by Hollister Ann Grant
I’m invisible. Go on. Be bold or be hungry. Tech 29 slid the screen door back, slipped inside, and peered over the top of the table, but he was too short to reach the food with the incredible smell. He grabbed a shiny green cylinder and popped it open.
Some kind of fizzy liquid. Good enough.
The alien pulled off his mask and took a swig. His cluster of eyes bugged out. Amazed, he swigged the rest. Fabulous, the most delicious stuff in the universe. Seconds later, his insides erupted, gas shot out of his mouth, and he shrieked just as cheers erupted from the game.
“Keisha, the quesadillas are getting cold,” the male local called.
“Okay,” a female local called back from another room. “I just want to finish this post.”
“They’re getting cold.”
“You’re missing the playoffs.”
“I said I’m coming.”
“Keisha, you better get off the internet.”
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Just get off my case.”
The male noticed Tech 29 and gripped the arm of the chair. His mouth fell open. More cheers and a roar from the crowd came from the game.
“There’s an alien in the dining room,” he said.
“There’s an alien from outer space in here and he’s trying to get the quesadillas.”
“Terrell, you’re so full of bull. You’re the king of bull.”
Still parched, stomach grumbling, Tech 29 grabbed another shiny green cylinder and a colorful bag from the table.
The male’s voice rose. “I’m telling you, there’s an alien in here. He’s three or four feet high with a big head and a bunch of eyes and he’s got a Mountain Dew. He just belched. Now he’s stealing the Doritos!”
Tech 29 couldn’t understand the local’s words, but he understood the meaning. His camouflage wasn’t working. He could sense the man’s excitement and greed. Somehow the local wanted to profit off him and one-up his wife for all time. Suddenly the local crept around the table, hunched down with his arms spread wide, and angled in front of the door.
“Hey, little alien guy,” the local said. “You hungry? You want some ice cream? I got Rocky Road. I got pistachio, too, and it’s green just like you. I got barbecue ribs and cold shrimp and potato salad and potato chips and lemon cake and cheesecake. You like those Doritos? Take some more. Take the whole bag. Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll bring you a nice big bowl of ice cream.”
The local was going to grab his arm. Tech 29 skittered into the condominium, looking for a way out, but the dark hall didn’t feel like it connected to the outdoors. The local pounded after him. When the hall ended, the alien rushed into a narrow room with smooth blue tiles and slammed the door.
A key rattled in the knob.
“Okay, so where’s this famous alien?” the female said.
The male laughed. “I locked him in the bathroom.”