Kristin Kokkersvold/Flickr

What made you pick me out that day? Take me home, cuddle me close? I mean, every human loves her alien overlord, but your tentacles, master, were the most tentacly I’d ever had the honor to witness! You, dear master, were without a teensiest doubt the most handsome of all the Grand Poobah Nebuloid Rulers of Every Known Galaxy in All Conquered Timelines who’d ever graced our humble Earth quadrant’s Available Humans depot. I still remember my first glimpse of your lovely bulbous eyeballs, master! The silvery sheen of your smooth green skin. The kind wisdom beaming from all of your sweet rubbery orifices. Oh master, even as you came into view I told all the other humans in my cage that you would pick me, take me home with you to hold and love forever. I just felt it, master. I just knew, the way a girl knows the instant her one and only comes into her life.

And then that stupid Aldo, our depot maintenance manager, stupidly messed up, extra-stupidly allowing our cage’s sonic resonators to sputter out. What negligence! What dereliction of sacred duty! What dimwitted slackjawed flubbing of the responsibility to which you had entrusted him despite the obvious inferiority of our species to your own, dearest master. Such times as those terrible, terrible thirty seconds show how grateful we should all be for the selfless guidance and benevolent nurturing of our lowly planet by your exalted own.

But oh, oh, those thirty horrendous seconds. What agony I felt! What pain! What terror! That instant when my vision swam and my knees wobbled, and for thirty stuttering beats of my lovesick heart the hum from the electrode implant behind my right ear ceased and your appearance grew strange and gruesome to my eyes — yes, alien, master! Your oozing pustules and throbbing ear-gristle and even your bubbling slime trail suddenly appeared monstrous to my pathetic, unassisted, weakling human eyeballs! The screaming we humans did in those brief moments! The pandemonium as we cowered and blubbered in our pathetic human terror.

Of course, our back-up resonators kicked in according to your impeccable Nebuloid engineering and design. Our left ear implants were quickly humming away, and we humans limped about and helped each other off the floor, embarrassed by our collective behavior in front of such a fine Master specimen as yourself. But those few horrifying seconds are something I try every waking moment to forget. And I will, my sweet master Poobah, my wonderful Pookie-Shmookie. I will forget them, now that I’m safe in your arms and tentacles and segmented flightless hooked digits, here in your beautiful swamp-gas home, tending you lovingly and dutifully as every human should his or her sweet, smart, kind, and glorious master.

And to think I once let stupid Aldo kiss me! A mere human male, with only two arms, two legs, a single mouth and no slime trail to speak of at all! That, my precious master, I may never forget. The horror! Oh, the horror.

Alexandra Renwick’s fiction has been translated into nine languages and adapted to stage and audio. Born in Los Angeles but raised in Philadelphia, Yorkshire, Austin, and Denmark, she’s currently in Canada’s lovely capital Ottawa, living in the ex-headquarters of the Canadian Legion War Services, the Regional Sommeliers Guild, and the Hand-Held Photography Association. Find more online or on Twitter @AlexCRenwick.