The alien steepled its feelers. In the harsh lighting of the basement, the gesture was impossible to ignore–a very human gesture, deliberately made to evoke unease.

“You will provide the necessary materials,” it said through its translator widget. “Or we will conclude our business here in a manner you are sure to find unpleasant.”

As it always did when the creature ‘spoke,’ the housewife’s dog howled and cowered at her feet. “What will you do,” she said, “once the lightning rod is in place?”

“That is none of your concern,” the widget said. “You agreed to our terms, you allowed us to set up our base here in secret, and we have not failed to notice your embrace of the fruits of our partnership. We have slowed the passage of time, reversing the toll of years upon you. We have offered you precious metals that you have traded for your mundane scrip. The lightning we will harness is essential, and that is all you must know.”

“How do I know you’re not just going to…moonwalk…out of here and join an army of…lightning-summoned aliens to take over the planet?”

Her business partner seemed almost amused at this. “That was a long time ago. We are actually trying to extract ourselves from this wretched world.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!