Ok, everyone. Something different. I have been taking writing classes (I know, I know…just bear with me) and just once a week am going to (well try to) post one of my writing pieces. Could be an assignment from a class, an expanded free writing piece that interested me, or something else…don’t know what. If you are so inclined, please read!
Just another day in the life
It was the end of another Rod Serling day. The only sign of the late day sun through the the tall buildings was the long shadows of traffic lights and trash cans. The twilight zone continues even on my walk home, I thought, head down as if I had an important place to be. I knew I wasn’t fooling anyone, none of us were. Mad World indeed; Tears for Fears knows my life.
“I told you to park down the lane on the other side of the planet!”
The voice was stark against the drone of traffic, and I almost stopped. Did I hear that right? Keep walking – you do not want to get involved with that conversation. I just want to get home after a long day at work and pour myself a glass of wine.
“Wait, wait! Come back.”
Just keep walking, act like you hear nothing.
“Stop, please, you in the red shirt…you’re the one we’re here to see.”
Wait, what? I look down. Shit, red shirt. I turned my head glancing back to make sure I was the one being addressed. I didn’t want to suffer the same past humiliations of thinking someone was waving and smiling at me when it was really the guy behind me being saluted.
“Wait wait…yes, you.”
I turned a bit more and pointed at myself, mouthing “Me?”
He continued yelling and began to run up the street. Well, run might be an exaggeration for the jerky gait not-quite-a-canter, flopping long hair and arms coming towards me.
“Phew! Thanks for stopping.” He gasped.
“Why? I don’t know you, do I?” I felt the look in my eyes of someone wondering if they have just stopped for someone who is going to rob them.
“You don’t know me, but I know you. We all know you.”
“We? Who we?”
“We of the planet Gorth.”
“Gorth?” Ok, this is a joke. “Planet Gorth? Who put you up to this? Some asshole from work trying to get back at me for eating their yogurt?”
Now I was concerned. This guy really was out of shape, gasping like a fish out of water. Doesn’t anyone work out anymore?
“We are here to take you home.”
“Ok, I’m done now. This is crazy and you need help. There is no plant Gorth and if you think I am going anywhere with you right now, you are dreaming.”
“Ok, well I guess it’s time to reveal all then.”
He pointed at the alley next to us, and now I’m thinking, this is it. I’m about to get jumped by a gang of knife-wielding thugs. I turned to look, ready to take off the minute I glimpsed sharp steel. It was empty.
“Ok, what’s the joke, man?”
And with that, the empty alley was crammed with something huge. If I didn’t know any better, I’d call it a spaceship. Now that’s a job of parking, I thought. But parked in by buildings on either side, taking off was going to be a challenge if they didn’t want to take pieces of the buildings around it with them. My eyes wandered from side to side. “I seem to be taking this better than I should be.”
This thing was massive – and kind of shaped like a cigar (what do you know, those UFO shows were right!) Tiny silver windows poked out here and there – was that a face in one of them? I wondered, “What’s the point of being on a spaceship with only little, tiny windows?”
Well, I said that part out loud. I know this because he said, “Well really there isn’t a lot to see in space and we have view screens for when there is, well, a view.”
“So, who are you again? My worst nightmare? Some kind of television host for practical space jokes?”
“I don’t know what any of those things mean. We are from Gorth and we are here to take you home.”
I stared. Then I shook my head. Nope, not possible. “Yeah, you know what? I think that’s a hard no. Appreciate you guys coming all this way for me, but I’ll just be on my way now.”
I backed out of the alley into the street, keeping my eyes on the scene before me, and when I hit the sidewalk, put my head down and started walking, fast. Would they give up? Gorth? Come on man. For a second I almost believed it, wanted to believe it. Like those movies where the guy with the so normal it’s painful life suddenly is swept away on an adventure of a lifetime. That just didn’t happen in reality. But it seemed like an awful lot of trouble to go to for a stolen yogurt.
A block from home I realized it was dark. Not the dark of night – it was too early for that. Crap. I rolled my eyes up, not quite wanting to take the leap of raising my whole head. Was that?
“So much for secrecy.” I jumped at the voice beside me.
“What the fuck, man?”
“Look, we don’t have a choice here. We were told to bring you quietly without disturbing the locals if possible, but well, you’re being a bit of a jerk, so here we are.”
“You couldn’t have just beamed me up? You had to embarrass me in front of everyone?”
“First of all, you’ve been watching too much Star Trek. Second, so you really think anyone here will notice us?”
I looked around. Yup. Heads down everywhere.
“No one wants to know because then they’d have to get involved.”
“Yeah, like me – doesn’t that mean I fit right in here?”
“Look, why not just get on board and give it a try. What do you have to lose?”
“Well, anal probing comes to mind.” I’ve haven’t watched a lot of late night UFO specials for nothing.
“Look, we don’t do that anymore. Once you’ve probed one human, you’ve probed them all. But even if we did, you’re not human – you’re one of us. Just get on board and if you don’t like what you see on Gorth, we’ll bring you right back to your amazing life.”
“Low blow, man.”
“I calls them as I sees them.”
I realized that I had never really looked around these streets I walked every day, but now I saw the grey buildings, the trash on the street, a mass of humanity all ignoring everything going on around them. What the hell?
“Ok, man. You have a point. I’ll get on board and check out Gorth.”
“It’s about time!”
“Hey, what’s your name?”
“Come on, Frank? Frank of Gorth?”
“We have a saying on Gorth – Frank: Every planet has to have one.”
“Ok then…Frank, is there pizza on Gorth?” I asked, as we walked up the ramp into his ship.
“Buddy, you haven’t lived until you’ve had pizza on Gorth.”