The aliens arrived at night, as aliens do.
In the cover of darkness, they did not feel so alien. Like the other humans around them, they secured a key, found their designated hostel room, and slept in their separate bunk beds, dreaming of the next day when they would partake in a very human entertainment:
The aliens did not fret or worry about obstacles they might face the next day, because they both had gone skiing before. Many years ago, but certainly they’d retained some small vestige of skill and could take to the slopes, easily blending in with the mass of highly talented skiers in Switzerland.
This, of course, is where the story takes a turn for the worse.
The two aliens, one tall and one short, purchased their ski passes and lift tickets. The first sign of their… alien-ness… came around 10:00am. Another member of their group eyed their 1980’s snow pants, smiled, and asked, “So, are the two of you going snowshoeing?”
The aliens exchanged glances, as well as a series of quick, telepathic communications:
Are these not the right pants for skiing?
Everyone else does look brighter, sleeker… Pretend not to notice!
“No, we’re actually going skiing.”
But the comment stayed with the aliens. They noticed, as they crowded onto the gondola, that their ski pants were a little baggy, a little dull, and perhaps ill-suited to the desired speeds of most human skiers. The aliens grew worried as the lift ushered them up above the snow-capped landscape.
A second warning came as they rented skis. Both aliens struggled into new boots, could not identify their proper weights in kilograms, and were saved several times by their friends, Human Hailey and Human Justin. The tall alien forgot his hat. The short alien neglected her eye wear.
An inauspicious beginning.
But no one seemed to have noticed yet just how alien they were. So they got on their skis, followed the humans to the lift, and smiled nervously as their alien bodies were lifted to still-greater heights. The aliens felt confident, almost. They’d done all this before, and they had Human Hailey and Justin to help them.
Confidence ended on the precipice of the first slope.
An intermediate slope. A red slope.
Their group of humans gathered, eager to begin, and the aliens eyed the sharp drop with concern… It’s okay, they told one another, we can do this.
Their disguises melted away then and there. The tall one was the first to fall. Halfway down the first hill: a sprawl of limbs, a twisted thumb…
The shorter one followed, easing her way down, laughing at her clumsy companion, and then succumbing to forces of gravity herself.
Human Justin and Human Hailey were more than patient as the two aliens made their way down that first run, falling more than twenty times. At times, the short one decided it was easier to roll down the slopes than ski down them. The tall one was similarly uncoordinated, managing only to go faster before falling, or crashing into snow banks.
All around the aliens, the humans were moving. How graceful they looked, weaving their tight tracks in the snow as they descended… how fine they seemed as they came to perfect, skidding stops or turned corners without a thought of slowing. Then again, creatures always look a little more divine when you’re seeing them from below, don’t they? Considering how often the aliens were on the ground, is it any wonder the humans appeared so heavenly to them?
The jig was up. Their alien identities had been made clear to all. Though Human Justin and Human Hailey offered to continue skiing with them, the aliens understood there was something called a “bunny slope.” They headed in that direction.
I’d like to say it got better for our precious extraterrestrials. But problems continued on the t-lift for the bunny slope. The short alien was nearly decapitated. On their second time up, the tall alien crossed his skis and fell into a snow bank, laying there as human children giggled at him.
So they decided to do something that both aliens and humans are good at….
Human Hailey and Justin joined them, and used the restored confidence from pizza-eating to convince them back out onto the slopes. This time, they tackled a low-level blue… The aliens did better this round, though at one point they both managed to hit the deck right next to each other, their ski poles scattered about like some alien symbol for surrender.
The aliens learned their lesson. Skills they knew ten years ago may need refreshing. They wish to thank all the helpful humans who kept them from dying this weekend. They plan to speak less often about their past successes or abilities, knowing now such things fade faster than would seem believable.
They’ve also resolved to continue laughing at themselves, because in spite of several possible injuries, sore bodies, and wounded pride… they had a lot of fun this weekend in Fiesch.
The following photos were all supplied by Human Justin and Hailey, who’ve mastered the ability to ski and take pictures simultaneously (the aliens gasp in awe of their powers):
Upper Left: A rare shot of the aliens on their feet.
Lower Left: The short alien blending in with the humans.
Right: The tall alien covering himself in snow to blend in (unsuccessful)
Left: Human Hailey and Justin looking so human… Can you find the alien?
Upper Right: The aliens being funny?
Lower Right: Before the aliens were revealed to the humans.
Left: Thun. The aliens found it easier to escape notice here.
Upper Right: Human Hailey walking around her castle.
Upper Left: A gift of peace. The aliens offered the humans crispy M&M’s
All creatures love gelato, regardless of home planet.