In honor of my little brother’s 25th birthday yesterday, I am posting this lighthearted story I wrote during my senior year of high school. It was inspired by him, and if you knew him back then, then you’ll understand exactly where I was coming from. :-) I love you, AJ!


By Ashley P., April 2001

Alex lounged in the chair, listening to the speaker. It was getting late, and he feared that he was already beginning to change. Dang, he thought to himself. They’ll discover my true identity! I’ve got to do something to divert their attention.

Alex stuck two pencils into his ears. Trying to focus on the speaker, he ignored the quizzical looks the others gave him. This isn’t working, he thought. He began making faces at them. Ha. And they think I’m just weird.

Soon Alex was on his way home, juggling the pencils that had been in his ears. The all-you-can-eat buffet at the restaurant had only filled one of his two stomachs so he was hungry. He felt hot, and his black-rimmed glasses kept slipping down his nose. Alex couldn’t help crossing his eyes and giving alien grins. He always did that when his true identity began surfacing.

Safe in his room, Alex booted his computer. He had fooled his Earth parents into buying it for “homework”. They were so impressed with his computer skills. Secretly, he had installed a high-tech system that enabled him to communicate with the Mother Ship. Computer genius, ha. This was average compared to most creatures from his planet.

With a few furtive glances over his shoulder, he put on the headset. A quick keystroke auto-bypassed the main system and dumped him into the communication network. He lived for “mars.exe” while he was on Earth. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to report his findings, or replenish the vitamins that helped him stay human.

Alex connected to the Mars Control Center, which was disguised as a Russian satellite in Earth’s orbit. There, he spoke with the General Commander, who was in charge of all alien spies on Earth.

“Og crok Larug gog-Lurtl,” he said into the microphone, identifying himself as Secret Spy Lurtl. He then began to transfer the data he had gathered during the day. As he spoke, his skin changed to the purplish-green color native to most Martians. His gray eyes narrowed and turned yellow, with fluorescent green rays protruding from the center.

After his conversation, Lurtl browsed around in the Virtual Mars Control Center, where he relished the hour he spent every night in his own culture and tongue. He watched part of a Martian TV show and chatted with some old friends. Lurtl was signing off when his door flew open. There stood his Earth sister, Candie.

“Who were you talking to?” she demanded.

“Me?” he tried to say, but the word came out in Martian. “Guk?”

“Your skin… and your eyes…” Candie stammered. Hey eyes widened like saucers. “It’s true!”

“Shh!” Lurtl cautioned. He pulled a small bottle out of a hidden hole in the wall. The label read “Goluk lump – sekul duk” which meant, in English, “Human vitamins – Once a day”. He popped one into his mouth; his skin and eyes returned to their normal Earth color.

“Whoa, what was that?” Candie said, amazed.

Lurtl – Alex – said softly, “Don’t tell anyone. Yes, you figured it out. I am from Mars. I’m here as a spy. I’ve taken the guise of your brother Alex to complete my work. That’s all I’m going to tell you, because I don’t want to endanger you or your family.”

“Whoa…” said Candie. After a pause, she consented. “Okay, I’ll be quiet.” To an outsider, she appeared to be taking it well, but the truth was, she had known it all along.

One thought on “Lurtl

  1. WOW – I hadn’t though of your Martian view of AJ in many years. I truly enjoyed your story and can’t believe you still have it, many years later.

    Thanks for sharing it with you.

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