FanFic - Contest Stories
Part 4
by Lilybunny
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine. I just followed me down my rabbit-hole one day and I decided to let them hang out and play. I promise to let them back out when they’re done :)
Category: Contest Stories
Rating: PG-13
Maria continued walking through the supple trees which seemed to get closer and closer together as she walked further into the forest. She was beginning to think that she would never see the end of the trees when suddenly, after pushing aside some rather dense foliage she came across a clearing, empty of all objects except for something right in the middle. She strained her eyes in the dim light but she couldn’t quite make out what it was as she walked towards it. It was mushroom shaped, thin at the bottom with a silver cap on top, and as she got closer she was surprised to find it was a flying saucer!

“Humph” she said, inspecting it closely. There was no seam that could possibly be a door. “Weird”. Maria lay her hand on its smooth surface as she wondered if it was there to take Michael away. But something about the ship felt strange. It was almost as if it were…plastic. “It’s not real.” She said aloud as the realization hit her.

“Well, of course it’s not real.” A familiar voice said suddenly, breaking Maria out of her thoughts. “None of this is real.”

Maria spun around. “Liz?” she called out, walking round and round the spaceship trying to find her best friend.

“I’m up here.” Liz called out to her. Maria stood on her tiptoes as she realized that Liz was on top of the ship but she wasn’t quite tall enough to see her.

“How the heck did you get up there?”

“A ladder” another voice answered her from above.

“Max? Is that you? What are you two doing up there? And I don’t see any ladders around here.”

“Well not now.” Max said giggling. Maria scrunched her eyes up in confusion.

“Okay, that’s it.” She said, her frustration mounting. “I’m cold, I’m tired and I’m the size of a pea pod. I am NOT in the mood for games. Liz…what’s going on? Why are you hiding from me? Where are you? Let me see you!”

“Okay, but you have to promise me you won’t flip out.” Liz said to her.

“Hey, it’s me here.” Maria said self assuredly and stood there with her arms crossed waiting for her friend to appear.

She heard a noise above her that sounded like something slithering across the top of the ship. A worried frown crossed Maria’s face until she saw the silver glittering orbs of Liz’s Crashdown uniform hat appear at the edge of the ship. Sighing in relief she relaxed a bit. Until she realized that it wasn’t Liz’s uniform she was looking at. It was Liz’s antennae!

“Aaaargh!” Maria screamed as she saw what had become of her friend. “Oh my God Liz! What happened to you! I warned you that hanging around an alien was bound to have some adverse affects…but did you listen to me? No. Of course not. And now look at you. You’re a slug for crying out loud!”

Another pair of antenna appeared as Max slithered up to the edge of the toy ship to peer down at Maria. She was surprised to see the pipe of a hookah sticking out from between his sluggish lips. “See,” Max said, blowing smoke rings and smiling foolishly. “I told you she’d freak out. She’s too uptight to understand.” Leaning a little lower off the edge of the ship he said to her in a gleeful whisper “You see human Max would never have said that to your face. But slug Max…well, he’ll tell you straight.”

Maria looked up at the two of them with confusion and horror, her mouth opening and shutting in exasperation as she tried to find the words to convey her alarm. “Too uptight? You’re slugs for crying out loud! What’s not to be uptight about? And you’re smoking now too? What are you some kind of alien delinquent?” turning to face her friend she continued. “And you…what’s happened to you? Liz it’s like ever since Max came into your life I don’t even know you anymore.”

“Of course you know me Maria.” Liz said, her voice reassuring and calm. “I’m still me.”

“Liz. Hun. I hate to break this to ya babe…but you just dripped slime onto my shoe. You are definitely NOT you!” Maria dropped her eyes to the ground as she hugged herself. “He’s changed you.” She said, her voice sad and lost. “Everything’s changing. You. Me. Everything.”

“It’s okay you know.” Liz said to her, leaning down so that she was face to face with Maria. “Change. It’s okay. And it’s not Max who’s changed me. I’ve changed myself. This is who I want to be.”

Maria shook her head. “You can’t want this. I can’t…” she looked at her friend, her face filled with sadness. “He’s just going to break your heart you know. He’s going to leave you. One of these days he’s going to get into one of these things” Maria banged her fist against the plastic ship “and take off back home and it’s ‘adios sweetheart it was fun while it lasted.’ Is that what you want?”

Liz pulled herself back on top of the ship and stared down at her friend. “You’re wrong you know. Keeping yourself from loving someone isn’t the way to keep from getting hurt. Michael wouldn’t do that to you.”

“What’s Michael got to do with this?” Maria said, her emotions turning quickly to anger as they always did when confronted with her feelings towards Michael. “Michael and I…well…I don’t know what we are but I don’t want to be what you are. I don’t want any of this. I just want to find Michael and get back home!”

“Well that’s easy.” Max said to her. “All you have to do is eat some cake.”

“Cake? And just where would I find some cake around here?” she said, spreading her arms out and gesturing around the clearing.

“Right there at your feet of course.” He told her. Maria looked down and saw he was right. At the bottom of the stump there was a plate of chocolate cake. “But don’t forget the Tabasco sauce. That’s what does the trick.

Maria picked up the plate and saw a small bottle of sauce on the side, sprinkling it liberally over the cake she took a bite. And almost choked.

“Argh. That’s horrible!” she cried, dropping the plate to the ground. She was worried that she was going to have to eat more, but after a moment she realized that something strange was happening to her. She was growing! As she grew taller and taller Maria realized that she hadn’t been in the woods at all but in the fake grass of one of the alien displays in the UFO center! What she thought was moonlight was actually a dim security light above the display and the clearing was nothing more than missing patch of plastic grass. Maria looked down one last time her friends perched upon a tiny spaceship keychain, which had fallen onto the floor from the display case, and waved goodbye as she walked away.

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