You just broke up with your boyfriend. You dated for three years. He was nice and sort of cute, but he was really pathetic. The only thing he seemed to enjoy was building model planes. He only ever finished one, which he used as a centerpiece on his kitchen table.
It is time to meet someone new. You took a tap dancing class, hoping to meet a handsome and jolly man like Fred Astaire. Your classmates were all other women, but at least you learned some dance steps.
You recently created an account on Silver Spooning, a dating website for the shamelessly rich. You are not rich and you do not care about dating a rich man, but Silver Spooning seems like a good place to meet weird and eccentric people.
While surfing Silver Spooning, two men catch your eye. One is a marine biologist and topiarist named Struthers Covington Esquire. You learn that a topiarist is a person who trims shrubs into ornamental shapes. Apparently Struthers also owns a castle and a plum-colored convertible car. You see photos of him posing with both. He is attractive, but somehow indistinct. When you look away from his photo, you forget everything about him.
The other man is Xavier Lopez. Xavier’s Silver Spooning profile reads: “I’m a different sort of guy. I’m so different that you’ll probably never introduce me to any of your friends. I’m cool with that. If you are too, then let’s get together.” The profile does not have a photo.
[[Send Struthers Covington Esquire a message.|Struthers]]
[[Send Xavier Lopez a message.|Xavier]]
You and Struthers e-mail a few times. He is flirty and has a friendly sense of humor. He also loves nature. He sends you photos of his rose garden, his butterfly conservatory, and his two identical pet cats.
Struthers suggests a date at an Egyptian restaurant called Valley of the Kings. You agree with excitement. Struthers seems really great, but even if he is not, you love Middle Eastern food. His e-mail reads: “I am eager and nervous to see you. It is a strange but pleasant combination of feelings.”
Valley of the Kings is a classy restaurant. You buy an elegant gown with an Egyptian motif and borrow an ankh necklace from a friend. You take a cab to the date.
The restaurant smells like cumin and dill. You say to the host, “I’m meeting someone.” He responds, “Of course, Miss $name. I will take you to your table.” He knows your name, which is uncanny and impressive. You are led past a row of sarcophagi and a model of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In a private candlelit alcove, Struthers Covington is seated at a table. He rises, takes your hand and presses it to his lips. The longer you look, the more handsome he becomes. By candlelight, his skin is both tan and rosy. His amber eyes twinkle with reflected flame. He reminds you of a teacher you had a crush on in high school. He wears a dark purple suit. His tiepin is in the shape of the Sphinx.
“It is great to meet you, $name,” Struthers says warmly. His voice is soft and deep, and sounds exactly like you imagined. He holds your hand a little longer and then offers you a seat.
You sit across from Struthers. His passionate greeting made you uncomfortably giddy. He seems to notice this and acts more casual. “I have never tried an online dating service before. I was not sure what to expect, and I was so nervous last night that I did not sleep. If I act unusual, please blame that.” He smiles and you smile too without realizing it. “What do you think of this restaurant?”
You shrug and look around. “Honestly, it’s a little tacky. The waitresses’ revealing outfits are kind of harassing too. But, I read online that the food is really good.”
Struthers laughs at your frank response. You laugh too. Struthers gazes thoughtfully at a smoldering bowl of incense. “I am ambivalent about the waitresses, but I love the thematic décor. At least we both seem to be in the spirit of the thing,” he says, glancing admiringly at your ankh necklace. “Would you like a drink?”
[[Have a drink.|Wine]]
[[Have a drink. Then another. And another.|Get Drunk]]
The waiter pours wine. It looks like tea and tastes like damp wool. You grimace at its shockingly acidic finish. Struthers sips the wine with a quizzical frown. “I have had lots of wine in my life, but this one might be the strangest.” He drinks more. “I am not complaining though.”
You drink more too. “I don’t really like wine,” you admit. “I’m just drinking to loosen up. I guess it’s pretty good though.”
Struthers smirks. “I am a little nervous too. Going out with a beautiful stranger is a new and challenging experience for me.” His smirk becomes a smile. His teeth look gold in the candlelight.
Perhaps the wine is working. You feel more comfortable. You and Struthers enjoy easygoing conversation as the waiter takes your order and serves your food. Struthers’ sense of humor is charming. You laugh at his (often flirtatious) jokes. People in the restaurant are probably staring, but you do not mind. You crack jokes of your own too, finding a sense of humor you never realized you had.
You also ask lots of questions. You learn about Struthers’ love of nature and his encyclopedic knowledge of flora and fauna. You also learn he was once engaged to a woman who is now dead. “That love was in another place and another life,” he assures you.
As the evening goes on and Struthers’ talks and drinks, you notice that he has a faint accent. He is surprised when you mention it. He says (a little insecurely) that he was born in South Africa.
The more you discover about Struthers, the weirder and more appealing he becomes.
[[Ask Struthers about marine biology.|Beach]]
[[Ask Struthers about topiary.|Garden]]
“Definitely,” you say, perhaps too anxiously. Struthers orders a bottle of wine. “Brings us two bottles,” you tell the waiter. Struthers looks surprised but pleased. “I’m feeling a little nervous,” you admit. “A few drinks might loosen me up.”
“Me too. I have never had dinner with such a beautiful woman. I feel a little unsure of myself,” Struthers says, gazing into your eyes.
Your face feels hot. “If we’re going to talk like this, I’m going to need that drink first.” As if on cue, the waiter returns with the bottles of wine. You and Struthers sip some.
“How is it?” Struthers asks.
The wine looks like tea and tastes like damp wool. You shrug and have another swallow. “I’ll like it if I have some more.”
Struthers smiles broadly. “Cheers to that.” You clink glasses. After a moment, he says, “You are different than I imagined.” You raise an eyebrow, steadily drinking the wine. Struthers continues, “From our e-mails I knew you were candid, but I did not expect you to be so… feisty.” He pours you more wine.
“I’m pretty tense. I’m probably just overcompensating.” You are tense, but something about Struthers makes you act daring. Perhaps because he is the most beautiful man you have ever met.
“I am not complaining. It is… charming.” When Struthers says charming, you can tell he means sexy. Your whole body gets warmer. He pours more wine.
Both wine bottles are soon empty. The waiter appears. He asks if you and Struthers have questions about the menu. Struthers orders more drinks. “We may never have dinner at this rate,” he says.
Cocktails arrive. They contain some kind of nutty fruity liqueur. Sugary drinks like this give you the worst hangovers. You drink it anyway. It tastes great! You and Struthers make obligatory small talk. You ask lots of questions. Do you enjoy your work? Where were you born? Are you close with your family? Struthers’ answers are brief and vague. He obviously does not like talking about himself. After several rounds of cocktails, you are too drunk to care.
As you talk and drink, more innuendo creeps into the conversation. Soon you and Struthers are openly discussing your sexual preferences. He likes nice women with a hidden naughty streak. He makes it clear that he is talking about you.
You and Struthers leave the restaurant without eating anything. You are both very drunk. Struthers leaves his car at the restaurant and offers to walk you home. Your house is two miles away but neither of you seems to mind. You stop at a park and wind up making love beside a moonlit lake. Struthers is an incredible lover. You hope that you will remember all the details later, but suspect you will not. You eventually make it home but do not remember how.
You suffer a wicked hangover the following morning. That evening, you chat with Struthers on the phone. The conversation quickly turns steamy. You agree to meet in the same park you visited last night. You have sex in Struthers’ plum-colored convertible. The crushed velvet seats feel delightful on your naked skin.
Over the next few weeks, you go out with Struthers a lot. Sometimes you dine out. Sometimes you go for a drive. One time you go to an opera. But your dates are just a pretense for a night of love making. You have sex in your bed, in Struthers’ bed, in a hotel hot tub, on the beach, in the garden of Struthers’ fabulous castle, on a Ferris wheel, in a cornfield. After several weeks of constant sex, you and Struthers drift apart. You meet less frequently and then stop altogether. You are not surprised since your relationship was based solely on sex.
A month later, you miss your period. A pregnancy test confirms your suspicion. You call Struthers.
“Hello Struthers,” you say hesitantly.
“Hello beautiful,” Struthers answers.
“Well…” Struthers’ voice trails off. “After our many nights of passion, that is not surprising.” You are relieved that he seems so calm. “We did not plan for this, but our destiny is clear.”
“It is?” you reply with confusion.
“We should speak in person,” Struthers says seriously.
You agree. Thirty minutes later, Struthers picks you up in his convertible. He drives in silence for awhile. Eventually he says, “We will get married and raise the child together.”
“I’m not so sure,” you say guardedly.
Struthers is deep in thought. He drives out of town as the sun sets. He pulls off the road and parks atop a cliff overlooking the beach.
Struthers’ expression is suddenly grave. “$name, I need to tell you something.” You do not respond. You experience a sinking feeling. “I am an alien.” As he says this, Struthers’ head transforms into a pale egg-like oval. It is faceless except for a mouth of sparkling golden teeth and a single insectoid eye below that. You recoil in horror. Struthers’ face returns to normal.
You blurt out, “Jesus Christ! That was awful!” You are sweating and hyperventilating.
“I hoped you would never have to know, but I had to tell you, for the baby’s sake.”
“Well,” you say shakily. Struthers is a hideous alien, but he is trying to do the right thing. “Thank you,” you say uncertainly.
“The baby will only be half human. You need me to help raise him.”
[[“It makes sense for the baby to have a father…”|Baby]]
[[“There isn’t going to be a baby.”|Abortion]]
“What’s it like being a marine biologist?” you ask.
“Marine biology is more than a job for me. It is a celebration of the beauty and variety of life,” Struthers says with pride. You are unsure how to reply to this corny sentiment. Seeing your expression of derision, Struthers shrugs and laughs sheepishly. “That sounded better in my head, but I was somewhat serious. Let me show you something.” He stands suddenly. “Are you ready to leave?”
“Um… what about the bill?” It is unsettling and exciting that Struthers seems ready to dine-and-dash during a first date in a fancy restaurant.
“The bill will be handled. They know me here.” Taking your hand, Struthers leads you from the restaurant. His plum-colored convertible waits out front. You slide in, shivering as the crushed velvet seat brushes your skin. “Bitchin' ride, right?” he says, imitating a surfer accent.
The sun sets as Struthers drives out of town on the coastal highway. You do not talk since the convertible top is down and the wind is roaring in your ears. It makes a mess of your hair, but Struthers’ hair is somehow unaffected.
On an empty stretch of highway overlooking the ocean, Struthers pulls off the road and stops the car. You both get out. You should feel nervous about being in an isolated place with a stranger, but something about Struthers puts you at ease.
“This is what marine biology is about,” Struthers says, walking down a sandy trail to the beach. You take off your heels and follow. It is night now and the moonlight shines on a colony of sea lions lazily sprawled in the sand.
You laugh. “They’re cute! They are like chubby old men!”
“Actually, most of them are women,” explains Struthers. As if to prove he is really a marine biologist, he rattles off facts about sea lions. You are not really paying attention, but you do learn that sea lions balance a ball with their whiskers instead of their nose. Struthers interrupts himself, “Sea lions are great, but we are here for another reason.”
“And what’s that?”
“It is a surprise. You will love it! We will need to swim though.”
You look at your dress. The fringe is covered with sand. “Somehow, I forgot my suit at home.”
“You do not need one. This beach is private enough, other than these sea lions. In any case, they will not be embarrassed.” As he speaks, Struthers strips to his underwear.
