was almost looking forward to the Fifth Grade.
That is, until the new foreign exchange student
showed up at my house the day before school
started. The minute I laid eyes on him, I knew
this year was going to be strange. He was just
so different from your typical fifth grader
that I knew this kid was going to turn the school
upside down. You'll see what I mean.
That day I was waiting for him all morning out
on the front lawn. Mom had asked me to "keep
an eye out for Dude's bus."
Hello. Now, who names their kid Dude? I had
asked my Dad that very question when I first
learned that a foreign exchange student would
be staying at our house that year.
Dude probably means something else in his country,"
Dad had said. "You know you shouldn't judge
a book by its cover!"
Let me tell you, this was one case where the
cover fit the book perfectly! But I'm getting
ahead of myself.
Anyway, so the day before school, I was standing
out on the front lawn, bored out of my mind
as I tossed a baseball up into the air for the
thousandth time, when all of a sudden, I saw
something bright in the sky. It kept getting
closer and closer.
it be cool if it were a spaceship?" I laughed,
absolutely sure that nothing exciting like that
could ever happen to me. But sure enough, that's
exactly what it was!
The spaceship stopped about a hundred yards
above the tops of the trees and then a door
slid open. My eyes were glued to it and I couldn't
speak a word.
Something stepped out of the spaceship door
and began zig-zagging down through the sky right
towards my house. I had this crazy thought that
it looked like a kid riding a skateboard through
As he got closer I saw that it was! The kid
did some awesome loops and turns and spins up
above the trees and then screeched right towards
me. I jumped back and fell into the bushes.
Looking up through the branches, I saw a kid
hovering in the air about three feet above the
ground on his skateboard. He looked like a typical
kid my age, with shorts and tee-shirt and sneakers,
and a cap sitting backwards on his head. The
only difference was that he was green. This
kid was an alien!
The green alien-kid hopped down onto the grass
and pulled the skateboard out of the air. He
scrunched it up between his hands until it was
no bigger than a dime, and then he stuck it
in his pocket. "Like, Sweet! Totally radical
air space!" he laughed.
A bug was crawling on my nose and though I tried
my best not to, I sneezed.
The alien looked around with a worried expression
on his green face. Then he glanced down and
saw me in the bushes.
Peace, Dude?" I stuttered. I mean, what else
do you say to an alien?
The alien-kid looked at me nervously. "Uh...Er...!
Uh, hi. Like, uh, Peace, Man." He held up a
peace sign and flashed me a quivering smile.
"Like, uh, you didn't just, um, catch me on
my, you know, board, did you?" he asked.
yeah..." I swallowed.
The alien turned a paler-shade of green. "Oh,
Man! Bummer, Man! I, um, er, I'm going to like,
you know, get in so much trouble now, man. Like
I... I can, um, totally explain it... like..."
I didn't say anything. I couldn't, even if I'd
been able to understand anything he'd just said.
see, I ... Hey, you're like, Johnny, um, Chronicles,
right?" he asked. I could see he was trying
to change the subject to throw me off. But I
was already so thrown off I just lay there with
my mouth open. At that moment I wished with
all my heart I wasn't Junior Chronicles. Maybe
if I denied it, he'd go away.
The alien looked up at the number "23" on the
front porch of our house and then down the street
to the "Oak Lane" street sign. He nodded his
head, letting me know that he knew he was at
the right place. Drats!
was about all I was able to say.
look Johnny, I've, you know, had, um, a like
totally sorta, you know, awesomely long trip...
Like I'd really like to, um, well, like put
my bag down..." the alien said, pointing to
the glowing backpack on his back. "Like, man,
can you like, you know, like give me a hand?
This thing is so like, you know, so like totally
okay... I stammered and struggled to my feet
to help him swing the backpack off his shoulder.
I gasped as the glowing backpack pulled me off
the ground. Before I knew what had happened
I was floating three feet in the air. Without
thinking very clearly I let go of the bag and
crashed to ground. Dirt went flying everywhere
as I plunked down on my stomach.
I lifted my face out of the dirt and saw the
backpack float down to Dude's outstretched hand.
"Hey, like, um, well, thanks Man!" he said.
Just then the door swung open and Mom came out
and looked at me lying face down in the dirt
behind the bushes. "Junior, what are you doing
in there... you're filthy! Oh, you must be Dude,"
she said, seeing the alien kid standing there.
She was beaming a welcome smile. "You're here.
I didn't hear the bus go by at all. Come on
in, Dude, you must be tired from your long trip."
Mom didn't seem to notice anything out of the
ordinary about this "Dude." Like his green color!
Dude looked back at me nervously. "Please don't
say anything about my coming in a spaceship,"
his look seemed to say. It was almost like he
was talking. But it made sense, unlike the words
that came out when he opened his mouth. This
alien was invading my head!
I wanted to tell my Mom. I wanted to tell everyone
that an alien had landed in my yard. Probably
to take over the planet! But nothing came out
of my mouth. I followed them both inside with
my jaw still hanging silently open.