In a distant galaxy, a planet exploded. Glowing meteors from the blast hurtled throughout the cosmos. One meteor zoomed toward Earth—specifically, toward the suburban town of Modesto, California.
There, Susan Murphy, a pretty brunette, tried to remain calm in the moments before her wedding ceremony. She had sneaked away from the frantic preparations to a gazebo in the church's garden, where she could enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet.
"Wow, you look beautiful," a familiar voice called out.
Susan spun around. Her fiancé, Derek, was striding toward her across the lawn, looking dapper in his tuxedo.
"So do you," she replied. "I mean . . . you look handsome."
Derek stepped up into the gazebo.
"I can't wait for our honeymoon in Paris," Susan said, taking his hands. "Eating cheese and baguettes by the River Seine . . ." Her words trailed off as Derek lowered his head. "Is something wrong?"
"No!" Derek answered. "Well . . . there's been a slight change of plans. We're going . . . somewhere better. We're going to Fresno!"
Susan blinked several times. "In what universe is Fresno better than Paris?"
"In the I've got an audition to become Channel 23's evening news anchor' universe!" Derek replied. "The general manager wants me to come in immediately. Isn't that great?"
Biting her lip, Susan peered at her excited fiancé's face. "That's . . . amazing," she said, trying to sound enthusiastic. "As long as we're together, Fresno is the most romantic city in the whole world. I'm so proud of you."
Derek kissed her hand. "Of us," he corrected her. "We're a team now."
With a nod and a smile, Susan pushed him away gently. "Now get out of here," she said. "It's bad luck to see me in my dress."
"You know I don't believe that," Derek said, but he left the gazebo and hurried toward the chapel. "I'll be waiting at the altar!" he called back. "I'll be the handsome news anchor in the tux! Love ya!"
Susan waved. "I love you, too!" she replied, but as soon as Derek was inside, Susan let her hand drop. She breathed heavily, trying to let go of her disappointment about losing the Paris honeymoon of her dreams. She had never left California and always wondered about the big world beyond it.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a flash in the sky. A blazing object zoomed down out of the blue. Susan's eyes widened.
It was a meteor—rocketing directly toward her!
Susan jumped out of the gazebo and took off across the lawn, but it was difficult to run in her bridal gown and high heels.
The meteor slammed into the ground. The blast knocked Susan off her feet! An eerie green light glowed from the meteor, and then faded.
Susan's mother, Wendy, hurried out of the chapel. "Susan!" she shouted. "We're about to start!"
Dazed, Susan pulled herself upright and tottered over to her mother.
"There you are!" Wendy yelled, grabbing Susan by her arm and pulling her toward the church.
"I think . . . I just got hit by a meteorite," Susan muttered.
"Oh, Susan," her mother replied, "every bride feels that way on her wedding day."
Excerpted from Monsters vs. Aliens: Top Secret by J. Bright Copyright © 2009 by J. Bright. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.