My mother and father arrived on earth shortly before I was born. Their planet was overpopulated, and the wars that ensued were destroying the land and the atmosphere. It took them close to two years to transport across the galaxy searching for a new home. Earth seemed like a likely candidate. Since they appeared humanoid, they fit right in. And with their universal translators and advanced intelligence, they learned the language quickly. They changed their names to fit into the culture. My mother Talliman became Tillie, and my father Yawen, became John.
It was in the early 1900’s and no one would ever expect an alien being to exist, much less come to earth to live. The land was still vast and the water was clean, and everything looked like our planet did hundreds of years ago. I was born in that tiny town in western Pennsylvania, on a continent called North America. Of course, I was given a human name at my birth. Greetings Earthling, met Jessica Jones, that’s me! My family chose Jones, which happens to be a very common Earth surname, so I am told! Everyone called me JJ, and they still do today, in 2021.
Everything was very peaceful in the town where we lived. Everyone was hard working and polite. My father soon became the science professor at the small-town college, and my mother became a teacher who taught grades one through five. My father, with his creative ability, had produced an official looking document with his degree on it, from a far-off university in western Canada. Telling everyone that they were Canadian also made a good excuse for their accents. No one in this small town was familiar with the towns and cities in western Canada. It all seemed to be working out as planned.
No one seemed to notice that my parents didn’t age at the normal rate. They appeared perpetually young. And, I grew faster than normal earth children. I was soon walking and talking, and attending first grade, even though I was only three years old in human years. I was also quite the troublemaking imp. I was always giving my parents concern about my actions and whereabouts. I was having fun on my new planet, never having known what my home planet was like. My mother and father often told me stories of Celtar where we originated from. I always imagined traveling back there someday to visit and see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Unfortunately, it probably would no longer be inhabited by the time I reached maturity. It was deteriorating fast when my parents left five years ago. That is right, I was conceived in a space ship! How fascinating is that? I would say “how cool is that?” except that phrase wasn’t in vogue yet back then. Besides, my father dismantled the space ship to use the parts in constructing our new home. I had no interplanetary transport available to me. I would remain earthbound for my entire life, all two hundred plus years of it!
The first time I discovered one of the unusual traits of my race of people I was about two earth years old. It is unusual for earthlings, but not for Celtarians. As I previously mentioned, I loved getting into mischief. I had developed a sweet tooth. My parents were not used to cakes and candies since that was not something that was available on their home planet. But, since I was born on earth, this was now my planet and I was going to enjoy all the wonderful new tastes that this world had to offer. I remember vividly the day that our next-door neighbor made a big batch of chocolate brownies. Brownies had become a craving for me since the first time I ate one. I begged my mother to make them, but being true to her upbringing, she would not budge to make anything that was just fun and not nutritious. I decided to sneak in the back door and help myself to a few delicacies from the neighbor’s kitchen table where they were cooling. The smell of warm brownies fresh from the oven was divine and irresistible. I was drooling with anticipation.
The older boys who lived next door noticed me standing there shoveling in the brownies that were meant for them. They became crossed with me and they started after me. I ducked under the table when I saw them coming. I knew they were after me. I remained quiet as they searched. Then it happened, I was afraid so I closed my eyes and concentrated really hard, then poof, I immediately disappeared from their view. I was so excited. Being invisible makes everything easier. They had no idea who they were dealing with. They were startled by a small giggle as I slipped out the back door and silently disappeared into the void.
After that, I became invisible whenever I wanted to hide from anyone, or wanted to play a funny prank on someone. I never did anything really bad, but I sure did knock a lot of hats off of people’s heads, and tap a lot of people on the back then start giggling. They would become terrified and run away. I had fun playing Ghost whenever I got bored of my studies and chores.
I also have the ability to jump higher, run faster than most humans can. I can change the color of my skin at will, and I can also pick up any language just by listening to it for a short time. Having the ability to change the color of my skin was a great asset for Halloween, an earth holiday that I fell in love with because of all the wonderful sweets that I was able collect and indulge in. It was also a great way to freak people out. “Freak” is another term that only came into common use in the 1960’s. I love my super powers, which would just be normal on Celtar, how boring!
I finished all my schooling and graduated with a Post Doc degree in science. I worked for NASA and became one of the top aeronautical engineers there. Maybe I was hoping to someday build a rocket that could reach the star system where my parents’ home was. Throughout my life I dated several nice men, but I never did marry. I knew our biological systems would never be able to produce children. I guess that is another reason that I wished to find others of my species. I did miss having the closeness and love that my parents have. But I was happy with the life that I had.
The years and decades past, and my parents became sad as they saw the wars and pollution destroying their new home as it did their mother planet. They tried to warn the people around them, but no one would listen. My father, now being a noted established scientist even went to Washington DC to speak with government officials. Sadly, he could not tell them the reason he knew what he knew, he could only tell them that he speculated the outcome from his observances and calculations.
There was no way for him to build another spaceship that could travel between galaxies, there was not the resources nor the experienced engineers to do so. Besides, he and my mother were now growing older, and did not have the energy to go searching through the galaxies for a new inhabitable home. Earth was in trouble but they felt that there was still hope. There were good people who listened to the science and wanted a better life for all living things, not just humans.
My parents still live in the same small town, in western Pennsylvania where they first settled over a hundred and twenty years ago. The town has grown and advanced, and none of the same people live there any longer. They have all passed away. I find it strange, that no one seems to question my parents still being alive, and looking as young as they do after all these years. Many of the people who live in the town now are the grandchildren of our original neighbors, and they know my parents from when they were little toddlers.
I am now one hundred and ten years old. I live outside of Washington DC and still work for NASA. I still continue to be mischievous, but only rarely do I use my Celtarian powers. In fact, just the other day … never mind, you really do not want to hear about it.
Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. Winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. Her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020,” published by Sweetycat Press. She is the author of 13 poetry books. She has micro-fiction in several anthologies, and published flash fiction. Christine lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking. Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: The Scribe; World of Myth; Literary Yard, CommuterLit; The Stray Branch; CafeLit; Breaking Rules Publishing; The Black Hair Press (Unravel Anthology, Apocalypse Anthology, Hate Anthology); The Siren’s Call (drabbles); Potato Soup Journal: 10-word stories.*(a complete list of poetry journal publications is available upon request)