The Heptapod Language Project

Greyson Harness

I was in the classroom when I got the news. My phone started buzzing. I ignored it, writing a couple of words on the black board. Then my students' phones started buzzing and ringing too. I'd lost their attention. Only then did I check my phone: aliens had come to Earth.
Now here I was, two weeks later, about to meet the aliens. My heart pounded in my chest as I walked toward a giant pane of glass. I had been told that the aliens would appear on the glass, like some sort of super advanced television, and I was supposed to find a way to communicate with them.
Half an hour passed, and my heart rate didn't subside. I nervously tapped my foot, passing the time until the aliens appeared.
"Nervous?" the man sitting next to me asked. I looked over at him. He had a full beard and mustache, and wore corduroy of all things. Obviously an academic. His name was Dr. Ian Donnelly.
"Of course I am. Why aren't you?"
"No, not really."