Hannah never had her palms this sweaty before. Not for tests, track meets, or dates. Only now with a wire snaking down her abdomen connected to her phone in her back pocket.
The putrid smell still hung in the town, every slight puff of wind stirred it up. It was a constant reminder of her father’s questions and demands.
Before ringing the doorbell she wiped her hands on her thighs. Through the little side window Hannah watched John slide across the wooden floor. She rolled her eyes as he opened the door.
"What's up Hannah?" His crooked grin was infectious; she was smiling back even as her stomach twisted.
"Is Skylar here?"
"Yeah." John titled his head. "Why?"
"Cos I want to talk to them."
"Skylar!" Skylar also slid across the floor, grabbing onto John.
"Hey Hannah." Skylar said.
"Hey." Hannah swallowed. "Can we talk?" She glanced at John. "Alone."
Skylar glanced at John too. He waved and gently pushed Skylar's hands from his arm. "I know when I'm not wanted." He disappeared into the house.
"Walk and talk?" Hannah asked. Skylar nodded and shut the door. Hannah's shoes scuffed the concrete as Skylar followed with their bare feet.
"What do you want to talk to me about?"
"What's the real story?" Hannah blurted before her heart could lead into her throat and prevent her from asking.
"What do you mean?"
It wasn't just her hands, Hannah's armpits and forehead started to sweat too. "Why did you come here?"
"To meet with Emily and John." It was the same thing Hannah had heard from the trio before.
"Where are your parents?"
"Business." Skylar shrugged. "I barely ever see them."
"Why do you look so much like Emily and John?"
"Distant cousins or something." Skylar laughed and Hannah bristled under the pressure. "Or random chance."
"You showed up the same day the trench appeared." Hannah said through clenched teeth.
"I saw your skull!" Hannah blurted. "It wasn't strange makeup was it?" Skylar crossed their arms and stopped walking. "Sky-"
"I told you the truth in the car and you thought it was a prank." Skylar said softly. Hannah's knees shook as she paused to look at Skylar.
"You mean..." Her mouth became instantly dry.
"I am an alien."
"Go go go." Her father's voice hissed in her ear and suddenly the sidewalk was filled with agents.
"Freeze!" An agent just behind Hannah yelled, the gun in their peripheral vision. Skylar's eyes bulged as they looked around. Upon looking at Hannah their eyes narrowed.
"I'm sorry." Hannah sobbed.
"We will not let you leech off of Earth! Hands up!" Skylar put their hands in the air. "Now, first you will deactivate your ship. Cooperate and we might negotiate with you."
Hannah watched as several agents led Skylar away. Her father's hand felt heavier than normal on her shoulder. "You did good kiddo." He said.
Her stomach violently protested this, and her lunch ended up in somebody's yard.
Word count: 498