Exchange Student

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. A story, about a strange exchange student, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Douglas M. MacIlroy

Exchange Student

Natalie was concerned about the exchange student. His papers said he was from Bangladesh. Not being familiar with the country, Natalie just assumed everyone had those strange looking eyes. Still, she didn’t understand why he charged into his room to wear the diving helmet he put on so often.

She knocked on the door. “Are you alright, Ix’Halti’Thanex?” It was a weird name, but people in foreign countries had funny names.

“I’m okay!” he called.

In the room, Ix’Halti’Thanex breathed in the sweet smell of Ammonia in the mask.

“How do these Humans breathe?” he muttered, and he activated his FTL communicator.
_____________________________________
The Friday Fictioneers swim to shore every week to write up to 100 words of flash fiction from a writer-donated photo prompt: This week’s prompt can be found here: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/18-april-2014/

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Exchange Student

  1. FTL communicator! Funny. (what is that?) Somehow I expected more from the title and you delivered. Perfect!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you, Alicia! FTL = “Faster Than Light.” A normal radio’s signals travel at light speed. Over interstellar distances, that’s pretty slow. So an FTL communicator would be very handy for an alien on earth. Thanks much for stopping in. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

      Like

  2. I can’t even pronounce that name! lol

    Like

  3. I’m trying to decide if it’s weirder to have strange eyes or go around wearing your breathing apparatus. Where in the world did you dream up this story? (And I don’t mean that in a bad way.)

    janet

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Both are weird in my view. I’m not sure where these ideas come from, but I do have a pretty active imagination. It gets a workout often. 😉 Thanks much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  4. Danny James says:

    If you Google Ix’Halti’Thanex you only get one result. Congrats!

    DJ

    Like

  5. Indira says:

    What a name a real tongue twister. An alien from Bangladesh? Only you can write these lovely weird stories. Very enjoyable.

    Like

  6. tedstrutz says:

    Damn… you nailed Doug’s photo!

    Like

  7. Lyn says:

    Why is Natalie hiding under the cushions in the corner? I know, I know…she’s beginning to suspect Ix’Halti’Thanex is not what he purports to be and is spying on him. Your imagination knows no bounds my friend.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Maybe she thinks Ix’Halti’Thanex is suspiciously not at all like a name from Bangladesh? Maybe a careful inspection of his diving helmet might reveal the can of alien atmosphere? I’ve been trying to find the edges of my imagination, but I’m still looking. 😉 Thanks so much, Lun. I always enjoy your comments. 🙂

      Like

  8. These aliens are tricky, clever. They can falsify Earth documents. They even know what country she’ll believe he’s from. This is a major job for the Homeland Security Agency or the Secret Service. They’ve probably landed in other countries as well.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      They sure are. You never know, they might be working with the CIA and getting the documents from them. It must be uncomfortable for the alien, though, having to rush into his room to get a whiff of ammonia. I’m sure they’re in other countries. I’m beginning to have my doubts about Putin. 😉 Thanks much for stopping by, Patricia!

      Like

  9. elmowrites says:

    I like what you did with Natalie’s character – seemed quite believable that she would think this way. I liked the name too, although I feel like an alien race capable of falsifying Bangladeshi documents ought to have been better able to find a Bangladeshi name. But still, I liked it the way it stands.
    Minor concrit, “concerned about” made me think she was worried for him not by him, “concerned by” might save that confusion.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I think the aliens have trouble pronouncing Bangladeshi names. Or possibly the alien let his real name slip because he’s not really that skilled as a field agent. As to the “concerned” variants, Natalie actually is concerned “for him.” She hasn’t got a suspicious bone in her body and she doesn’t see him as a threat. She just thinks it’s unhealthy to be wearing that diving mask so much. I do appreciate the well thought out critique though. I love it when readers are watching things carefully. It helps me grow and challenges me to write better. I love that. Thanks so much!

      Like

  10. Liz Young says:

    If he’s an exchange student, where does Natalie think her own kid has gone?

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      A very good point. In my mind, I haven’t really addressed that. But it certainly begs the question, “did her child actually go to Bangladesh?” Maybe he’s out in the next spiral arm flying Starfighters? Thanks for stopping in, Liz!

      Like

  11. Judah First says:

    Nice, I’m not the only one who saw aliens. 🙂

    Like

  12. Dear Eric,

    I remember a TV commercial a while back where a family is calmly eating at the dinner table. They have a foreign exchange student who is an alien. I can’t remember the product.

    Your story’s imaginative and clever and host of other adjectives. Nicely done and entertaining.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      That would’ve been a funny commercial. Perhaps a contemporary of the TV show, ALF? Thank you so much for the kind words, Rochelle. I’m glad to hear you were entertained. 🙂

      Like

  13. xkorijaidenx says:

    To the question about exchange students, with most programs your kid doesn’t go anywhere lol you just host a kid and learn about their culture while teaching yours. (A cultural exchange) so….

    Like

  14. xkorijaidenx says:

    This story is awesome lol i just wanted to clear the exchange student thing up, as I am a canadian on exchange in Belgium.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Oh how cool. I’ll bet it’s really beautiful there. I want to visit Belgium someday. Thanks for clearing up the exchange student procedures. Glad you enjoyed the story and thanks bunches for reading and sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

      • xkorijaidenx says:

        Anytime! 🙂 also, most exchangers go for a year, with limited knowledge of the language. It’s a very interesting experience. Read my blog???

        Like

      • EagleAye says:

        Oy! Sounds like intense immersion. I expect you learn the language…fast!

        Like

      • xkorijaidenx says:

        It is immersion lol i came here after studying in school for several years though, so I already could communicate somewhat when I got here.

        Like

  15. Aliens often claim to be from foreign countries. The Coneheads pretend they’re from France. Good science fiction tale

    Like

  16. Clever and well written, EagleEye! We have an exchange student; thankfully, he’s German– nothing more! 😉

    Like

  17. atrm61 says:

    Ha!ha!Eric,with my wicked imagination I thought FTL means “Finish the lady” -what with being so dumb,she would have deserved it too 😉 A great take on the prompt 🙂

    Like

  18. I wonder if the host was selected because of her gullibility and naive prejudices about ‘foreigners’ …. well written – fun to read but with an underlying truth that makes it a wonderful piece of short fiction

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      She could’ve been. It’s hard to believe, but there really are people around who are that naive. I’ve met some. *sigh* I’m happy to know you enjoyed the story. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  19. EagleAye says:

    Reblogged this on Momus News and commented:

    This week, the Friday Fictioneers use a retread photo. This is the story I wrote that pic way back then.

    Like

  20. luckyjc007 says:

    I would love to hear someone pronounce Ix’Halti’Thanex ! His breath is probably strong enough to knock you down! I wonder what ours smells like to him. Another fun story from you..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, no doubt, although I imagine his breath is remarkably free of bacteria. We probably smell none too good to him. Halitosis might turn his stomach(s). He’s a brave soul. 😉 Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy. Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s