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My Alien Encounter
“Hello,” said a small voice from the corner of my room. I looked at my clock—it was three in the morning—and rolled over. A moment later, there was a rustling noise near the window. I sat up, alarmed. Scanning the room, nothing seemed to be amiss. I still was uneasy, but lowered myself back to the bed.
“Hello,” came the voice once more. This time, I jumped out of bed and turned on the light. I gasped. On my windowseat was a small, fuzzy-looking creature with a tiny body, a large head, and a single antenna. It was a bright butter yellow, and if I had not been so scared, I would have loved to touch it.
“I am dreaming. Obviously, I am also sleepwalking. I will get back in bed, and everything will be normal,” I murmured this to myself, only half believing it. However, I didn’t slide back into bed. Since I had to be dreaming, I might as well play along. “Who…what are you?” I asked.
The strange creature replied, “I am called Qifhtkps. However, since I have been informed that this is impossible for earthlings to pronounce, you may call me Quiffy. I come from the planet Erbsgujd. I was sent here to research the dominant species on your planet.”
I must have looked confused, because the alien-creature—Quiffy clarified, “I was sent to research the life of humans. My assignment is to find one human willing to take me around for one day, showing what an average day for a human is like. I have selected you. What is your name?”
“Elizabeth—Liz,” I replied. I had never had any dreams like this. It was kind of interesting, but in a really creepy way.
“You are not dreaming.”
I looked up. “How did you know what I was thinking?” I asked. Quiffy blinked at me, then suddenly leaped toward me, knocking me to the floor with more force than I thought possible. There was a sharp pain in my hand. I looked down to see it bleeding.
“Do you still think you are dreaming?” Quiffy sat on the floor on the other side of me, looking even softer up close. I shook my head, reluctantly. “Are you willing to help me on my mission?”
“I guess so,” I responded. “Just so long as you don’t hurt me like that again.”
“I will keep your condition, because I have a condition for you as well,” answered Quiffy. He jumped into my uninjured hand. “Lizzie, you cannot tell any living being about my existence. Not today, not ever. It could destroy our entire mission if you do.”
We sat there companionably. After a while, I looked at the clock. “Oh!” I exclaimed, standing up. Quiffy stayed in my hand. “I have to get ready; I’m going to be late for school.” Quiffy bounded out of my hand and exited the room.
I got ready quickly, then grabbed my backpack from where it sat on the ground. Trotting downstairs, I found Quiffy on the dining room table. “How are you going to come with me to school? I can’t take you around in plain sight, you know,” I said to him.
Quiffy answered, “I can become smaller than I currently am, so maybe you could put me in something small. I can see through objects, so that is of no concern.”
“I know!” I said excitedly. I hunted around in my backpack for a moment, then pulled out a container of Altoids. “Can you fit in this?” Quiffy scrutinized the box and nodded—an odd sight. I opened it, popping the last mint in my mouth and handing the box over to Quiffy. He shrunk—no; more like folded himself into the box. I shut the lid. “Ready?” I asked.
“Yes,” came Quiffy’s voice, slightly muffled. I took the box, putting it gently in my Aèropostale sweatshirt’s pocket.
“Can you see okay in there?”
“You are putting on a coat. It is heavy and brown and pink. You are zipping up your backpack and putting it on your back. You are walking out the door. It is snowing outside,” Quiffy answered me. I smiled, but said nothing, as the bus had pulled up to my house.
Suddenly, there came a rush of jumbled thoughts that were not my own. What is that thing…monstrous, deadly…and she’s getting on it! That terrible noise it makes… the color…nobody warned me about anything like this!
“Quiffy?” I hissed, trying not to let anybody else hear.
“Sorry,” said a voice in the back of my mind. “My civilization communicates mainly in this form of speech. It is difficult to block thoughts from going to other people, and if overly emotional it is harder.”
“Why are you doing it now?” I whispered. Taking a peek toward the aisle, I sank a bit lower in my seat and turned to the window.
Quiffy answered, “People were beginning to stare. I would rather they didn’t overhear any part of our conversation. Don’t speak aloud; send the thought to me by mind, unless we’re alone.”
The bus had just pulled up at the school. I walked to my locker, then to my first class. Quiffy silently watched my friends and I talk with each other until the bell rang.
We took our seats and the science teacher began the lesson. Quiffy asked me mentally, “I know this is school. What is its purpose? What do you do here? What’s a normal school day like for you?”
