Liz is at it again, but this time she's got a problem with the new kid in town.
Liz settled herself on the grass behind a short row of hedges, which lined the border of the new neighbor's property. She casually looked around, while removing an item from her detective bag. "Now, Mr. New-Kid, let's just see exactly, what you are," she muttered under her breath, as she extended two empty paper towel rolls, taped together, with holes cut in the upper and lower ends. Liz has placed small mirrors throughout the inside, positioned so it worked just like a periscope. It was a pretty clever invention, if she did think so herself. She raised it up, aimed for the neighbor's open window and looked into it. The house itself looked like any other house, occupied by a normal family, but Liz was convinced that these people were anything but normal. They'd moved into a vacant house in the middle of the night; a house that hadn't been lived in for months and didn't have a 'for sale' sign in the yard. One day the house was empty and run-down-looking, the next day it looked brand new and this family was living there. No one else in the neighborhood paid the least bit attention to this odd situaiton, but Liz Bond, recruited by the MIB, in cases like this, was about to unravel the mysterious family's secret. Who were they? Where'd they come from? Why'd they move in the middle of the night? How'd they know this particular house was available? Liz was convinced they were visitors from outer space. The home-made periscope wavered from side-to-side as Liz tried to get a better look into the kitchen then froze as a young boy, about Liz's age, tromped over to the refrigerator. He pulled out a bottle of juice then paused as a fly buzzed around his head. The boy watched the fly intently then, with the suddeness only a lizard could produce, he flug his tongue out of his mouth, caught the fly - and ate it!Liz dropped her periscope, sat down hard on the grass, and sucked in her breath to keep from screaming. She was still in the process of regaining her composure, MIB's always remained cool and in control, when a hand reached out and tapped her on the shoulder. Liz whirled around and a hand was clasped over her mouth. "Shhh," Her best friend Melissa said, raising a finger to her lips, "What's wrong with you? Don't you know it's impolite to spy on people?" "But these aren't ordinary people," Liz argued, struggling to keep her voice a whisper. Melissa fell to her knees next to Liz, "Oh, will you cut that out!" She snapped, trying hard to keep her voice down too, so they wouldn't be overheard. "You have no idea what I just saw their sun do!" Liz came back in a hoarse whisper, pointing at the periscope then gesturing at the window. Melissa rolled her eyes and shook her head, "What'd he do, drink out of the water jug?" "He ate a bug! A fly! You know, buzzzz," Liz imitated in a manner that was a bit buggy in itself, "His tongue shot out like a frog's - and he ate it!" Melissa looked at her friend with the all-to-familiar look of why-do-I-even-bother written all over her face. "You really have to stop this, Liz, before the men in white coats come and take you away." "I'm not crazy! I know what I saw and I'm gonna prove it." Liz got up, collected her things in her little black bag, brushed grass from the bottom of her black shorts, and donned her black shades. Melissa followed as Liz walked around the low hedges and right up to the front door. Just as she was about to knock, the boy flug the door open. "Oh!" He said, very startled. "Hi," Liz said, putting down her bag and holding out a hand. The boy looked at her hand as if he wasn't sure what to do with it. Melissa, watching from two steps back, was suddenly intrigued. "Hi," Liz repeated, talking his hand and shaking it briskly. "Oh, sorry, hi," He muttered flashing a dumb smile on his handsome face. "I'm Liz, this is my friend Melissa." "Hello," Melissa said, wiggling her fingers in a waving fashion. "Welcome to the neighborhood," Liz said. "Thanks," returned the boy. "What's your name?" Melissa said. The boy hesitated; his eyes darted from one girl to the other as if trying to figure out what to say. From inside the house a woman's voice called out, "Commander, you have a call!" "What'd she say?" Liz said, furrowing her brow and taking one step closer to the boy, challenging him before he had a chance to answer. "Be right there," He called back, "Chris, my name is Chris...that was my mom, boy, some of the things she calls me." He laughed a wheezing-type of laugh, one that didn't seem natural. "She said you had a call Chris, but I didn't hear the phone right," Melissa observed. "Ah, there's one in the basement, it doesn't right very loud," He explained. "Where'd you come from?" Liz probed. "Out of state." "How'd you know about this house?" It's been abandoned for months," Liz probed even more. "My mom was working with an out of state agent." "Are you aware of the laws concerning interstellar travel and squatting rights on an unauthorized plant?" Liz blurted out, crossing her arms over her chest and looking as serious as she could. Melissa's face flushed with embarrassment, she cleared her throat and shuffled her feet. Right at that moment she wished she could be anywhere but standing in front of Chris and allowing Liz to make a fool out of both of them. But her edginess quickly lifted as she watched Chris' face, and noticed that he was seriously trying to answer Liz's questions. Hmmm, maybe Liz was onto something here? She took one step closer, too. After looking at his feet, chewing on a nail, and taking several deep breaths, Chris leaned into Liz’s face, “Are you kidding? For such a pretty girl, you’re really strange.” Then he directed his next question to Melissa, “Is she for real?” He asked, jabbing a thumb at Liz. Melissa just smiled and shook her head, while watching Liz and wondering if she needed any verbal support. A change of emotions flashed across Liz’s face; surprise, embarrassment, and then she blushed. He’s playing me for a fool, she thought to herself. Then, regaining her self-confidence and assuming the stance of parade-rest, she proceeded to drill Chris even more. “You moved into this house, fixing it up in one night, something that normally would’ve taken weeks to do. The house wasn’t even on the market to be sold, but somehow you and your mother knew about it. You didn’t know how to shake hands, you didn’t know your name, your mother called you ‘commander’ and you have a low-ringing phone in your basement. To top it all off, Chris,” She leaned forward until their noses were barely touching, “I witnessed you eating a bug, a fly to be precise.” Chris busted out laughing in that same wheezing-type of laugh. Once he had finished, he then began to explain all that Liz had laid out. “First of all, my mom was working with an out of state agent to buy this house, I already told you that, and it didn’t take much to clean it up a bit, we were up most of the night getting settled and there’s still much more to do inside. I didn’t shake your hand because I’m not use to girls offering a handshake. I hesitated answering any of your other questions because they’re utterly ridiculous and I’m still very tired from the move.” “If that’s your story, fine, but just remember, Headquarters does not care for unauthorized squatters. If you don’t come clean now they’ll sniff you out - they always do,” Liz said in a very matter-of-fact tone, while lowering her sunglasses just enough to let him see her eyes. Suddenly a woman came up from the basement, “Commander, you have a call, remember? Oh, I’m sorry. Who are your friends?” “Why does she call you commander?” Melissa asked Chris. “It’s just a pet name because I love Star Wars and Star Trek, that’s all,” Chris explained, waving his hand nonchalantly, then, turning to his mother, “Mom, just Chris in front of the other kids, okay?” “Star Wars, huh? Light Side or Dark Side?” Liz asked quickly. Melissa had had just about enough of her friend’s delusions. She reached out and took Liz by the arm and started pulling her away, smiling and waving at Chris and his mother in embarrassment. “We’re really sorry. It was nice meeting you Chris, maybe we’ll see you in school sometime. Bye, ma’am.” “I’ll be keeping my eye on you space boy,” Liz called over her shoulder, as Melissa hauled her away, down the sidewalk and over toward the neighborhood playground. Once the girls were out of earshot, Chris’ mother stepped closer, stopping directly behind him and snatched a fly out of the air with her tongue, “I thought you said Earth’s inhabitants weren’t very intelligent?” She asked softly. “The majority aren’t, Lieutenant, but this one.... humm, intriguing. We’ll have to watch our backs when she’s around.”