On spring vacation, I was abducted by aliens, and this is how it started:
The sky was crowded with grey clouds and there was a slight breeze. Most people would’ve rather had weather with a blue sky and blazing sun with no clouds in sight. Most people would’ve rather had the type of weather that they could visit beach in and submerge themselves in cool water without feeling as though they were going to freeze to death. I was not most people. I liked the beach as much as the next guy, but I preferred the autumn weather where the hot sun wasn’t beating down on you and making you sweat while you were trying to enjoy a relaxing stroll. It was the afternoon after school was out for spring vacation, and I was walking to the local library in my favorite kind of weather.
School was over and I could relax. I didn’t have anything that needed to be done; I was stress-free. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long. When I turned to cross the street, I checked for cars, as should always be done when one goes to cross the road, and I didn’t see any cars, so I crossed. Everytime I cross the street I’m always a little bit afraid that I might’ve missed a car that wasn’t on the road the first time I looked both ways. So, in addition to doing it before I cross, I also look both ways while I’m crossing. Whenever I do this there never are any cars that I missed the first time I looked, but today there was, and I didn’t expect it.
I looked to the left and was shocked to see a blue Honda Civic speeding towards me. I was a deer in headlights. It was like those scenes in movies where something’s dropping out of the sky about to land on the protagonist and they only stare at it, they don’t move, they stare and you’re yelling at the screen telling them to move… but they don’t. I stared in fear at the car driving towards me. I couldn’t move out of the way. Not because I didn’t want to, but because when my brain told my legs to move they didn’t. I squeezed my eyes shut tight; I didn’t want to witness what was about to happen. 3… 2… 1… …. ….
I opened an eye: darkness. I opened both my eyes: darkness. This is an odd sort of heaven, I thought. In my mind heaven was bright and warm, and where I was was cold and dark. I knew I was dead, I had to be; there was no way I could be alive after being hit by a car at that speed. But was I hit? The more I thought about it I wasn’t certain that I was hit by the car. I didn’t feel any pain. Eventually, I decided it didn’t matter if I was dead or not; I needed to figure out where I was, then how I arrived there.
I was in a quandary. I knew I had to figure out where I was, but I didn’t know how to do that. I chose to start with what I would do any other time I was in a new situation.
“Hello!” I yelled, hoping for some sort of response.
There were a few moments of silence before I heard anything.
“Hello,” said a deep voice.
The voice crackled like it was coming through a speaker.
“Why exactly am I here?” I asked.
“Why exactly am I here?” The voice repeated in a tone that sounded like it was confused at my statement.
I asked more questions, but there were no more responses. After a while, I gave up on trying to communicate with whoever captured me. When I sat down, I felt the cold, hard floor. It was like steel, but not quite; it was something different, but I couldn’t place what it was. After a couple hours of sitting on the floor, I dozed off.
“Awaken, Human!” the voice commanded.
I rubbed my eyes as I moved, so that I was sitting upright leaning against a wall.
“I’m up,” I yawned.
“We have learned your language, so that we may converse without the use of an outside party,” the voice explained.
“What?” I asked.
“We have learned your language, so that we may converse without the use of an outside party,” the voice repeated, “Perhaps there is a problem involving your tympanic membrane, cochlea, or cerebrum?”
“I heard you fine. I just don’t understand how you could learn a whole language in an hour based on a couple of sentences,” I said.
“Why would you use the word ‘What’ if you could perceive what I was speaking?” the voice asked, “As I understand the word ‘What’ is utilized when one would benefit from the repetition of a person’s speech.”
“Sometimes we say words in ways even though it doesn’t make sense with their definition. For example: I could say ‘That’s stupid’ by saying that I don’t mean that thing is unintelligent. I mean that I don’t like that thing,” I explained.
“Interesting,” the voice said.
“Oh, by the way, hi, my name is Alexandra, but you can call me Alex,” I said.
“Thank you for the information you have presented me with,” the voice replied.
“It’s customary from where I’m from that you introduce yourself when you meet new people,” I explained.
“I comprehend,” the voice said, “Hurrah! I am called Rnakakatta of Gonochudan.”
“Oh, um, hurrah?” I replied, “Is ‘Gonochudan’ where I am right now? Where you’re from? Is that where I am?”
“Negatory,” said Rnakakatta of Gonochudan.
“Okay. I have a couple of questions,” I said.
“I will make an attempt to satisfy your inquiries,” replied Rnakakatta of Gonochudan.
“One: where am I? Two: why am I here? Three: do you have a nickname?” I asked.
“I will respond to your queries identically to the way in which you presented them,” replied Rnakakatta of Gonochudan, “One: you have been placed in quarantine on our spacecraft. Two: your species is a mutation of my own species. Now, we have filled our quota of one random human to examine now that the duration of time has exceeded one million earth years. Three: What is a nickname?”
“Why do you keep saying ‘we’? Why am I in quarantine? And who turned out the lights?” I asked.
“I don’t believe you have responded to my inquiry regarding ‘nickname’,” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan replied.
“Right, a nickname is what you are called for short when your name is too long. Now, can you answer my questions?” I said.
“Indeed. To acknowledge your query regarding if I possess a nickname, I do not. I will proceed to give you the other information you have requested. ‘We’ refers to the others aboard my spacecraft. They have not conversed in speech with you due to the fact that they find you to be a nuisance. You have been placed into quarantine, because we believe you may be infected with a dangerous parasite. We have no need for light; we are nocturnal,” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan explained.
“Oh, I see,” I said, “Could I get a light then? Or at least some food? And coffee?”
“We do not have lights on board our spacecraft. They are not necessary for our survival. Nor do we possess the caffeinated beverage that is forged from beans. We do possess the required nutrients that you have named food. Are you an omnivore?” said Rnakakatta of Gonochudan.
“Er, yeah, I’m an omnivore,” I replied.
“That is good. I shall personally deliver the nutrients to you,” said Rnakakatta of Gonochudan.
I wondered what kind of food Rnakakatta of Gonochudan was going to bring me. I wondered many other things too. My number one question was if I was ever going to go back to earth, but I figured it might be easier to convince him to let me go if he saw my face as I said it. It’s often easier to convince people to do what you want if they see how desperately you want it.
About ten minutes later (or at least what I thought was ten minutes later, it was becoming difficult to discern how much time was passing), Rnakakatta of Gonochudan came with my food. I heard his boots clang against the metal floor as he walked towards me. I heard something slide across the floor, then I felt that something hit me in the side of the leg. It seemed to be a plate with food. Of what kind of food, I couldn’t tell. Before I ate, I needed an answer.
“Before you leave could I ask you one last question?” I asked.
“Indeed,” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan replied.
“When can I go back to earth?” I asked.
“You can not return to your planet until we have received thorough information on what humans are like. It is likely we will not gather all the information we require from you in your lifetime. Therefore, it is likely you will not return to earth,” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan said, “Hurrah!”
I heard the clanging once more.
“Wait!” I yelled.
The clanging halted.
“What is the reason for the delay in my exit?” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan inquired.
“What if I could write down the most important parts of human society? Then you would have the essentials and I could go back home,” I suggested.
“Perhaps that could be arranged,” Rnakakatta of Gonochudan agreed, “Hurrah!”
The clanging resumed. A short amount of time later, I felt something fall into my lap. The item glowed, I assumed that Rnakakatta of Gonochudan made it glow so that I could see it. It was a leather journal and a ballpoint pen. The sooner I began writing, the sooner I could go home. The ink glowed when I wrote my headline, “Ten Things You Should Know About Humans”.