[[“Sure, why not?”|Island]]
[[“This is moving a little fast.”|Wound]]
“Tell me about your topiaries.”
Struthers chuckles. “I am surprised you interested.”
You shrug. “I looked it up after I read your Silver Spooning profile. I saw a topiary that looked like an Easter Island statue. It was pretty cool.”
“I want to show you something. You will love it!” Struthers beams excitedly and glances at his watch. “We should get going before it is too dark.”
“Where to?” Struthers’ enthusiasm is contagious. Wherever it is, you are suddenly looking forward to it.
“My home,” Struthers answers, signaling to the waiter. The waiter hurriedly approaches and Struthers says in low voice, “Add the bill to my tab. The dinner was lovely as always. Thank you so much.” The waiter bows and walks away.
Struthers must be an important person at Valley of the Kings. You ask, “How often do you come here?”
“Often, but never with such pleasant company.” Struthers takes your hand. On the way out of the restaurant, he waves to several waiters. Struthers’ plum-colored convertible waits outside. He lifts you into it. The upholstery is crushed velvet.
You make small talk as Struthers drives out of town. The hills overlooking the ocean are dotted with mansions. The car glides up Struthers’ winding driveway. You saw a photo of Struthers’ castle-like home on his Silver Spooning profile but you are still blown away. The architecture resembles medieval Europe mixed haphazardly with ancient India. It would be tacky if it were not so impressive. There is a stained glass window of a cherub riding a dolphin.
The car stops and you and Struthers get out. “Welcome to my abode,” Struthers gestures theatrically around. You were apprehensive about going home with a man you just met. Now you are glad you did. This place is awesome!
“This way,” says Struthers. Hand in hand, you and Struthers follow a cobblestone path to the rear of the castle. You are on a veranda above a sprawling hedge maze filled with elaborate topiaries. “The maze hides a surprise. You cannot leave until you find it.”
You and Struthers enter the maze. He slips an arm around your waist. The sun sets as you walk the leafy corridors. You pass countless topiaries in weird and whimsical scenes. A topiary clown balances atop a ball while another clown attacks him with a sword. A herd of elphants meditates among the bones of an elephant graveyard. A space-age bulldozer demolishes a quaint cottage.
“You trimmed all of these?” You are a little incredulous.
“Only the beautiful ones,” Struthers answers with bravado.
As you wander, the sky gets darker and darker. “You’d better give me a hint,” you say. “If it gets much darker, we might be lost here all night.”
“No worries.” Struthers reaches into a nearby shrub. Hidden lights flood the maze in an amber glow. From another shrub, Struthers withdraws a bottle of champagne and two glasses. “Shall we refresh ourselves?”
You laugh. “Sure!” You sit on a marble bench and sip champagne in the moonlight. Struthers is so strange, but every wacky thing he does makes you like him a little more.
After a spell, you resume wandering the maze. You find its central garden. A rainbow cascade of flowers encircles a mammoth topiary of your head. The topiary of you has a friendly smile. It is based on the photograph in your Silver Spooning profile.
“This is a little much,” you chuckle uncertainly.
“You think so?” Struthers asks. “I almost posed your topiary like the <i>Venus de Milo</i>. I am glad I did not.” He winks.
With any other man, this situation would be creepy or humiliating. With Struthers, you just laugh. “Yeah. At least not on the first date.”
“This is not the surprise I wanted to show you. Follow me.” Struthers leads you around a corner to a marble building. It is the size of garage and looks like a temple. You and Struthers enter through a pillared archway.
The room is bathed in pale light. Plastic drapes coat the walls. They seem to constantly melt and reform. In the center of the room is a large orb of sparkling white metal.
“What is this?” you ask in a hushed tone.
“I’ll show you.” A hatch opens on the orb and Struthers helps you through it. You enter a cockpit. There is a control desk made from the same amorphous plastic that lines the building’s walls.
“Let me guess…” You try to act cavalier, which is challenging in this extraordinary situation. “You are alien and this is your spaceship.”
“I am glad you said that.” Struthers looks relieved. “I was not sure how to break it to you.”
You momentarily swoon. A chair materializes from the floor, catching you as you fall. It engulfs your body like a warm cocoon. “Get me out of here!” You tear away from the chair and try to shove past Struthers. He stops you with a hug.
“$name, it is okay,” Struthers says soothingly. “Nothing here will hurt you. Please trust me.” You hyperventilate for a minute then feel better. Still hugging Struthers, you look around the cockpit.
“You’re really an alien?” You scrutinize Struthers’ face. It looks human.
“I would not lie about it.”
“So how does this spaceship work?” You examine the control desk. It looks like a mound of jelly.
“I can show you,” Struthers says. “How about a little jaunt to my home planet?”
“This isn’t an alien abduction, right?” You act playful, but you are still a little scared.
“We will be back to have tea and watch the Sun rise, from orbit if you would like.” Struthers kisses you on the forehead.
“I would like that.” You begin to feel more adventurous. This is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Struthers sits and submerges his hands into the control desk. The spaceship hums and turns completely transparent. You, Struthers, and the control desk seem to be floating in air, which is disconcerting. You look down at Struthers’ castle. One of his swimming pools is shaped like a dolphin.
A lavender light pulses on the control desk. “What is that?” You are careful not to touch it as you point.
After deliberating for a moment, Struthers answers, “That is a time gyroscope. This ship can also travel through time. It is highly illegal. I installed it when I was a young rogue.”
“You can time travel!” Your astonishment is apparent.
Struthers shrugs. “I have only used it a couple of times.”
[[“Let’s go back in time!”|Time Travel]]
[[“Time travel sounds pretty dangerous...”|Space Travel]]
You take off your gown and drop it in the sand. It will need to be dry cleaned, but you try not to think about it. Instead, you glance discreetly at Struthers’ athletic body. You feel insecure until you notice his slight paunch. That little bit of fat makes Struthers seem more obtainable, which is sexier somehow.
Struthers slips his arm around your waist. “Come on,” he says. “It is a long swim.” You both wade into the shallows.
You and Struthers swim toward the dark horizon. You left your watch on the beach, so you are unsure how long you have been in the water. You grow tired and Struthers slows his pace for you. He would probably pull you if you asked, but you are too proud. You swim doggedly until he calls out, “Almost there!” You see the black outline of an island.
You swim onto the beach and slump in the sand. Breathing raggedly, you say, “So where are we?”
“It is an island,” Struthers replies, stating the obvious. You are satisfied to note that he is winded too.
“I suppose it’s pretty nice,” you say. It really is a nice island. It is probably a mile in diameter and its center is lightly forested.
“There is something special about this little island that no one else in the world knows.” As Struthers speaks, he scoops something from the sand and shows it to you. A starfish is curled around his palm. Its bioluminescent skin glows faintly amber. “This species of starfish only lives on this island. I discovered it a few months ago. No other human but you has seen it.”
The beautiful starfish is a lustrous brassy color. Perhaps you should be skeptical of Struthers’ incredible claim, but at this wonderful moment, you are not. “Shouldn’t you tell someone about this? This starfish could be named after you!”
“I would rather name it after you.” Struthers’ voice is low. You realize how close you are standing. He pulls you even closer. His lips brush yours and his nude torso presses against you. The starfish clambers from his hand onto your shoulder.
[[Give Struthers a fiery kiss.|Island Passion]]
[[Hold Struthers tightly.|Island Mellow]]
Struthers nods understandingly. “I’ll bring the surprise to you then.” With a cryptic smile, he dives into the water.
You watch the sea lions lounge on the beach. One crawls over and sniffs Struthers’ discarded clothes. You feel a little silly standing on the beach in your evening gown.
Ten minutes later, you spot Struthers swimming doggedly toward you. You start to admonish him for leaving you alone, but stop when he staggers from the water. With a moan of pain, he collapses in the sand. Blood pours from a gaping wound in his side.
You rush to Struthers and kneel beside him. “What happened?” you whisper in shock. You tear some cloth from your gown and press the makeshift bandage to his wound. It is quickly drenched. You tear off several more bandages.
“I was…” Struthers wheezes for breath. “…going to bring a dolphin back for you… I found one but…” He winces as you put pressure on his wound “…she was being attacked by a shark. While fighting off the shark, I was bitten.” With a rueful smirk, he points at his bloody torso.
“You fool,” you sob. You are moved by Struthers’ selfless sacrifice. You tear off another strip of your gown and are now half-naked. “I’m calling an ambulance,” you say.
“No. Please,” Struthers murmurs. “I will die soon. I want to… spend my last moments with you… not some paramedics. Let me die here peacefully.”
[[Call an ambulance.|Ambulance]]
[[Let Struthers die in peace.|Struthers Die]]
You and Struthers embrace. Your bodies are wet and slick. You kiss and your tongue probes his mouth. It is salty from the ocean.
Struthers lifts you into his arms. The starfish falls from your shoulder. As he lays you down in the surf, you sigh in anticipation. You have often fantasized about making love with the tide sweeping over you. You saw a scene like that in a movie and it always stuck with you.
Water flows between you and Struthers as you make love in the surf. When you finish much later, you are caked with sand and salt. Struthers holds you. Satisfied and drained, you fall into a deep sleep.
You awaken to something gently tickling your feet. It turns you on. You are lying on the beach beside a crackling bonfire. You laugh as the tickling grows more intense. Struthers is touching your feet with a feather. He begins tickling the inside of your thigh.
“Hold on!” you shout crossly, sitting up. “What the hell is this?” Being tickled awake is your secret erotic fantasy. Only one other person knows about it.
Struthers is startled. “You are mad. I thought you liked being tickled.”
“That’s not the point,” you say guardedly. “How did you know?”
Struthers is pensive for a moment. “I read your mind,” he says. You stare blankly and he continues, “I can also do this.” His face changes to look like yours then changes back. “I am an alien from another planet.”
“I’m supposed to believe that?” you say angrily. When Struthers does not answer, you realize that you do believe it.
You watch Struthers’ face. It now seems strange and sinister. You realize that you are shaking, and you breathe deeply to calm down. “It was too good to be true. You always know what to say. I thought you understood me.”
“I do understand you,” Struthers replies, almost pleading.
“You read my mind and told me what I wanted to hear! That’s worse than lying!”
“I wanted to make you happy. I thought I was doing the right thing. I see now that I made a mistake.” Struthers looks hurt. You feel suddenly sympathetic. “Let’s talk this through,” he says earnestly.
[[Talk it through.|Passion Reconcile]]
[[Get out of here.|Passion Departure]]
You and Struthers hug tenderly for a long time. The starfish climbs across your neck and down your back. You brush it off when it tries to slip into your underwear.
Eventually, you recline on the beach with Struthers beside you. The two of you hold hands and look at the starry sky. As you fall peacefully asleep, Struthers kisses your forehead.
You awaken during the night. Struthers built a fire while you slept. Now he is asleep with his arms around you. You snuggle closer to him and drift back off.
You and Struthers stir at dawn and smile drowsily at each other. You lay peacefully until Struthers kisses you and stands up. He walks up the beach to the woods and returns with handfuls of berries to share.
“Last night was incredible,” Struthers says, delicately spitting out a berry seed.
“Yeah,” you respond dreamily. As you eat the berries, you cannot help getting sticky juice all over your hands and face.
“I suppose it is time to return to the real world,” Struthers murmurs sadly.
“Of course not.” You shake your head. “We’re staying here forever.”
