Author : William Tracy

A stranger walked through the door of the diner. The man sported sunglasses and a comb over. He was sweaty from driving through the desert in his suit. His collar was disheveled; his tie was loose. He must have been lost—people like him were not common in this corner of New Mexico.

Another man stepped up behind the counter, wiping his hands on a ragged towel. “Hi, I’m Larry. What can I get you?” Sweat and grease struggled to dominate his odor, and stubble adorned his round chin.

The stranger asked for the special; Larry shouted the order back into the kitchen, then went back to scrubbing the counter. Larry quizzed the stranger about his business, got no response, and proceeded to alternate between extolling the virtues of small town life and singing along with the radio.

The food was ready. Larry laid the plate and a tall glass of cola in front the stranger. The stranger proceeded to eat.

“We get all sorts of people out here,” Larry announced. “You wouldn’t believe what sorts we get.”

The stranger ate for several minutes, while Larry cleaned and rambled. The stranger had worked his way through most of the meal when Larry leaned forward, elbows on the counter, and added conspiratorially, “They say over in Roswell that space aliens crashed in the desert a while back.”

The stranger studied his food with renewed interest.

Larry continued. “Some say that the aliens have been visiting us for many years now. They think the aliens disguise themselves as people, to study us, and that anyone you meet could be an alien.”

The stranger failed to acknowledge the information.

Larry looked over the other customers in the diner. They all had heard Larry’s stories before.

Larry leaned closer still—his halitosis was palpable—and whispered, “There’s an alien right here, right now. You wanna know how I can tell?” he looked around the room again, and added, “I’ve been inside one of the flying saucers.”

The stranger stood up abruptly, and cleared his throat loudly. “I would like to pay my bill, please.”

“Certainly, sir.” Larry rang up the sale.

As the stranger walked out the door, Larry yelled, “Come again soon!” The stranger did not speak, or look back. Larry whistled as he worked his way to the end of the counter with his ragged towel.

“I’m going on break!” he shouted back into the kitchen, and ducked into the men’s room.

Larry locked the door, and smiled into the mirror. His flesh rippled, and his body flowed into its natural form. The creature that called itself Larry drained its distended fluid sacs into the toilet, then flushed.

Reverse psychology works very well on these humans.

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