by David LeBarron
lovingly based on a true tale by Cara Lee Sparry.
Note: At the end of this story is a question. It might not have an answer but pay attention anyway. It might just be important.
Cara Lee looked up at the ceiling.
She wondered why ceiling were always so bright almost-white? She wondered a lot of things. She was a wonderer. Ah the wonder of the wonderful world.
Her bedroom, where she lay, was full of interesting things that interested her.
Micro and tele scopes, puzzles for puzzlement, critters stuffed with stuff, dolls for role-playing drama, things for gaming, things for playing, things that did nothing, and books: Some to leaf through, some to scan, some to dive into and few just for reading. “Why weren’t books for booking?” she thought.
It was Cara Lee’s favorite time of the day. School was a distant memory, having ended 3 hours ago, and dinner was firmly set in the future. It was her time of the day. Nothing expected nothing gained. Just a time to hang.
Cara Lee wondered some more…as a wonderer it’s almost your job to wonder….is this everyone’s favorite time of the day? Some might love the morning but it’s so busy with deeds to get done. Daylight in general seemed to point out, shine light on, and illuminate tasks and chores and business in general.
And nighttime? Well sleeping seemed like a huge waste of everyday to Cara Lee. She would much prefer to spend midnight midnighting…which isn’t a word but it sure should be! She was just sure there were great things to do at night but, when those times arrived, it was past her bedtime, and she was far too tired to make midnight a verb.
But at nightfall everything seemed to hush, if just for a few moments and minutes. The day was done, sleeping had not begun, and she could stare in wonderment and no one seemed to mind. Yes. This had to be everyone’s favorite time of the day! Except of course if you were some sort of alien….
That’s when it hit her. What if she was an alien? What if she had been beamed down from another planet or place or plane and was now here wondering about ceilings and sunsets because she had never seen one before! “Oh. No. I’m an alien,” she thought! Actually she thought: “Blik crim-crim tsk tu nacha!” which loosely translates from Alien: “On. No. I’m an alien!”
The alien looked around the room. It was filled with odd things. “Ah” jumped the alien! She spied a bunch of beasts on the bed with her. She didn’t know if these animals were nice or mean “…perhaps they love alien cuisine?!?!?!?!”
She stood careful but they didn’t move! Bravely, the alien crossed back to the bed and poked one in the nose. “ah-ha stuffed fakes!” relaxed the alien. That was close. She inspected this strange place for more clues. “Ah-ha scopes for scoping and seeing my home world,” she fumbled happy with the telescopes but the sun was still too bright “…I guess I’ll wait till night!”
On a shelf the alien found paper bound in stacks. She opened them slowly. Words and pictures confronted her eyes! Could she understand this language? Perhaps a little. Being an obviously intelligent life-form she must know at least a zillion-and-3 languages. That made sense. Before she could read, something caught the corner of her eye. She spun in a whirl. Looking in the mirror the alien realized “…oh snap. I’m a little girl!”
She poked and prodded the protrudings projecting from her face. The alien wasn’t sure if this was her real alien face or a disguise. A mask to mask her true possibly one-eyed form and purple skin! How could she know? Since she didn’t recognize her surroundings, she deduced deductively that this was a clever and well-laid cover up. But why? If she had gone to all the trouble of this elaborate ruse of costume, mask and set, she must be play-acting…and there must be a reason? Suddenly the alien was racked with fear! She realized, “They must not like aliens here!”
Should she flee, fly or formulate a plan? “Cara Lee?” called a voice from far away. “What kind of sound is that?” wondered the alien, “it sounds strange. Why would someone yell it like that?” Then it came again! “Cara Lee! Dinner!” “Ah-ha the words get longer the more you say them???” ponderously perplexed the alien, “what should I do?” The alien looked around the room and thought if she was here on some mission then she had to go through with it. Perhaps there was a very important reason she had been beamed here? Maybe the very existence of her home-world was at stake? Why else would the alien have come to a hostile alien-hating place with fake animals and funny sounding words! It must be important. “Ok Alien! Get it together! Time to blend in and see what’s what!” the alien said to herself, “One mistake, one wrong word or action and my disguise would be blown!” Just then a woman appeared at the door to the funny room and said, “Cara Lee! “ “Ah-ha,” the alien realized, “Cara Lee is me!”
The alien, in the form of this Cara Lee creature, followed the woman through the house and into another small room. In it there was a type of table covered with weapons! One had 4 poking things out of a handle. Another was some sort of scoop. The last was most definitely sharp and used for poking or cutting! All these weapons lay around some sort of round thing…like a satellite dish! That must be how they communicated with their superiors! She was not confused by the well-lit atmosphere and well-decorated room. Setting foot in there could mean doom!
A man, large of frame, sat at the end of this evil table. 2 other people, young in age, sat around the table too. Maybe they were aliens? She looked at one of the boys suspiciously. “What?!” he answered with a weird look. Nope not an alien. There were 2 empty chairs. The alien stood still not knowing which to take. This was some sort of ceremony and if she sat in the wrong chair who knows what would happen! The woman sat opposite the man and looked at the alien like she was…well acting alien, “Cara Lee what are you doing? Sit!” The alien smiled at the last chair in the ring. She sat and thought, “ah-ha they don’t suspect a thing!”
The people at the table started a bizarre ritual of passing things back and forth and around. The alien blended in perfectly by following the leads of others. The alien took small amounts from each vessel and placed them on her satellite dish. The woman looked at the boy who had given the alien a weird look and said, “Tom that’s quite enough mashed potatoes!” Tom, ah-ha now she knew his name, looked at his heaping pile of white substance and said “umm” and shrugged his shoulders. The woman then turned to the alien and smiled, “Cara Lee? You’re eating spinach?” All eyes turned to her as the room went dumb. The alien shrugged her shoulders and said, umm.”