Struthers beams with delight. “I was hoping you would say that!”
A week passes. One day, you and Struthers make a sandcastle. It is sprawling and ornate, but a gust of wind collapses its delicate minarets. Laughing, you both kick the rest of it apart.
Another day, you and Struthers swim far into the ocean. Struthers befriends a female dolphin. The three of you dive and play together. When Struthers tries to leave, the dolphin follows him forlornly back to the island. Is it possible for a dolphin to fall in love with a man? You sympathize with her.
Another day, you teach Struthers to build a kite from twigs and palm fronds. It is not windy enough to fly it, so you set it adrift in the ocean.
Another day, you and Struthers bathe in a fresh water pond. The pond is nestled in a palm forest and fed by a burbling spring. On the shore of the pond, you and Struthers make love for the first time. It is slow and gentle, but intense. Afterward, you lay together blissfully as twilight descends.
“I love you, $name,” Struthers whispers.
“I love you too,” you say wistfully.
“What do you love about me?” Struthers asks. His expression is suddenly anxious.
You consider your answer for a moment. “I don’t know exactly. I just feel so comfortable around you. You treat me like I want to be treated.” You trail off, pondering what else to say. “You know me like I know myself.”
Struthers looks away. “I figured as much.” His peculiar accent that you noticed at the restaurant resurfaces. “I am not who you think.” You raise an eyebrow. “I am not even what you think,” Struthers continues. “I am a being from another planet.”
You laugh but Struthers’ nervous expression is unchanged. Maybe he is serious. “Oh man,” you say. “What have I gotten myself into?”
“I can read your mind, which is why I always know how to make you feel good. I can also change the way I look.” Before your eyes, Struthers’ face melts into the likeness of a young Clint Eastwood. You always thought of Clint Eastwood as ruggedly sexy. How could Struthers know that?
“You read my mind!” you blurt. You are shocked, confused, violated, and filled with wonder. “What do you really look like?”
“Whatever you want.” When Struthers’ face changes back, a sudden realization makes you recoil. His features are an amalgamation of your high school Spanish teacher and your local weather man. You once had crushes on them both.
“Can you still love me?” Struthers asks.
It is nice to be with someone who understands you, even if he has to read your mind to do it. Also, you hate to admit it, but there is appeal to a man who can look however you want.
Struthers’ desire to please you seems sincere. Maybe he is worth getting to know better. “I don’t know if I love you Struthers, but I’m willing find out.”
Struthers clutches you. His tears smear on your face. “Thank you, $name.”
You and Struthers stay on the island for a long time. You have a lot to learn about each other.
“How can I love you? You have no identity! You just turn into whatever you think I want.” As you speak, Struthers watches your eyes. Is he still reading your mind? You get even more upset. “You’re just a reflection of my desires! It’s like loving an imaginary friend or something!”
Struthers’ expression is blank. “I can see that nothing will change how you feel.” You are relieved that he is not arguing. Struthers is strange and frightening to you now.
You are quiet with your thoughts as you leave the island. Struthers swims behind you until you reach shore. “Struthers, I had a nice time. Thanks for that,” you say hesitantly. Struthers smiles sadly and swims away. You feel bad but wonder if he is manipulating you to feel that way.
You find your discarded gown and put it on. It has been chewed by a sea lion. Struthers’ car is missing. It was probably towed or stolen. As you walk back to town, someone pulls over and offers you a ride, but you decline. You have met enough new people for now.
Three months later, you read an article about the discovery of a new species of starfish. It is named after you.
Struthers puts an arm around you. You flinch. He sighs and says, “I am sorry it happened like this. I really like you, but I obviously did not show you in the right way.” He is quiet for a while. You hope he is not reading your mind again. “I never lied to you though. Well… except when I said my accent was South African. That was a lie. I would never use my powers to hurt you though, at least not on purpose.” Struthers kisses you.
“I’m not sure what to think,” you say truthfully.
“It is a beautiful night. For now, let us not think about anything.” Struthers lies back and pulls you down with him.
Maybe it will be easier to think this through tomorrow. Now you are too physically and emotionally exhausted. You lay with Struthers in the sand beside the fire. He falls asleep quickly, but it takes you a while.
You awake at dawn to Struthers stroking the small of your back. You pretend to be asleep until he kisses your neck. You open your eyes and see him smiling sleepily. Regardless of your feelings about his extraterrestrial origin, Struthers is still the most beautiful man you have ever been with.
You and Struthers make love then eat berries and coconuts. You make love several more times that day and even more the next day. Not only is Struthers beautiful, he is an incredible lover. You have never felt so sexually fulfilled. During one marathon session, he changes to look like Clint Eastwood, whom you have always had a crush on. The sex is kinky and fun. When you are not having sex, you and Struthers bask on the beach.
After two days and three nights of nearly constant sex, you are exhausted. The morning of the third day, you and Struthers head home.
You and Struthers exchange some e-mails during the week. You agree to meet next weekend, but you get called into work instead. You and Struthers make vague plans for another date but never decide on anything concrete.
Struthers’ ability to perfectly accommodate your sexual desires is great, but you realize it is not enough to form a lasting relationship. Struthers must realize this too. You and Struthers never go out again. The passionate days on the island are just good memories now. The love you shared burned bright but fast.
“No,” you reply sharply. “I need to think about this. Alone. I’m leaving.”
“I will swim back with you then,” Struthers offers.
“I am going by myself. Please, don’t follow me.”
As you walk away, Struthers looks crushed. You feel bad, but maybe he is reading your mind and manipulating you to feel like that. Instead, you get angry. You think of all the things Struthers did that made you feel good. He took those things from your mind. You do not even know what Struthers really looks like. It is like he is wearing a mask all the time. What a creep!
You do not want to swim to shore in the middle of the night, but you cannot spend another minute with Struthers. As you swim, your racing mind recounts the night’s events. You are mad, scared, disappointed, curious, and a tangle of other emotions that are impossible to sort out.
You reach shore, walk back to town, and catch a cab to your apartment. You sleep fitfully. In your dreams, you and Struthers have sex. He transforms into you, and you have sex with yourself. A dream this disturbing would typically wake you up, but you stay asleep and endure the whole thing. It is awful.
The next day, you ignore an e-mail from Struthers. You force yourself into your normal routine. In a few days, you feel less disturbed. In a few weeks, you have recovered from the traumatic episode.
A year later, you meet a man named Lawrence in a coffee shop. You discover that you both just finished reading the same book and have a nice conversation. You make a date to go hiking at the state park.
You hike and chat, and are having a great time. Lawrence loves the same things you do and for the exact same reasons. Then you have a terrifying realization. This man is actually Struthers. He is pretending to be someone new. You are unsure how you know, but you know without a doubt.
“Get away from me,” you shout. “If I ever see you again I’ll call the police.” You run out of the park. Struthers does not follow.
You do not hear from Struthers again, but you feel uneasy whenever you think about him. You eventually take a new job and move to a different city. This new chapter in your life helps you leave the memory of Struthers behind.
“Hello? I’m at Pier Cove Beach on Highway One. A man has been bitten by a shark. He’s dying!” It takes all your effort to speak coherently. You hang up the phone and cry so hard that you cannot breathe. Struthers holds your hand until the ambulance arrives.
You ride in the back of the ambulance with Struthers and two paramedics. Struthers falls asleep. The paramedics do not seem concerned. One eats a candy bar and drops crumbs in Struthers’ hair. The other asks if you are cold. You are too tired to answer. He puts a blanket on you. You wonder if you are going into shock.
At the hospital, Struthers is wheeled away on a stretcher. You sit in the waiting room, watching all the unhappy people. Hours pass. A teenage-looking doctor approaches. “$name?”
You sit up straight and wipe your tearstained face. “Yes, that’s me. Is everything alright?”
“Mr. Covington lost considerable blood,” the doctor says thoughtfully. “The blood loss may have caused brain damage. He is in a coma.” You are overwhelmed by an intense but ambiguous feeling. Are you happy Struthers is alive or sad that he is in a coma?
“Will he come out of it?”
The doctor must have expected this question, but he pauses in consideration anyway. “We cannot be sure.”
“Okay.” You nod. “I’m leaving now. I’ll come back tomorrow.”
You come back tomorrow, then the next day, then every day for a month. Struthers never stirs. No one else ever visits him. You start visiting only once a week, then once a month, and then you stop visiting altogether.
You leave Struthers to his fate but you never forget him. Years later, you marry a nice man with two wonderful kids. The kids become adults. You get a divorce. One night, you are doing a crossword in bed. The phone rings and you answer it.
“Hey, $name! This is Struthers Covington! I hope you remember me.” Struthers’ voice has the same easygoing charm.
“Oh god,” you whisper. “Of course I remember. What happened to you?”
“I guess it took a while, but I got better,” You can almost hear Struthers’ gentle smile. “I will tell you all about it if you meet me for dinner.” You open your mouth then close it, unsure of what to say. Struthers continues, “How about Valley of the Kings?”
You set down the phone. “I… I can’t believe this!” you shout into the empty room. When you pick up the phone again, Struthers is laughing.
Struthers’ laughter fades away. He says quietly, “I have been in a coma, but somehow, I still missed you.”
“Me too. I can’t wait to see you again.”
You realize that you never returned the ankh necklace you borrowed from your friend. You look forward to wearing it again.
You put your phone away. “Thank you,” Struthers whispers, looking peaceful. You clutch his cool hand. “Help me to the car,” he says.
You lift Struthers to his feet, supporting him as hobbles to the car. You heave him into the passenger seat. Blood smears the car’s interior. The keys have been left in the ignition. You think how unsafe that it is, but then stop yourself. Struthers coughs. “Let’s go for a drive,” he says softly.
You drive away from the beach. “Where should we go?” you ask. As your drive along the ocean on this beautiful night, the horror of the situation momentarily disappears.
“Over there.” Struthers nods to a side road and you turn down it. The road winds into the hills overlooking the coastal highway. You drive in silence for a few minutes. Struthers’ eyes are closed. You wonder if he is dead, but then he speaks. “Stop here.”
You pull off the road. You are on a cliff over the ocean. The splendor of the moonlit water is superlative. Struthers stares sleepily at it. He leans across the seat and rests his head on your shoulder. You cuddle closer to him. His body is cold.
“Thank you for this. I cannot think of a better way to die,” says Struthers. You sob in response. “I love you,” he whispers.
“I…” You start to speak but Struthers interrupts. “Even if you do not love me, just say that you do. That would be perfect right now.”
“I love you, Struthers.” You kiss Struthers. He breathes slower and slower and then dies.
“I am happy,” Struthers says.
You take Struthers’ hand. “Me too,” you say, although you are not sure.
You see Struthers several times a week. Sometimes you go on dates. Mostly you sit at Struthers’ castle and plan the baby’s future. You make most of the decisions about the baby. If he is a boy, he will be named Jonah. You have known two Jonahs and both were well adjusted. If she is a girl, she will be named $name. Women never name children after themselves, which is why you want to.
You are scared of what the alien baby might look like. In private, Struthers wears his alien visage to help you adjust to it. You hope the baby has some human features. You accept that she probably will not have two eyes, but you really hope she has hair.
At ten weeks, your pregnancy is obvious. You tell your friends, family, and co-workers as little about it as possible. They are all curious. None of them even knew you had a boyfriend.
