Finish reading the story. Decide how you find the ending unexpected or quite predictable

  1. Additional reading
  6. As you can see it varies very much in spelling and structure from the English you are reading, but you certainly recognize it as English of Caxton to whom we owe so much.
  7. Attending a job interview
  8. Brylyarstvo was and remains quite a rare craft.
  9. Do you think the narrator is going to commit a crime ? Go on reading and you will find out.
  10. Finish reading the first half of the story. Prepare to explain what exactly is happening to the teacher.
  11. Finish the sentences explaining why this or that device is useful.

Gary was nervous all day. What was there to talk about! Maybe Mr. Smith hated science fiction. One of those traditional English teachers. Didnt understand that science fiction could be literature. Maybe
I can educate him, thought Gary.

When Gary arrived at the English office, Mr. Smith seemed nervous too. He kept folding and unfolding Garys composition. Where do you get such ideas? he asked in his monotone voice.

Gary shrugged. They just come to me.

Alien teachers. Taking over the minds of schoolchildren. Mr. Smiths empty eyes were blinking. What made you think of that?

Ive always had this vivid imagination.

If youre sure its just your imagination. Mr. Smith looked relieved. I guess everything will work out. He handed back Garys composition. No more fantasy, Gary. Reality. Thats your assignment. Write only about what you know.

Outside school, Gary ran into Jim Baggs, who looked surprised to see him. Dont tell me you had to stay after, Dude.

I had to see Mr. Smith about my composition. He didnt like it. Told me to stick to reality.

Dont listen. Jim Baggs body checked Gary into the schoolyard fence. Dude, you got to be yourself.

Gary ran all the way home and locked himself into his room. He felt feverish with creativity. Dude, you got to be yourself, Dude. It doesnt matter what your so-called friends say, or your English teacher. Youve got to play your own kind of game, write your own kind of stories.

The words flowed out of Garys mind and through his fingers and out of the machine and onto sheets of paper. He wrote and rewrote until he felt the words were exactly right:


With great effort, the alien shut down the electrical panic impulses coursing through its system and turned on Logical Overdrive. There were two possibilities: this high school boy was exactly what he seemed to be, a brilliant, imaginative, apprentice best-selling author and screenwriter, or, he had somehow stumbled onto the secret plan and he would have to be either enlisted into the conspiracy or erased off the face of the planet.


First thing in the morning, Gary turned in his new rewrite to Mr. Smith. A half hour later, Mr. Smith call Gary out of Spanish. There was no expression on his regular features. He said, Im going to need some help with you.

Cold sweat covered Garys body as Mr. Smith grab his arm and led him to the new vice-principal. She read the composition while they waited. Gary got a good IOM at her for the first time. Ms. Jones was... just there. She looked as though shed been manufactured to fit her name. Average. Standard. Typical. The cold sweat turned into goose pimples.

How could he have missed the clues? Smith and Jones were aliens! He had stumbled on their secret and now theyd have to deal with him.

He blurted, Are you going to enlist me or erase me?

Ms. Jones ignored him. In my opinion, Mr. Smith, you are overreacting. This sort of nonsense she waved Garys composition is the typical response of an overstimulated adolescent to the mixture of reality and fantasy in an environment dominated by manipulative music, television, and films. Nothing for us to worry about.

If youre sure, Ms. Jones, said Mr. Smith. He didnt sound sure.

The vice-principal looked at Gary for the first time. There was no expression in her eyes. Her voice was flat Youd better get off this science fiction kick, she said. If you know whats good for you.

Ill never tell another human being, I swear, he babbled.

What are you talking about? asked Ms. Jones.

Your secret is safe with me, he lied. He thought, If I can just get away from them. Alert the authorities. Save the planet.

You see, said Ms. Jones, youre writing yourself into a crazed state.

Youre beginning to believe your own fantasies, said Mr. Smith.

Im not going to do anything this time, said Ms. Jones, but you must promise to write only about what you know.

Or Ill have to fail you, said Mr. Smith.

For your own good, said Ms. Jones. Writing can be very dangerous.

Especially for writers, said Mr. Smith, who write about things they shouldnt.

Absolutely, said Gary, positively, no question about it. Only what I know. He backed out the door, nodding his head, thinking, Just a few more steps and Im okay. I hope these aliens cant read minds.

Jim Baggs was practicing head fakes in the hallway. He slammed Gary into the wall with a hip block. Hows it going, Dude? he asked, helping Gary up.

Aliens, gasped Gary. Told me no more, science fiction.

They cant treat a star writer like that, said Jim. See what the head honchos got to say. He grabbed Garys wrist and dragged him to the principals office.

What can I do for you, boys? boomed Dr. Proctor.

Theyre messing with his moves, Doc, said Jim Baggs. You got to let the aces run their races.

Thank you, James. Dr. Proctor popped his forefinger at the door. Ill handle this.

Youre home free, Dude, said Jim, whacking Gary across the shoulder blades as he left.

From the beginning, ordered Dr. Proctor. He nodded sympathetically as Gary told the entire story, from the opening assembly to the meeting with Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones. When Gary was finished, Dr. Proctor took the papers from Garys hand. He shook his head as he read Garys latest rewrite.

You really have a way with words, Gary. I should have sensed you were on to something.

Garys stomach flipped. You really think there could be aliens trying to take over Earth?

Certainly, said Dr. Proctor, matter-of-factly. Earth is the ripest plum in the universe.

Gary wasnt sure if he should feel relieved that he wasnt crazy or be scared out of his mind. He took a deep breath to control the quaver in his voice, and said:

I spotted Smith and Jones right away. They look like they were manufactured to fit their names. Obviously humanoids. Panicked as soon as they knew I was on to them.

Dr. Proctor chuckledand shook his head. No self-respecting civilization would send those two stiffs to Earth.

Theyre not aliens? He felt relieved and disappointed at the same time.

I checked them out myself, said Dr. Proctor. Just two average, standard, typical human beings, with no imagination, no creativity.

So whyd you hire them?

Dr. Proctor laughed. Because theyd never spot an alien. No creative imagination. Thats why I got rid ofthe last vice-principal and the last Honors English teacher. They were giving me odd little glances when they thought I wasnt looking. After ten years on your planet Ive learned to smell trouble.

Garys spine turned to ice and dripped down the backs of his legs. Youre an alien!

Great composition, said Dr. Proctor, waving Garys papers. Grammatical, vividly written, and totally accurate.

Its just a composition, babbled Gary, made whole thing up, imagination, you know.

Dr. Proctor removed the face of his wristwatch and began tapping tiny buttons. Always liked writers. I majored in your planets literature. Writers are the keepers of the past and the hope of the future. Too bad they cause so much trouble in the present.

I wont tell anyone, cried Gary. Your secrets safe with me. He began to back slowly toward the door.

Dr. Proctor shook his head. How can writers keep secrets, Gary? Its their natures to share their creations with the world. He tapped three times and froze Gary in place, one foot raised to step out the door.

But it was only a composition, screamed Gary as his body disappeared before his eyes.

And I cant wait to hear what the folks back home say when you read it to them, said Dr. Proctor.

I made it all up. Gary had the sensation of rocketing upward. I made up the whole...

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