by Abby Gayle
A woman comes up to Mandy and asks for her shoelaces.
|Mandy walked down the sidewalk, the sun directly above her. She was taking a slow stroll to relax, but she knew she'd have to go home to her parents and siblings soon.
Just as she was about to turn around, a woman with blonde hair ran up to her.
"Please, girl, I need your shoelaces," the woman pleaded, "It's extremely important!"
"What do you mean? How could shoelaces help with anything?" Mandy looked down at the woman's feet before adding, "And why can't you use your own?"
"Oh, yes, the inhabitants of this planet are not so trusting as the Martians," the woman said to herself, although Mandy could hear her well enough, "That may end up being a good thing, considering what happened to them."
"Martians? Inhabitants? Do you work for a space company or something?"
The woman smiled. "Or something. Now, I need your shoelaces."
"Not until I know what you're going to use them for. My mother would be very upset if I came home without my shoelaces and didn't even have an excuse."
"Very well, come with me," the woman said.
Mandy hesitated a moment. She wasn't sure she should be following that woman. However, she soon made up her mind, running to catch up to the woman. They then turned down into an alley. The woman looked all around her, as if she expected someone to be watching her.
"First of all," the woman introduced herself, "Let me say that my name is Bleptghybuo. I am from the planet Drrrtumpf, although I have yet to return to my normal form. However, my mobile shapeshifting device broke down, and it takes an arm scan to get into my spaceship."
"You mean your arm is about the size of my shoelace?" Mandy asked.
"Yes, when I am in my regular form."
"Why do you need to get back to your ship?"
"There is not only another shapeshifting device in there, but I must also get back to what the inhabitants of this planet call parents. If I do not get back soon enough, they will destroy planets to rescue me."
"Oh," Mandy answered. She bent down and completely unlaced her right shoe, then handed it to Bleptghybuo.
"Will I ever see you again?" Mandy asked.
"Perhaps. I will only ever use this as my human form, so you will recognize me if you do see me again."
"Goodbye. My mother is probably getting worried about me now."
"What does your culture do about worry?" Bleptghybuo asked.
"I'm not sure about any other families, but my mother pretty much waits until I come home, then tells me how worried she was, and not to do it again."
"I wish my parents would just do that," the woman sighed, "I must be going now."
"Yeah. Goodbye again," Mandy said. The two turned in opposite directions and started walking.
The next day, when Mandy woke up, she noticed a small brown thing hopping around outside her window. Suddenly, it transformed. It turned into a person with blonde hair. Immediately, Mandy ran outside.
"What are you doing here?" Mandy asked, "And what was that other form you were just in?"
"That was my normal form. If we go somewhere private, I can shapeshift back."
"Oh. But what are you doing here?"
"Last night, I flew home and got my parents' permission to stay for another whole Earth week!" Bleptghybuo exclaimed.
"Wow. Nice. So, you want to come up to my room?"
"Sure. There I can show you what I really look like."
The two of them silently walked inside and upstairs, to Mandy's bedroom. Mandy locked the door. In that amount of time, Bleptghybuo had already turned back to her normal form.
Bleptghybuo was about a foot tall. She had ten arms, circling around her, each as thin as a shoelace, and nearly as long. She had what looked like one foot, although it was as wide as the rest of her body. Instead of walking, she sort of hopped along. Two antennae stuck from a surface in the middle of where all ten arms connected to her body.
"How do I look?" Bleptghybuo asked.
"Well, I've never seen anything like you!" Mandy laughed, "How are you talking, though?"
"Telepathy. No one else can hear me."
"Oh. You know what? I think we're friends already," Mandy said.
"Once I go back home, we'll be really long distance friends, though!" Bleptghybuo paused, then added, "But I'll remember to come back often."