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by Ray Cullis

I blinked. What were those people staring at? Did I have food on my face? No, it was something more drastic than that, because the people staring at me began to react violently. Some simply turned pale. Others threw up. Some turned and fled screaming. Most got bug-eyed, then passed out. 

I'm not the most handsome man in the world by far, but to cause the reactions people were having as they ogled at me was a mystery. A mystery that would have easily been solved if I'd had a mirror, but I didn't. 

This took place in a matter of seconds. I was with a tour group at Stonehenge. We'd just gotten off the bus, and I--eager to view my favorite ancient ruins--didn't wait for the group, but instead, hustled off toward the huge stones. I stopped and looked back at the group when I heard their loud talking, shouts, and several screams. They were all staring at me. Ordinary me. 

"What?" I said innocently. "Whatsamatter wid you people? Ain't you never seen no Merican before?" 

I spoke lightly, trying my best to murder the English language with only a touch of sarcasm. I was being a smart ass. The whole group of us was in fact, Americans. Except that I wasn't really an American.

"You're turning into..." one of them, a retired astronomy teacher, started to say, before bending over and throwing up. 

My skin began to itch. My eyes watered. My hair stood on end. My clothes began to not fit anymore. They were suddenly all several sizes too big. My pants defied my belt and fell down around my ankles, my shirt and coat dwarfed my torso and now covered my upper body down to my knees. What was happening to me? I asked myself with as much humor as I could muster, which at this point was minimal.

The tour bus driver, an Englishwoman, who had entertained us enroute with her dry humor, leaned out of the bus and called in my direction. "Holy, shit, you're an alien." And with that, she slammed the bus doors shut and sped off, tires screeching, leaving the twenty seven American tourists behind.

Well, I guess that pretty much blows my cover, I thought. I wasn't supposed to revert to my true nature until after dark, which was only a couple hours away. But I'd simply forgotten that in the last twenty-four hours we had traveled through several time zones and I hadn't reset my watch. 

The mother ship--so high overhead that it was out of sight and sound--began to beam me up, and I began to dissemble before the very eyes of the tour group. You should have seen their faces as I levitated, then shot straight up into space and out of sight. 

I laughingly hollered back down at the dumbfounded tour group, "Beam me up, Scotty!" 

Humans are a funny species, I thought as I evaporated.