Timmy, it’s time to get up. I need your help, buddy. The whispering voice was gentle, and friendly. It took Timmy a few beats to remember that he was home alone this weekend and a few more to realize that the voice seemed to sound inside his head. When those realizations hit, Timmy’s eyes wrenched open and he twisted himself upright to find the source of the voice.
He looked around his room, heart racing, trying to find anything that seemed remotely out of place. His eyes scanned the room while his mind took inventory: pile of clothes in the corner, desk with computer turned off, fish tank with the weird jellyfish. Everything was where it should have been. He cautiously slid to the edge of the bed and peeked underneath, only to find nothing. As he sat back upright in bed, he felt the blood rush out of his head and watched as the room spun around him.
That’s probably not a good idea. With just the two of us home, you’re going to be out of luck if something happens. The voice was there again. Timmy jumped out of bed and ran to his closet to grab his baseball bat.
“Who’s there?!” With bat in hand, his courage swelled. If there was somebody in the house with him, he wasn’t going down without a fight.
That’s not necessary, mate. The voice said. If I wanted to hurt you, I would’ve done it a long time ago.
“Oh, yeah,” Timmy replied. “Why are you still hiding then?”
I’m not, said the voice.
“Where are you then?!” The initial wave of bravado was starting to fade as fear crept into Timmy’s voice.
The tank, bud. Timmy’s eyes locked onto his fish tank and it’s sole inhabitant, the odd jellyfish found at the beach. As his eyes focused on the animal, it seemed to raise one of it’s spider-silk tendrils and move in a such a way as to mimic a person waiving hello.
“What the…” Timmy started.
Don’t finish that with the word you’re thinking. You’re parents wouldn’t approve of that kind of language. As it “spoke”, the jellyfish seemed to moved it’s head/body and it’s tendrils in the same way a person did when they spoke. Timmy could only stare open jawed at the creature.
I know this is all weird for you, and a lot to take in. The short version is, I’m not from this planet. My people were brought here by a different alien species that decided to take our homeworld for themselves. Due to the nature of our physiology, there’s wasn’t a whole lot we could do to stop them. We’ve been inhabiting your oceans for the last couple millennia.
“What do you want from me?” Timmy asked as he inched closer and closer to the tank while the creature’s voice filled his head.
That should be obvious, it said. I just want you to put me back in the ocean. My people stick to the deep, dark depths and do so happily. The last thing we want is any sort of trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate you saving my life, but I would prefer not to spend it in a fish tank.
“What happens if I don’t take you back?” For a moment, thoughts of the potential millions that an alien jellyfish would fetch filled his head.
I would drive you literally insane before the first scientist ever made it here. As the creature said that, visions of terrible creatures began to fill Timmy’s view and he yelled and jumped back, bringing his bat up to strike at the creatures. My people aren’t defenseless, we just choose to live in peace with our surroundings.
“All right,” Timmy shouted, “I’ll take you back.”
Appreciate it, mate.
The rest of the day was spent getting everything ready to take the alien back to the sea. With great care and effort, he managed to get the tank and it’s inhabitant secured into a pull behind wagon and the pair made their way to the sea. When they finally made it to the beach, Timmy could feel the excitement and happiness projecting out from the alien into his mind.
You have no idea what this means to me, the alien said. Thank you for doing the right thing. Most of my people aren’t huge fans of humans, but you’re one of the good ones. Timmy simply nodded in acknowledgment of the compliment.
When the pair had gotten far enough into the water, Timmy dumped the tank and it’s contents into the ocean. He watched in confused silence as the creature slipped beneath the waves, a nagging thought in his head that maybe this was all just a really weird dream.