“Such a long day…” I sighed, trailing my feet up the walkway. “Some warm food, a shower, then bed…” Dreamily, I unlocked the front door and stepped inside. “Hello!” I called out. “Anybody home?” I heard clinking dishes and giggling trickle out of the kitchen. Kicking off my shoes I recognized the noise straight away. “Josie!” I yelled. “You’re not in the ice cream again, are you?” Smiling, I threw my coat and briefcase aside and sought out my little sister.
“Josie…?” I crept slowly towards the noise, hoping to scare her. Looking into the kitchen I spotted her little pigtailed head looking into the refrigerator. I also spotted another head sitting at the breakfast bar a few feet away. At least I thought it was a head. “Josie…”
“Mike!” Turning and spotting me, Josie skidded across the tile and tackled me with a bear hug. “Guess what?”
“Josie.” I swallowed. “What’s that?”
“Guess what?” She insisted.
What I could only describe as a bizarre blob crouched on a stool in front of a plate of barely defrosted chocolate chip pancakes. I watched in disgust as the creature sucked up another pancake through his… trunk?
“What?” I asked, exasperated.
“I got an A+ on my art project today.” She beamed.
Kneeling down to her level, I held onto her shoulders for stability. “That’s great sis, but there’s something that I want to ask you.” She nodded. “What is that?” I pointed to the creature now playing with a fork I assumed Josie had given it. Such a sweet girl.
She looked over her shoulder. “Oh, Mr. Honk? I found him in the back yard.”
“The back yard?” My voice cracked.
“I told you you shouldn’t have thrown that lasagna away in the alley.” She lectured. “I think he used to be a frog. Or he’s an alien. Let me go ask.” Dashing away from my grasp she skipped towards the creature.
“Josie!” I whispered, crouched near the door frame. Too afraid to follow I began formulating a plan to explain away her sudden absence to our parents.
“Mr. Honk?” She batted her eyelashes up at the blob. It looked down and blinked back at her. “Are you a frog or an alien?”
Blinking slowly, the creature reached out a hand and touched a single finger to Josie’s forehead. Proceeding, it let out a series of honking noises with a dash of squeaks. Finished, it withdrew its hand and jumped down from the stool with surprising dexterity. Short and fat, it waddled over to the living room couch.
“He said he’s neither.” Josie happily reported. “He said we are the ones who are aliens. How funny is that?” She clapped happily as the pudgy alien struggled to climb onto the couch.
“Alien…” I muttered in disbelief.
Gripping my hand, Josie tugged until she drew my attention. “Can we keep him Mike? Pretty please? I’ll feed him and water him and bath him and he can sleep in my bed and…”