The following text is a preview of my WIP, Try Not to Lose Your Head About It. (This is a working title; suggestions are appreciated.) I will post once I am finished with Griffin, at which time I should have a synopsis and significant chapter lead. It should be noted that despite appearances none of my characters are from other planets in the in sense which we are accustomed to thinking of them. See my story "Alien Theory" for further explanation of this.

What came next happened so fast Ally barely had time to process it. Even during the subsequent investigation, when she was obliged to watch the security video several times over in slow motion, she still didn't understand exactly how it happened until she copied the footage and reviewed it frame by frame in her own home. All she knew was that she was grateful this was Marcus, and things were never as they seemed with the energetic Crescentian.

By the time she'd groped over to rinse her eyes in the one bathroom sink with a water supply not spewing from the hole in the wall and come back outside, the Gonstraylian was gone.

To avoid looking at the body on the ground or the head staring blindly from its spot in the corner, she surveyed the damages out loud. "Giant square hole in the wall, spewing yucky water and electrical sparks: check. Overturned puce-and-tan tables and abandoned espresso maker of unidentifiable color covered in digestive juices: check. Tacky tie, also puce-and-tan, abandoned on the floor and also covered in goo: check. One slimy, shivering, miserable seventeen-year-old girl standing in the middle of the chaos and too stupid to leave before the police get here: check. One…" she stopped, then forced herself to go on, "one dead body, plus head, murdered in cold blood by a Gonstraylian toad-thingy from Crescence." She sighed, hoping the breath would ease the shaking in her voice. "Check." She crossed her arms and hugged them tightly against her chest, thinking she should sit down before she went into shock. Trying to breathe calmly, Ally slowly bent her legs and tilted her head down to put it between her knees like she'd heard of some people doing when they were about to pass out.

Then, horrifyingly, the severed head blinked and opened its mouth. "If you wouldn't mind putting my head back on, please," Marcus said. Ally tried to answer—after all, this wasn't an ordinary severed head—but all she managed to make was a sort of choking noise. "Well, hurry up now, chop-chop. I only have about two minutes left before my body becomes unviable and I have to shut down for a total re-growth. We don't have time for that, so could you PLEASE PUT MY HEAD BACK ON?" Feeling totally grossed out as she did it, Ally picked up the goo-covered head. "Eeeeewwww!" The reaction was almost immediate. As soon as she looked at it, she felt like she was about to drop it and throw up. Ally normally wasn't nearly this particular, but she just couldn't help it; she was holding a real, talking, severed head. A head she had almost mourned, thank you very much. You'd think a guy would be a little grateful she was saving his head, but noooooo.

"Hel-lo-hoo! Why aren't we mo-oo-ving?" Marcus said in a sing-song voice.

"You try moving your head sometime!"

"I expect you made a rude comment just now, but please don't drop me. I'm afraid I can't hear a word you're saying. It's a bit disconcerting, really, to have every sense organ shut down except the balance mechanisms in the inner ear, but I need to preserve my blood so I can GET BACK TO MY BODY!"

"Alright, alright," Ally placated, then remembered he couldn't hear her. "Okay," she told herself, not even looking at the floor, which was covered in blood and slime and a few even less desirable things she didn't even want to know the name of. "Five steps." Taking a deep breath—through her mouth to lessen the smell—she lifted one foot and set it down. It squished. "One.," she said, licking her lips. Another foot, while the first one crunched in the goop. She tried to think of it as pumpkin juice, filled with crunchy seeds. "Two." Her leg bumped against something, and she almost shrieked; but when she dropped her eyes back to the floor it was only a chair. Another foot lifted, with a sudden skid forward on a sodden tie. She did shriek then, tucking the "football" under her arm and waving her other arm for balance. Somehow she stayed upright, and she breathed a sigh of relief. "Three," she gasped.

Marcus interrupted, going British again, "I say, did you nearly fall? I registered a frightful lurch forward. I also judge I'm somewhere slightly lower than where you've been holding me. If I'm in your armpit, could you please take me out? I'd rather not smell of old cheese all day."

"Oh, put a sock in it," Ally said, channeling her annoyance into the last two steps. She crouched down, not daring to let any more than her shoes touch the floor, and delicately lowered Marcus's head into place. Carefully lining it up as best she could, she held it against the stump of his neck, closing her eyes and letting her mind wander away from the sheer disgustingness of reattaching an actual decapitated head. She knew she wasn't this squeamish, and this should've been kind of cool, but it was a head. Reality just wasn't as fun.

"Okay, you can let go now," Marcus said. Ally couldn't get out of there fast enough.