by David Glen Larson
He scrambled from the fire that was snaking through the corridor when another explosion jolted the ship, and just like that he was dead again. A moment later he was someone else, gazing down with another’s eyes at the mangled green body he’d left behind.
Never before had Tyler experienced such terror. Sure, he’d been afraid—afraid his knee would give out again, sidelining him for the big game; afraid he’d let down his teammates and make a fool of himself—but he’d never been terrified of being incinerated in an alien system countless light-years from the home world he was forced to flee. Not until now.
Staring up at the night sky, the stars were dim under the glare of the stadium lights. Which star was theirs? He caught himself and shook his aching head. It was only a dream, after all. The frog people weren’t real.
The doctor shined a penlight into each pupil. “Any headache, nausea, or dizziness?”
“What do you think? I was just hit by a freight train.” Good old Number 32—the biggest, meanest linebacker in the NFL.
“You may have a concussion.”
Coach Landis spit tobacco juice on the grass only inches from Tyler’s head. “We’re down 22-27 in the fourth quarter with under a minute to go. Montoya’s out, Casper’s out, and now you’re saying I’m out my third string too? Uh-uh, Doc. I need Harden in the game.”
“If he takes another hit—”
“A few aches and pains go with the territory,” said the coach.
“Forget aches and pains. I’m talking stroke or death. Those go with the territory?”