Unlucky Seven by Alanna J. Rubin

For Spencer – thank you for this fun story starter!

I held a hand in front of him asking, “How many fingers am I holding up?” I heard that’s what you were supposed to ask… “Seven” he replied. Psh, lucky guess…

…I had taken great pains to ensure that humans would perceive me as normal on this trip, and there was no way this average human male, in both appearance and intellect, could see through my projected disguise. If so, wouldn’t he be able to see that my skin was a bluish color and my ears pointy? Not to mention, that my silver eyes should be quite alarming for any human to observe. I checked the settings of the imaging device on my wrist, which generated the elaborate camouflage, and all seemed well. No, it’s just not possible, I reassured myself. However, his answer and the odd look on his face would suggest otherwise.

“Hey man,” the human called to me over the ear splitting music of the club, his words a little slurred, “are you alright? You seem a little off, if you know what I mean.” He gestured with his hands up and down my body as if suggesting that something was amiss.

“Foofta,” I mumbled under my breath, a curse word that’s common on my planet.

“Bless you,” said the irksome human and I let out a disheartened sigh. My study of humans will be impossible if I can’t blend in. I took a device out from my back pocket. It was small and rectangular, about the size of a matchbox, black with one red button at its center.

I turned to the human and asked, “Michael, is that what you said your name is?” He nodded and took another drink of the golden liquid he referred to as beer. “I’m sorry Michael, but this device will ensure you remember nothing.” He looked at the device then back to me with a confused look on his face. I felt sorry for him, but there was no getting around it, so I zapped him.

Michael collapsed, face down on the bar; no one even batted an eye. Strange, not much concern for a fellow human, I noted. That is, until a female with long red hair, wearing a tight fitting black dress sauntered up to the bar to buy a drink. All of the men were looking at her. Clearly, she was a perfect specimen of a desirable human female, so I didn’t waste any time. Clearing my throat, I called over to her, “Excuse me.” She looked over at me with her green eyes. I had to admit that she was quite striking, for a human, that is.

“Yes?” she prompted.

I was excited, she would be an even better human to study than Michael. “How many fingers am I holding up?” I asked.

She was surprised by my question, but studied my hand, then the orange drink she held and shook her head. Carefully, she scrutinized my fingers, then replied, “Seven?”

“Foofta,” I mumbled and took out my stun device once more.

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