Crystal's StorySite

As always, there are a few people I must thank before going any further. Prue and neri, my net angels and my two severest critics. I wish every one of you friends like these two. Jed and JRD and Steve Z. and heather and Virginia. KimEM for all your encouragement and help. finally, every one of you out there who made me feel so welcome as a newbie writer, and everyone who not only read and enjoyed my first story but who also took the time to write and tell me you enjoyed it. Thank you all very much. Now, without further ado,


Luck Be A Lady

by Catherine Linda Michel


What a place for that damned rental piece of junk to crap out! Out in the middle of the Nevada desert, at night! Why was I out in the middle of the desert? Well, it sure as hell wasn’t for a nice, peaceful tiptoe through the cacti, I can tell you that!

I was on my way to Los Angeles via the "scenic route," headed there for a job interview with some new delivery company and was low on money. My old car had given up the ghost about 400 miles back and I had rented this hunk of junk in some little backwater town I don’t even remember the name of, in the hopes that I could make it to L.A. without any more mishaps. Wrong again. My luck. I’ll tell ya, if I inherited 400 acres of pumpkins, some SOB would cancel Halloween. That’s just how my life has been. Every time I catch a break, something happens and it gets screwed up.

Well, at least the car was only overheated. Overheated! In the middle of the night, in the middle of a very chilly desert! So, I lit a cigarette and sat back to wait for the car’s temperature to come down below molten. I didn’t really have any kind of schedule to keep and the only reason I was angry was that it was just one more thing gone wrong in my life. Still, it was kind of nice way out there. Lots of stars in the sky and no smog anywhere. The air was a bit chilly but not bad enough to be really cold. I just sat there, smoking my cigarette and letting my anger slowly fade.

After a bit, I remembered that there had been a small service station back about 4 or 5 miles and I decided, after checking the radiator, that if I could get the car restarted I would turn around and go back to that little place and try to get some water or anti-freeze so I could continue my trip. I tried to start the car about three times but it just wouldn’t kick over. I waited almost an hour and tried it one more time and, what do ya know, it started! I turned around and headed back toward that small station, taking it easy and with the car heater on high. I had heard somewhere that one could bleed heat away from the engine by doing that. I don’t know if it was true or not, but after several anxious minutes, the small station came into sight. I pulled in the gravel covered front area of the station and parked up near the one large pull up door. The place was completely dark except for the glow of a soda machine outside the building and I couldn’t detect any sign of habitation. I pounded on the door and shouted myself hoarse but there was no response. I walked all the way around the place, using a flashlight I found in the glove compartment and found what looked like a water spigot on the side of the building. Rummaging around in a pile of trash, carefully in case of snakes, I found an empty oil can and after washing it out as best as I could, I used it to fill the radiator of the car and before too long, it was full again. I decided to let the car cool off some more and bought a soft drink from the machine. Taking my time drinking it and having another smoke, I was looking up at the sky when I saw a bright streak of light flash across my line of sight. I followed it’s path with my eyes and watched it come closer and closer to where I was standing! I knew it! I knew it! My lousy luck was rearing it’s ugly head again! I find a place where I can rest a bit and get that damned car going again and I was gonna get killed by some hunk of space junk!

I ran around to the front of the building and jumped into the car but it wouldn’t start! After the second or third try with no sign of life from the car, I jumper back out and started running away from it and out into the desert. I figured that if that thing, whatever it was, hit the building, the gas pump and the tank connected to it would probably blow up and I tried to put as much distance between me and it as I could. I hadn’t gone more than ten steps or so when that streak flashed over my head and a couple of seconds later, crashed into the desert with a tremendous amount of noise and light. I stopped running and watched in amazement as the thing actually slid along the ground and as it slid, it seemed to be turning towards me! It stopped about a hundred feet or so from me and for the first time I could see that this wasn’t some piece of a satellite or a meteor but an actual craft of some kind! It appeared to be circular in shape, what was left of it, and obviously, at least to me, not of earthly origin! I could hear crackling noises coming from it and I figured that it must be either fire burning inside the thing or the sounds metal makes as it cools from very high temperatures.

I just stood there for what seemed to me to be hours but was probably only a few minutes. I glanced at my watch and saw, by it’s weak glow that it was 1:30 in the morning. After a few more minutes I recovered my ability to walk without my knees giving away and began to walk around the, well, saucer. It wasn’t very large, maybe 30 feet around and part of it was crushed from the impact into the unyielding desert ground. I couldn’t see any fire inside the thing and I cautiously went closer to it. Looking inside I could see some kind of light and, by that light, I could see two, umm, well, humanoid shapes. I watched for a few more seconds but I saw no motion from either shape and I decided to try to get in the craft to see if there was anything I could do for them. Hell, if nothing else, I might become the very first person to recover actual evidence of extra terrestrial life! Yeah! I would be famous, rich!