You are overwhelmed by the many unanswered questions about your future. You are a nervous wreck. Should you raise the baby on Earth or Struthers’ home planet? Struthers assures you that the baby will be accepted on his world. Struthers is from Fortuna, an interplanetary melting pot where many alien species live together. You agree that Fortuna sounds good for the baby, but leaving behind everything you know is terrifying.
[[Have the child on Fortuna.|Fortuna Baby]]
[[Have the child on Earth.|Earth Baby]]
“I do not understand.” Struthers watches your eyes, seeking a hint.
“I’m not ready to raise a baby.” You say forcefully. “The pregnancy was an accident. There’s nothing between us now. A baby won’t change that.”
“I see.” Struthers’ gaze is relentless. You avert your eyes. “I will raise him without you then.”
“No!” you blurt. The thought of giving birth to an alien scares you. You want nothing to do with it. “No,” you say again.
“$name, listen—” Struthers leans closer.
You lean away. “No Struthers! I made up my mind. This conversation is over. Drive me home.”
“Not until we are done talking,” Struthers speaks slowly to contain his emotion.
“I’ll call a cab then.” You pull your phone from your purse. Struthers snatches it away. “What the hell? I’ll call the police!” You realize that you cannot call the police without your phone. You get even angrier.
Struthers puts a hand on your shoulder. You slap it away. “Give me my phone! Now!”
Struthers pleads, “We need to finish talking. Please!”
You get out of the car and walk along the road. Struthers follows. You run. He chases. You are no longer mad. Now you are terrified. Struthers grabs you. You try to squirm from his grip. You say through gritted teeth, “Get the fuck off me!” Struthers holds tight. “HELP!” you scream. You are on an isolated road. No one is around.
You kick and elbow Struthers while shouting continuously. He drags you toward the car. You are shocked to see that the car is no longer a car at all. It has transformed into a white metallic orb the size of a cottage. A spaceship! Its open hatch emits milky haze.
“You will have the baby,” Struthers says firmly. “I will raise it with or without you.”
You jam your palm into Struthers’ face. His nose bursts, spilling blood. Blinded by pain, he staggers sideways, clutching his ruined face. He lurches dangerously close to the edge of a cliff.
[[Shove Struthers off the cliff.|Kill Struthers]]
[[Run away.|Struthers Abduction]]
You push Struthers. He stumbles to the cliff edge, wiping his running eyes. You punch him. He tumbles off the cliff.
Panic grips you. You sink to your knees, gasping for breath. You sit on the road beside Struthers’ spaceship and sob until your chest aches.
[[Call the police.|Call Police]]
[[Flee the scene.|Flee Crime]]
You run down the road for a half mile, hoping to see the headlights of an approaching car. Suddenly, a deep warbling sound knocks you over. Struthers’ spaceship hovers above you. You are engulfed by a humming, crackling beam of light. Your paralyzed body levitates into the ship’s belly.
You drift in a spherical chamber. There is no gravity. Struthers swims over to you. His human face is gone but he still wears a turtleneck and chinos. His single-eyed gold-toothed visage looks absurd in the Earthly outfit.
Compartments open in the chamber’s metallic walls. They eject scalpels, needles, hooks, saws and other frightening implements. Struthers uncoils a pale tentacle from the wall. He places its hollow tip over your head. It feels like you are wearing a swim cap. He attaches another tentacle to your breast, another on your foot, and another over your lips. Lukewarm chunky fluid surges into your mouth. It is tasteless but reminds you of canned soup. It gorges you and you fall quickly asleep.
You dream that Struthers’ alien form is just a suit. You unzip it and a handsome man steps out. He performs surgery on you to remove cancer cells. You awake in your bed at home. You are no longer pregnant.
You lay in bed, struggling to recount your experience on Struthers’ spaceship. All that remains are wispy images and vague sensations. You sit up and examine yourself. There is a spiral-shaped scar on your stomach. Struthers has taken the embryo from you.
Struthers is gone and you are no longer pregnant. The nightmare is over, but you do not feel relieved. While you did not want the baby, you are uneasy about having it stolen from you. You cannot make sense of your emotions.
Years later, you still cannot make sense of your emotions. You think constantly about your experiences with Struthers. You have never told anyone about them. Maybe it is time you did.
You make a phone call.
Struthers describes Fortuna with relish. You learn that Fortuna is a planet the size of North America. It is one big ocean speckled with millions of tiny islands. The largest island is around ten miles across, but most are much smaller. A typical island is the size of a house, with a single person or family living on it. The islands are actually floating algae beds. They drift all over, so you can live on one island your whole life and still run into new islands and people.
Fortuna was once a lifeless ocean. Since it has temperate weather and a good location, immigrants moved there from many other planets. They brought plants and animals. Now Fortuna has the most diverse ecosystem in the galaxy. There is life from a thousand different worlds.
Struthers constantly tells you anecdotes about Fortuna. His home is on an island covered with fungal forests and he lives inside of a hollow mushroom stalk. He shares the island with a family of koala-like marsupials. No one on his island eats meat, but they grow a tuber that tastes like pork. Fortuna’s water is highly oxygenated so most species can breathe it.
It is hard to imagine this strange Eden-like world.
A month before the baby is due, you prepare to leave Earth. You write letters to your family and friends, explaining the whole story of you and Struthers. For something of this magnitude, a handwritten letter seems more appropriate than an e-mail. As Struthers’ spaceship escapes Earth’s gravity, you realize that you forgot to put the letters in the mail.
The spaceship passes through the ancient warp gate that connects your galaxy and Struthers’. You think of the incredible adventures ahead of you on Fortuna, but raising your child will be the biggest adventure of all.
Being an alien on Earth will be a struggle for your child. You know it is selfish, but you cannot bear to leave. You explain this to Struthers.
“Our family will never have a normal life,” says Struthers.
“I’m sorry!” You are filled with guilt.
“Whatever challenges we face, we will overcome them as a family.” Struthers puts his arm around your shoulders and pulls you close. “Maybe I should go public.”
If Struthers goes public, your family would be global celebrities. None of you would ever have privacy again. On the other hand, you hate to imagine your child being forced to live a life of secrecy.
[[Go public.|Go Public]]
[[Live a life of secrecy.|Secret Life]]
Struthers thoughtfully strokes his chin. “Where should we go?” He immediately answers his own question. “Egypt 2500 B.C. We are already dressed for the occasion.” He glances at your ankh necklace.
You imagine being enslaved, bitten by a cobra, or dying from thirst in the desert. “Okay,” you agree hesitantly.
Struthers manipulates the spaceship’s control desk. You are suddenly flying in the night sky above an Egyptian city. Stone temples, mud homes, and hide tents are packed together. Twinkling torches light the scene. “Unbelievable,” you murmur. Your former misgivings are gone.
Struthers flies closer. Farmers, merchants, slaves, soldiers, scribes, and nobles walk the streets. Struthers lands the spaceship atop a stone building. You disembark. The transparent ship is nearly invisible.
You and Struthers walk along a bustling street. There is a celebration happening throughout the city. People eat, drink, and dance in the night air. Musicians, magicians, soothsayers, and storytellers perform and people offer them food and alcohol. Struthers’ hand is around your waist. When you pass through a shadowy alley, he kisses your ear.
You are in a wealthy district of the city. The well-dressed people here are attended by entourages of slaves. Struthers stops in front of a mansion. Inside, a party is in full swing. “This looks interesting,” he says. He approaches a burly naked guard at the mansion’s entrance. Struthers speaks to him in Egyptian. The guard stands aside to admit you.
“How did you speak to him? Do have some kind of translator gadget?”
Struthers smiles broadly. “I actually speak Egyptian. Rather badly though. I told him I am a merchant and am eagerly expected at the party.”
The mansion is extravagant. Murals decorate the walls. Thick rugs cover the floors. Attractive nobles lounge around, drinking and smoking. Many are undressed and this party looks like it could easily become an orgy. Servants and musicians are everywhere and the din is overwhelming. You recall your dinner at Valley of the Kings. This is nothing like that sterile version of Egypt.
You eye an imperiously beautiful woman. She is naked and sweaty but somehow still looks regal. Struthers has taken off his shirt. He hands you a bowl of oily wine, kisses you, and whispers something you do not hear. You sip the wine. It tastes like lighter fluid. You sip some more. It tastes like lighter fluid infused with prunes.
You and Struthers mingle with the crowd. You are hot and want to take your gown off but do not want to be naked in a crowd of strangers. Maybe after another drink. Struthers is struggling to converse with a handsome princely man. The man ogles you unashamedly. You wave and give him a big smile.
An hour passes. The strong wine and Sturthers’ roaming hands have you feeling pretty good. “I have an idea,” Struthers says in your ear.
“Me too. Let’s grab a jug of wine and see if there’s a swimming pool.” You wrap your arms around Struthers and kiss his throat.
“That sounds great,” Struthers sighs. “There is something I want to do first.” He looks mischievous.
Struthers leads you out of the mansion and back to the spaceship. As you walk, your hands and lips are all over each other. In the city’s darkened plazas, you pass other amorous inebriated couples. It must be a night for love.
You and Struthers board the spaceship and fly across the desert. You jet past the Pyramid of Khufu and land on the Great Sphinx of Giza. Leaving the ship, you both climb atop the Sphinx’s head.
The Sphinx’s limestone body looks brand new. Struthers pulls a pen from his pocket. A laser projects from the end, cutting the stone. Struthers engraves, “$name and Struthers” and surrounds the text with a heart. The laser chisels deep into the statue. The message will be there forever. You and Struthers kiss passionately.
You are interrupted by a thunderous boom. Another spaceship materializes besides Struthers’. It is encased in reflective black lacquer. A squad of humanoids surges from the hatch. They wear dark armor and brandish strange objects that are probably weapons, but look like musical instruments or kitchen appliances.
“Damn!” Struthers mutters. “The Time Police!”
“Who?” You mirror Struthers’ panic.
“I told you time travel was illegal. We need to run.”
An armored humanoid speaks with a robotic voice. “Surrender or experience Time Eradication.”
Struthers grips your arm. “It is now or never,” he whispers.
“It is dangerous,” Struthers agrees, “and space holds wonders that make time travel pale in comparison.”
The transparent spaceship glides out of the atmosphere. There is only one chair so you sit in Struthers’ lap. When he speaks, his breath tickles the back of your neck.
As you traverse the cosmos, Struthers hints mysteriously at the marvels of his home planet Fortuna. He describes landmarks with enticing names like the Fragrant Ocean, the Crystal Geyser, and Forest of Bells. You are only half listening. You are distracted by the glittering sea of stars and Struthers’ hand gently rubbing your thigh.
The Sun is growing brighter and brighter. “It’s hot as hell in here.” You wipe the sweat off your neck.
“We must pass through a warp gate near the Sun.” Struthers tosses his jacket aside and opens his shirt. He smells pleasantly musky. “You must be uncomfortable in that gown,” he says suggestively, and then laughs.
You might blush if you were not already flushed from the heat. The Sun looks huge. “Are we traveling at the speed of light?” you ask. You slip your shoes off.
“Not even close. We have to be careful though. At this speed, Earth and the Sun are only an hour apart. If we miss our turn…” He kisses the nape of your neck. “…we will be incinerated.”
The Sun is blinding now. Struthers offers you some sunglasses from his shirt pocket. You decline. He puts them on. You close your eyes instead. Struthers continues kissing your neck. One of his fingers brushes up and down your spine. You are both oily with sweat. You take his free hand and press it against your face, kissing his salty palm.
