HomeFictionTopic Tag Tuesday

Sentient Glowing Balls

The sky had been alight with shooting stars, and to Darlene, spread out on her lawn at two in the morning, it was like her own private miracle. And then she threw up.

She spat twice — once on each side of her, for variety’s sake — and took another swig of beer to wash away the taste. Friday night lights is what it was, and she was loving every second of it. She was so glad they’d kicked her out of the pub, or she’d have missed this. It was awesome.

She finished the bottle and set it down on the grass, then got to her feet, hands out and at the ready, and she stumbled her way back inside to the kitchen. The fridge door rattled with alcohol… remnants of the rained-out BBQ party from last weekend, impossible to reschedule, it turned out. She grabbed another two bottles — to save herself a trip — picked up a bag of chips off the counter, and swayed out the door.

On the lawn, right atop her empty bottle, was a meteor.

Darlene blinked at it, rubbed her eyes with her forearm, and stepped cautiously forward. The meteor was hovering just above the ground, throwing blue and green light around like it was on fire, but it wasn’t… it was a nice, soft glow like a night light. It was so beautiful that Darlene felt compelled to open another bottle and keep drinking.

“Hello, little, meteor,” she said, sitting down next to it.

“Hello,” it replied, in a voice like a child’s, but not so whiny and obnoxious. God, she hated kids.

“Would you like a beer?” she asked, offering it a bottle.

“No thank you,” said the meteor. “We are travelling.”

“Ah. Right,” nodded Darlene, and took a long, brooding sip. “Where’re you off to anyways? There’s a lot of you, isn’t there?”

“Two hundred and seventy-five, yes,” said the meteor. “We are looking for a new home.”

Darlene nodded appreciatively.

“Well, I’ve got room on my couch for five of you, but I dunno wha’tdo about the other two hundred an’… an’…”

“Seventy,” said the meteor. “Do not worry. We can find our own accommodations. But please, tell us… what is your homeworld like? It is quite beautiful from afar.”

Darlene shrugged, opened the other beer, and chugged for a bit.

“I dunno,” she said. “I mean, there’s a park down the way, an’ the movie theatre’s pretty nice now that they’ve got the bigger screens an’… I guess you’d have trouble there if you glow all the time. Oh! And D’Arcy’s Pub is really awesome, but they ban you if you try an’ make out on the pool tables.”

“That is unfortunate.”

“They’re prudes.”

“Yes,” said the meteor, swaying slightly.

“How ‘bout you? What kind of things’re you looking for? My last boyfriend was looking for sex. Are you looking for sex?”

The meteor paused at this.

“No,” it said finally. “We are looking for a sentient race with which to co-exist, share the wealth of our learning, and work together towards a new era of peace and prosp—”

Darlene couldn’t hold it. She barfed on the meteor. Luckily, most of it seemed to burn right off, so it was like no harm no foul. She burped, took another drink.

“Wow,” she said breathlessly. “Sorry. Those come outta nowhere sometimes. Hold on a sec, let me make it up to you…” She tried opening the bag of chips, but for whatever reason, her fingers couldn’t manage it, so she just popped it open the old fashioned way. Except it popped open at the bottom. She sighed, picked some of the bigger chips out of the grass.

“Here you go,” she said, holding up a handful.

But the meteor was gone.

“Meteor?” she called. “Little meteor?”

There was no answer, no sign of lights, no sign of anything. She lay back on the grass and checked the stars again, but none of them were moving. Eleven seconds later, she passed out.

The next morning, she awoke to a world where extra-terrestrials were still the stuff of fiction, and her hair smelled like vomit. It suited her just fine.


Today's topic comes from the everpresent kdnewton, who suggests: "The mass migration of sentient balls of light, mistaken as a meteor shower."

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