Looking around, I found a place where I could gain entry and I carefully climbed inside. The first form I came to was, undoubtedly not a human being! It was very thin and it’s head was like a lizard, with no hair at all on it. It’s skin looked grey when viewed in the weird green light that was emanating from inside the craft and it looked very, very dead. I made my way over to the other form I could see and, to my shock, it appeared to be human, and female! Unfortunately, it, or she, also was dead, an ugly gash in the side of her head was much too large and deep for life to still be remaining.

I pulled the flashlight out of my pocket and switched it on so I could see better and double checked both bodies. Neither was breathing and I couldn’t find a pulse on either of them. My mind was going in about 6 different directions at once trying to make some sense out of what was happening, and for a few minutes I did nothing more. I just stood there trying to calm down. When I felt more in control of myself I started looking around the craft. I found a couple of small boxes which had what looked like computer discs in them. The discs were only about the size of a silver dollar and were gold colored. Searching around in the same area I also came up with what looked like a laptop computer with a tangle of wires attached to it. I put all that in a pile outside the ship and returned inside to see what else I could find. I did find a couple of blankets or tarpaulins and I covered up the bodies with them. E.T.s or not, I figured they still deserved some respect in death. I looked around some more after that and found a couple of gun like things that I figured might be weapons and several metal squares which appeared to fit into them. I added them to the pile outside and went back inside again. The only other thing I could find was a kind of duffle bag that had some clothing in it. I found myself beginning to shiver and I recognized the signs of shock in myself so I went back outside and gathered my little pile of booty and headed back towards my car. I knew that I had to get myself calmed down or I would lose it and freak out without a doubt. The immensity of what I had seen and discovered, was almost too much for me to comprehend and, once I got to my car, I stashed everything in the trunk and closed it.

I lit a cigarette and took a long drag, pulling the smoke deep into my lungs. I held it there for several seconds before breathing it slowly back out and I could feel myself starting to relax a bit. I just stood there by my car and finished my smoke and tried to get myself under control. I knew I should call somebody to come out here and recover this spaceship but I also knew that if I did, I would probably be spirited away with the ship and it’s deceased occupants to be interviewed and poked and examined and.........HOLD IT!! Why did I have to do anything! SOMEONE must’ve seen this thing come down, even way out here in the middle of nowhere. Surely radar would have tracked it in it’s uncontrolled tumble from space and would probably be on the way to here right now! If I didn’t want to be taken away with the remains of the ship, I’d better get my ass in gear! Hey, I have seen movies of what the MIB do with people they find out have anything to do with UFOs!! I got into the car and, with a prayer to the god of engines, I turned the ignition key. IT STARTED!!! I didn’t waste any time in getting out of there and back on the road. I just hoped that the car wouldn’t die on me again until I was a lot closer to civilization! As I pulled back onto the road, I looked back towards the station and, way back there on the road I could see lights coming toward the place and the wreck. I didn’t see any flashing, police type lights but I didn’t feel like taking any more chances tonight and I put my foot down on the gas and roared away from there. I kept watching the rearview mirror for any signs of pursuit but as I got further from the crash site, I began to relax a little bit. I didn’t see anything coming up on me from behind so I eased up on the gas a bit, trying to make sure the car didn’t overheat or throw a wheel or something. Hey, I was more than a little bit shook up and I have found that, in certain cases, paranoia can be a good thing! I started thinking about what I was going to do with the stuff from that ship and thoughts of a lot of money began running through my head. If I could get somewhere where I could figure out what all that stuff actually was, I could sell them for a BUNDLE of cash! Maybe even enough so I wouldn’t have to work ever again! Maybe my lousy luck was finally changing! I had kept my lights turned off until I was quite a way away from the wrecked craft, figuring that if I turned them on, the people heading for it would see them and follow me, trying to catch up and find out what I knew about it. They’d also, no doubt search me and the car and they would find the stuff I had taken from the ship and I didn’t want that happening. That stuff could very well be my ticket to easy street if I could figure out what it was and what it did. Fortunately, there was enough light coming from the moon that I could see well enough to drive a while without my lights. After I got far enough away from the crash site, and could no longer see any lights coming up from behind me, I turned on the headlights and boogied away from there as fast as that old clunker of a car could go. After a little bit, I slowed down, though, because I started thinking about my luck and the way it always went bad on me and the last thing I needed right now was a cop pulling me over for speeding. Also, I didn’t need that hunk of junk overheating on me again!

