This is why I came: to see if what they were saying was actually true, that there was an alien being up a tree. And well, yes, yes it was.
Perched on a branch was a vaguely human, vaguely insectoid little girl — it may have been a boy, but the long hairlike extensions from her head reminded me of a girl — the legs bent outward from the knees the opposite way from ours, so that the thighs were tucked under the feet stuck out in our direction. The face was fly-like, so it was like looking at someone wearing sunglasses even though the being could probably see us hundreds of times over.
“What do you suppose it wants?”
“What do you think it’s doing here?”
“Has anyone asked it?”
“What do you think we’ve been doing? It just chitters like a chipmunk. It’s scary.”
“Chipmunks aren’t scary.”
“They are when they look like a giant cricket.”
I wasn’t saying any of this, just listening and watching. Everybody was watching the alien girl-thing in the tree, which as far as anyone knew was watching everybody back. Then the media showed up.
Harry Connelly had drawn check-out-the-alien-sighting short straw at the news mosh, and he looked like he had to admit this was better than he deserved. The thing, or the being, certainly was alien, perhaps even out of this world, compared to what he anticipated, which was a quick drive to the park, a little rain in his hair, and a quick drive back to the mosh with nothing to write about and I-told-you-so.
“What is it?” he asked the air.
“What do you think we’ve been wondering?” asked one of the talkers, a woman a little beyond middle age with a purse that dangled on the crook of her arm while she pointed her camera awkwardly at the tree. “I’m getting a video. I figure someone might recognize what it is if I post it.”