“The baby is from outer space,” said my friend Sharon while she settled in the seat across from me at the coffee shop. I managed to respond with “that’s nice,” while totally engrossed in the book I was reading, but I did quickly realize there was something off about her statement.
“Okay, you’ll never believe this, but weird things have been going on since I adopted this baby. The first night she was crying, so I went downstairs to get her a bottle. Just as I opened the fridge, I heard a loud squeak from outside. I looked out the window and was blinded by these bright green and white lights. Naturally, I worried for her safety, so I ran up to the baby’s room only to find her glowing and making weird sounds.”
I didn’t know what to say. I just stared at my friend in disbelief. Sharon has completely lost it!
She must have mistaken my silence as an invitation to continue with her story, so she went on.
“Then last night, I put her to bed. After she’d been out for an hour, I finally settled down to sleep. Now, she must have thought I was asleep, because the lights started up again. I wanted to investigate, so I tip-toed to the nursery and listened by the door. You’ll never guess what happened next!”
She stopped talking and looked at me anxiously. I guess that was my cue for input.
“Okay. What happened?”
“I heard voices from her room!”
“Yeah, I can believe you heard voices…”
“I’m serious! They were speaking some weird language, and she was speaking it, too! There’s something wrong with this baby!”
While I love my friend, after hearing this story, I began to question her sanity. Maybe the stress of motherhood has proven too much for her or perhaps there are even deeper issues. I look in the baby carrier at the tiny infant. She’s just a little bundle of cuteness and innocence; absolutely nothing cried out X-Files.
A woman passing our table stopped and smiled at the baby.
“What a little doll! She’s just adorable!” exclaimed the stranger.
“She’s an alien,” Sharon responded, completely ignoring the compliment and any social mores.
The poor lady looked confused and perhaps a bit worried, so I quickly chimed in with “Oh, please ignore my friend. She has a strange sense of humor.”
The woman managed a pretend smile and went on to her table as fast as she could. When she was out of hearing range, I scolded Sharon.
“What is wrong with you?! Do you want everyone to think you’re nuts?”
“I’m not making this up.”
“Listen, Sharon, if this is your weird way of trying to get me to babysit, it’s unnecessary. All you have to do is ask, but making up crazy stories like this makes you sound really bad.”
“Fine, will you babysit? Maybe after a night with her, you’ll believe me, and in the meantime, I’ll have some time to figure out the adoption agency’s return policy.”
“Return policy?! It’s not Wal-Mart!”
“Whatever. Are you going to watch her or not?”
“Yes, I’ll watch her, but I suggest you call a counselor instead of the agency. We all have limits, and I think you’ve been stressed out far beyond yours. Hopefully a doctor can get you back to Earth soon.”
“Very funny,” She says. “I have everything she needs here; just meet me tomorrow at the community picnic to give her back to me… if you survive the night.”
“I’m sure I’ll be fine.” I say, picking up the diaper bag. “It’s you I’m worried about.”
Later that evening, I’m sitting at home, holding the baby, and watching the Wizard of Oz. The child had finally fallen asleep, and the Cowardly Lion had started singing his really boring song about wanting to be king of the forest. It was the perfect opportunity to take a bathroom break. I lay the baby down and head down the hallway.
As soon as I set foot in the bathroom, the house starts to shake knocking several things down from their places, including a can of hairspray that landed with a bang on my bare toes. It hurt a bit, but it mostly reminded me of the danger the baby faced alone in the living room during this earthquake. What if something squishes her?!
It’s difficult, but I begin to make my way up the dark hallway despite the shaking. I’m surprised that can still hear the television and see the living room lights. The power in the rest of the house has gone off.
When I make it closer to the living room, however, I realize that it isn’t the television I hear. It was a group of voices speaking a language I couldn’t understand. The lights weren’t from my lamps either; they were much too bright and some were green. Sharon’s story suddenly seemed a lot more realistic!
The shaking finally stops, so I storm into the living room determined to find out the meaning of all this. It has to be some sort of a trick or terrible prank, right? Nothing could have prepared me for what I discovered.
The baby, now glowing, was standing up on the coffee table communicating with entities outside the house. She must have heard my footsteps because she turned to face me and smiled. Then, in perfect English she said, “I thought being a baby on your planet would be cool, but you people are so terribly boring. Seriously, all I did was drink milk, poop, and sleep. It was torture! So I’m going home.”
With that, the baby faded away, never to be seen again.
I met with Sharon at the picnic and told her what happened. She was shocked, but relieved. She couldn’t find any listings for the adoption agency she’d used anyway. Everyone she spoke to said they’d never heard of such a place.
Out of curiosity, I asked, “What was the name of the agency?”
“In retrospect, the name is a little suspicious, but it was called 100% Human Babies Adoption Services.”
** This piece of fiction was written for Writing Challenge Number Six by Karen Sanders. For information on the rules and to discover what’s up with certain words being Italicized, please check it out!**