After about 50 miles or so had passed beneath the wheels of the car and nothing bad had happened, yet, I began looking for someplace to pull off the road and rest. I was still shaking a bit and was running low on cigarettes. Up ahead, I spotted what looked like the glow of lights, maybe a town or something so I headed towards it and, as I got closer, I saw that it was one of those all night convenience type store deals. Further ahead, I could see that I was coming into a small town so I relaxed just a bit and pulled off the road into the parking area of the convenience store and shut the engine off. I just sat there for a few seconds before getting out of the car and walking towards the main entrance doors.

There was a bored looking young guy, probably in his early 20s behind the counter, reading a newspaper. He looked up at me and smiled and said, "Well! Hi there mister! What can I do for ya? It sure gets boring out here at this time of the morning and you’re the first person to stop here in over an hour! I wonder, sometimes, why they bother to keep this place open all night, but, then again, if they didn’t, I’d be out of a job so I guess I should count my blessings, huh?"

I smiled back at him and said, "I need something to drink and a couple of pack of Marlboro 100s. Where’s your pop cooler?"

He pointed toward the back of the store and I walked to the back. I grabbed a couple of Big Gulp Pepsis from the cooled and they were ICE cold! That’s the way I like my Pepsi and before you say anything, I hate coffee! The taste of the stuff just makes me gag so I get my caffeine from Pepsi, or Coke, or Royal Crown or any kind of cola. I also grabbed a couple of hamburgers from a display and stuck them into a microwave that was obviously there for the purpose of heating up the cold stuff that was in the display case and waited for the dinger to dang, letting me know that my nuked food was ready to be consumed. While I waited for that, I grabbed a couple of small bags of potato chips. When the bell went off on the microwave, I took a few napkins and grabbed the now hot hamburgers and made my way back up to the front of the store where the kid had my cigarettes waiting on the counter.

I laid all the stuff on the counter and added a king sized Hershey bar and he totaled it all up. I paid him and he bagged everything but the burgers up and asked if there was anything else I needed. I said, "No, that oughta do it," and headed for the door. He said, "Well, thanks for stoppin’ mister and take it easy our there. I heard, on the radio, that there was some kind of crash back up the road. There’ll probably be cops and ambulances and things all over up there." "I’m not headed that way." I replied. "I’m headed towards California and hoping that old rent a wreck I’m driving will get me there before it explodes!" I chuckled a bit and the kid shook his head and chuckled a little too. I guess one doesn’t get a whole lot to laugh about at this hour in the morning on a lonely road working in an all night convenience store. I said adios and headed out the door. As I walked towards the car I started thinking about finding someplace to hole up for a day or so and try to figure out what all that stuff from the crashed UFO might be or do. I sat down in the car and scarfed the burgers and chips, washing them down with the Pepsi and following that up with the Hershey bar. Now THAT’S my idea of a balanced meal! All the major food groups taken care of. Sugar, salt, caffeine and grease! As I sat there thinking and digesting, I saw lights coming towards the store and, as I watched, a State Highway Patrol car pulled into the parking area and stopped. Two officers got out of the car and headed into the store, nodding at me as they went past. I nodded back but didn’t say anything to them. They went inside and I decided that I’d better get out of there before my luck went sour on me and those cops came back out and started asking me questions. You gotta understand, knowing how my lousy luck works has made me more paranoid than your average person. I see bad luck in almost everything and NOW, with that stuff in my trunk, I didn’t figure that talking to a couple of cops was the best way to spend a few minutes. I started the clunker and backed out of the parking space and headed back onto the road. I accelerated away easy and built up speed until I was just a few miles an hour under the limit. I was checking the rearview mirror every few seconds or so, just knowing that I was gonna see that Patrol car come screeching out of the lot after me with it’s lights flashing! It didn’t, though and after a few miles had gone by I relaxed a bit and opened a pack of cigarettes and lit one up. Yeah, I know, cigarettes are bad for you, but when you have smoked as long as I have, NO cigarettes is worse.

