Author : Alicia Cole
“Watch out for that kid!”
Tanya swerves, kicking the drive gear into second. Our hover skimmer chugs left, close cropping a row of season’s end corn. She nudges the engine to a full stop and settles in the field.
Trash spills out of the can the kid was loading. He stands in his front yard, eyes wide, as the craft door opens and first I, then Tanya, emerge, removing our flight helmets. His camo pajamas are filthy, fraying at his ankles.
“Are you okay?!”
He continues to gape.
Tanya places her hand on my shoulder. “He ain’t bleeding, come on. We’ve got a deadline.”
Turning on his heel, he hits the porch at rocket speed, hollering, “Women from space!”
I run a hand through my long blonde hair and laugh.
“Y’all were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago, Delia,” Squib snarls, his men unloading the cargo from the rear of the skimmer.
“We ran into a kid in a field”, I shrug.
“After you stopped at a bar?” Squib fishes a sequined bra out of the front floor board.
“Didn’t have a drop,” Tanya grins.
“A drop of liquor at least.”
Squib hands me the bra which I hold up to my flat chest, wiggling my hips until he cracks a smile.
“Worth it, then?”
The cargo foreman waves Squib over, a pleased look on his face.
“These’ll sell like hot toasties!”
“Like this,” Tanya says, showing the Anolian child how to blow bubbles through the ribbed pink plastic wand. The soap bubbles swirl through the purple air.
She laughs, her facial feelers scenting the air.
“Fizzy,” she squeaks.
Her parental polyp buys three bottles.
“I can’t believe they were such a good price,” I say, my skirt twirling as I dance through the slowly exploding incandescent spheres.
“They’re just not that popular Terra-side anymore.”
As I watch from the cover of trees, the hover skimmer hid, the kid in the camo pajamas picks up my gift.
“I thought aliens left better presents,” he comments idly, pulling out a yellow wand.
It hangs in his hand idly, a few bubbles dribbling through the lighter gravity. When he cracks a smile, I smile in return.
Some things are universal.