Other Life Forms

"Don't be afraid," he whispers in her ear. He laces their fingers together and shifts closer to where she's crouching.

She catches his eyes, purses her lips. "I'm not," she mouths back. Disbelief at what they're doing is written all over her face.

Silence.

The leaves in the tree above them rustle.

A bird chirps.

Something off in the distance moves.

He squeezes her hand. "That's it," he says quietly, nodding off into the trees. "That's the alien."

Where the trees part into a clearing, a tiny grey head peers out at them.

Her eyes widen. "That's... that's not possible! You weren't kidding? I thought you were kidding."

Shaking his ehad, he smiles. He rubs the back of her hand with the pad of his thumb. "I wasn't," he confirms." His eyes glint with excitement.

"Let's get a closer look," he suggests.

She quirks an eyebrow but follows him when he slowly moves in the direction of the alien. She is just as curious as he is now.

Are there really other life forms out there?

She is about to find out.

They are about to find out.

It's probably just a human being or a monkey or similar with a deformity, but maybe it isn't. Maybe there is something there.

Leaves crunch softly underfoot. The air is still moist with the rain that fell earlier.

Her throat is tight, her body tense with anticipation.

She stops short. "Where is it?"

Pausing beside her, his gaze darts around them at the trees.

Nothing.

"I... uh," he begins weakly, "don't know."

They search for the alien for another two hours before daylight settles in, using various pieces of equipment he had stuffed into a bag.

All they find is a patch of trampled earth where they saw it and a smooth pebble-like object unlike any seen on the planet before.

fin.