That seemed to satisfy these humans all very well. The alien, following the procedure everyone else employed, took her many-tonged weapon and dug into the green mush on her satellite. Placing it in her fake mouth, the alien smiled. It reminded her of her home planet. She must certainly be from some water planet where mushy leafy greens were consumed by bucket-fulls like kale. “Huh,” thought the alien, “maybe I’m an alien whale??”
This eating thing, called diner, continued much the same as the people around it spoke casually about their day. There were murmurs and laughter and heapings more food. The alien nodded and smiled when everyone else did. She even laughed in sync with Tom, even though she didn’t know what he was laughing about. All went fine and stood on course until the satellites were cleared away and a new concoction was brought to the table. A round circle covered in brown was placed on the table. Everyone’s eyes seemed to glow wide. The alien tried to make her orbs do the same. Perhaps this was a secret weapon? Perhaps this was what her mission was all about! The food mound was sliced and a section put before each. The alien put a piece to her mouth and watched as everyone else chewed with glee. But as it hit her tongue she grabbed her neck, “Ah you’re trying to kill me!”
The alien fell to the floor as the white substance covered in brown gelatin slid down her throat! It was horrible! To make matters worse the strange humans at the table started laughing. They were enjoying her demise! She grunted and growled, stammered and howled! She finally chocked down the substance they had now referred to as cake! She stood looking at them in triumph. They hadn’t ruined her after all! “You are so silly,” the woman said and man agreed. Then they cleared the cakes, ignoring her “…as if no one had done the deed?”
She stood and sat. Sat and stood. A bit of time went by and no one seemed to pay her any mind. The alien wasn’t sure what to do next. She waited for instructions. Then she thought of something else to try. Now she could learn human weaknesses. It was time to spy!
Before she could gather a single clue, Tom ran in and grabbed her arm “Come on! You’re missing the movie!” The alien followed him into yet another room. This one had soft chair-like things around a box or a square that had a painting in it…WAIT it wasn’t a painting it was a whole lot of paintings. They were all staring at this…series of moving pictures! The alien watched the box, this thing called movie…ah-ha movie for moving pictures…now she understood. She sat her self down in the only free place. And then she pointed to the box shouting, “they’re killing things from outer space!”
The people around her shook their heads and Tom said, “duh.” So the aliens sat back down horrified to watch this movie thing box. Oh it was terrible. Some kind of news reel showing her people in flying-saucer-ships being blown to bits! Then the box quickly stopped and told them all to buy a certain new kind of laundry detergent. “Huh?” wondered the alien, “this is so strange!” Then the box returned to the news of the alien invasion. People ran into buildings and panicked and feared. And when the saucer blew up a building the alien couldn’t help it but jumped up and cheered!
Eventually the box finished its movie. The humans won the fight. The alien was nervous. Their mission failed! “Ok,” said the woman and man together, “off to bed all of you it’s getting late!” The alien shivered and obeyed; now she feared her fate!
Then the oddest thing happened the alien had ever seen! They all tried to eat each other! Their mouths came into contact, just like it had with the food, and they pressed them together and made a noise. How horrible! Then they reached for the alien. She made a face in between fear and yuk! “Come on give us a kiss,” said the woman. “Eeeergggg” said the alien, “No!” The man just laughed and said, “Cara Lee you are such an odd little girl.” “I’m odd?” she gasped, “you’re trying to eat my face!” and she ran with a twirl.
Tom was in the bathroom rubbing something over his teeth. “Ah,” thought the alien, “a human cleaning ritual.” And she followed what he did. She rubbed her teeth. Splashed water on her face. Dried it with a piece of fabric. And followed Tom to bed. “What are you doing?” he exclaimed, “we’re too old for sleep overs. Go to your own bed!” Tom shook his head and quickly departed. The alien was confused but then remembered where she had started.
She climbed into what she imaged was her very own sleep chamber. It was soft and comfortable. She went over the evening and felt she had done quite well. Her disguise was perfect! They didn’t suspect a thing! “I wonder how long I’ll have to pretend? I wonder if a rescue mission is under way. I should probably not sleep. They may try and contact me!” the alien surmised. But her eyes were heavy and she lay down in bed. “No. I simply cannot sleep!” she thought as she squished the squishable foam under her head.
“I wonder what alien’s dream about? Outer space stuff? Or my alien family? Do I miss them? I wonder how many antennas I might have? Is my spaceship round….I hope I can save my world….the human here are nice even if they do try and blow up space ships….I wonder what….I wonder why…oh my….” And then the alien said not a peep. Instead she fell asleep.
Birds chirped and sunbeams beamed. Cara Lee woke in the morning. Well rested and happy. She liked mornings enough but there was just so much stuff to happen. Sometimes she wished they’d go slower or with fewer deeds to be done. “Oh well,” she thought, “I guess that’s what mornings are for…morning-ing” and she climbed out of bed and ran down the hall. She started her day and went on her way. And she didn’t even remember that she was an alien. Not at all.
Now: Is Cara Lee a little girl pretending to be an alien?
Or: is she an alien pretending to be a little girl?
But: If you pretend something hard enough can it come true?
And: Is wondering wonderful or is it a wandering path to a wonder-stricken wonderland and will wonders ever cease?
Blik num-num boo click rum-la
Which is alien for: thanks for reading my story. But you already knew that. Didn’t you? ALIEN!