Elinor Anna abducted an alien.
He was hiding in a tree in her backyard, too-green between the leaves. When he wouldn’t come down she climbed up, taking his too-many fingered hand in both of hers and leading him into the house.
He didn’t like her Legos or her coloring books. She was worried he might eat the cat (he licked his lips and said a whole lot of words Elinor Anna didn’t understand), so she hid him in her toy chest and fed him cheese crackers to keep him quiet.
“What’s that noise?” Asked her dad from the kitchen when the alien burped the biggest burp Elinor Anna had ever heard.
“It was me!” She shouted, and thumped her belly.
“What’s that smell?” Asked her mom from the hallway when he took off his rocket boots and wiggled all seventeen of his toes in Elinor Anna’s face.
“It’s me!” She said, pinching her nose.
“Time for a bath,” said her dad, scooping Elinor Anna up in his arms. She shut her toy chest just in time.
When she had her bedtime story, Elinor Anna hoped the alien could hear, too. And when she filled her water glass, she filled it extra full so she could share if he got thirsty.
After her mom turned out the light and shut the door, Elinor Anna hurried over to her toy chest. But it was empty. The stars that danced out of her night light lit the faces of her favorite dolls and the skins on her toy drums, but her alien wasn’t there. Her window was closed but she could see the stars out there, too, shining just like the stars in her room.
They must’ve shown him the way home.