Moonlight silvered the foam of the serenely splashing waves as they crept up onto the shore with unaccustomed gentility. Arianna loved to wander the beach at night, it was one reason she had risked the destruction of hurricanes to take a house on the beachfront. All was calm tonight, the sky was clear, the stars faint pinpricks of white against the black velvet sky, the moon smiling benignly as she flooded her radiance lavishly across the ocean, sands, and town below. It was a perfect night, the sea winds having dropped to a faint whisper of a breeze, the lights from the island town hidden by the row of silent beachfront houses. Taking advantage of her solitude, Arianna dabbled along the edge of the water, playing with the little wavelets as they nibbled at her toes.

A swiftly plummeting light in the sky above caught her attention, and she halted, staring up into the sky, watching the mysterious orb track across the starfield. A frown puckered her forehead, at first she had thought the celestial body to be a shooting star, but it was too bright, too large, and it did not vanish in seconds as did a meteor. So engrossed was she in watching the strange light that she did not notice the abrupt strange behavior of the water beside her, the waves flattening out, the tideline rising a few inches to lap at her ankles. Confusion and intrigue mounted into alarm as the light grew larger and larger, approaching the very beach where Arianna stood now, observing.

Alarm became fear as the light split into three orbs, all hovering mere yards over the sand, finally stilled. Fear became terror as the giant orbs began to move again, very slowly, towards the human girl a little ways below them. Unwilling to stay and encounter the UFOs, Arianna turned to run, only making it a few steps before she smacked into something large and solid and warm. She stumbled back but hands caught her firmly, steadying her. Petrified, scarcely able to move, Arianna tilted her chin up slightly, fearfully looking up into the face of the person she'd encountered so forcefully.

Heavily slanted amber eyes regarded her curiously from a blue-tinted face framed by large pointed ears of delicate membrane. The creature was much taller than an ordinary human, easily over eight feet, and clad in a supple flowing tunic of a strange silvery-blue material that tinkled musically at the wearer's slightest movement. The features and physique suggested the alien was masculine, in form not so much terribly different from humans. In fleeing the transports of the invaders, Arianna had had a very close encounter with one of the beings themselves.

A faint whimper of terror and despair escaped her, she knew for certain that the extra-terrestrials would take her aboard their ships and abduct her, to study her or whatever it was aliens did with the humans they abducted. Her fear immobilized her, but even had she been able to struggle, the massive alien would easily have been able to overcome her, especially since he'd brought backup. She bit her lower lip hard, willing herself to remain mentally and emotionally strong and not break down in front of this interloper. Firming her will, she retained eye contact with him, watching him, waiting for his next move. Despite the desperate peril of her situation, she could not help but be flattered by the expression on his face as he examined her - the closest emotion she could use to describe it would be awe, or perhaps amazement. Indeed he seemed to be even more startled by her existence as she was by his.

Completing his scrutiny, he raised his eyes to hers again, holding her gaze for a long moment. All of a sudden, his look gentled and he took a step back away from her, releasing her arms. One corner of his mouth twitched just slightly, almost as though he were attempting a reassuring smile, then he turned and strode down beach towards where another five ships waited. The luminosity of the one closest intensified as a hatch was opened, stairs let down for the returning scout. The silhouette of another ET appeared framed at the top of the stairs as the one who had landed on Earth loped up the stairs, taking them two at a time. The hatch closed and moments later, the eight ships rose back up into the sky, converging in front of the moon before vanishing up into the atmosphere.

Knees weak, mind boggled by her experience, Arianna wobbled her way back home, filled with relief and gratitude and amazement and awe and a fangirl's glee at having made alien contact. It was not until she got her door locked and the kettle on, though, that she began to squeal with excitement. It wasn't until she was in bed, staring up at the moon through her window, that it occurred to her to wonder if their visitors might not come back, and who they might run into the next time...


This was supposed to be a one-shot. However I'm thinking about perhaps extending it into a short story - what do you think?