It is if you are Yellahim and Yahhu!
Two aliens, Yellahim and Yahhu, had landed their spacecraft on a mountain near Frostburg, MD, and had taken refuge in an empty cabin they found nearby. Under cover of darkness, they would venture out at night in search of food, trying not to draw attention to themselves….
Aliens in flannel shirts…
Over the past two months, they had replaced their rations with food they found behind some of the buildings in town. They had discovered that great quantities of meat and vegetable products were placed in large metal containers which were left unguarded at night. Yellahim and Yahhu couldn’t believe their luck at finding such storehouses of delicious food. Of all their favorite sites, they most frequented the buildings labeled “Burger King” and “Pine Lodge Steakhouse.”
One evening, emboldened by their successful nightly forays, they decided to search for other untapped food resources. They realized their appearance wasn’t that much different from the humans when they wore the clothing they’d found at the cabin. They were both particularly fond of the checkered flannel shirts of many colors stored in the closet.
This night, there was a nip in the air, so in addition to their bright red and green flannel shirts, they were each wearing one of the hats they’d found hanging on pegs by the door in the cabin. Yahhu’s was hunter’s orange, flannel lined, and had ear flaps, while Yellahim’s was a much lighter weight material with fishing lures pinned along the rim. Rather than hiding in the shadows, they decided to test their luck at blending in wearing their new outfits.
They made their way down the mountain road and onto the highway. Periodically, machines with bright lights and loud engines would race by, and they would have to run and duck on the side of the road. They encountered enough of these to see that they were commandeered by Earthlings. One of them, in a particularly large, noisy machine, saw them crouching down and yelled something at them, then activated an ear-piercing horn.
“What did it say?” Yellahim asked, rubbing his ears.
“I don’t know, some kind of greeting. You know more English words than I do, but it sounded like YOU SHIT HEADS or something like that. Do you know what that means?”
“I don’t remember anything like that from the few lessons I took back on Enlill. But it must be some form of greeting.”
Eventually they turned off the busy road onto a smaller one. Walking through a residential area on their way to the food district, they noticed many more Earthlings out than usual.
Most of these Earthlings were traveling in groups and were systematically making stops at houses along their route. When the residents of each house came to the door, the smaller Earthlings would yell “trick or treat” and hold out a bag. The residents would then put something in each of their bags. The little ones would then happily scamper to the next dwelling. Yellahim and Yahhu stepped off the sidewalk to watch the strange activity.
“I’ve read about this phenomenon in our archives. The offspring of a species make loud noises and the adult responds by feeding them. The humans are engaging in the same behavior,” Yellahim said.
“What kind of food do you think they are getting?” Yahhu said.
“I don’t know, but let’s find out. We can use the plastic bags we found along the roadway to carry whatever they give us,” Yellahim said pulling one of the thin plastic bags out of his pants pocket.
They went up to a house an Earthling group had just visited and yelled “trick or treat” as loud as they could. The door opened.
“Well, so what are you boys supposed to be?” the woman dressed in black and wearing a pointed hat asked them.
Yahhu looked at Yellahim hoping he understood what the Earthling said. Yellahim just shrugged his shoulders.
“These boys must be shy. Honey, what would you say they are?” she said to the man in the purple cape standing next to her.
“I’d say the boy with the red hat is a hunter and the other is a fisherman. Is that right, boys? A hunter and a fisherman?” the man said, reaching into a large bowl and dropping a few handfuls of brightly wrapped items into each of their bags.
Yellahim mimicked the words “hunter” and “fisherman” out loud for the humans, and they were visibly pleased. The couple smiled and waved as the two left the porch and headed for the next house.
“That was easy, wasn’t it?” Yellahim said.
They repeated the ritual of yelling “trick or treat” followed by “hunter” and “fisherman” at each house they came to, and the humans continued to reward them with food. Both of their bags became quite full and heavy.
“We better get going. Most of the Earthlings are no longer coming to their doors anyway,” Yellahim said, slinging his bag over his shoulder.
“Let’s do just one more. Many Earthlings are going in and out of that big structure on the corner. I bet they have a lot of food they would give us.”
“Ok, just one more, and then we have to go.”
They marched up to the top step and yelled “trick or treat,” but the Earthlings inside didn’t come to the door. “TRICK OR TREAT!” they yelled a little louder. A male Earthling dressed in black with red lips and long pointy teeth opened the door. Behind him dozens of peculiar looking Earthlings all dressed in strange outfits were milling around holding glasses in their hands.
“Isn’t it a little late to be trick or treating?” the man said.
Yahhu repeated “trick or treat” and held out his bag as two more male Earthlings came to join the one at the door. One was covered in hair from head to toe and the other was dressed in a skin-tight pink suit with large feathers on his head.
“Fred, look at their make-up. You should ask them what they used; that would look great with your Dracula costume,” said the one in pink.
Yahhu was getting impatient that they weren’t putting food in his bag. “Hunter and fisherman,” he said, giving his bag a little shake just in case they hadn’t noticed it.
“Hunter and fisherman?” Dracula repeated. “Is that what you two are? Don’t you speak any English?”
“I bet they are some illegal alien’s kids. You know how they drop them off in neighborhoods late at night to get all the free candy,” the hairy one said, stepping out onto the porch. “Why don’t you two just go on home now.”
“Let’s get out of here,” Yellahim said, pulling on Yahhu’s arm, but he didn’t budge.
“See! I told you they don’t speak English. What language was that?” the hairy one said. “Get outta of here! Go back to your own country!”
Yahhu was determined to get some food. Maybe that other greeting would work. He shook his bag one more time and yelled, “YOU SHIT HEADS!”
The hairy one pulled Yahhu up by his arm. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that.”
Yahhu grabbed his taser and pressed it into the hairy man’s soft belly and squeezed the trigger. The man let go and fell to the floor twitching.
Dracula yelled, “Call 9-1-1!”
As the Earthlings inside rushed toward the door screaming, Yahhu and Yellahim took off running, holding their bags tightly and never looking back.
And with that, their first Halloween on Planet Earth came to an abrupt conclusion as they beat a hasty retreat back up the mountain.”
What readers have said about Earth Quest…
“This is a story you will find yourself thinking about long after the book is back on the shelf. It’s ET grown up. We need the movie.”
Dr. Henry Breitmoser
“A good combination of drama, romance and humor.”
“It really sparks the mind and is fun reading.”
“I don’t normally read science fiction but I loved this book! I recommend it for everyone.”
Dr. Richard Talton
“A most readable sci-fi tale”
“Great use of humor”
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You will never look at the night sky the same way again …
after reading Earth Quest!