This story was inspired by a brown drippy stain I saw on a museum wall.
The coffee sprayed out of Laura’s mouth and onto the rust-colored wall. It nearly hit a Rodin, and Laura gasped at the damage she’d done to the Museum walls.
“Sorry, didn’t think you’d take it like that,” said Ian.
“What did you say?” asked Laura, wiping her mouth. “You’re a what??”
“I’m an Alien. I’m from the planet Klaxon.”
“But I’ve know you since college! You’re from Herndon! You live with your crazy mom and sell hunting knives at the mall.”
“It was a cover. Um. I think we better move, the curator’s coming.”
Laura and Ian ducked into the impressionists wing.
“So…why are you telling me this?” whispered Laura. Her face turned grey as tears sprang her eyes. “Oh my GOD. You’re breaking up with me.”
Ian stared. “Wait you actually believed me? No one’s ever believed me before!”
“You’re telling me this because you want to scare me off?” moaned Laura. The tears were coming hard and fast now as she tried to stem the tide with her sweater sleeve.
“Uh... no!” said Ian looking in fond amazement at his girlfriend’s blind acceptance. “No! I’ve really loved the years we’ve had together,”
“But now you have to go back to your planet and you’re ditching me!” wailed Laura looking as waterlogged as the Monet painting of water lily’s behind her.
“No, you nut! I’m not ditching you!” said Ian.
“Then why, Ian?”
Ian stammered and a fine sweat broke out on his forehead as he fumbled in his pocket.
“Why?” Laura demanded again.
“I just…I thought you should know the truth… before we got married.”
Ian finally managed to extract a small ring case from his pants pocket and presented it to her.
Laura gazed in wonder at the glittering gem that held more colors than a peacock’s tail. It was like no gem she’d seen on earth. It was as if someone had taken a lava lamp and injected it into a crystal.
“Oh, Ian. It’s so pretty.”
“It belonged to my mother… my real mother. The woman in my house is my bodyguard— she takes it kind of seriously.”
Laura said nothing. She was still staring at the ring.
“So will you marry me, Laura?” Ian asked, getting more anxious as he waited for her response.
“YES!” she shouted jumping on him and kissing his astonished face. He held her and his lips found hers shortly.
Laura pulled away. “Wait. Do I have to go to Klaxon?” she asked.
“Well, the planet is going to want to meet its new princess.”
“Whee!”she screamed and hugged him tighter.
Gupta the curator had to steady himself as he saw the livid dark stain on the wall. This would get him fired for sure. Thinking fast he grabbed a blank plaque and in his neat handwriting wrote: “Installation Piece, Anon.” He hung it next to the coffee stain and walked away.