Sandra let her ex-boyfriend's '87 Chevy C/K roll to a stop in the gravel, the fuel gauge on the beast having read a solid "E" for the last eight miles.
"Well. I guess this is about as middle of nowhere as we're gonna get," she said quietly to the bundle of blankets in the passenger seat. She stole a longing glance through the windshield up at the stars twinkling in the night sky, but there was no time to sit and soak it in. The cops would be there any minute.
Hopping down from the driver's seat, she hurried around to the passenger side and lifted the bundle, cradling it in her arms. It was cold outside. Cold enough to see her breath in front of her face and send shivers up her skinny bare legs. She was wearing her usual cutoff jeans and boots, dressed out for a night of line dancing, not a trek through the edge of the desert. She had wanted to get clean out into the Mojave before the fuel ran out, but no luck. This would just have to do.
The other thing she desperately wanted was to kiss Fidnik goodbye, but the little creature was sealed up inside his spherical cocoon, just a greenish furry blur, softly glowing inside a bubble. She slipped the blanket aside and kissed the warm basketball-sized form anyway before setting it down in the sand beside some scrub brush.
Off in the distance, she heard the first sound of sirens and could see the flashing lights glowing over a hill. She stepped away from Fidnik and wished him good luck. She had faith in the little guy, but had no idea what else she could do for him now. He had asked her to get him away, as far as she could, and she had done just that. Breaking into the sheriff's office, threatening an officer with a fake gun before handcuffing him to his desk, stealing a truck, causing at least two auto accidents; it would all be for nothing if she was too late or had done something wrong.
The sirens grew louder and the flashing lights brighter. Her heart skipped a beat as time ticked by and still nothing changed inside the cocoon. Just when she thought the worst had happened, the light inside the sphere grew bright and burst from the top, shooting skyward.
In an instant, the shell broke open, and the tiny alien shot skyward like a bolt of lightning. The blankets on the ground burst into flame and a spray of pebbles peppered Sandra in the face. There was a popping sound in the sky as he broke the sound barrier and vanished out of sight for good.
Sandra laughed out loud and let out the kind of yell that only a country girl can manage. Her best friend was gone, but he was safe now. Safe, and on his way home.