Monday, July 28, 2014



By Christine M. Butler

The stench of laser-burned flesh tickles your nose as you inform the Sheriff that you will get everything taken care of. You look down at the still-burned figure before you, and bow once more, assuring the Sheriff again that the alien will be all right until you can get back.

You step out into the late afternoon sun, feeling it bake your skin as you take in a few gulps of searing hot air. It is hot as a whorehouse on nickel night. Not exactly the refreshing feeling you’d hoped for, but better than smelling the remnants of laser-blasted tentacles. You take the folded up piece of paper out of your pocket, and notice the flourish of dainty script that could only have come from a woman’s hand.


You are the first of your kind I’ve seen in some time. I wasn’t sure, at first, if I could trust you. Now, I’m running out of time. I need your help, before they find me, and before the towns folk here realize what I am. Please, you are my last hope.

Maggie has kindly given me a temporary sanctuary in the church attic, but I won’t be there long.


You re-read the letter twice more, not quite sure what to make of it. There was a time “your kind” might have meant the skin you’d chosen to walk among the inhabitants of this planet. What they called “natives” were still unwelcome most places, but you’d managed to settle in just fine anyway. After your talk with the Sherriff, you’re not sure how many people you actually fooled with your disguise though. You find a small bit of peace in understanding that the big bub himself knows what you are, and he hasn’t run you out, or strung you up yet. It gives you hope. You take a moment to consider your options, but the conjured image of saloon songstress Sally puts your croaker thoughts to rest. There was always something captivating about her, even if you didn’t fall under the same spell everyone else seemed to when she cranked up her pipes.

You head to the church to go appease your own curiosity. Dust settles thick on your boots as you walk. Rain is long overdue in these parts, and doesn’t appear to be on the horizon in the near future. You watch as a horse out front of the Hotel Grand takes a piss in the road. It’s the first thing you notice as you amble back towards the church. As you get closer, Maggie, the preacher’s wife, is peeking out of the curtains of the little shack she shares with her husband. You tip your hat slightly, and she flutters away.

You don’t even hesitate as you approach the church, taking that first step up, heading to the door. That is when you realize your mistake. “Dad-blame it!” You curse under your breath. The paint on the steps is still wet, and now your boot print is there for all to see. You backtrack and walk around to the side of the church where the preacher’s door is. You jiggle the handle, and find it’s been locked. You are hot, tired, and just about to give up, turn around, and head back to the shop when the lock clicks over. The door cracks just enough for a set of bright green eyes to peek out.

“Ma’am.” You tilt your head in her direction, noting the trail of fiery red curls that that pop into view.

“Quick.” Sally throws the door open and reaches for your arm, dragging you inside before slamming the rickety wooden door shut again. “I wasn’t sure you’d come.” She keeps walking, and you follow her. Sally reaches up to grasp the catch on the attic door, and pulls it down to reveal a makeshift set of stairs. As Sally ascends, you can’t help but notice and appreciate her curvy figure. When she sits on the floor at the top of the stairs to swing her legs up and over, you politely look away until she gives you the all clear. You proceed to follow her up into the small attic space where you must stay hunched over in order to avoid knocking your head on the rafters.

You take out the paper that the barman slipped you earlier. “Sally, I’m not sure…”
She cuts you off before you can finish your sentence. “Shh.” Her finger finds its way to hover over your lips as she speaks. “We don’t have time. I got word this morning. There are men coming to take me away, and I need your help to get out of here.”

“I’m not sure what I can do for you.” You tell her honestly.

“I’m not what I appear to be, and neither are you.” Her gritty accent is lost from her voice as she speaks. “My father is the same as you.” Your eyes widen just a bit as she continues her story. “He came to our town on a mission to blend, learn, and see if this place could work for his kind. I don’t think anyone ever thought of mixing with the humans here, but my father met my mom and he fell in love.”

Sally was looking off into the distance seeing another time and place unfold before her. You stand there, patiently waiting for her to finish. “She knew, of course. It’s hard to hide when your kind gets…” Sally bites her lip, and you can’t take your eyes off her mouth as she does. “Excited.” She finishes with a blush in her cheeks.

“Anyway, everything was fine for them. No one ever knew our two species could reproduce together, but apparently it works. I’m proof. The humans in our town never suspected. I grew up normal with no outward signs of tentacles.” Sally blushes again as she holds up her hands. “My fingers change if I’m angry, or I need the suction for things.” She demonstrates, and you are flabbergasted as her fingers turn to wavy tentacles before your very eyes. You know, now, that her story must be true. “I was set to marry Biff Jenkins not long ago, but there was an emergency. My mom’s Uncle Jeb, the town drunk, fell off his bar stool and knocked his head in pretty good. They went to get mom, since she has some knowledge of medicine. Well, she and dad were in an intimate position when Harvey Dingle, the deputy, burst in on them. Harvey saw what happens when your kind is excited, and he ran blabbing his mouth.”

Sally grabs your hand, pleading to you with her eyes. “They hanged my daddy. Hanging doesn’t kill your kind though, and he managed to escape while the town drank themselves stupid in celebration. I’m not sure what happened to momma, because I was forced to run too. Biff, my fiancĂ©, has been trying to track me down ever since. I got wind that he caught my trail again, and he’s headed here now.”

You take everything in and let out a deep sigh. “You want me to get you out of town before he shows up?”

“Please!” The urgency in her tone makes her angelic voice crack. Sally grasps your hands in hers to add to her plea. Just as you are about to agree anyway, you hear several sets of hooves approaching outside at a fast pace. “Oh, no!” Sally yelps. It’s your turn to put a finger on her plump, rosy lips.

“Shh, I know just what to do, sweet Sally.”

You have a choice to make.


  1. Well played, Christine. Lovin' your work.

  2. I Freaking love your craft Christine! !

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