An Alien Warmth

By Karl Dandenell

I raised myself onto my rear footpads, then knocked loudly on the front door with a holding claw. I was so cold, I barely felt the heavy ironwood. Frigid wind gusted behind me, shaking a line of brightly colored flags. The squares of blue, white, red, green, and yellow fabric shook violently, catching the attention of my left eye. My right eye remained firmly focused on the door.

“I’ll get it!” called a male voice from within. The door opened, releasing a much-welcome wave of warm, dry air. “Hi—” The Terran stopped as soon as he saw me framed in the doorway. His pupils widened, and a glass of beer dropped from his fingers. I caught it with an upper footpad.

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