‘Okay, don’t freak out.’
I looked at her from where she sat on the couch, dressed in her Cookie Monster shorties and a loose black singlet.
My hands were cradling it – the thin long gooey thing, like a snake’s skin it left behind in the shower. Like wet rubber slimed up with jelly.
I found the slimy rubber-snake-suit thing cooler in the shower, first thinking it was done alternative product that wasn’t entirely washed away.
It had no smell that forced me to gag, I didn’t scream unlike the time the cat ran by my feet in the dark the other day, it was just a watered brown, translucent clump of slimy rubber. Like –
‘Don’t freak out’ my girlfriend Andrea repeated, breaking her own rule and looking freaked out.
‘Is there a snake inside?’
My voice came out choked and broken.
‘Honey, we don’t get snakes in Melbourne, I keep telling you that.’
‘So this is one of them body products then? State of the art?’
Andrea put down the PS4 controller she was still cradling when I stepped out into the open lounge room cradling my own new thing.
She had taken the day off to play the latest God of War and had been up before me to pick it up in store at 6am.
Andrea sighed, rather deeply.
I felt something wet and thick splatter down on my left foot and stifled a cringe. Suddenly it hit me that I was butt naked, still in an about-to-shower-mode. I must’ve wandered out here naked. Shit! Dripping this gooey thing all over the house.
‘It’s not a product OR a prank..’ she said, beating my own mind’s conclusions.
‘Going crazy?’ She finished. ‘Nope.’
‘Will you sit down?’
My No came out feeble and unsure.
‘Okay. You know I love you, right?’
‘You have a pet snake?’ I blurted out.
‘And you haven’t told me!’
‘You’re having an affair with a man and you two showered together and this is some kind of thick come melding together that he left behind before he escaped.’
‘Jesus Christ, Ash! No.’
Mind racing, words struggling to keep up.
‘You can see this right?’
‘Ashley, I’m an Alien.’
Andrea had stood up, eyes locked right on mine. Those fierce blue eyes were burning darker now.
‘Like….in the video game?’
Andrea sighed, held her hand and index finger up in a WAIT! Gesture.
I waited there, naked as our cat, foot splattered by this stretch of something in my hands.
Andrea closed her eyes, squeezed them in fact, her brow creasing, her jaw clenched shut. She stood that way for a moment – and then…
Something strange happened. A spot appeared on her forearm. A polka dot, no bigger than a thumbnail, deep purple. Then another. And another. And another.
Purple polka dots began appearing all over her body, one by one, before they all became something more, like one big polka dot. No, her skin was a deep purple. Coarse, it seemed.
Her hair, her dark brown pixie cut was shifting into something else, a bright pink bob. A bowl cut? A what?
Her eyebrows faded; replaced by the deep purple leathery skin that was now…her skin?
Her eyes were the same; I could see somehow, but her lips…her lips were ruby red.
Her transformation or metamorphosis or whatever the fuck finished, she sighed, still sounding very much like Andrea.
‘Every so often, I purge myself of my old skin. It’s nothing sinister, just a cleanse. Like peeling off a face mask.’
‘You’re an Alien.’
I could feel my eyes widen and tighten.
‘Yes, Ashley.’ She said in a way that I understood she was trying to sound calming, but she was fucking purple.
‘I…do…do you eat people?’
‘No! I’m not a cannibal, Ash.’
‘You’re an Alien.’
‘So? We aren’t cannibals.’
Andrea sighed. ‘Yes. We. I…don’t want to talk about..’
‘So the family I’m meeting for Christmas..’
‘Are not human, yes. We’ve interpreted ourselves into society.’
‘Like The Thing!’
‘No, not like The Thing! Look – our species discovered Earth hundreds of years ago. Silently, we’ve inserted ourselves into your culture to…take a look.’
‘To become overlords?’
‘No! To study. We’re a race of scientists, mostly. Except I didn’t want to become that. I’ve wanted to feel. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to feel.’
‘Feel? As in – touch?’
‘Yes, Ash, as in touch.’
‘Can you read my thoughts?’
‘No. But I sense bits and pieces..’
Andrea, my leathery Purple-skinned Alien girlfriend, folded her arms and looked at me with those same blue eyes of hers.
‘So. The Andrea I saw….who is she? Did you see her on a billboard or something? Like, somewhere out there is an Andrea who knows nothing about me?’
‘You’re giving me way too much credit. I dreamt of myself as a human shortly before we arrived here. I brought her to life. I…am her.’
‘And that’s what you do? What you study?’
A smile spread across Andrea’s face. I’ve seen that look before, when she’s about to say something devious.
‘S-sex?’ I repeated, the words catching in my throat like some cartoonish gulp.
‘We are a race of….what you call, what I call now I suppose, Dominants and Submissives’’
“What would you call it?”
Andrea seemed to smirk at that. “Arctumolongs and Saemptions.”
The words sounded gruff and guttural and low – and the fact that this was all coming from Andrea, my girlfriend of –
“We’ve been together two years-“
Uh oh, my mouth was running again.
“- why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
“I meant to. I mean I was meaning to. I mean I was meaning to mind the time I meant to mind but I just…couldn’t find the courage. Don’t be mad.”
My head was too busy swimming in a myriad of thoughts to be mad. Maybe ‘mad’ would come later, when I wasn’t looking at Andrea’s skin that looked like fine leather. Only purple.
“I have….so many questions…Was the Purple People Eater song named after your race?”
“What?” Andrea frowned, her arms folded.
“Nothing..How old are you?”
“Only 90. But that translates to 26 Human Years…”
“90? But that’s-”
“Look, Just….Can you turn around a moment? I want to change back, and…I don’t want you to see me like this.”
Digesting what she just said, my eyes unfocused as full processing power seemed to divert to my brain to comprehend. I thought of Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, all mutated and slimy.
I felt the stress conveyed in her voice, and obliged. She was still Andrea after all. My Andrea.
I looked at our kitchen, somehow taking note of the washing up to be done later.
A few seconds past, a few beats of dread along with them, then Andrea spoke:
“You can turn around now.”
The Andrea that greeted me when I turned around was the Andrea I knew, the one that I saw after our fourth date together, when she invited me back to her apartment and told me to undress and stay very still, hands at my sides, while she undressed herself.
The way her small breasts rested, one slightly more full than the other, the way freckles sent a trail down her stomach, her slight tuft of darkened pubic hair in the form of a landing strip – no matter if Andrea’s human form was based off a dream, she was perfect.
Wait a moment – what did I just think? She told me to…?
“If you come from a race of sexy Alien scientists who are either Dominant or submissive….which one are you?”
A grin lit her face.
So there I was, hands cuffed to the bars of our bed headboard, legs spread and tied to the bottom of the bed.
I could feel myself, against my own accord, slip inside Andrea, who sat straddling me, her hair covering her eyes, denying me of getting the chance to read her expressions.
One of her hands was resting against my left thigh, bunched up into a fist, draining of colour, while the other gripped a black crop that she used to trail my nipples.
Watching Andrea’s hips sway in a hypnotic rhythm, feeling her move on her own accord, easing onto my cock before easing outwards, stretching the moment out, second by second, I felt a part of something bigger than myself.
I just knew it.