“I’ve brought home a treat today,” Dad said.
“What is it?” Walter asked.
“Close your eyes and hold out your hands,” Dad said.
“Oh, weird,” Walter said. He opened his eyes. “It looks like a hairy bowling ball. Is it dead?”
“That is a coconut,” Dad said.
“That is so weird. It’s like a grown up kiwi fruit, but less squishy,” Walter said. He tried squeezing it harder between his palms and then turned it around in his hands. “So, how do you open it?”
“Follow me!” Dad led the way to the garage, where he pulled out a hammer.
“No way!” Walter said. “Can I hit it?”
“First we need to drain out the coconut water,” Dad said. He used the hammer and a nail to make two holes and then poured the water into a bowl in the kitchen. Then, he spread out a towel on the floor and handed Walter a hammer.
“After you crack it open, we can scrape out the insides,” Dad said. “Well, go on.” He held out his arms wide. “Hit it like a piñata.”
“Yes!” Walter said. It took a few hits, but the coconut cracked open.
“Dad, is there supposed to be a phone inside?” Walter asked.
“No, there’s not,” Dad said. They both looked at the little black cell phone inside the coconut. “How did it get in there?”
“I don’t know,” Walter said. “I checked it, it was sealed tight.”
“I think it had to be or the coconut water would have leaked out,” Dad said.
The phone started ringing. “I think you should answer it, Dad,” Walter said.
“Yes, of course,” Dad said. He picked up the phone and tried swiping the screen. Nothing happened. After a few moments the phone stopped ringing.
“It doesn’t have any buttons,” Dad said. Dad was turning the phone around in his hands when it started to ring again. He nearly dropped it.
“Careful!” Walter said, and reached his arms out to catch it if it fell. It didn’t.
Dad held the ringing phone up close to his face. “Hello?” he said. The phone lit up. A blue light blinked at one end, next to a steady yellow light. White letters on a green square on the front showed the time, date, and GPS coordinates.
“Oh, good, you found my phone,” a deep voice said from out of the phone. “Just keep talking and I’ll find you.”
“What do you mean? How will you find us? Where are you?” Dad said.
“That’s great. Keep going,” the voice said. There was a banging, clattering sound outside, as though something had bumped into the trashcans out front. A moment later, there was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get the door,” Dad said. Walter followed right behind him.
A tall man was at the door. Walter had never seen someone so tall. He was unusually skinny and had a long, long face. Walter was pretty sure he wasn’t human. However, he wasn’t completely certain.
“Hello,” the tall man said in a deep voice. “I believe you have my phone.”
Dad looked down at the phone in his hand. The screen was dark, and the blue light was off, but the yellow light was still on. He handed it to the tall man.
“Thank you,” the man said. “These new phones are always getting lost the moment you set them down. I’ll have to send it back to the lab. Where was it this time?”
“Inside a coconut,” Walter said.
“That’s a new one!” The man said. “Thanks for finding it. Well, I have to go.” He walked down the street and turned the corner.
“Do you think he’s still there?” Walter asked.
“I doubt it,” Dad said.
Walter ran to check and walked back. “He’s gone. Do you think he was an alien?”
“I have no idea. That was so weird,” Dad said.
“Weirder than coconuts,” Walter said.