit my eye. A torrent of light had capsized upon the house and I felt the glow of a thousand suns cascading upon me. The glaring white blinded my eyes. I dropped my shopping bags around me and shielded my eyes from the deluge. I stood still panic stricken.
Looking up I saw a fascinating sight. It was a UFO. It was an exact replica of the ones in comic books and fiction movies, so I couldn’t possibly have mistaken it for anything else. And sure enough my eyes wandered around the craft to see if any aliens emerged.
At the same instant I felt a tug at my saree pallu. I was wonder struck at the sight of an alien, very humanoid in appearance. And of course he was sea green, as they were always portrayed, and he stood there with his strange enormous eyes straining to see me, eye lids fluttering as though he were myopic. His eyes were watery with rainbow shades floating in them very strangely, and I felt magnetized. He wore a glowing silver metal helmet which was actually his head. The inevitable antenna (like the two tentacles found on the head of a snail) glimmered and shone in florescent shades of green and red as though it were traffic lights. He became too interesting a spectacle for me to feel afraid of, as my eyes explored this fascinating intruder.
His head was mango shaped and his mouth widened and contracted on and off in a perpetual grin that stretched wide to right behind his head. I was relieved he wasn’t scaly, like some of them from comic books. I gathered up courage and said, “Hi!”
The alien nodded as though in acknowledgement, but it was not to be. He nodded all the time even when I hadn’t spoken to him. Since he seemed to be of a congenial temperament I grew braver and extended my hospitality by asking him if he needed food. He grinned and nodded, and I doubted that he understood me.
This time I softly prodded him stomach and was surprised to find it sounded very metallic though it didn’t look it. It was almost a drum.
Still he repeated the grin and nod.
By now I was enjoying this strange encounter, considering he wasn’t harmful, and I really wished to communicate with him. I was afraid he would take off abruptly, as it always happened in movies I had seen. I prodded his tummy again and
said, “Food?” I made a chomping sound as if I was munching away. Grin, nod. Grin, nod.
“Drink?” And I made a gulping sound.
He stared bewildered, the rainbow hues swirling wildly in his eyes. I was transfixed at the sight, for it was a truly spectacular sight. I picked up a tetra pack of Amul Lassi from the shopping bags I had dropped open and punctured the silver blocker. I offered this to my alien friend.
Grin, nod. Grin, nod.
And I tried an apple, an orange, a packet of cummin seeds. Then I waggled a sachet of Sambar Podi Shakti Masala, to no avail.
Words like ‘fridge’, lunch, chappathis, rice made absolutely no sense to him.
When I next tapped his tummy I heard some static sounds as though he were a goofed up radio. Few beeps followed and the antenna on his metal head flashed tiny lightning lights.
I just stood there asking myself if i was having a psychic experience. Have I turned paranormal? I hoped my sighting of this humanoid was not some sort of change in electromagnetic energy in its immediate vicinity.
The brightly lit UFO had lodged itself upon the field beyond and like all the UFOs I’d seen in movies, dimmed its lights and stood like an enormous dark shadow in the background. A few serial lights flashed on and off to remind us of its presence.
I gestured for my friend to come into the house. I took few steps forward and began climbing the few stairs that led to my veranda. I was amazed and happy to find the alien hadn’t slackened his hold on my saree pallu. He slid in with me and floated up the stairs. His every move fascinated me. I just had had to slow down and watch his every move. I couldn’t understand how he mobilized without legs or feet.
However, he stopped moving once we were in the veranda. He turned himself to face his space craft and emanated a few of his beeps and static sounds. I heard a soft crackle from the craft in answer.
The alien turned around a full circle, grinning and nodding non- stop, and looked me straight in the eye. Two pinpoints of light like keen daggers pierced mine. He then did to me what I had done. He prodded my stomach with his spindly fingers a few times and let off more static sounds. He then turned towards the space craft, floated down the three stairs as though he were a spirit, and swish, disappeared into the spacecraft. More lights. More beeps. More crackling sounds. A big woosh. And I was left there on my house front, alone with my thoughts and thoroughly perplexed. A terrible loneliness filled my heart and I hated to see my alien go!
I wandered into my house like a zombie, and looked out the window to see a tiny spot twirl and vanish like it always did in my books. I fell in a faint.
I slept a fitful sleep and woke up in a hospital bed. My nurse gave me my breakfast, but hunger evaded me. I had lost all appetite. I asked about my alien and they gave me a pill to make me doze off. When I woke up I still felt no hunger and refused all food. Everyone was worried sick that I hadn’t eaten for three days. Then four. Then five.
“Six” said someone.
“Seven!” said someone else.
“Eight!” said my husband’s loud voice. And then I awoke.
Yes it was eight in the morning, and here I was pining away for my alien in my dream!
By Jayashree Jayapaul