You turn to face Struthers, straddling his lap. He gasps softly in surprise. You try to kiss him but miss since your eyes are closed. You try again and are successful. He kisses you back. Neither of you stop for a long time.
Struthers unzips the back of your gown. His hands massage your lower back. You break away from his kiss. “Why is there gravity?” you ask.
“It is artificial.”
“Can you turn it off?”
Struthers raises his arm. Suddenly, you are floating in each other’s arms. You undo Struthers’ belt and slide his pants off. He slips your gown off. You both tumble and whirl in zero gravity. You are naked together, kissing and spinning in air.
[[“Wait a minute! Who’s driving this thing?”|Lost Space]]
[[Experience ecstasy.|Sun Sex]]
You and Struthers dash toward Struthers’ spaceship as the Time Police fire their weapons. The air is filled with buzzing, warbling, and shrieking, but you make it into the ship. Struthers operates the control desk.
You are suddenly flying in a sunlit sky. Through the spaceship’s transparent walls, you look down on a snowy mountain speckled with mud huts and stone monoliths. Struthers breathes heavily. “I made a quick hop to Tibet 500 BC. The Time Police will be here soon. We have to put some more distance between them and us. Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere they won’t find us.” You are shaking.
Struthers touches the controls and scenes flash rapidly past the spaceship. African cavemen battle an elephant. Aztec priests mummify a body. Extravagantly dressed Portuguese nobles dance at a ball. In an icy wasteland, plastic ziggurats tower into space.
The spaceship stops above a medieval citadel. Peasants toil in the surrounding fields. “That should confuse them.” Struthers looks satisfied. “We are in England, sometime in the middle ages.”
You hug Struthers, expelling your nervous energy by squeezing him as tightly as possible. He kisses you gently. “We are safe now,” he says.
Struthers lands the spaceship in a dense forest. When you exit, it turns invisible again. On a path in the woods, you and Struthers encounter a courier boy. Questioning him, you discover that you are actually in Scotland. Struthers tells the boy that you are members of a noble house, separated from your entourage in a barbarian raid.
The boy escorts you to a nearby town and introduces you to some young nobles. That evening, you and Struthers are dressed in finery and sharing a banquet with your new friends. Struthers is given a gift of gold coins and you stay in a fine inn.
You and Struthers lay in bed. With all the time travel, you are uncertain how many hours you have been awake, but you are exhausted. “I am sorry about all this,” Struthers says softly. You murmur sleepily in response. He continues, “We can never stop running from the Time Police. You deserve a better life than this.”
“It’s okay.” You do not want to be a fugitive, but at least you will be with Struthers.
For weeks, you and Struthers travel Scotland, conning people and living a life of privilege. It is like a honeymoon, but you never forget that you are criminals on the run.
The Time Police catch up to you. You escape to nineteenth century Australia and make a fortune in a gold rush. The Time Police arrive and you flee again. You spend the gold to masquerade as socialites in 1960s New York. The Time Police find you and chase you to ancient India, feudal Japan, and eighteenth century Paris.
As fugitives, you and Struthers develop a tight relationship of dependence, respect, and love. You rely completely on each other as your cons grow increasingly elaborate. Struthers knows many languages and easily learns new ones. He is also a masterful liar, but never to you.
Always one step ahead of the law, you live a life of luxury with the man you love.
“Struthers!” you hiss nervously. “They’ll shoot us!” Proving your point, a Time Policeman fires his trumpet-like weapon at you. You are blasted by a wave of sound.
Your body feels like it is encased in concrete and you cannot move. Neither can Struthers. The Time Policeman addresses him, “You are charged with the following crimes: ownership of a time travel device, operation of a time travel device, defacing a historical monument, and intent to avoid arrest. You are sentenced to one thousand subjective years in Time Stasis.”
“A thousand years! That is—” Struthers is cut short as the Time Policemen lashes him with a thin silver whip. Struthers is rigid for a moment and then collapses, sobbing and muttering
The Time Policeman faces you. You say, “Let’s be reasonable here. I didn’t even know time travel was possible, much less illegal.” You watch Struthers blubber pathetically. You have no idea what happened to him but it looks bad.
“Ignorance of the law is…” The Time Policeman’s robotic voice trails off wearily. “Oh, forget it. Two hundred years Time Stasis for you.” He strikes you with the whip.
Everything freezes in place. The Time Police, Struthers, the sky, and the sand are all motionless. The world has been put on pause, including you.
You ponder the situation for an indeterminate period and begin to understand Time Stasis. You will be frozen in a single instant of time for two hundred years. When your sentence is up, time will resume as normal and you will not have missed a moment. You will be the same age, and your friends and family will never realize what happened.
In some ways, Time Stasis is more humane than prison. Except that doing nothing but thinking for two hundred years will probably drive you insane.
Struthers releases you and moves to the spaceship’s control desk. “Oh no,” he says quietly.
“I was not paying attention. We are way off course.” Struthers hurriedly operates the controls.
“It was probably worth it,” you say. The temperature diminishes as the Sun recedes. “At least we didn’t burn up in the Sun.”
“The situation is bad,” Struthers mutters distractedly. “We wasted a lot of fuel. There is only one planet we can reach. It is not very hospitable either.”
“Let’s just go back to Earth,”
“It is out of range. We have to enter the warp gate.” Struthers looks sorrowfully into your eyes. “I am sorry I got you into this mess.”
The blackness of space is replaced by watery silver radiance. “We are in the warp gate,” Struthers says tensely. The scene is beautiful but you are too worried to enjoy it. You want to pace, but in zero gravity all you can do is spin.
You and Struthers fly through the silvery realm. You are both still naked. For thirty minutes, you watch the glistening horizon. Struthers frets over the controls. At one point, he whispers, “How could I have been so stupid?”
The spaceship emerges back into space. A pale planet looms nearby. Its cracked surface is webbed with chasms, and storms of fiery light flicker across its surface. “Is that where we’re going?” you ask. It looks terrible.
“Yes, I am sorry to say.” Struthers guides the spaceship toward the planet. “According to the ship’s computer, it is an unnamed arctic waste inhabited only by barbarian tribes.” He smiles sardonically. “At least the air is breathable.”
“What are our chances of being rescued?”
“Nonexistent.” Struthers hugs you, holding you for a long time. You let a small sob escape. “At least we have each other,” he says, stroking your hair. “We’ll make the best life we can here.”
You nod, dismissing your self-pity. “Let’s do this.”
The spaceship enters the planet’s atmosphere. You are thrown around as the vessel is battered by gales and bursts of lightning. Struthers opens a compartment in the control desk and unfurls some rubbery suits. “We have to wear these. We will freeze otherwise.” He also hands you a pistol and a quiver of cruel looking harpoons.
“What the hell is this for?” You distastefully examine the weaponry.
“The welcoming committee.” Struthers gestures downward. The spaceship is descending toward an icy crag. A party of insectoid barbarians waits in ambush.
Your new life will be a struggle for survival, but you are ready to face it with Struthers by your side.
You open your legs and Struthers slides into you. The Sun is broiling hot. White light pierces your eyelids. He thrusts deeply and you grind your hips into his. In zero gravity, his rapid strokes bounce you against the walls. A warning klaxon blares in the cockpit, but your scream of pleasure is even louder.
Your climax is hard and sudden. You convulse, clutching Struthers and digging your nails into his back. His skin opens up like cooked meat, peeling away in your hands. You open your eyes but everything is white. You are still in the throes of your orgasm, but the pain is overcoming the pleasure.
You and Struthers are incinerated by the blazing Sun.
You send Xavier an e-mail and tell him about yourself. “I love new experiences.” “I’m not actually rich.” “I can tap dance.” You ask about him. “What do you do for fun?” “What is your favorite movie?” “If the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do on your last day alive?”
Xavier’s response is unsatisfying. “Forget all this small talk. Let’s meet up and explore the big picture.”
You would typically never date a man you did not know anything about, but you joined Silver Spooning to meet unusual people. Xavier seems to fit the bill. You arrange a date at Xavier’s condo since he refuses to meet in public. He lives in an ultra-swanky high-rise. His secrecy makes you wonder if he is a celebrity. You hope not because you do not like most celebrities.
Date night comes. You tell a friend where you are going. “If you don’t hear from me by noon tomorrow, I’ve been kidnapped or murdered,” you say jokingly. You do, however, stow a stun gun in your purse.
You stand in front of your closet, debating what to wear.
[[Put on something nice.|Nice Clothes]]
[[Put on something sexy.|Sexy Clothes]]
You wear a cardigan sweater and khaki slacks—a conservative and androgynous choice. You are going to Xavier’s condo and do not want this date to seem like a casual encounter more than it already does
You take a cab to Xavier’s building. You enter the exquisite lobby, speak with an immaculate doorman, and ride the elevator to Xavier’s penthouse condo. You knock on the door before realizing that you are twenty minutes early.
A cheerful voice answers, “$name! Welcome! Come on in!”
You open the door and step into a luxurious condo. It is modern, spacious, and spotless. Hanging on the wall is a colorful formalist painting, a jigsaw puzzle of dogs playing poker, a framed Herbie Hancock album, and a <i>Star Wars</i> poster.
“Hi!” you call into the apparently empty condo. “I’m early. I guess I didn’t notice the time.” You enter the living room, admiring a view of the city through a huge picture window. A wading pool full of water is set in the floor surrounded by couches and armchairs. “Uh, where are you?”
From somewhere in the room, Xavier responds, “This is the hardest part of the date. Once it’s over, I promise we’ll have fun.”
You look around but do not see anyone. “Yeah, okay.” You are getting creeped out. “So, what happens now?”
You are startled as the wading pool suddenly roils like a hot tub. The water bubbles six feet high and takes a humanoid form. It says, “Hello! I’m Xavier. It’s great to meet you.”
“Oh!” you gasp. Stepping backward, you bump into a coffee table and knock a flaming candle onto the Persian rug. The rug burns until Xavier hurls a globe of water at it. You gaze, mouth open, Xavier’s liquid body.
“Well, there you have it. I’m an alien slime mold.” As he talks, Xavier’s head ripples. “You are free to run whenever you recover.”
You take a few minutes to stare and hyperventilate. Xavier settles into his pool, becoming formless. “I’m fine now,” you say. You approach the pool and offer your trembling hand. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Xavier’s slimy touch makes your skin tingle. It is like soothing lotion, but you still shudder at the alien contact. “I hope you weren’t attached to that rug,” you say awkwardly.
“Forget about it. I want to replace that rug with a polar bear skin anyway,” Xavier replies. He bubbles as he laughs. When you do not laugh, he stops abruptly. “Did you want something to drink?”
“God, yes.” You slump onto a couch.
Xavier’s tendril takes a wine bottle from a cabinet and fills two glasses. You take your glass and drain it. Xavier tips his into the pool, absorbing the wine into his body.
“So, you’re a real alien then?” After you say it, you realize how stupid it sounds.
“Yup, but I came to Earth pretty young. I spent most of my life in Kansas. I think of myself as an American more than an alien.
You laugh, relaxing a little. “So what does an alien-American do for fun?”
“I like reading, movies, jigsaw puzzles, and I really like board games. I don’t have many people to play them with though. Being a slime is a little lonely. I hang out with my chauffeur a lot. It’s kind of sad, because I pay him, but he’s actually really cool.”
“Board games are fun.” You have not played a board game since you were a kid, but playing checkers with an alien might be an interesting experience.
