8: Stella, The Octopus

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As we jumped onto the sidewalk and hid in the bushes, cars behind the bus began honking for it to move. The bus's lights flashed on and off, the stop sign extended outward, and the driver was totally knocked out.

"Good luck explaining that to the teachers," I said imagining Gilbert and the other kids getting to school late and having the oddest story to tell to the principal. Novus shook my shoulder.

"Eddie, we got to go," he said nudging me away. "If we stick around any longer, Celeste will find us. My ship is just down the next street."

We ran with our heads down to a fenced in abandoned lot covered in tall dead grass and tiny trees. A concrete slab and a few rusted metal pipes rose out of the weeds as evidence that a house once stood on the spot. I stopped by the gate. Placing my hands on my hips, I was astonished to see no sign of a spaceship.

"Novus, there is nothing here! All I see is grass and rumble."

"Ah, that's because the ship is invisible right now." He felt around in front of him until his hands landed on a solid invisible object. He knocked. The object clanged like metal. "Oh, Stella! You can release the cloaking mechanism."

Steam hissed out of random holes causing the air to ripple. Slowly a triangular structure on three thick mechanical legs revealed itself. I walked around the ship admiring its many details. From its nuts to its bolts, every inch of the ship's surface was covered in a pale yellow heat resistant paint. I giggled. It looked like a slice of pizza. The four jets covering the backside made up the crust while the melted orange parts and the red circular bits on top cast an unmistakable resemblance to cheese and pepperoni.

"It looks like a slice of pizza," I recanted out loud, clearly amused by the sight. Novus turned to me confused. Perhaps he was unsure what a pizza was. He knocked once more on the metal side. A stream of air hissed by my ear. I shrieked as the wall beside me opened up into steps. A dark interior filled with blinking light welcomed me inside.

"Come on, Eddie," said Novus nudging passed me. "It's bigger on the inside."

Novus vanished into the metal pizza slice. I bit my lip unsure if I should enter.

It went against everything I had been told by adults. Don't talk to strangers. Don't go into stranger's vehicles. Don't trust people you don't know. Well after living with my cruel aunts and being chased by ravenous hounds being with Novus felt like the safest option right now. Who knew when that Wish-Hunter, Celeste, would be back and what she would do if she caught us. I certainly didn't want to find out.

I slowly climbed the metal steps. My head popped into the spaceship's interior. There were lights of many colors much like Christmas lights but stuck inside metal boxes and connected by bundles of wires. The spaceship was bigger on the inside than it looked on the outside. Novus standing nearly six foot tall had enough room for his head to not touch the ceiling.

When I was completely inside, the doorway closed shut. I twisted around the triangular room excited to know I was standing in a real alien spaceship.

"How is it so much bigger on the inside?" I asked as Novus flipped a few switches on the wall. "Is it magic?"

"Wishes," he responded while opening a glass door at the front of the ship. "Start her up, Stella. We are getting off this planet. You got the jammer on so EvoEarth can't see us?"

"Ooolllalaa," came a squishy sounding voice from the room beyond. I peeked my head in and screamed at the sight. It was a purple octopus with pink spots and bright yellow eyes. It had on multiple bracelets, a pair of odd looking headphones in the shape of a rabbit's ears, and its many tentacles were on the steering wheel. The octopus took one look at me and started shrieking in more unknown squishy words. "Oooollaalalallooo"

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