Drawing the smoke deep into my lungs and holding it there relaxed me a bit more and I put my mind back to the task of thinking. I came to a crossroad and I decided to turn off the route I had been on. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t in a hurry and I needed to find someplace to rest and examine the stuff I’d taken from the craft. After several miles, I saw a sign advertising a motel and I thought that would be perfect. I was far enough from the crash and on a different road so that it wouldn’t look like I had come from that direction. When I found it, it was one of those places like "Joe’s Motel". It was a kind of a run down looking place and I thought it looked like a perfect place to hide out for a while and unwind a bit. I pulled into the parking area and noticed that the "rooms" were behind the main office and cars there would be out of sight from the road. PERFECT, I thought and got out of the car and walked towards the door of the office.

It was dark inside and I knocked on the door and rang the bell a couple of times. Finally I heard a voice whining, "Okay, OKAY! Keep your shirt on, I’m comin’! Ding danged tourists! Can’t let a man get his sleep! Always comin’ round in the middle of the dadblasted night!"

The door suddenly flew open and there stood an old guy who looked for all the world like Grandpa McCoy from the old show, "The Real McCoys" He was still muttering to himself as he flung open the door and he squinted at me and said, "Whaddya want?! A room, I ‘spect! Doggone tourists always comin around in the middle of the night! WELL! C’mon in and register so I can give ya a key and get back to sleep!"

I had to chuckle at this crusty old man, partly because of who he reminded me of and the way he was acting, but partly because I was still a bit tense and chuckling at him was a bit of a release from that. I followed him into the office where he turned on a light and shoved the registration book at me. "Sign yer name in there and gimmie 25 bucks for the night! Checkout time is noon and if yer one minute late I get ta charge ya for another night! We ain’t got no kitchen but ya kin get breakfast at the diner across the road when it opens at 6 AM.!" Well, I signed the register and handed him 25 dollars. He took the money and counted it twice and tossed a key on the counter. I picked it up and he gave me that squinty look again.

"It’s number 5, in the back! Park yer car around there and get on out of here so I can go back ta bed! There ain’t no bugs in there so if’n I find any after you check out I’ll know you brought ‘em in with ya! I got yer license plate number so I kin track ya down and make ya pay for a ‘sterminator! Now, get on out of here and let an old man go back ta sleep!" He walked away, still muttering to himself, but stopped and turned to point a finger at me. "Turn off that danged light when ya go and lock the door! And don’t make no dadratted noise drivin’ around back neither!" With that, he turned back and left the room. Well, I turned off the light and locked the door behind me when I left and went back to my car. I drove around the back and found number 5 and parked in front of the room. There were 10 rooms back there, all in one long building with, of course, 10 separate doors. Like I said before, the place looked kind of run down so I wasn’t expecting a Holiday Inn. I got a bit of a surprise when I unlocked #5 and entered, though. I turned on the light and saw that it was a very neat two room suite with a separate bathroom! Everything was very clean and, although worn looking, everything was clean and smelled fresh washed. The bed was made up and there were fresh wrapped bars of soap and clean towels in the bathroom. There was a TV/VCR combo on a dresser at the foot of the bed and a remote on the night stand next to the bed. All in all, a neat, clean room which was the last thing I expected from the looks of the outside of this place. I went back outside to the car and got my suitcase and the duffle bag from the trunk and took them inside and put them on the bed. Then I went back out and got the rest of the stuff I had recovered from the ship and took it inside as well. I dumped the whole load on the bed and locked the door to the room. I decided that I’d get a shower, catch a few hours of shuteye and then give the duffle bag and the other stuff the once over. I looked at my watch and it said that it was 4 in the AM and I figured I’d lay low in this motel for a day or two. I stashed the stuff under the bed and went in for my shower. Then I laid down on the bed in just my jockey shorts, set the alarm on my watch for 11AM and crashed. When the alarm went off, I cracked one eyelid and looked, blearily at my watch. 11 AM. Great. Wonderful. I felt like I hadn’t slept at all and my eyes were all gummed up with that stuff, whatever it is, that accumulates in your eyes when you sleep. I smacked my lips together a few times and decided to get up. I had to go give the old guy some more money anyway and I should probably try to find something to eat as well. I grabbed my pants and a clean shirt, climbed into some clean socks and put my shoes on. Then I snatched my keys off the dresser where I had thrown then just a few hours before and headed out the door, locking it behind me.

I strolled up front to the office and noticed it was now open so I opened the door and went on in. I looked around and there, at a desk in the corner of the room, sat THE most gorgeous creature I had EVER laid eyes on. She looked up at me and when I caught a glimpse of her eyes, well, let’s just say that I suddenly became a believer in love at first sight! I just wanted to stand there and drown in those eyes and when she spoke, I didn’t even hear what she said. I just stood there with my mouth slightly open, staring. I couldn’t breathe and I could feel strange things going on in my stomach, and lower! She spoke again in a slightly louder tone of voice and I finally realized that she was speaking to me!