“Well,” I replied, “School is what young people go through from about the age of five until they are about seventeen. We are taught different things like math, reading and writing, and geography and then have to be tested on them to make sure we know them. Each year that we learn enough, we move up a level, called a ‘grade.’ I’m in eighth grade; there are twelve grades in school before we graduate. Usually, after graduating, we will go on to college. There, we will continue our education so we can do the job we want to do as an adult.
“A normal school day is divided into different parts. Every student at all schools have to learn english, math, social studies, and science. We also have time to eat lunch. Other than that, students can do things like art, band, choir, and physical education. I take, other than my required classes, art and choir.” I explained this as we watched a video, paying more attention to Quiffy than the notes I was taking.
I went to my next classes as normal, telling Quiffy about anything he asked about. Before I knew it, the day was over and I was in my room at home.
“Elizabeth!” called my mom from downstairs. “Come here a minute, please!”
Quiffy looked up at me from where he sat on my pillow, then, before I could blink, hid himself. I smiled, then went downstairs. “Yes, mom?” I asked, finding her on the living room couch, reading a book. She looked up at me.
“Because today is the last day of school this year, and we won’t be able to get our Christmas tree tomorrow like we usually do, I thought that we could get it right now and decorate it tonight. What do you think?” she asked.
“Yes!” I exclaimed happily, and ran upstairs. “Quiffy! We’re going to get our Christmas tree right now. Come on, back in your box!”
“Christmas? Decorating a tree? Please explain.” Quiffy was already in the box when I came into my bedroom.
“Just a minute. When we get in the car I’ll tell you,” I whispered as I slipped the box back into my sweatshirt pocket. I hurried downstairs, where my mom, dad, and little sister waited. We all walked out to the garage, and got in the car.
There was a half-hour drive to the place where we got our tree, so I gladly used the time to talk to Quiffy, while pretending to read a book. “So, Christmas is a religious celebration that happens on December twenty-fifth of every year. Some traditions to celebrate Christmas are giving and receiving gifts, and cutting down a pine tree, bringing it inside your house, and decorating it. That’s where we put the gifts for our family.”
“Let me get this straight.” Quiffy said to me. “To celebrate a religious holiday, you cut down a perfectly healthy pinetree, drag it inside your house, stand it back up, and decorate it.”
I giggled. Sarah, my sister, immediately turned and stared at me suspiciously. “Funny part in my book,” I said, pointing. To Quiffy, I said, “Yeah, it’s really kind of ridiculous if you think about it. But we have a lot of strange traditions like that. Like, another holiday we have is Thanksgiving. We have turkey, and then we have two people take one of the bones from it: the wishbone, it’s called. They break it in half and make a wish, and whoever gets the bigger half, their wish comes true.”
By that time, we had parked at the place. We went out, discussing the trees, until we found the perfect one. Dad got on the ground and began sawing away at it, while the rest of us stood around commenting, or, in my case, commenting while keeping a running conversation with Quiffy.
We drove home soon after, Styrofoam cups of hot chocolate in hand. When we got back to our house, we all went separate ways; dad to the car to unload the tree, mom and Sarah to clear a place for the tree, and I to the basement to drag out the decorations and tree stand.
“A little help would be nice!” I called up the stairs to Sarah, who had been watching me juggle two boxes of ornaments and the tree stand. She ran down to take one of the boxes, and we went upstairs. Mom had turned on Christmas music, and dad was just finishing bringing in the tree. Quiffy watched intently, making the occasional comment, as dad set up the tree, and we began decorating it.
Again, the time passed quickly. Soon, it was eleven, the tree was decorated, and mom sent Sarah and I up to bed.
“I guess I’ll have to say goodbye to you now,” I said to Quiffy. We sat on my bed, me in my pajamas; Quiffy still in his box, but full size (only about three inches).
“Yes,” answered Quiffy.
“I really don’t want this to sound like some sappy movie, so I’ll make this quick. I am really glad you came here and chose me, and it was really fun and interesting. Goodbye,” I said, and then I took Quiffy into my hand and hugged him.
Quiffy replied, “I’m glad I chose you too, Lizzie. It was very helpful to my mission, and was a lot of fun. We will not see each other again, but I’m glad I met you. Just one thing. I kept my end of the bargain; you have to keep yours.”
“I will,” I said. “Now, you have to go, right?”
Quiffy nodded. “I do have to leave. Goodbye, Elizabeth!” With that, Quiffy opened my window and leaped out. I gasped momentarily, thinking he would fall to his death, but instead, he entered a spaceship unlike anything I’d ever seen.
“Goodbye, Quiffy!” I called, not with my lips, but with my mind. And I knew that he would be able to hear me. I shut my window softly, fell back on my bed, and began to write my story.