A few nights ago, I was chatting with a friend on Facebook. It was approaching… Well, I don’t exactly remember, but it was getting kind of late, and I was contemplating going to bed. Suddenly, however, I felt a cool breeze on the back of my head. That’s odd. I thought I closed the win… My thought didn’t get any farther, because at that moment I felt a hand clap over my mouth.
The mysterious hand dragged me backwards out through my window onto a hovering disk that was bumping into the nearby pine tree. The being attached to the hand – I assumed there was one – propelled me gently but firmly to a hole in the disk, which contained a ladder. I half climbed, half fell down the ladder (somewhat reluctantly) and found myself in the sort of enclosure I’d only seen in movies.
The vessel seemed to be shaped like a large bowl, though flimsy-looking walls partitioned off a couple sections and narrow scaffolding provided flat, almost tightrope-like places to stand. Half the round wall was made of glass or something similar that showed, eerily, my dark front yard. Near the glass stood, if my knowledge of science fiction was not mistaken, the controls of this strange ship. And near the controls stood two, people?
On closer inspection, I could tell they weren’t people. Though they were certainly humanoid, they both had six fingers on each hand, no eyebrows, and were taller than average humans. I wondered if they had six toes, too, but they were wearing shoes, so I couldn’t tell. My captor moved to join them (he did have a body, but this wasn’t as much of a relief as you might expect).
“Welcome, Earthling!” he said pleasantly, in heavily accented English. He smiled broadly. “We are so glad to have you with us! What is your name?”
“Um, Zella,” I stammered, wondering why he cared.
“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I’m sorry we could not bring a nicer, more comfortable ship, but this is the fastest in the king’s fleet, so we should be back to Pluto in 15 minutes. That should give you enough time to change, don’t you think?”
His question didn’t register at the time; I was stuck on one word. “Pluto?”
“Yes, of course. Pluto is our home planet.” He took my arm and guided me across the scaffolding to one of the flat walls. Pressing a button I couldn’t see, he continued, “We brought some clothes for you to change into. There should be something in your size. Please get dressed; as I said, we’ll arrive in less than 15 minutes.”
The door closed behind me and I looked around, rather befuddled. On a bench were laid out clothes of various shapes and sizes. Deciding it was probably best to cooperate, I reached for a dress just as the ship shuddered and threw me against the wall. I picked myself up, found something that looked like it would fit, and hurried to put it on. I just had time to briefly wonder what I looked like before the ship shuddered again, throwing me against the door this time.
The door slid open, dumping me on the floor. My captor helped me to my feet, exclaiming apologetically, then gestured to the ladder. “Welcome to Pluto!”
Upon emerging from the hole, I discovered that the ship was parked in some sort of large, hanger-like room. A group of Plutonians (or whatever they call themselves) waited at the bottom of another ladder that led to the floor. As I followed my captor to the bottom, one of the group stepped forward. He was shorter than the others, but still significantly taller than me. “Prince Roldolpho, may I present your bride, Zella,” said my captor before my feet were quite on the floor.
The short one – apparently Roldolpho – stepped forward, took my hand, and bowed to kiss it. “A pleasure,” he said softly.
“Wait a minute,” I protested. “Bride?!” (Though I couldn’t help but decide, from the smile he’d given me, that I looked all right.)
“Why, yes,” said Roldolpho. “For the treaty.” I blinked at him, and he turned to my captor. “Akando,” he said, “what is the meaning of this?”
“Well, you see, Your Highness, the humans had not yet made our treaty public, and we weren’t quite sure there would be a human maiden entirely willing to do this on such short notice, so…”
“You kidnapped her?!”
“‘Kidnapped’ is a rather strong word…”
“You kidnapped her.” Roldolpho rolled his eyes. He turned to me, tucking my arm through his. “I am so sorry. This was not meant to happen. You see, we have been in communication with Earth for some time now, and are working on a treaty, part of which involves the marriage of Pluto’s crown prince – that’s me – to a human girl. Akando was supposed to fetch her today. Apparently there has been some sort of misunderstanding.”
“I’ll say so,” I agreed emphatically. “Humans are not likely to appreciate you kidnapping a bride. It would probably ruin the point of the treaty.”
“I didn’t know anything about a treaty, anyway.”
“I believe it has been kept rather secret, though I’m not sure why.”
“It might cause widespread panic.”
“I suppose. Anyway, I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience. I will take you back right away, and we’ll straighten this all out with the Earth authorities.” He cast a glare at Akando, who looked suitably repentant. “Send her home’s coordinates to my ship this instant.” He started to walk toward a smaller ship that was more oval-shaped than the one I had arrived in. “We’ll take my ship,” he told me. “It only has half the speed, but it flies much more smoothly and is more comfortable.” Pulling a keyring from a pocket, he pressed a button and stairs lowered from the side of the ship. “After you.”
The return trip to Earth took just over half an hour (not that I would call that slow). Roldolpho and I chatted most of the way. He seemed like a pretty nice guy, even if he did have six fingers. When we arrived at my house, he helped me through my window, where I sat on my bed. “Oh,” I said, “I’m still wearing the dress they had me put on.”
“That’s all right,” he said. “Keep it in place of whatever you were wearing.”
“Will I see you again?” Roldolpho asked after a moment.
I smiled. “You’re the one with the space ship.”
He grinned. “Excellent point.” He kissed my hand once more. “Until next time, then.” He backed into his ship, which quickly sped off, and I closed my window.
I glanced at my clock. The whole excursion had taken less than two hours. My friend had hopefully long gone to sleep and I should do the same. I would have to explain my disappearance in the morning.
However, as I closed my laptop and crawled into bed, I couldn’t help but wonder: Do aliens use Facebook?
…Ok, so actually the internet quit working. But that’s a rather boring story, don’t you think?