She had a slightly amused look on her face and I figured that she must be used to the effect she was having on me, and for that matter, the effect she must have on all men if they are breathing! Long brunette hair swung around her face as she kind of tossed her head to clear the hair from in front of her eyes I finally found my tongue and made it work, sort of, and said, "I’m sorry, I just woke up and I came up here to pay for an extra day and I was expecting to find the old guy and then I saw you and I, I, I........." About there I ran out of air, and words, and just stood there with what MUST have been the dumbest look on my face that had ever been seen by anyone. She grinned at me, obviously enjoying my tied tongue and flustered behavior and then, she spoke again, saying, "Hello! You must Mr. Butler. I found a note from grandpa that he had rented #5 out early this morning. He said that you might be in this morning. So you are going to stay for another night, Mr. Butler? How nice! We don’t get a lot of guests this time of year!"

She actually sounded happy that I was going to be staying! Well, I’m sure you can guess what part of me was doing the most thinking just then but I tried to get my body, my brain, and my mouth to co-operate and, in a few seconds I was able to regain control of most of my thought processes.

"Umm, look," I stammered. Can we start over? My name is William Butler but most everyone just calls me Bill. And you are.....?" She smile at me again, this time a friendly smile instead of an amused one and answered, "My name is Prudence Walker, but most everyone calls me Prue. I’m glad to meet you Mr. Bu..., I mean Bill." Did that little slip mean that she wanted to consider me a friend? Man, I sure hoped so. This young woman was VERY pretty and, from the sound of it, very intelligent as well. She continued, saying, "My grandfather owns this place and I help him out with the books and other paperwork. He CAN be a bit of a handful, as I think you may have noticed, but he is a dear and I love him very much." Her face lit up as she talked about her grandpa and, if possible, it made her even prettier. I cast about in my mind for something else to say in order to continue talking to her and finally, came up with an idea. Well, why don’t I go ahead and pay you for the extra night and then maybe I could take you to lunch? I haven’t even had breakfast yet and I am starved. Is the place across the road any good? "Why, thank you, Bill, that’d be nice. I hate to eat alone and the place across the road is actually quite good. You get your money’s worth and the food is very good!" My head was swimming a bit. This gorgeous gal was gonna have lunch with me, a guy she just met and knew nothing about! PHOOEY on my bad luck! By gosh, maybe it was changing for the better after all! I paid Prue for the room and, after she locked up the register, she called out, "Grandpa, I’m going for lunch. I’ll be across the road at Higgens’."

The old man answered her from somewhere in the back part of the office, "Okay Prudie. Bring me back somethin’. I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!"

I chuckled a bit at the old man but made sure that Prue knew it wasn’t malicious laughter. The LAST thing I wanted to do right now, was to put her off in any way. Besides, I kinda liked the old guy’s spirit. I hope when I get to be that age, I have as much spunk.

We went across the road and into the little restaurant and found seats. We each grabbed a menu and, in just a little bit a waitress came over and asked us what we would like. I ordered a hot roast beef sandwich with a large Pepsi, and Prue ordered a burger and a salad, and coffee. We sat and talked a bit before our orders arrived and she told me that she was divorced after a bad marriage and not much more about that. I found out that she was 25 and had no kids and that she lived in L.A. but was here in Nevada recovering from her divorce and just getting her life together.

I, in turn, told her about my heading for L.A. looking for work and a new start. We talked right through lunch and, to tell the truth, I don’t remember eating anything but, when I looked down at my plate it was empty and I was full. Prue ate sparingly and managed to finish her salad and half of her burger along with about three cups of coffee. I asked her if she minded if I had a smoke and she responded by getting out her cigarettes and asking me for a light. I darn near ripped my pocket trying to get my lighter out too fast and lit both of our smokes and we just sat there enjoying the smoke and each other’s company. When we were finished with our cigarettes, we got up and went to the register to pay for lunch. I started to pay for hers but she stopped me, saying, "Hey, Bill, let’s call this one dutch treat. I don’t know you well enough to let you pay for my meals, yet. Maybe another time if you want to take me out for dinner or something like that, I’ll let you pay. Okay?"

