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My Alien Vacation

The Dover Demon

By Stephanie HoogstadPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - February 2024
My Alien Vacation
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

For my school break, we went on vacation to a backwoods planet in some faraway galaxy. The inhabitants call it Earth. It is mostly visited by scientific expeditions and poachers looking for exotic pets to sell on the black market, but my parents thought that it would be a good learning experience for my little sister and me. They wouldn’t even let me take my immersive reality suit with me, so it was a real snore fest. At least, it would have been if they hadn’t let me take Zorg with us.

It all started when we landed near a remote town called Dover. My parents said the country was called the United States and that the regions divided even further than that, but I wasn’t paying attention.

Anyway, we landed near what passed for a town on Earth so that my parents could take in the flora and fauna. My little sister went off chasing a local creature called a deer, but it was far too fast for her without her hover shoes. I decided to take Zorg out for a walk and let him off-leash, thinking that he would be too skittish to wander too far.

I was wrong.

Zorg ran as quickly as his spindly legs could take him. His enormous oval head bounced with glee at the freedom he had been given, his eyes glowing in the darkness. Before I could fully register what was happening, his gray body had faded into the woods.

I looked between where Zorg had disappeared and my parents, who stared in disbelief at the scene.

“Quick, Mart!” Mother yelled at me. “Go get him, before the inhabitants can see him! Nart, go with him.”

I nodded and rushed off in the direction that Zorg had gone. I could hear Father’s footsteps close behind me. Father turned his headlight on, bathing the path ahead of us in a brilliant bluish glow. We soon spotted Zorg’s tendril-like footsteps and followed them. We called out Zorg’s name, hoping to catch his attention before he caught the attention of any Earthians.

We tracked Zorg for hours. I had no clue how that little creature managed to evade us for so long. I was soon bent over, panting and coughing from the continuous exertion. Father stopped right next to me, though he handled it better from having gone through his mandatory military training.

“We have to keep going, son,” he said. “We need to find Zorg.”

“But what if we don’t?” I turned my head up to face him. I could feel myself fighting back the tears. “What will they do to him? They won’t hurt him, will they?”

I could hear Father swallow. His big, compound eyes glistened with unshed tears, but his thin lips set in a firm line.

“I won’t let them.” He patted me on the back. “Come on, let’s get going.”

We continued to follow the footprints until we reached a road. I was momentarily amazed. I did not know that such a primitive race had roads or vehicles, but then I remembered Mother saying something about them using something called gasoline-powered vehicles. Bad for the environment and very smelly, she said.

Suddenly, I saw him. Zorg.

He stood on the side of the road, posing against some rocks as though waiting for his holo-portrait to be taken. All we had to do was put his collar and leash on him, and then we were home free.

I was about to step towards Zorg when Father grabbed my shoulder and pulled me behind a tree. He quickly put out his headlight and motioned for me to be quiet.

At first, I wasn’t sure why he had stopped me. Then I smelled the most rancid thing I had ever come across. It made me cough to the point of bending over as Father rubbed my back and covered his own mouth and nostril slits. A rumbling sound rang through my earholes, much louder than any vehicle we have on our planet but not as loud as a spaceship when it departs.

As I peeked out from behind the tree, I got my first glimpse of a primitive Earth vehicle. Its headlights, though not as bright as Father’s, still blinded me as it approached. I ducked back behind the tree, afraid of being spotted. I prayed to the Universe that Zorg would not be spotted, either.

A lifetime seemed to roll by as the vehicle passed us. At last, the light disappeared. The smell and the sound soon followed.

Father cautiously stepped out from behind the tree, and I walked out with him. As we approached Zorg, we found him completely frozen in place.

“Oh, the poor thing’s scared.”

I latched the collar around Zorg’s neck, and we carried him back to the spaceship.

And that is why I can’t bring Zorg any more vacations.


Author's Note: This piece is based on the story of the Dover Demon from Dover, Massachusetts. For more information on this, check out this link:

Short StorySci Fi

About the Creator

Stephanie Hoogstad

With a BA in English and MSc in Creative Writing, writing is my life. I have edited and ghost written for years with some published stories and poems of my own.

Learn more about me:

Support my writing: Patreon

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (25)

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  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Nice story

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Ace Melee2 months ago

    Awwww. I find this story so cute and refreshing. Congrats on Top Story.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Delightful. I felt for Zorg, first freedom then fear. This was such a fun read, I am so glad it got Top Story Congratulations

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Poor Zorg. Reduced to a stay-at-home pet. Great story, Stephanie. Congratulations!

  • River Joy2 months ago

    Yay congrats on the TS!

  • L.Clabrough2 months ago

    This is great, I love it 😁. Congrats on TS!

  • jacki fleet2 months ago

    Love the perspective and idea. Congratulations on top story!

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    lol I love the ending! Great Twist! Just an alien pet not a demon 🥸 congrats on top story!

  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    This was so original. A great read! I'm off to read about the Dover Demon now. Intriguing.

  • Phil Flannery2 months ago

    I imagine this as a kids book series, 'The Adventures of Mart and Zorg on Planet Earth'. Well done on Top Story.

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Good work. You got me with this movie in my head!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    Yesssss! So glad to see this get T.S.!

  • I am back to say congratulations on a well-deserved Top Story!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    That was fun. Now tell us what happens next. 😁

  • I've never heard of the Dover Demon before. That was so fascinating! And I loved how smelly our vehicles are to them, lol!

  • This was a fun read, and you had me guessing the entire time! Great story, Stephanie!

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    I'm really not sure taking your pet interplanetary is wise...

  • River Joy2 months ago

    Oh I really enjoyed this! Like LC I would love to see an expansion of this universe. Your characters are fascinating, it would be fun to see them react to all sorts of things on earth

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    This was so much fun! Please do more like this? 😊

  • Well, that's certainly one explanation, lol. Well done, Stephanie!

  • Test2 months ago

    WOW! Very amazing work!!

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