Krekchabliokaton — short for Krekchabliokatonk, though his human friends called him Chad — passed for humanoid, which was to say his alien body could be stuffed into a human suit. You might not know it to look at him, but hanging around all day in full body disguise is oppressive. Uncomfortable even. And if you think humans get stinky wrapped in the same sack all day—you’ve never smelled a Choovikian.
Fed up with it one day, Chad busted his kraper and tore off his pink-skin, leaving it in the sand like a triathlete’s wetsuit. He stretched his pluts that were crammed into the toes and unrolled his pladers that filled in the arms. Walking down the beach he must have looked like a blue giant squid balanced upside down on two baseball bats, carrying a half-deflated basketball with three eyes and a mouth. After living with humans so long, he found his body image repulsive.
Fortunately the beach stretched along a private island owned by Martin Lakis, the app developer whose company Chad had infiltrated, and everyone else was enjoying Martin’s birthday luau on the other side. Unfortunately, though, he missed the human tradition for birthday gifts. Bad timing since he was close to losing his job.
Nevertheless, he relaxed for the first time in weeks and hummed ‘My Klets are Getting Foopy,’ when a red sparkle disrupted the sand.
He investigated and found a golden oil lamp decorated with rubies, emeralds, and pearls. It was the kind of things humans admired, setting them on shelves next to statuettes of angels, ladybugs, and dogs dressed in skirts. Now that he’d thought of it, Martin might enjoy it as a gift to put amidst his unicorns.
Chad brushed off the sand and buffed the jewels. Smoke sprayed out of the spout and swirled above him. His zeftos slapped shut to guard from toxins, and he dropped the lamp. The smoke rolled into a ball, then stretched into a man standing in the sand in front of him looking like he’d survived collisions with a jewelry rack and a swatch display.
“Today brings you luck.” The man bowed. “I will grant you three wishes.”
Chad was never going to understand humans. Why would he want three more wishes?
“No thanks. I have plenty wishes already.”
“What?” said the man.
“I don’t want to have more desires than I already do. Piss off.”
The man blinked. “I don’t think you understand. I’m here to fulfill your wishes, not create more.”
“You would destroy my wishes, then?” said Chad. “Forget it. The wishes I have are the only things that keep me going.”
“But, but, but… You can change everything. You can make those struggles go away and start fresh.”
“Typical human,” Chad spat. “You would have me betray my very purpose and believe that it was good.” He turned and stalked away.
“Whoa. Wait a minute.” Smoke caught up to Chad and encircled him, then settled in his path. “I think I see the problem. My cousin Rajimahara told me about you guys.” The man cleared his throat. “I will provide three errands at your request, whether they be errands of work, acquisition, or problem solving. You have but to ask.”
Chad stared at him.
“I believe your race would call me a ‘gofer.’”
“Well… okay… clean the sand out of my suit, get me some deodorant, and gift wrap that lamp.” Chad shook his pladers. “I’ve got to get back to the party.”