by The Jason Jack
(Originally appeared in mini-zine, Brev Spread)
The UFO hovered outside of Keiko Allstar’s window, shining a paralyzing blue light into the woman’s bedroom. The bookshelves along the walls shook, numerous model aircrafts fell from the ceiling, and stacks of manga piled around the room tipped over while the light sucked Keiko from bed and into the air. Staring at the ship pulling her in, she could only think of one word.
Keiko ran through the forest onto a tropical clearing, watching a flaming pod soar through the air. It passed in front of a cliff range off in the distance and crashed into a thicket of trees to the woman’s right.
The ground shook beneath Keiko’s feet, causing her to stumble onto the beach and nearly fall into the ocean at her left. While she regained balance, a man garbed in a futuristic astronaut suit stumbled out of the trees and onto the sand. He cast his flaming helmet into the ocean and revealed his face.
He’s . . . blue. Keiko squealed then pinched her cheek. It hurt. I’m really awake which means the UFO outside my window, this tropical island, and, and, the blue man over there are all real.
Keiko held up two fingers to form the peace sign.
I’ve been waiting to be abducted my entire life. Success!
“Oh, Mr. Alien.” She frolicked across the sand to the blue man, peace sign in full. “It’s me. The human you abducted last night?”
She extended her hand in greeting, while the alien extended his fist which Keiko ran into with her face. The woman held her cheek but smiled.
“I’m going to be in the record books for being the first human to have been punched by an alien. Awesome.”
The blue man brought his face close to Keiko’s. He had three connected eyeballs, nostrils with retractable skin flaps covering them, and a lipless mouth. He snarled which revealed rows of sharp teeth and dual tongues.
“You are so alien,” Keiko drooled. “I love it. I’ve dreamt of meeting a space man like you since I was a little girl, staring off into the wide open terrain that is space. People thought I was nerdy for consuming science fiction all my life, but who’s laughing now!”
The blue man silenced the girl with a roar. He emitted enough air from his mouth that Keiko’s long hair twirled about. Her smile unmitigated, Keiko pointed at herself.
“MY-NAME’S-KEIKO-ALLSTAR, NAMED-AFTER-THE-HERO-FROM-THE-FAMOUS-ANIME, ‘STARSHIP-ALLSTAR’!” She showed the blue man the peace sign. “ANIME-IS-SHORT-FOR-JAPANESE-ANIMATION. THAT’S-VERY-IMPORTANT, UNDERSTAND—”
The alien pinched Keiko’s lips shut while covering one of his ears.
You’re not deaf, you just can’t understand what I’m saying. Oopsy.
Keiko nodded while the blue man lowered his hand from her mouth. She tapped her chest.
The alien motioned to himself. He emitted a high pitch noise that sounded like a dial-up modem connecting to the internet. Keiko winced.
“Since I can’t hit the high notes like you can, I’ll just call you . . . Azu-El. How’s that?”
A giant bee swooped out of the trees and knocked the blue man to the ground then dove toward the alien with its large stinger drawn. Azu-El tried rolling to safety but the stinger still connected, tearing through the back of his hand. He flashed his teeth and roared.
I bet he’s going to put his phasers on kill, Keiko imagined.
Azu-El, instead, grabbed the bee’s pincer and snapped it off. The giant insect fell to the sand in a pool of its own guts and venom. Keiko smacked her lips.
That was lame. I thought all aliens had phasers.
The blue man eyed the back of his hand, at the green blood seeping from his wound, then looked at Keiko. He approached the woman with hunger burning in his eyes. Keiko stepped back.
“Hold on there, fellow. If you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking, stop thinking it. I know what the sci-fi media portrays, that we humans are plenty tasty and will replenish your energy, but it’s not true.”
She backed away.
“We’re sweaty, stinky, and I haven’t shaven lately. Why don’t you just eat that bee instead? Tastes like honey, I bet . . .”
Keiko heard a buzzing behind her. She spun around and gazed at yet another giant bee hovering an inch away.
The bee lunged forward while Keiko stumbled back. She dodge the insect by falling to the sand but scraped her arm on a piece of bark. With clenched teeth, she tossed a handful of sand into the bee’s eyes.
