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art by Jonathan Westbrook

Look Who Came to Dinner

Susan Franceschina lives in Western Maryland with her husband and trio of daughters. She has a B.S. in Psychology from Shepherd University, and currently works for an online tutoring service. She keeps telling everyone she’s going to invent an e-reader that smells like a book, but she hasn’t gotten around to it yet. This is her first professional publication.

Marcia was super pissed. Who the hell do they think they are? She stormed into her bedroom to get dressed.
She tugged on a pair of jeans, which wasn't easy since she hadn't really taken the time to dry off. The sweater she slipped into instantly became damp around the neckline because of her uncombed wet hair. She cursed and decided to call Randy.
"Randy! You're not going to believe this. One of them just came into the house. Just walked right in like he owned the place. I think it was a he. But I guess it could be a she. I don't know. Damn it, Randy, it just walked right in. And I was taking a bath too. I opened my eyes and it was just standing there, looking right at me like I was some kind of animal in a zoo." Marcia squeezed water from her hair.
"They won't hurt you, honey," he said. "They're friendly. They're just curious about us. Some of 'em have even learned sign language. You know some signs, babe. Did you try talking to it?"
"I most certainly did not! I screamed until it ran out of the bathroom. I guess it ran outside. I don't know. I was naked in the bathtub for God's sake, Randy. Why can't you just be mad with me?"
"Well how did it get in, honey? Wasn't the front door locked?" Marcia heard Randy yawn through the phone and her blood boiled hotter.
"It is summertime and we live in the country, you big ass. Of course the front door wasn't locked. I had the screen open to get a breeze going. It just walked right in! Don't you care?"
"Honey, I'm not sure what you want me to say. Lock the door next time. And maybe don't scream at it next time. You don't want to be responsible for starting an interstellar incident, do you?"
"These creatures, these aliens, whatever you want to call them... I just don't understand why they can't respect a person's privacy. I'll tell you what--I'm going to write a letter. The government has to stop this!" Marcia was in the bathroom now, furiously brushing out her hair.
"Be nice to them next time, Marcia." His voice was firm. "Promise me."
Marcia cursed again and muttered something about trespassing and weird little aliens before promising not to cause an interstellar incident. After hanging up, she decided Randy wasn't getting sex for at least a good month. That'll teach him. The big ass.
She stomped through the house, closing windows and locking the door. She flicked the air conditioner on and sighed. Maybe I am overreacting. The alien didn't hurt me. He just came into my house to look around. That's all. The smell of fresh-brewed coffee suddenly reached Marcia's nose. Slowly, she crept towards the kitchen and peered around the doorframe. Her little alien friend sat at the kitchen table, sipping a cup of coffee.
They stared at each other for a long while. Marcia finally joined him--or her--and fixed herself a cup of coffee with two spoonfuls of sugar and a splash of cream. Sighing, she slumped at the table and pondered the ridiculousness of first contact. Sure, she'd seen them on television and heard stories about their apparent lack of understanding when it came to certain things--namely, the concept of private property.
The alien slurped from his cup and seemed quite content in Marcia's kitchen. The shock of seeing her first alien had faded away, so Marcia was thinking more rationally by now. A couple of minutes later, she heard Randy's truck creeping up the gravel driveway.
"I hope you like lasagna," she said, staring into the alien's white and pink eyes, "because that's what we're having for dinner."
Randy walked into the kitchen. He screamed like a little girl.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, January 9th, 2012

Author Comments

If first contact occurred, I believe it would have a profound effect on our personal relationships. Mainly, I believe we would spend a lot of time arguing amongst ourselves about how to treat these otherworldly visitors. With this idea in mind, I set out to write “Look Who Came to Dinner.”

- Susan Franceschina
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