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Christopher James
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He Thinks the Aliens Got Him

 

Christopher James

 

 

It's hard work talking to Alex. He stares at me, and I don't know if he understands a word I've said. Sometimes he walks away in the middle of my sentence. Other times he says something so clear and so lucid that it makes me cry not to know what he means by it.

 

His brothers have told him that I am from space, and I come to inject him with poison to take him to my planet. He believes them, and when I talk to him he watches my hands with wide eyes.

 

"Alex, tell me what you did today," I say.

 

He is wearing an open shirt, and I can see a star-shaped scar where his throat meets the rest of his body. I've seen it before, but have never asked where it came from. It's enough just to ask him what he did each day.

 

He watches the sky for a minute, maybe more, until I look up also. There's nothing there.

 

"Alex?"

 

It eats me up that he watches my hands for hidden needles. I tell him his brothers were joking. I resort to bribery, the cheapest trick of all.

 

"Alex, I'm going to get some ice cream. Do you want to come with me?"

 

Alex watches my hands. He shakes his head no.

 

I leave. Before I'm out the door I hear him.

 

"Ice cream is constituted of cow's milk with sugar and artificial flavourings and colourings."

 

I look back; look at the star at his throat.

 

"That's right, Alex. Do you want some?"

 

Alex watches my face. Slowly he nods.

 

"Okay."

 

I smile and my eyes are wet.

 

"Okay. Good. I'm happy, Alex, thank you."

 

He looks back to the sky.

 

"Just don't kill me," he says.

 

Christopher James lives, works and writes in Jakarta, though not necessarily in that order. He has never been abducted by aliens, but he recently took a fantastic photograph of a sign pointing the way to Venus.

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