“Bee-gone.” Keiko chuckled, but squealed when the insect shook off the sand and pointed its stinger at the woman’s heart. Before it could swoop down for the kill, Azu-El caught the insect in mid air and ripped it in two. He tossed the bee over his shoulder before taking a step in Keiko’s direction. Keiko crawled away.
“Alright. Compromise time. No eating me, but because you saved my life, you can lick me anywhere but here, here, here, here, and most definitely not here—”
Keiko watched a large stinger protrude through the blue man’s left shoulder. The alien snarled, reaching behind his back. He removed the giant bee’s thorn then ripped the insect into two.
Azu-El fell to the sand, venom and blood oozing out the hole in his chest, twitching, no doubt a precursor to hallucinations and a fate worse than that.
“Crap, crap, crap.” Keiko crawled with haste to the alien’s side. “Don’t you have automatic healing powers or something?” She smashed her palm into her forehead. “What a goof. That’s superheroes I’m thinking about.”
Azu-El grabbed Keiko’s scraped arm and brought it to his mouth.
The moment the blue man’s mouth touched her skin, its tongues lapping on the blood trickling from the cut, Keiko witnessed a flicker of images. She saw a planet at the edge of the universe populated by sickened people. She saw Azu-El leave the planet in his spaceship to find a cure. There was earth, the outside of her bedroom, and the spacecraft abducting her while she squealed with glee.
Then, she saw what went wrong.
A fleet of scorpion-shaped space ships attacked Azu-El’s ship which forced him to land on the nearest planet capable of sustainable life. The ship fell to the planet in three pieces: the remains of the ship and two escape pods, one for Azu-El and the other belonging to Keiko.
Keiko’s vision returned as soon as it had been corrupted. Azu-El was busy crafting spears from wood and bee stingers, and the hole in his chest had vanished.
“Oh. I get it. I know what the cure for your people is.” She looked at the cut on her arm. It, too, had vanished. “It’s human blood. My blood.”
Keiko jumped to her feet, wobbling, then hailed Azu-El over.
“Let me get this straight, space man. Through the magic of what I could only fathom was some sort of alien memory transfusion, you showed me the events that brought us here.”
The blue man planted both spears into the sand while he nodded.
“And now you can understand me, because you’ve . . . bonded with me? Creepy. I feel violated.” She crossed her arms. “Alright. Clear something up, then. You botched an alien abduction, my abduction, and got attacked by a rebel alien force on the way back to your home planet to feed your people my blood?”
Azu-El shrugged then nodded.
“And here I thought this tropical resort was your home planet. Thanks to you, now I’m an alien, stranded on an alien planet, with an alien. Not cool.”
The blue man pointed to the cliffs. Keiko grabbed the side of her head when another image appeared.
“Not going to get used to that.” She glanced at the rock range. “You’re saying that we landed here but the bulk of the ship crashed somewhere over that cliff. And the transmitter to send help back to your people is inside of the wreckage. Our only way of survival.”
Keiko stood face to face with her abductor, squinting.
“You actually need me alive. You were never going to kill me, were you?”
The blue man shook his head and shed a smile.
“Right. I’d probably just wind up back home without any memory of this. Most alien abductions don’t end in death. But going over the cliffs, heading into the unknown to get to that spacecraft . . .”
Keiko dashed to the cliff range at the far end of the beach and quickly climbed to the top.
“Azu-El, uh, you really need to see this.”
The alien scaled the wall with spears in hand. His mouth gaped open when he saw what Keiko saw. He thrust the handle of a spear into Keiko’s arms with a pat on her back.
“Can’t be much harder than killing aliens in video games, right?”
Keiko stared at the vast lands before her, the lone skyscraping tree with a smoking aircraft in its side, and the dozens of roaming creatures between her and her destination. Two-headed beasts, spider-serpent hybrids the size of tractors, and towering mantises were only a few that stood out to her. It also did not help that the spacecraft had knocked a giant bee hive out of the tree which had filled the air with hundreds of blood-thirsty bees.
Keiko turned to Azu-El, her eyes wide, and smiled.
“I’ve always wanted to fight in an alien war.” She clenched the spear to her chest and slid down the mountain. “Yippee! Hurry up, Azu-El. Whoever gets to the spacecraft last is a rotten alien.”
Azu-El shook his head in regret from having abducted the human female. He slid after the manic earthling with one thought in his mind.
What did I get myself into?