There was a banging sound coming from the region of Sally’s front door. Again.
Sally sat up and winced. Too many ‘celebratory’ drinks with George the night before.
“Celebrating shucking off the lies, and donning the truth!” he’d declaimed happily, waving a margarita.
“I feel like an oyster who’s been shucked against her will,” Sally had said, pouting.
“Awww, come on, darling – you’re out of your shell, anyhow! And remember,” he’d said, grinning at her, “better shucked than fucked!”
Against her will, Sally had laughed at that. Then George had handed her a bright red margarita, and the rest of the night was a blur of coloured lights and… sequins?
The knocking broke back into her awareness,, making her head throb with each thud. She made her way to the front door and looked out the peephole as the door vibrated to yet more knocking.
“Can’t you use the doorbell?” she demanded peevishly as she flung open the door. “And what the hell do you want with me now?”
It was Martha.
“Oh, is that what it’s for?” Her visitor bent down to inspect the doorbell, pressing the button and listening with delight to the ‘ding dong’. Sally growled.
“Can you at least let me inside?” Martha asked plaintively. “Besides,” she grinned suddenly, “I’m not sure this is something that should be discussed in public!” Sally rolled her eyes and sighed, but let the woman in. She seemed nutty, but relatively safe. And she didn’t have a cameraman with her, this time.
Over coffee, Martha explained.
“Let me get this straight…” Sally said. “You’re an alien?”
“And you want to get pregnant?”
“And you want my help?”
Martha nodded and smiled encouragingly.
Sally sighed. ‘Nutty’ had been a slight understatement. Damn the government’s decision to ‘integrate’ the mentally ill into the community! Had they thought about the effect on people like Sally? Sheesh.
Martha watched Sally disbelieve the lot, and bit her lip. Obviously she’d need to go to a bit more effort. She got up, and walked over to the kitchen sink.
“Oi! What’re you doing?” Sally said.
“Trying to help you believe me,” Martha said calmly, and washed her face.
“Huh!” said Sally, impressed. When her caked foundation was washed off, scaly green skin had been uncovered. “Nice trick – but hardly impressive, is it?”
“Hmmm…” said Martha, “You’re a bit harder to convince than my boyfriend was! Ahhh… got it!” She frowned, concentrating. Sally closed her eyes and prayed for anyone – even a door-to-door salesperson – to help her out.
“Oi! Pay attention, I’m doing this for your benefit!” said Martha reprovingly. Slowly but surely, a lump was forming on her jawbone.
“What… giant pimples on request?” scoffed Sally. The lump swelled further, and slowly formed into a green scaly ear.
“Errrr…” Sally quavered, feeling suddenly unsure.
“Touch it!” urged Martha.
“Nahhh… thanks!” said Sally, and leaned back in her seat.
A few minutes later, Sally had her wits back. Sort of. And the ear had almost disappeared back into Martha’s jaw.
“Umm… Martha… if you really are who and what you say… why the hell are you asking me for help?”
“Oh – first, my name’s not really Martha”
“No kidding,” said Sally, with a brief whiff of sarcasm.
“It’s Lana… well, not really Lana, but that’s the name I use on this planet, anyhow,” she said quickly, seeing Sally starting to look dumbfounded again. “And as to why – well, we needed someone who knew a fair amount about human reproduction – and who wouldn’t talk. But we couldn’t find anyone we could rely on – so we went for the next best thing. Someone who might talk, but wouldn’t be believed. So we found you, worked out that you knew what you were talking about – and discredited you.”
“You… bitch!” she said indignantly.
Lana shrugged and grinned. “So, will you help? Actually, don’t bother answering that, Sally – you don’t have much choice.” She put a hand in her pocket, the other on Sally’s shoulder, and the kitchen blinked away.