Ella Nathanael Alkiewicz is a Labrador Inuk advocate, marketer, poet, scholar, and writer. She holds an MFA from Lesley University. She wrote this fiction to highlight the needs and hopes for a better world. Ella lives in Northampton with her husband and posik.
Out of This World
Two aliens landed their four-ton silver bullet spaceship next to the Connecticut River in Northampton. They gleefully stepped out of their rocket, blinking their three oval eyes in the sunny June afternoon, disguising their spaceship as a beautiful willow tree. Xyz1212 and Xyz1313 stood two meters tall with long slithery cat-like tails, magenta pink scaly skin and four- fingered paws. They morphed into Bob and Joe Nassicohee, handsome Native Americans. Admiring their changed bodies, they gazed into each other’s two chocolate brown eyes. They petted each other’s black hair and counted their ten digits and stretched their long legs sans tails. The physical change startled them, and they laughed while fabricating matching white hoodies, black Adidas pants, and white Nike Air Jordans to complement their tan skin.
Bob and Joe could stay on Earth for three hours which would be three days on their planet. These new men taught themselves the English language in a matter of minutes and sang along with a passerby’s radio while holding their paw…hands. They walked on the Norwottuck Rail Trail until they joined the parade of big, young, elderly Black, White and Brown humans. Some wore or carried rainbow flags and they spoke fast, walked fast, rode bikes fast. What Bob noticed most was all these people wore paper masks across their faces. Neither alien knew why the strangers wore them.
They joined the crowd and some lanky, bald, tattooed White men yelled “Go home!” and threw empty beer cans at them. Bob and Joe scrambled away and picked up a rainbow flag. The mass of people waved and yelled, holding signs that read:
“Thank you, First Responders and Nurses”
“Protect your Mother, wear a mask”
“Racism is a Pandemic, Too”
“Wash your hands”
“Register to Vote!”
“Blacks Lives Matter”
Bob and Joe were frightened after they grasped what each sign meant. Wasn’t America supposed to be “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?”
Bob and Joe saw America in 2015 through their home world’s telescope. There was a nice tall Black President, Obama-something. People flocked to see him. He sang on TV, smoked and laughed with dignitaries in handsome suits. His wife and daughters were smart people too.
Now, five years later, Bob and Joe saw angry people yelling with masks on Main Street. They wished they’d landed their spaceship in the Netherlands like Bob’s parents had wanted. Bob and Joe heard from fellow walkers that they had landed during a pandemic and race riots and the new president was Orange?
Minutes later, Joe asked Bob if they could return to the spaceship. He felt funny. Bob grabbed a bike off the grass, and they went back to the ship. Bob quickly uncovered their “willow tree” and climbed into the ship. The men returned to their alien life forms, relieved to have their pink long tails back, three eyes and four-fingered paws, and flew away.