I saw him shambling down from the trail above, hook fisted and terror-eyed. Had never seen a man dressed such: not out here, not this high up. He had a golden suit, not of metal, but a linen suit that sparkled in the sun. His conservative black tie hung loose on his neck, like he’d out run a hangman. His boots were some sort of mollusk, but also boasted very obvious rockets.
In his left hand, a book. In his right hand, a gun.
So I raised my stick in front of me and shouted, “Yoohoo!”
His face exploded into a grin; he dropped to his knees as he shouted, “Bless my dirty ass, a human! You have no idea how long I’ve waited to meet one of you.” He looked human himself and I stood confused. “Oh, don’t worry about this form, I didn’t possess anyone. I simply run on interesting times and am composed of a thousand thousand sentient mirrors. Mirrors so intricate they can see behind the blood that carries your thoughts to your brain. Don’t be frightened! This form is simply what your mind most needs to see right now. You must have been extremely bored. I normally appear as a kind old friend from Anytown.”
“Well, you don’t seem to be having a good go of it. Why were you out here searching for humans?”
“You see, I thought humans were wild animals that lurked on mountain tops, searching for birds to sacrifice to their devil god. But that’s why you are such a miracle! You’re here to help! Here, let me just shoot you in the brains with this psyche-teleportation ray and record your consciousness in this here book of mine, and you can be on your way!”
“No thanks. I can show you a way back to town, but no thanks on the brain ray. I’m good. Follow me if you want. I’m heading back.”
I never felt anything, and the man didn’t follow, but whose to say whether or not I’m just walking through a book at this point, body in some ravine, living just to be studied by weirdos.