Xavier refills your wine glass. “Tell me about you.”
You talk about your job, which you do not care about. You talk about a party where you did something embarrassing. You describe a novel you read, which was a romance about mermaids. You explain how much you enjoy swimming and Xavier makes a playful innuendo about joining him in the pool.
Xavier is a great conversationalist. Through his interesting and funny interjections, you learn about him. He is a shrewd investor and extravagantly rich. To protect his alien identity, he has few friends, but he is very close with his chauffeur, his secretary, and the pizza delivery guy.
Following a story about the pizza delivery guy’s pregnant girlfriend, Xavier asks, “Are you hungry?”
“Sure,” you reply, “but don’t ask what I want. Just decide for me.”
“Can do. I’ll order something.” Xavier picks up his phone and taps on it. “Get ready,” he says excitedly.
For the next hour, various delivery people leave food at Xavier’s door. Assuming humanoid form, Xavier carries in a dozen bags. “I do not cook much,” Xavier explains, unwrapping a feast of finger food from around the world. There are spring rolls, dolmades, bacon-stuffed dates, chicharrones, oysters, rocky mountain oysters, and some shrimp cocktail.
You and Xavier eat at the coffee table. Xavier drops bits of food into his pool where they quickly dissolve. He also absorbs all the plastic bags. “I get nutrients from certain petroleum based products,” he explains.
After a lot of wine, you and Xavier get pretty friendly. His tendril touches you at every opportunity. You enjoy his slippery caresses.
You and Xavier play backgammon. As he describes the game’s probabilities, you realize that he is a mathematical genius. He beats you five times in a row, but you are pleased that he did not let you win.
You and Xavier have been chatting and playing games for hours. Glancing at your watch, you are surprised to see it is past midnight. “I should go,” you say reluctantly.
Xavier steps from his pool in humanoid form. “Let’s go out on the balcony for a nightcap.”
On the dark balcony, you and Xavier sip cognac. You gaze at the twinkling city lights and the big moon over the ocean. You are happy, tired, and a little drunk. The snifter of cognac slips from your hand and plummets forty stories.
You snuggle against Xavier and he soaks into your clothes. You say languidly, “I had a good time tonight. I’m sorry I burnt your rug.” You start laughing. “I’m also sorry that I just dropped my glass off your balcony."
In response, Xavier’s body engulfs you, drenching you in cool slime. As the liquid floods between your lips, you realize that Xavier is kissing you. You bury your head and arms deep in his body. His liquid suction seems to kiss every part of you he touches.
Xavier pulls gently away. His head swirls into a smile. “Let’s get you home.”
After saying goodbye, you catch a cab home and try to sleep.
The next morning, you drink tea and think about Xavier. He seems like a great guy, but dating a slime has many complications. You can never go out. He can never meet your friends and family. You probably cannot have kids. You wonder if the relationship has a future.
[[Give Xavier a shot.|Date Xavier]]
[[Break it off.|Break Up Xavier]]
You choose a tight-fitting black dress that you have not worn in years. Your old boyfriend was a cold fish. You want to be sure that your new boyfriend is not. You do not usually wear much makeup but tonight you put on cherry red lipstick.
You catch a cab to Xavier’s building. You spent twenty minutes finding the lipstick and you are running late. You enter the exquisite lobby, speak with an immaculate doorman who could be an underwear model, and ride the elevator to Xavier’s penthouse condo. The elevator opens into an antechamber dominated by an abstract sculpture that reminds you of a burning helicopter. Across the room is a towering mahogany door. It is slightly ajar with a note taped to it. Sloppy handwriting reads, “Come on in.”
Entering Xavier’s condo, you are assailed by a musky odor. It is like sweat, leather, and fungi. In college, you dated a sleazy guy who wore this pheromone cologne that supposedly turned women on. This odor reminds you of that, except it does not smell like a locker room.
You stand in the entryway admiring the condo’s luxurious décor. Eventually, you call out, “Hello!”
A cheerful voice comes from another room. “$name! You made it! I’m in here.” The voice sounds wet, as if it is coming from behind a waterfall.
You walk into the living room. A huge window looks over the city and the ocean beyond. Leather couches and chairs surround a glass coffee table. A small wading pool is built into the floor.
“You have a pool in your living room,” you say with amusement.
“Sort of.” The voice is inside the room but you do not see anyone.
“Are you hiding?”
“Not really.” The water in the pool ripples. “I’m in the pool.”
You peer into the pool. The water is aqua green and gelatinous, like toothpaste. “No you aren’t,” you say crossly. You are getting annoyed by this silly game.
The water undulates. A liquid tendril rises from the pool. Its end forms into a hand which hovers in front of you, waiting to be shaken. “I’m Xavier. Pleased to meet you.”
You recoil, knocking over a chair. “God damn! You’re a slime monster!” Paralyzing terror prevents you from fleeing.
“Yup. I’m an extraterrestrial slime mold,” Xavier replies calmly. “In any case, I’m glad you came.”
You are overcome by panic and Xavier’s powerful musk. You momentarily faint, but Xavier’s tendril catches you and eases you into a chair. His cool slippery touch is repulsive, but as his hand presses into the small of your back, you experience an inexplicable thrill.
“Your Silver Spooning profile said that you like new experiences.” Xavier says jokingly. “Well, here I am.” You silently attempt to make sense of this situation. “Let’s try starting over,” Xavier suggests. “I’m Xavier. It’s nice to meet you $name. You’re the first person to respond to my profile, so I’m pretty excited.”
You partially recover your wits and manage to smile. “It’s… uh… great to meet you Xavier.” Trembling, you offer your hand. Xavier holds onto it a little too long as his liquid fingers massage their way past your wrist . Your skin tingles pleasantly.
“Would you like a drink? I’ve got wine or some… tea.” The way Xavier says tea inspires curiosity.
“I’ll have tea.” The teapot and mugs are on the coffee table. You help yourself.
“I should tell you, that’s not really regular tea.”
“Nothing about this date is regular. Why should the tea be any different?” You pour some.
“Yeah, well…” Xavier says. You are already drinking the tea. It is flowery and spicy.
You sit by Xavier’s pool and sip the tea. You try to make small talk, but it is difficult because you have never talked to a slime. You ask where Xavier is from. He was born on the planet Exodar, but spent his childhood in Kansas.
Xavier questions you. Where did you grow up? What do you do for a living? What do you do for fun? He listens intently, relating to your stories and laughing at your jokes. You feel more comfortable, and before you know it, you are venting about your old boyfriend. You realize that is pretty tacky on a first date, but you get carried away. Xavier rests a sympathetic tendril on your knee.
As you talk, the room gets warmer. Xavier’s tendril seems to send an electric current through you. You are exhilarated and unexpectedly aroused.
“Was that tea drugged?” you ask.
“Not exactly. It contains a natural aphrodisiac. It’s actually a chemical that I secrete as part of my metabolic process.” Xavier’s gross response turns you on even more. You slip your shoe off and dip your foot in the pool. The slime caresses you.
“Why don’t you just climb in here?” Xavier asks.
[[Get in the pool.|Pool Sex]]
[[Act coy.|Balcony Sex]]
You slither out of your dress and into the pool. As Xavier’s viscous body engulfs you, it is like sinking into a bath of warm lotion. His musky fragrance is so strong that you can taste it. The liquid flows over your chest, massaging every part of you. You have never felt this physically intimate with another person.
“Relax,” Xavier gurgles. You are tense and ticklish from the overwhelming pleasure. You recline against the side of the pool. Gently, Xavier’s liquid floods all your openings. Even your skin feels permeated. You shudder from the penetration. Moments ago, entering Xavier’s pool was just foreplay. Suddenly it has become the most intense sexual experience of your life. You have an orgasm.
Being surrounded by Xavier, you feel like you are part of him. You slip beneath his surface and the slime sensually caresses you. When you try to resurface, you cannot. You are being held under, and you begin suffocating. On the brink of asphyxiation, stars fill your vision and you climax again. Your mouth opens and liquid fills your lungs, but somehow you breathe it like air. You drift exhaustedly to the bottom of the pool and eventually fall asleep.
You wake up to the morning sun sparkling through Xavier’s body. You reluctantly climb from the pool. Dripping ooze puddles at your feet as you look uncertainly around the condo. Sleeping with a man you just met is always awkward, even more so when he is an alien slime.
“Good morning,” Xavier says languidly.
“Hello!” You laugh a little uncomfortably. “Do you even sleep?”
“I sort of go into a trance, but I’m still awake. It’s hard to explain since we don’t even share the same senses. That’s kind of a complex subject for right now. Do you want breakfast?”
“Sure!” You walk into Xavier’s immaculate kitchen and casually rummage through his cupboards. For an alien, he has some pretty average food—cereal, croutons, yogurt, instant Indian food, cans of coconut milk. You pour a glass of orange juice and eat an orange. You are about to ask Xavier how he eats. Instead you ask, “Can you… you know… get off during sex?”
Xavier provides a fairly scientific explanation of his sexual process. Basically, his whole body acts as a sex organ. Sexual intercourse and reproduction are entirely unrelated for his species. If only humans were like that.
After eating, you say goodbye to Xavier and promise to call. You catch a cab home and shower off his residue. You intend to play hard to get and call him tomorrow, but you cannot stop thinking about him. You call him a few hours later. You meet Xavier again that night for another steamy encounter. You stay through the next day, further exploring his physiology.
Sunday night, you go home and sleep in your bed. You have erotic dreams of drowning. You wake up in the morning, desperate to see Xavier. You force yourself to go to work, but pay him a surprise visit immediately after. You spend another night with him and call into work the next day, and then the next.
Your obsession with Xavier is entirely physical. You have always liked sex, but you have never been so fixated on it. Your relationship is not just sexually fulfilling, it is addictive. On the third day of ceaseless lovemaking, you realize you have a problem. Following a strenuous series of orgasms, you have a lucid moment and express your concern to Xavier.
Xavier’s voice is wispy. The week of constant sex has drained him. “When we have sex, I put out a pheromone. I guess it’s possible that you’re hooked on it.”
“So I’m a junkie,” you say.
“The good news is that the pheromone is harmless. It’s not like alcohol or coke or anything.”
[[“Addiction won’t rule my life.”|Break Addiction]]
[[Let addiction rule your life.|Xavier Addiction]]
“I don’t know…” Thinking of sinking into the pool turns you on, but you want Xavier to take initiative.
“Alright then. I’ll come to you.” Xavier overflows the pool. His gelatinous bulk rises into a humanoid shape. You are excited and a little nervous as he scoops you into his arms. He carries you through the condo, stripping away your clothing. On the balcony, he lays you on a lounge chair. You make love high above the city lights.
Sex with Xavier is immersive. His slimy body engulfs you, simultaneously probing all your erogenous zones, including some you did not know you had. Afterward, Xavier sleeps on top of you like a cool blanket.
The next morning, you and Xavier make love again and then you go home. You chat on the phone later and arrange another date. You have another fun evening together, and you start seeing him several times a week. You like Xavier a lot. The sex is incredible, plus he is a really nice guy with a laidback attitude. Sometimes you forget he is from a different planet.
Entering Xavier’s condo, you announce, “Hello dear!” Xavier is silent in his pool. He hands you his phone with a slimy tendril. It displays a photo of you and Xavier having sex on his balcony. The snapshot was taken from far away with a telephoto lens.