Well, what was I gonna do? Make a scene right there? I let her pay for her lunch but I insisted on paying for her grandpa’s lunch which we picked up on the way out. She smiled at that and allowed me to pay. We left the restaurant and walked back across the road and parted company at the front door of the office. I told her that I was still a bit tired, which I was, but I also wanted to take some time and look over the stuff stashed under the bed in my room. She said Okay and went inside the office, flashing me a quick smile which banished most of my tiredness. I sort of floated back to my room and, once inside, I locked the door and began pulling things out from under the bed. The first thing I pulled out was that duffle bag. I heaved it up on the bed and opened it up. Reaching inside, cautiously, My fingers found.....clothes? Hmm, felt like silk or something like it. Smooth anyway. I began pulling things out of it. Women’s clothes? Yep. Slips, Bras, Panties, Skirts, Blouses, Hose, Dresses, Shoes. In the bottom of the bag was a small compact looking thing with stuff written on it. I got out my handy dandy 12- in-one tool and found the magnifying glass. It said, UNIVERSAL MAKEUP KIT. Ooookay! Why not? There was one other thing in the bag. It looked like a hair dryer but different, If that makes any sense. There was a small book, kind of like an instruction manual attached to it by some kind of plastic looking strap, and there was a standard looking power cord attached to the thing as well. I spent a few minutes sorting through the clothes and made neat piles of them, folding them as neatly as I knew how. Why? I dunno. It just seemed to be the thing to do with them, I guess. I left the makeup kit alone for the time being and examined the hair dryer. It had different settings one could dial up but the titles of the settings were strange. Length? Style? Color? And then numbered settings under each main category up to 8. Oookay! Well, what the hell, I thought. I plugged the thing into a wall socket and set the length for shoulder, the style on #1 and the color to blonde, and turned it on.

Almost immediately, warn air started blowing out of the thing and I aimed it at my own hair. I watched in the mirror but other than my hair getting warm and flying around in the breeze, nothing seemed to be happening. My attention got distracted by something, I don’t remember what, but I looked away from the mirror for a minute or so enjoying the feeling of the warm air on my scalp. All of a sudden, I felt something happening up there! I quickly turned my attention back to the mirror and saw my hair starting to grow! It got longer, and longer until it reached my shoulders and, as it grew, it got thicker and shinier and lighter in color until it was totally blonde! It was straight, without any curl or anything kind of like Mary Travers used to wear her hair in the early days of Peter, Paul and Mary.

I quickly shut the hair dryer thing off and set it down on the top of the dresser and began to pull on my hair, gently. It was definitely attached to my head and it felt a lot silkier and smoother than my hair had ever felt! I picked up the dryer again and looked at it more closely. On the bottom, there was a switch with two positions. One was labeled ‘nor’ and the other, ‘imp’. It was set on ‘imp’ so I switched it to nor and turned it back on, again blowing my hair around with the warm air. In just a few minutes, my hair regained it’s normal length, color and style! Well now, This thing could be worth some bucks! I should be able to sell it to some Hollywood salon for a real bundle of cash. I played with it for about a half hour and turned my hair every color of the rainbow and every length including long enough to brush the floor! The style settings gave it curls or waves or whatever! WOW! Pretty cool, I thought and when I was finished playing with it, I returned my hair to it’s normal length, color and style. Okay. I picked up the makeup kit. I’ll admit it. The hair dryer/styler was kind of fun and I wondered what this thing had in it. I opened it up expecting to see all kinds of colors of eye makeup and blush and like that, but looking in it, all I saw was a mirror and a series of buttons, each with a number! Now, being one of those guys who NEVER reads the instructions, I pressed one to see what it might do. Nothing. Hmmm. Okay, there was one which said ‘on’. I pushed it. I could hear a small hum begin almost like an electrical noise like you hear sometimes if your TV isn’t working just exactly right. I shook it a little bit and the hum went away. Must be a little out of whack from the impact of the crash, I told myself. At least I hoped that was the case. I guessed I would know in a minute or two. If it blew my hand off, I would know I had been wrong! Okay, I put the thing down and picked up the instruction manual! NOW, I would read it! According to what I read, this thing could duplicate or create ANY makeup style once that style had been input into it, kind of like entering data into a computer. To do that, it said, all one had to do was either slide a picture of the style into a small slot in the bottom of it, OR, use the thing like a camera and take a ‘picture’ of the style one wanted. I found the proper buttons to use to ‘take a picture of a style and turned on the TV. I waited for an ad to come up with a good looking woman in it and when one did, I ‘took a picture’ of her. The kit buzzed and clicked and made little chuckling noises to itself almost like R2D2 talking for a couple of seconds and then stopped. A little ‘bing’ noise went off and then a button started flashing on and off. I pushed that button but nothing happened. I looked at the rows of buttons, trying to find one that would make this thing DO something and accidentally pushed the same button again but this time I was looking directly into the mirror built into the kit. There was a small buzzing noise again, then a brief bright light washed over my face. Nothing unpleasant like shining a flashlight beam across your face in the daytime. You can tell it’s there but it isn’t blinding or anything. When the light went away, I looked into the mirror again and my face had makeup on it! I mean, everything that girl on the TV had on her face had been duplicated on mine!

