Monday, July 27, 2015
Chariots of the Dogs
The idea well ran dry today, so I went rummaging through the archives and unearthed this bit from one of last year's newsletters. Now everybody gets to read it. Enjoy!
# # #
Sophie leaned on her back porch railing and gazed longingly up at the sky. Too much light leaked over the landscape to really see the stars, but a few determined celestial orbs blazed defiantly overhead anyway.
“I wish I may, I wish I might,” Sophie murmured. “I wish there were more cute boys in this neighborhood.”
The words had scarcely left her lips when one of the stars began to grow. An airplane, she figured, or maybe a satellite. If so, it was falling. Toward her.
She clung to the rail and watched it plummet. Just before she dashed inside she realized it wasn’t going to hit the house. It was cruising in at a rapid descent, but obviously under some sort of human—or alien—control.
Yes, alien. Now that it had gotten closer she could see its shape clearly in the streetlights. A flying saucer. An honest to X-Files flying saucer! Sophie stayed at the railing. Would the aliens be friendly? And cute?
Maybe they’d be Klingons. Klingons were awesome.
The saucer came to a reckless, skiddy landing in the backyard. Its hatch popped open and half a dozen really cute guys tumbled out. They had to be brothers or cousins or something because they were all blond and looked vaguely alike. Sophie didn’t recognize any of them from school. Maybe they were engineering nerds from college out in Billings.
They lined up in front of the porch and grinned at her. One of them spread his fingers in the Vulcan salute. “Greetings,” he intoned. “We are space coyotes from the planet Talbot’s Peak, come to sample Earth women. Are you an Earth woman ready to be sampled?”
“You are not,” Sophie said. “You’re techies from Billings, aren’t you? I’ll bet that’s not even your flying saucer.”
“Sort of is too,” one of his brother/cousins clarified. “We kind of borrowed it from this guy our cousin Ewan works for.”
“Appropriated,” another said. “That makes it official. Whatever, it’s ours tonight. So.” He dug the toe of his boot into the lawn. “Y’wanna go do something?”
“Yeah, okay.” Sophie dashed down off the porch. Up close the guys were even cuter, like a pack of rumpled puppies. And they had the coolest transportation ever. Wait’ll she told Nancy and Amber this weekend! “Can we go to the mall?”
“Sure.” Suddenly wary, the spokesman said, “You’re over eighteen, right?”
“Of course I am,” she said quickly. “Are you?”
“Uh, yeah. I mean, if you count it in dog years, we’re way older. Your parents aren’t gonna come after us with a shotgun, are they?”
“Nah. They’re not even home. I’ll tell ‘em I went out with my girlfriends.” Explaining the flying saucer might be trickier. Didn’t Nancy’s brother do a science project last semester? That would have to do. She let the space coyotes take her hands and lead her into the ship. “Can I drive it?”
“Maybe on the way back.”
# # #
Once at the mall, the coyotes quickly got distracted by the video arcade and the food court. They were teenage boys; it couldn’t be helped. Eventually Scott, the oldest, looked up from nachos and pinball long enough to ask, “What time is it?”
“Mrgrrph,” Rory said. He swallowed his bite of roast beef sub and repeated, “I think it’s after 10.”
“We should probably get the skimmer back. If Dante finds out it’s gone, he’ll be pissed.” He looked around. “Didn’t we have a monkey girl with us?”
“She left a while ago. She ran into some friends of hers. I think they went over to the east entrance, where the Goth kids hang out. I’ll bet they’re trying to pick up vampires.”
Scott made a face. “And they say we have bad breath. Better get the pack together. Hey, I know! Remember that big ugly ape with the sheep ranch? Let’s zap over there and buzz his flock.”
“That’ll be rockin’. You know how to get the viewports open? I want to hang out the window.”