“I got this e-mail today.” You have never heard Xavier sound solemn before. “It’s from a journalist named Red Hall.” He says ‘journalist’ in a disparaging way that obviously means ‘sleazy tabloid reporter’. “He wants to sell me the photo for $500,000.”
“Tell him to sell it to a tabloid,” you reply coolly. “We’re adults in love. We don’t need to be ashamed.”
“I wish it was that simple,” Xavier sighs. “If that photo gets out, people will know I’m an alien. We’ll never have a moment of peace again.”
“Damn,” you mutter.
“I can pay Mr. Hall the money, no problem. But he’ll only keep extorting me.”
[[“Let’s go where no one will ever find us.”|Xavier Escape]]
[[“Let me handle Red Hall.”|Browbeat Red]]
“Okay!” Xavier replies with enthusiasm. “But where?”
“The Pitcairn Islands! Only sixty people live there and they all have the same last name.”
“That’s tempting,” Xavier bubbles pensively, “but we would never be accepted there.” He is quiet for a moment. “This will sound insane, but hear me out. I can sort of…” He trails off, churning nervously. “…see the future. That’s how I made all my money investing. That’s also why I signed up for Silver Spooning. I knew I would meet the love of my life.”
Xavier’s declaration of love is sudden, but it makes you feel good.
“I’ve had a premonition that’s been nagging me for years,” Xavier says. “Pretty soon, everyone is going to die from a plague. I built a huge subterranean complex in Kansas and stocked it with enough supplies for a hundred years. I didn’t plan to go there until I knew the plague was coming, but let’s go now. Mr. Hall can sell that damn photo to whomever he wants. No one will ever find us.”
You stare slack jawed. Xavier sounds so crazy! Then again, he is an alien. Maybe he really can see the future.
[[“Let’s go.”|Xavier Shelter]]
“What are you going to do?” Xavier says anxiously.
“Don’t worry about it.” You sound confident and determined, but you actually have no idea.
That night, you lay restlessly on Xavier’s couch. Xavier jiggles in a meditative trance. You watch him fondly as you consider the situation.
A private detective could dig up some dirt on Red Hall. If you knew one of Red’s nasty secrets, you could blackmail him. As a seedy tabloid reporter, he must have some skeletons in his closet. Then again, to be blackmailed requires a sense of shame.
The next day, you call a private detective and explain what you want. Wary of your unsavory scheme and desperate demeanor, the detective declines the job but refers you to another detective named Al Hungry.
Al is an old ex-cop with a bad attitude and nothing to lose. His private investigator license is suspended but this has not stopped him. He meets you at his “office”, which is actually his apartment, and propositions you. You forcefully refuse. He agrees to take your job. His rates are cheap—maybe too cheap. You pay him extra to work fast.
Two days later, Al reports on Red’s sordid life. He has an estranged wife and kid who hate him, he is addicted to porn, and he owes a bookie some money. None of this seems sufficient to keep him quiet about Xavier.
For a nominal fee, Al offers to give Red a little “physical coercion”.
Xavier shrivels. “Damn. I knew you were going to say that. I guess that was another premonition.”
“I need time to think,” you say. You leave Xavier’s condo, unsure if you will ever return.
Several days later, the photograph of you and Xavier appears on a tabloid website and spreads rapidly across the internet. Xavier e-mails you. “I’m going into hiding now. I’m sorry things did not work out, but I hope I’ll see you again.” The message contains GPS coordinates to Xavier’s subterranean complex in Kansas.
Reporters quickly discover your identity and begin hounding you. “You might be the first human to have sex with an alien. How does that feel?” “Did Mr. Lopez show you his flying saucer?” “Were you with him for love or money?” Annoyed and humiliated, you hide in your house. Your phone and doorbell ring constantly.
News spreads of a deadly disease in Guatemala and Mexico. Soon, a family in Arizona gets sick and a young boy dies. The Center for Disease Control launches an investigation. The virus is called Goat Flu since it allegedly originated from contaminated goat’s milk. It is highly contagious and almost always fatal. Cases multiply through the United States and Canada. As people die in droves, the reporters forget all about you.
Cross country travel is forbidden. On your way to Kansas, you crash through numerous quarantine blockades. At Xavier’s coordinates, you find vault door installed in a hill. You press the doorbell and are relieved to hear Xavier’s voice from an intercom. “$name?” he asks hopefully.
“I’m so sorry.” You are suddenly crying.
The door hisses open and you enter the bunker. Xavier holds you tightly. “Don’t apologize. I’m so happy to see you again.”
You spend peaceful days together as the world dies above.
Then you get a cold. Sores erupt around mouth and inside your nose. A week later, Xavier is sick too. His gelatinous body becomes dark and crusty. You must have brought the virus with you.
You lay with Xavier in his pool. “I really screwed up,” you mumble through swollen lips.
“I’m just… glad we’re… together,” Xavier gurgles weakly.
Xavier dies later that day. You lay helplessly in his drying remains. You will join him soon.
You and Xavier stay up all night feverishly planning for your future. You will live protected from the plague in Xavier’s hundred acre complex of sealed caverns. It has a geothermal vent to provide energy, a natural spring for water, and a garden for food and oxygen. There is no internet access, but there are lots of books, DVDs, board games, and jigsaw puzzles.
Three days later, you and Xavier move into the complex. You live happily together, making love and enjoying the stockpile of fine food and drink.
On your one year anniversary, you and Xavier have a dinner of canned pears (your favorite), canned caviar (Xavier’s favorite), and a freshly killed bat. You ask, “How will we know when the plague happens?”
“I considered that problem,” Xavier replies, “but decided it is best not to know. It would be really depressing to see news of everyone else dying. And even when humanity is extinct, we’ll never really know if it is safe to leave the complex.”
“I suppose that makes sense.” You spit out one of the bat’s whisker-like ribs and smile suddenly. “Guess what! I made a pie for desert!” You fetch the pie. In its center is a single candle to represent your first year with Xavier.
Xavier jiggles delightedly.
Al calls at 3 a.m. to assure you that Red “won’t bug you again”. You do not ask more.
You tell Xavier what happened. Your ruthlessness impresses and disturbs him, but he is thankful. You are nervous that Red might still sell the photo, or that you could be arrested. Weeks pass without incident and you begin to feel better.
You and Xavier spend lots of time together and have a passionate and devoted relationship. Sometimes, when you get really angry, Xavier seems afraid of you. He knows what you are capable of and it frightens him.
You and Xavier never again have sex outdoors.
“No!” you say with disgust. You are ashamed that you ever got involved with a sleazy person like Al.
Days later, the photograph of you and Xavier appears on a tabloid website and spreads rapidly across the internet. Xavier’s condo building is besieged by reporters, but his high security penthouse is thankfully impervious. You shut yourselves in. Xavier orders all the supplies you need (food, toiletries, alcohol, jigsaw puzzles), and they are delivered with an escort of guards.
For the first few months, being trapped in the condo is stressful. You and Xavier work together to handle the pressure. You spend lots of time talking, making love, cooking extravagant meals, reading books, playing board games, and building jigsaw puzzles. Xavier is a great lover and an even better roommate. You grow to love each other deeply.
You live happily with the man you love and enjoy the finest things that can be delivered to your door.
“I’m going cold turkey.” You get out of the pool and get dressed.
As you leave his condo, Xavier says, “I’ll help in any way I can.”
“Thanks,” you reply somberly. “The best thing you can do is stay away.”
You get home and already regret your decision. You go back to Xavier’s. His door is locked and he does not answer. You feel pathetic.
You take a leave of absence from work. The next few days are a nightmare. You lay in a frigid shower, drinking steadily. At night, you quaff cold medicine, but it does not help you sleep. You are feverish and shaky. When you think of Xavier, you do not feel sexual desire. Instead, you feel an overpowering need that physically irritates you. You hallucinate that you are dying from dehydration.
A week passes. You are no longer sick, but now you feel depressed and ashamed. You sit motionless on the couch for hours. When you think about Xavier, it is like he is dead and you are mourning him.
A month passes. You resume your normal life. It is embarrassing to explain to your family and friends why you disappeared for a month. You tell them you were in rehab.
A year later, you give Xavier a call. He asks how you have been. You reply, “I’ve been through hell, but I’m feeling good now.”
You make awkward small talk. Finally, Xavier asks the question you were waiting for. “Will I see you again?”
“Sure.” You wonder if your answer is a demonstration of strength or an admission of weakness? Time will tell.
“Let’s not rush it.” Xavier sounds relieved. “Maybe we can just chat on the phone for a while and really get to know each other. We kind of… started our relationship on the wrong foot.”
You agree. You and Xavier have a lot to learn about each other. You hope that you both like what you discover.
If loving Xavier is wrong, then you do not want to be right.
Your passionate sexual symbiosis with Xavier erases everything else in your life. You cut off your friends and family and spend every moment in his embrace. You stop eating, instead deriving sustenance from his chemical secretions. Like a vampire, he feeds on your ecstasy, becoming just as addicted to you as you are to him. In your constant state of shared sexual bliss, you and Xavier are like one entity. You never leave his pool again.
You return from your trip and visit Xavier. Bursting through his door, you shout, “I’m home!”
“Welcome!” Xavier bubbles happily. “I ordered Thai food.”
“Thank god! I’ve been eating airplane food for three days.”
On the dining room table is an array of Thai takeout. You heap curry and spinach-filled dumplings into a bowl. You sit on the couch and dump a few spoonfuls into Xavier’s pool.
Crunching into a dumpling, you cry out in pain. “Damn!” You probe tenderly around your mouth with your tongue. Your tooth is cracked. An enormous diamond ring falls out of the dumpling into the bowl. “What the hell?” You lift the ring up, which is now smeared with curry. “Xavier!” you gasp with pleasant surprise.
“Will you marry me?” Xavier asks.
“Of course!” You kneel beside Xavier’s pool, dipping in your arms and face to hug him. “I’m so happy,” you mumble through the excruciating pain in your mouth.
Without warning, Xavier pulls you into the pool. In his slimy depths, liquid feelers massage your body while stripping you nude. Your clothes float to the surface as you tumble inside of him. You make passionate love.
Afterward, you relax contentedly, surrounded by Xavier. “I know we haven’t been together that long, but I’ve never felt this close to anyone else,” you say.
Xavier churns quietly for a while. “Do you want to feel even closer?”
“What do you mean?”
“We’re different species. The things we feel and the ways we feel them are so different. We’ll never perfectly understand each other.”
You shake your head. “I said that I like you the way you are.”
“I know,” Xavier replies. “Maybe you would like to change though. I can make you into a slime like me—if you want to, of course.”
“Is that what you want?” you ask.
Xavier says quickly, “I only want to make sure you’re happy.”
“Would it really bring us closer?”
“In a way that I can’t possibly describe.”
[[“Let's try it.”|Transform]]
[[“No. I’m happy right now.”|Xavier Married]]
You return from your trip and visit Xavier. Bursting through his door, you shout, “I’m home!” You are surprised by a strange man in Xavier’s living room. “I didn’t realize Xavier had a guest,” you say sheepishly.
“$name,” the stranger says affectionately. He has dark skin, flowing hair, and a friendly smile. He wears a pinstriped suit and a tie with Santa Claus on it (even though it is September). “It’s me, Xavier.” He takes a step toward you.
You reach awkwardly to shake the stranger’s hand. “I don’t get it.”
The stranger presses your hand to his lips. “It’s me, Xavier,” he repeats. “I got a body.” He puts an arm around you.
