Waslken pointed the pod toward a bright spot on the blue marble and rode the adrenaline rush as the planet’s atmosphere burned off bumpy mollusks clinging to his spaceship. The ship emerged shiny and clean cruising into a dusky sky opposite the glow of space. He recalibrated his descent and selected a dark spot away from the city lights.
A flash lit up Katie’s bedroom, bouncing off the porcelain dolls, the softball trophies, and the posters of Joan Jett, Kiss, and a dozen smaller photos of male teens with guitars. The light lasted long enough for her to see her knees wobble. Then it went out, and she sat alone listening to a cricket. The night air now smelled of burning metal. Awake, she grabbed a flashlight and climbed out her window.
Waslken settled his craft on the dirt next to the farmhouse,
extinguished the rockets under the pod, and opened the nose. An octopus, the spaceship
wrapped around him like a Coke bottle. He contracted his body and pushed out in
a whoosh. He plopped onto the ground to rest.
Katie watched the cone open, and she stared in awe. In her comic books, first contact never happened to girls in high school. She giggled with excitement. However, when the octopus leapt from the ship she screamed.
Waslken took a minute to recover from the rigor of leaping from the craft. Then he heard the high-pitched wail. At that moment, he scanned the screaming creature’s memories and found a more pleasing shape to present himself. He transformed into a brooding male teen with long blonde hair and a ripped muscle shirt. He stood at the base carrying a red guitar.
In her surprise, Katie closed her eyes tight, dropped the
flashlight, and crumpled to her knees. After a moment of silence, she peeked
and found the heartthrob she idolized standing under the rocket. Katie forgot
her fears. She screamed again in joy and ran towards the teen carrying the flaming