As I slowly came to, I tried to clear my head and remember what had happened. I remembered running from something…had it all been a dream? No, I was too uncomfortable to have been sleeping in my bed. Then, it all came flooding back to me. It wasn’t a dream, and I had been captured by the aliens…again. I tried to keep my breathing slow and even as I internally started to panic. Stay calm, I thought. Be smart this time. Focus. I kept my eyes shut and tried to take in my surroundings with my other senses.
There was something different about the heat; it was cooler, but still too hot to be inside. I couldn’t hear anyone talking or moving, so I assumed that it was safe enough to open my eyes. I opened them just a slit at first and, when I couldn’t see anyone, I opened them the rest of the way. Yep, I thought, definitely no one around. I sat up slowly and looked to see what I had been laying on. It was a cot. I was filled with relief as I remembered the last time I had been captured. I had been lying on a table. Not only that but, I could move everything willingly. I looked around to see that the walls and ceiling were made of stone, but it looked to natural to have been made by hand. However, my relief was quickly replaced with ice pouring through my veins. The parasites hadn’t performed an insertion—yet, anyways—so why was I here? I didn’t want to know the answer. My mind was set: I had to leave, now. I got up quietly and ran for the door, when a man I hadn’t seen stepped in front of me.
”You didn’t really think we would be stupid enough to leave you unsupervised again, did you?” Zeke asked. “Sit down,” he commanded. “We need to talk.”
As the alien in my body talked to the others, I tried to comprehend what was going on. I knew that aliens were real. I learned that they insert themselves into the back of the neck of a human host to take over the body. I felt strangely relieved as I learned this. My family wasn’t dead, just taken over by intergalactic worms…I could get them their bodies back! This thought excited me until I realized that, in order to save them, I would have to be in control of my own body.
I decided to start small. I thought that if I could control at least one small thing about myself, I could eventually gain full control again. I settled on blinking. Surely I could make myself blink. However, when I tried, it was like my eyes weren’t even there. I couldn’t find the muscles to blink! I tried harder. No matter how hard I tried though, I couldn’t do it.
GET OUT OF MY BODY! I tried to scream, even though I knew that no one could hear me. That is, until I heard a voice so quiet that it must have been a thought.
No, it said. This is my body now. Disappear like you’re supposed to.
I was stunned. Had I imagined it? Or could I actually talk to the parasite through my thoughts? I tried again. Who are you? I asked.
Star Above The Ocean, the voice replied. Now, leave!
Now that I knew I could talk to it, I had a plan on how do get rid of it. Never, I resolved. I will never leave.
Zeke was blocking my exit, so I tried to run around him. I was fast, but, unfortunately, he was faster. He grabbed my arm, dragged me back to the cot, and handcuffed my wrist to it. I tried to pull my arm free, but the handcuffs were too tight, and I just ended up with a bruise. Where the hell had he gotten handcuffs from, anyway? “Why am I here?” I asked. I tried to sound threatening, but my voice was trembling. “You didn’t perform an insertion, so why did you bring me here?”
“Because I have to show you something,” he said, “and I needed a place where you couldn’t run.”
My blood went cold. A place where I couldn’t run? This was definitely not good.
Zeke saw my face turn white. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he said reassuringly. “It’s just that whenever we try to say something to you, you either fight us or run away. I wanted to show you this.” Zeke turned around and pushed his tousled hair up off of his neck…his unblemished neck. He doesn’t have a scar, I thought. If he was a parasite, he would have had a scar from when the insertion was performed.
“Oh my God,” I whispered as he took the handcuffs off of me.
“So now do you understand?” he asked.
I didn’t answer. Another human, I thought. I’ve finally found another human. I was so happy that I jumped up and kissed him.
Now, I know what you’re thinking and, yes, it was stupid of me to kiss a man I had just met. I realized this as soon as my lips touched his and I pushed myself away.
“Shit,” I said, turning multiple shades of red as I realized what I had done. “I am so sorry. Oh man, that was stupid. I’m really, really, really sorry I did that. God, I am such an idiot.”
“It’s okay,” Zeke said, chuckling. “I get it. First human you’ve seen in a while, I suppose?”
“Yeah,” I replied, turning a deeper shade of red. “Three years, actually.”
His eyes widened and he whistled. “That’s a long time to be on your own.” I nodded. There was an awkward silence until Zeke spoke.
“Now, since you kissed me, I believe I’m entitled to ask you a few questions.”
I grimaced. That was so embarrassing! But he seemed to be taking the kiss and my embarrassment a lot better than I was. “Shoot.”
“Well to start, what’s your name?”
“Nicole Dean. You can call me Nicole. Or Nikki. Either one is fine.”
“Okay then, Nicole, how have you kept yourself out of trouble for three years? Did you have someone helping you?”
I was a little insulted that he assumed I couldn’t watch out for myself. I might have been 5’4” and only weighing like, a hundred and twenty pounds, but I did just fine on my own—well, except for being captured by him and Joe…twice—but I saw that he wasn’t making fun of my small size; he was genuinely curious. Sighing, I resolved to tell him the truth. “Well, you see,” I started, “I haven’t stayed completely out of trouble—“
He looked pretty confused, as I assumed he would be. I sighed and pulled my hair off of my neck, revealing my scar to him.
Zeke gasped. I looked back at him and he looked…scared. “But, your eyes, they don’t—“
“I know. I’m human,” I quickly assured him.
“Then how did you get…that? Was it self-inflicted?”
“Well, no, it’s—“ I sighed. “It’s kind of a long story.”
He sat down next to me and smiled. “Well you’re in luck. I just so happen to like long stories.”