Grey Rocks

On a hot summer night, Billy Jean sat at the window, waiting for the stars to fall. And fall they did as hundreds of little scarlet streaks illuminated the night sky. One of the stars fell in his backyard.

It was big, round, and grey. It looked like a stone, like an egg. A giant stone egg. Billy didn’t know what to do. It was his first year living alone, in his own home. He turned the TV on, and sure enough, a news anchor was describing what had to be done to the fallen stars.

“Scientists say that the grey rocks are to be cared for. It is speculated that a friendly alien life form exists within them.”

Billy glanced at the egg in his backyard. It was about the size of a beanbag. The night was warm, but Billy knew that eggs needed more warmth than that. He took a blanket from his house and wrapped the egg with it. He then carried the blanket-wrapped egg inside.

Years passed. Now, Billy’s alien friend, Paul, looked after him. The alien was grey like it used to be as an egg. It was tall and well built. Billy liked to call him a golem but had named him Paul, for what reason he did not remember.

“Paul, I’m not feeling good today. Could you get me some Tylenol from the medical shop?”

“Tylenol? What do you need that for?”

“Can’t you see, I’m sick.”

“You don’t look particularly sick, not to me.”

“Paul, this isn’t the time. Just go and get me the damned meds.”

“This will not stand, Billy. You can’t keep treating me like a slave.”

“Treat you like a slave? I feed you good food, and I send to the best school. Slave, my ass.”

Paul grumbled and muttered something under his breath before going away for the meds. Teenagers, Billy thought, were always a pain to deal with.

Only fifteen minutes had passed since Paul had left, but Billy felt uneasy. Something told him that it was not going to be a good day. Maybe, it was the flu.

A couple of minutes later, a giant UFO whizzed past Billy’s house and headed towards the town square. Paul was probably still at the medical store. Billy couldn’t take it any longer. Dressed in a robe and wiping his nose every five minutes while driving, somehow Billy reached the town square.

At the town square, there was a squadron of aliens surrounding a large grey alien dressed in a gold and blue robe.

“Fellow aliens, you did your job splendidly well, in terms of the invasion. Why so many humans are alive still, we don’t know, but you’re alive and well. Able-bodied Xerxians can always orchestrate an invasion or two.”

In front of the squadrons, there was a mob of grey aliens. They didn’t look very pleased.

“You mean to say we need to kill them,” said one.

“Yes,” said the blue robe wearing alien.

The alien mob started chattering among themselves. “Kill he says after his lot abandoned us.”

The alien heard that. He wasn’t very pleased. “You’re here to conquer, to rule,” he said.

“I’m here for Tylenol,” said a voice. Yes, that was Paul.

“Paul, you stupid bastard. What’s the idea, jumping in like that,” Billy yelled. All the aliens shifted their gaze towards him and started laughing.

Displeased by the mob’s reaction, the blue-robed alien said, “Fellow Xerxians, you must remember whom you serve.”

But the mob didn’t care. They swamped the squadron and forced them to retreat. The blue-robed alien wasn’t happy. As the UFO left the town square, his voice echoed in the air. “Prepare to pay for your betrayal, you deserters. We’ll be back and we’ll crush each and every one of you.”

Billy was still looking at the afterimage of the UFO when he felt Paul’s heavy hand on his shoulder.

“Here’s your Tylenol,” he said, handing him the bag. “Thanks a bunch for ruining my rep.”

Teenagers, Billy thought and shook his head.

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