Now, I’ll grant you, it didn’t look very good on my face but I looked at it closely in that mirror and EVERYTHING was there! Mascara, eyeliner, foundation and powder, blush, lipstick, the WORKS! WELL, NOW!! THIS really WAS something. Thoughts of opening my own salon were beginning to form in my mind! The hell with working for some two bit delivery company, carrying boxes and things! Instead of selling these things, I could USE them to make changes in just about anyone, it seemed! For kicks, I picked up the hair dryer, turned it back on and tried to match my hair to what I had seen on the girl on TV. I had it in a matter of minutes and shut the dryer off again. Looking in the large mirror over the dresser, I looked at myself carefully. Everything looked just as it had on that girl in the ad except, of course it was on my head and face!

Okay, I thought this was a little weird too but for the next hour or so I played with those two things, giving myself at least two dozen makeovers in the process. It WAS kind of fun and a couple of times, I broke up laughing. I really looked ridiculous with long, styled hair and makeup! Well, after I grew a little tired of that I put everything back the was it was on my head and face (there WAS a button to erase what the kit put on ones face). Then I got the rest of the stuff out from under the bed. The two things that looked like weapons, I put inside a dresser drawer and left alone. The last thing I wanted to do right now was to blow up the room I was sitting in and since these were alien weapons, I didn’t know WHAT they could do! The last thing I had to check out was that thing that looked like a laptop computer. I picked it up and opened it. Now, I’m no computer expert by anyone’s definition but this thing looked pretty much like every other laptop computer I had ever seen, EXCEPT for that bundle of wires attached to it and the fact that there was no CD slot or anyplace to insert a computer disc anywhere on it. Instead there was a small slot located near the keys on the keyboard part of it that looked like it was designed to put a sliver dollar sized object into it. I put it down on the bed and took a closer look at the tangle of wires. After a few minutes of untangling and straightening, I could see that the wires formed a kind of pattern. What it looked like, to me, was, there was a small round section with long wires leading from it, extending about 6 feet, give or take a few inches. Once I got them all untangled, I tried to step back and observe the wires from a dispationate point of view. I let my mind go blank, sort of, and let my subconscious see the whole thing in as many ways as it could. I have found that sometimes, when I try too hard to think about something, I can’t come up with an answer. I have to actively stop thinking about it and let my subconscious mind work on it. Almost invariably, it will come up with an answer that makes sense.

After about 15 minutes of this led me to several possibilities. I quickly examined each of them and discarded all of them except one. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said, through his most famous character creation, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, that, "When one has examined all the evidence and discarded the impossible, whatever is left, however improbable it may seem, must be the answer." Now that may not be an accurate quote, but it does convey the message. So, that’s kind of what I did, and, however improbable it seemed to me, it looked like what one was supposed to do with those wires was, put the round part on one’s head and arrange the other wires downwards to the floor on all sides of one’s body. What their purpose was, though, I had NO idea.

On a hunch, I picked up one of the boxes of small disc-like things I had found with the laptop and examined one of the discs. It looked like a plain, gold colored, circle of some kind of metal. Looking at a little closer, it occurred to me that it was just about the right size to fit into the slot on the laptop! I picked up the laptop again and looked for some kind of ‘on’ switch or button, and, what do you know, I found one! It was similar to the ‘on/off’ buttons I had noticed on the makeup kit and the hair styler. I pressed it into the ‘on’ position and was rewarded by the monitor screen lighting up! Symbols appeared within seconds on the screen but they were not in English, or any other language I was familiar with.

I played with several buttons and, as luck would have it, I actually found one that translated the symbols into English! What appeared on the screen after that were instructions for operating the laptop! I followed the setup instructions and then I inserted the first disc into that small slot. It completely disappeared into the laptop and a couple of seconds later, new instructions appeared on the screen. I read through them carefully and slowly and, as I read, my mouth fell open from surprise! According to what I was reading, the laptop was a portable form changer and the discs were various different body shapes! Now, I know how this must all sound to you, the reader. Fantastic would probably be the mildest word one could apply to this and yet, there it was! In my hands I held the means to change my body in any way available on those discs!