Your mind reels to make sense of the situation. You scrutinize Xavier’s attractive, slightly effeminate features. “How?”
“It’s robotic.” Xavier hugs you, but you stand rigidly.
You recall your phone conversation last week. “Oh no,” you whisper. “You didn’t have to do this.” You feel a rush of guilt. “How is this even possible?”
“I know a robotics researcher. He helped me. It’s a little hard to explain, but I guess he scanned my brain and recorded all the electrical impulses that make up my personality and memory. Then he installed them in this robotic brain. I wasn’t sure what kind of man you liked, so I just choose a body I thought looked good. I guess I could change if you don’t like it.”
Xavier’s explanation is incredible, but if you can accept that he was once a slime, you can accept that he is now a robot. “Well, you are pretty handsome.” He is taller than you so you stand on your toes to give him a kiss. He kisses you back tenderly. It is hard to imagine that he is a robot. “I wish you didn’t change just for me.”
“Who else would I do it for?” Xavier kisses you again, more passionately this time. “Don’t bother unpacking that suitcase. We’re going on a trip.” He lifts you into his arms. He does not look especially strong, but he carries you effortlessly out the door.
“The Pitcairn Islands?” you ask hopefully.
“I’m not even sure where that is.” Xavier squeezes you. “It sounds cool though. Let’s go.”
Xavier grows warmer and more viscous. A pink residue pools on his surface. It looks like cough medicine. “Drink it.” Xavier’s voice is strained.
You sip the liquid. It tastes like cough medicine too. Sucking the liquid off from Xavier turns you on a little. You drink more. Something within you is changing. You feel like you have been living in pain your whole life without realizing it. For the first time, the pain is going away.
You are now a slime. Xavier swirls like a whirlpool. Both of you break apart and your pieces mingle together. You feel connected to Xavier, as if your nerves are intertwined. As you experience these new sensations, your thoughts are shared immediately with him. He shares his thoughts with you too. “I love you,” he says.
You forgot to ask if becoming a slime was reversible, but it does not matter. You and Xavier are as close as two beings can possibly be. You would not return to your old body for anything in the world.
“I’m being an idiot,” Xavier says. “I love you so much. Why change anything?”
You and Xavier make love again. The next day, you visit the dentist to fix your tooth and then call your mom. “I got engaged,” you tell her.
Mom is usually unflappable, but she registers surprise. “I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend.”
“He’s a slime.”
Mom laughs. “That’s okay. Your father isn’t so great either, but we get along fine.”
“No, Mom. He’s like…” You consider the many directions this conversation could take. “Nevermind. Come by this weekend and you can meet him.”
That night, you call Xavier and make another date. You go to his condo, cook goulash for him, and watch episodes of <i>The Wonder Years</i>. In his early years on Earth, Xavier used <i>The Wonder Years</i> to study Earth culture. That explains his caring attitude and kind sense of humor.
Over the next few months, you spend a lot of time with Xavier. To conceal his alien identity, he never leaves his condo, but you do not mind. You eat and drink, read books to each other, watch movies, build jigsaw puzzles, and play board games. One time, Xavier orders art supplies and you paint portraits of each other. You depict Xavier as a serene lake of slime. He is encircled by tranquil pines, and a family of ducks swims across his surface.
You leave town for two weeks on a business trip. The separation is hard for you and Xavier. You are sitting on a pier in Redondo Beach, California, chatting with him on the phone. “I wish you could be here,” you say, watching some surfers and eating green tea flavored ice cream.
“Yeah,” Xavier says warmly. He is quiet for awhile. You squint at the setting sun, feeling at peace. “$name, do you ever wish I was more like you?” When you do not respond immediately, he adds, “You know, more human—so we could go places together.”
[[“Don’t be silly. I love you the way you are.”|Xavier Stays]]
[[“It might be nice.”|Xavier Changes]]
Xavier calls later that evening. “I had a great time last night.”
“Yeah,” you reply half-heartedly. Xavier is so sweet, you dread dumping him.
“Let’s get together this week,” Xavier says.
“Xavier, you’re really a cool guy…”
Xavier laughs uneasily. “It sounds like you’re about to tell me off.”
“I am. I’m not ready for a weird relationship like this. Right now, I want a man that I can take in public.”
“I can respect that,” Xavier says earnestly.
You sigh with relief. “No offense. I really do think you’re great.”
“Can we still hang out sometime?”
[[“We’ll see.”|Not Friends]]
<h2>Close Encounters with Mr. Right</h2>\
<img src="silvercover.png" height="300" width="600">\
<h2>By A. Hagen - Dedicated to Connie - Copyright 2016</h2>\
This story is about romantic relationships between adults. It contains some sexual content intended for mature readers.
(put: (prompt: "You are a woman. What is your first name?") into $name)
(if: $name is "")[(set: $name to "Connie")]
You and Xavier start hanging out regularly. You drop by his condo every couple weeks and play board games or watch movies. You also start teaching him how to cook. Xavier is fun to be with. He is a great listener and always has a uniquely alien perspective on things.
You and Xavier become close friends. You get a boyfriend, but ditch him when he jealously accuses you of spending too much time with Xavier.
Xavier has few opportunities to meet people. You introduce him to a girlfriend of yours and they begin dating. It seems like a natural fit since your friend hates leaving the house and Xavier can never go out anyway.
Eventually, Xavier and his girlfriend move to the Philippines to be near her family. It is hard to imagine life without Xavier, so you move too.
Within a year, you start a glassblowing studio (and a romance) with one of Xavier’s business partners. You and your boyfriend buy a house next door to Xavier and his girlfriend. The four of you live together like a happy family.
“I understand. Well, give me a call if you ever want to drop by,” Xavier’s friendly tone poorly disguises his disappointment.
“Good bye, Xavier.” You hang up.
You feel bad for Xavier, but the friendship was doomed to fail. You are experienced enough to know how difficult it is for men and women to have platonic relationships. The sexual tension is always present.
Months pass. Xavier sends e-mails occasionally, although you rarely respond. He also sends you text messages on holidays—every holiday—including obscure ones like International Literacy Day (September 8th) and Thank A Mailman Day (February 4th).
On May 16th, Xavier wishes you a happy Wear Purple for Peace Day and tells you he is getting married. His fiancé is a famous Austrian actress and the wedding is at a palace in Austria. He invites you and offers to buy your plane ticket, but you decline. You send Xavier a nice backgammon set as a gift.
$name Junior is born. She is more beautiful than you ever dared hope. She has a perfectly spherical head, two insectoid eyes, a cute little nose, and a mouth full of golden teeth.
As a well-known marine biologist, Struthers has contacts in the global scientific community. He holds a press conference and invites the world’s leading scientists. The news of genuine extraterrestrial life spreads instantly across the globe. For the next twenty years, you and your new family travel. Struthers meets constantly with scientists and media people. You stay out of the spotlight as much as possible. There are countless books and documentaries about your family. There are also two movies and a television series. You watch one of the movies. It is not a realistic representation of your life, but you are portrayed by a beautiful actress, which is nice.
Struthers keeps the world at bay. You try your best to raise $name Junior. Since you travel so much, school is impossible. You hire the best tutors for her. Knowing how cruel children can be, you think school is a bad idea anyway.
$name Junior grows into a young woman. She enjoys studying languages and has an incredible knack for learning them. By age seventeen, she fluently speaks more than forty languages. Neuroscientists become even more interested in her alien brain.
Soon $name Junior falls in love. Her boyfriend is the son of a physicist that Struthers corresponds with. Seeing your daughter and her boyfriend together fills you with joy. $name Junior’s life has been tumultuous. You are happy that she is able to enjoy herself.
Maybe $name Junior will eventually start a new generation of alien life on Earth. You hope so. You would love to have grandchildren some day, but not too soon.
$name Junior is born in secret. She is more beautiful than you ever dared hope. She has a perfectly spherical head, two insectoid eyes, a cute little nose, and a mouth full of golden teeth.
You leave your friends and family behind and move to a town where no one knows you. You and Struthers keep $name Junior hidden until she is five years old and masters her face changing abilities. You worried that it would take longer, but she learns quickly.
You and Struthers homeschool $name Junior. She excels at every subject, earning her high school diploma at age sixteen. When she decides to study quantum mechanics at Stanford University, you feel trepidation. She has never been on her own before and never had any close friends. Your fears are unfounded. $name Junior makes lots of friends in her dormitory. When you visit her in the winter, you are surprised and delighted to meet her boyfriend.
$name Junior earns her Doctorate in Quantum Mechanics at age 22. She invents a way to direct electrical power wirelessly through the air. Power lines become a thing of the past. Motorists driving along the roads of the United States now have an uninterrupted view of the horizon.
After inventing X-ray glasses and a teleporter, $name Junior settles down and gets married. Her husband is a reptilian alien from the dark side of the Moon. You begin to suspect there are more undercover aliens on Earth than you ever thought possible.
You want to call the police but Struthers took your phone. You spot his phone lying beside the road. It must have fallen from his pocket. The phone’s wallpaper is a topiary of kissing dolphins. You make the call. Your hysterical account is incomprehensible but the dispatcher seems to understand. Two police cars and an ambulance arrive. Paramedics try to usher you onto a stretcher. You refuse and get in the police car instead. A police officer says, “Holy crap! It’s a UFO!”
At the police station, you are given coffee and a candy bar. You tell your story to a weary police officer. As he questions you, you realize that you are being charged with involuntary manslaughter. You need a lawyer. You call a friend and she promises to find one for you.
You lawyer arrives six hours later. It takes all your energy to explain the situation to her. “Struthers sounds like a real prick,” she says. She assures you that his death is a clear case of self-defense. The police question you more. They seem preoccupied by the fact that Struthers is an alien. They ask lots of silly questions.
“When did you realize Mr. Covington was… uh… an extraterrestrial?” “Did you notice anything… different… or inhuman about the way he looked or acted?” “Did he indicate what planet he was from?”
You are released on bail. Reporters harangue you outside the police station. One asks, “What was it like having sex with an alien?” Another asks, “Don’t you think you should have the baby for the sake of science?”
You hide in your house until your trial. Reporters, scientists, family, and friends constantly harass you. They call your phone, knock on your door, and e-mail you. Your lawyer is the only person you can tolerate. You have an abortion. It is protested around the world but you could not care less what those assholes think.
Your trial comes and you are acquitted of involuntary manslaughter. After the trial, you move to the isolated Pitcairn Islands and live peacefully.
You run back to town. It is near dawn when you get home. You collapse onto your bed and pass out.
You awake in the afternoon. Your mind races through the implications of your crime. You have been seen in public with Struthers often. However, he does not seem to have any friends or family. The only people that know him are the waiters at the restaurants he frequents. His disappearance would probably never be investigated, unless someone found his body.
You wait until night. You load an axe, a shovel, rope, and some trash bags in the trunk of your car. You speed back to the scene of the crime. Climbing down the cliff, you find Struthers’ corpse in a sandy cove. His neck is twisted and flies buzz around his open mouth. A hermit crab is digging into his throat. You set about your grisly chore.
Hours later, you have chopped Struthers into many pieces and wrapped them in trash bags. You drive far away and bury the pieces in a nondescript stretch of forest.
When you get home, you take a shower for six hours. The water heater empties after two hours but you stand there in the frigid shower anyway. It feels great.
You have an abortion.
You are paranoid that your crime will catch up with you, but years pass and it never does. After a while, the whole episode seems like a distant nightmare.