by Tina Holt -
“Bye, Maddie!” My friend, Sarah, waved from our seat on the bus. “Good luck with the Martians!”
I looked back and gave her the thumbs up. I needed all the luck I could get.
“Hey! This isn’t your stop!” It was nosy Skeet Thomas. He always wanted to know everybody’s business.
“She’s going to Miss Cathy’s house because her mom’s got a new job,” Sarah said in a loud whisper. Good old Sarah. I didn’t want to talk to Skeet today.
I tramped down the aisle trying not to hit anyone with my jet pack.
“See you tomorrow,” the bus driver said as I stood at the door. No monster warnings or emergency sirens. It was clear to go.
“Bye. Thank you.” I hoped the aliens were friendly.
The air on Mars was cool and wet, a big change from the stuffy rocket ship. A brown haired Martian with tall silver boots waited for me on the sidewalk.
“You made it! How was your day?” The Martian wore a bubblegum pink raincoat. I liked my mother’s blue jacket better.
“Fine, thank you,” I replied. It’s always good to be polite to aliens. “I’m a little hungry.”
“Let’s get a snack, then. Today is baking day!”
My space shoes splashed in a puddle as I ran to keep up with the fast-walking Martian. Soggy socks are gross. We climbed some steps to a dark green landing pad with white columns and pots of sweet smelling flowers.
“It’s nice and dry out here on the porch,” the Martian said, helping me take off my jet pack. “Let’s eat outside.”
I nodded, looking around. What do aliens eat, anyway? I hoped it wasn’t rocks or worms.
“I’ll be right back.” As the alien opened the door to her house, a big hairy monster rushed out, tongue and tail thrashing everywhere.
“Ohhh!” I screamed a little and walked backwards into a pot, crashing both me and the flowers to the ground. The monster bounded over and I felt a wet sticky nose on my neck. This was the end. I was going to be eaten.
I rolled myself into a ball, tucking my head onto my knees. The monster was ferocious, all hot breath and snuffling.
“Sit!” I yelled, hoping the monster could hear me. “SIT!”
Suddenly, the monster flopped to the floor. I could still hear his tail thumping. I stood up, shaking.
“I’m so sorry, Maddie,” the Martian said gently, brushing the hair from my eyes. “Jasper was excited to meet you. Are you hurt?”