My first thought was that I had stumbled on a scout craft of some kind from an invasion force and this little laptop type thing was their means of infiltrating the governments of the Earth! It made a kind of sense, the more I thought about it. I mean, there was the makeup kit, and the hair styler and now this thing which purported itself to be a body changing machine! It all pointed, in my mind, to some kind of alien invasion threat and, now I was getting worried! My thoughts of selling this stuff off to the highest bidder were fast taking second place to thoughts about saving the Earth from invasion! I had to get this stuff to the government, somehow! They would know what to do with it, but how was I gonna do that? I know enough about the government and their elite and top secret teams like the Men In Black or, the MIB, to know that they would probably hold me for questioning for God knows how long and I would still end up needing a job or worse, as an experimental test subject in some lab somewhere. They couldn’t let me go once they had me because they would consider me a security risk.

In order to get my thoughts out of that pattern, I decided to see if the form changer would actually do what it was supposed to do. Since I had been playing with makeup and hair styles most of the afternoon anyway, I decided to see if this thing could actually change my body to a female form. I figured, in for a penny, in for a pound and, after a brief search through the discs, I found one that had stored on it a very attractive female form. About 5’5" 115 lbs. And 36C, 24, 36 measurements. I figured out how to arrange the wires about my body and how to store my own form on a blank disc. I was, after all, just experimenting with this thing. I didn’t want to be stuck with a different shape than the one I had gotten used to all of my life. I placed the round part of the wire harness on my head and found that it could be adjusted to fit. According to the directions, the round part was supposed to rest right at one’s hairline and it didn’t matter if the trailing wires that hung from that part were too long or too short by a few inches, according to the instructions. So, I arranged the wire harness the way it was supposed to be, recorded my own form and then replaced that disc with the one I had selected for my test. I carefully placed the disc with my recording on it in a safe place and then, activated the program. There was a brief moment of disorientation and then nothing. I wasn’t sure whether I should be disappointed or elated that it hadn’t worked! I reached up to remove the wire harness from my head and got one hell of a surprise! My HANDS! They weren’t my hands! I mean, they WERE my hands, I could feel with them and everything but they were different! They were much more slender and graceful looking than I ever remembered them being and my nails were long and oval shaped! The hair was gone from them and, as my unbelieving eyes followed up the arms attached to those hands I noticed that they, too, were hairless and nicely rounded, not muscular like they had been! They also seemed to bend differently than they ever had, seeming to be almost double jointed! I was almost afraid to look anywhere else on my body. I knew that, judging from the differences in my hands and arms, the damned thing HAD worked and I wasn’t so sure anymore that I wanted to see what had happened to my body. I swallowed, hard, and looked down the front of my body, trying to prepare myself mentally for what I was sure I was going to see, but all the preparation in the world couldn’t prepare me for the sight of breasts sticking out of MY chest!

I guess I panicked for a few seconds because the next thing I remember, I was standing in front of the full length mirror on the back of the bathroom door, without the wire harness on me and gazing at the most gorgeous female body it had EVER been my pleasure to see, naked! Perfect breasts were hanging from MY chest and below that, a slim tapered waist which gradually flared out to lovely child bearing hips. My legs were slender and beautifully shaped and my feet were absolutely tiny compared with my old large male feet. Between my legs was a smooth stretch of soft, curly hair and just the hint of what lay within that hair. There was no hair anywhere else on my body, including my armpits, except for my eyelashes which had grown incredibly long and full. Even my eyebrows were gone! I must have stood there, looking in that mirror for ten minutes or so, turning this way and that, admiring what I saw there. Then, panic set back in and I ran back into the other room, found the wire harness, put it back on and grabbed the disc with my old recording on it. I quickly ran the program and, as before, there was that moment of disorientation and then nothing. I raised my arm into view and, with great relief, I saw my own hairy male arm! I took off the wire harness, put on my jockey shorts and sat down on the bed and lit a cigarette. I just sat there, smoking until I finished that cigarette. I didn’t even think or try to. I just sat there, in shock I guess. Let’s face it, folks, I had just, in the course of a few hours, watched an alien spacecraft crash. I had recovered alien artifacts from that craft and then run like a thief in the night with the spoils I had looted from that craft and hidden myself in an out of the way motel. I had met a beautiful woman and had lunch with her and then I had radically changed my body using those alien machines! All in all, one hell of a 24 hour period and my brain was racing, trying to catch up with what had happened!

////////////////TO BE CONTINUED



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