The Alien Candidate

Inspired by this Reddit prompt (my username is goat_therandy):

 

“Sir, we’ve touched down in what’s known here as the Appalachian Mountains,” Blorg said the leader of the Fridnar team, aka the Scalpels. They stood on the edge of a cliff, and twinkling lights dotted the warm, green valley below them. “This is one of the more beautiful places we’ve been, eh sir?”

“Stop calling me sir,” Captain Rogorg said, turning to look at his friend of over three Earth centuries. “Seriously, what the hell is that about? We’re a team, not a bunch a of filthy savages. Tell me, does everyone have their skin on?”

“Yes, except Lorg, she’s still getting ready. Man, I don’t know how humans where this stuff.”

“It’s just how they hold their guts in. Anyway, you really need to do more to remind your wife of the urgency here. The Yakonians have already infilitrated the Cuban government.”

“They’re playing a short game, then.”

They both fell silent and enjoyed the sight of the stars. It reminded Blorg of when he first asked Lorg to marry him, after they had been dating for months (although it had seemed like many wonderful years already) on Fridnar’s third moon. It reminded Rogorg of their win against the Hyperions in the Hindristic Nebula games.

No team had managed to infiltrate a major power here yet, and Rogorg wanted to know why.


“You mean to tell me that I have to get people’s signatures in order to run for office?” Captain Rogorg was telling the party official. “How many?”

“Well, sir, it depends on the state … ” Mary, or whatever her name was, tapped a few keys on her keyboard, and the Fridnarian knew it was a delaying tactic ” … but in total…about 900,000 in order to get on the ballot in each state.”

“What the hell are you talking about? In my home country, anyone can run for office! A child can, of course he won’t be elected, but he can do it!”

“That’s very cute, sir.”

Rogorg grunted and left the building. He called Blorg with his cell phone. Human currency was easy enough to print for themselves, at least. “Any luck getting a job with the agency?”

“Ro, they want to do background checks! They want my family, my friends, all of them to testify against me just to get a job!”

“What kind of untrusting people are these? This is going to be harder than I thought. Damn, I heard the Yakonians are working with Venezuela now.”

“And the Klepers are already moving on from Ghana to Gambia.”


Rogorg knew it was unethical, although not technically cheating, to assume the bodies of whoever they were invading. He didn’t see another way, however, and a win was a win. He sat in the Oval Office, sure that in this position of power the Scalpels would win within a week, or perhaps a day or two.

Blorg stood in the corner, continually scratching himself. “It’s this skin, how can they wear it?” he’d say when Rogorg or Lorg, who sat in a chair staring at a tablet, would complain about it.

“What do you mean you can’t get the votes?” Rogorg said angrily into the phone. “I’ve literally developed an engine that can go faster than the speed of light, and still you can’t get enough votes to approve a Martian colony?”

The gift of technology was something else that was traditionally forbidden in the Invasion Games, but technically not considered cheating. Rogorg had had enough.

“I know…I know…ethical concerns, taking care of Earth infrastructure first, all that, of course. But an off-world colony is the first step to any unified world government. What do you mean New World Order? Actually yes, that’s a good description of– What are you talking about? Why shouldn’t I talk this way? Just get the votes!”

“Easy, captain,” Blorg said after Rogorg slammed the phone down on its receiver. “We’ll find a way, just got to keep trying.”


“Peace is what brings us together, not war! Peace is what makes a man a man and a woman a woman, not war! Peace is what we must have, for one world must have one government!”

All the political representatives cheered Rogorg’s speech in the joint session of congress. He was sure that people all over the country, and even the world, were ready now to become one. Then the Scalpels would declare victory for the third time in as many centuries, a record that few could match.

A senator, whose name the captain didn’t know, spoke in his ear, “Sir, it still has to go through both houses.”

“Whose houses?” Rogorg said above the ongoing cheers.

“I just want you to know, there are still those of us who oppose you in the Senate. We’ll filibuster this if you try it without negotiating first.”

“Filibuster?” the Fridnarian had heard of that term, and he knew what it meant. “No…” he shook his head as the cheers quieted “…no…” he writhed around, dense internal hands pushing against the flimsy skin “…no…” Blorg tried to stop him, but it was too late.

A twenty foot tall tentacle monster stood before the Congress. Its orange skin rippled like oil in a breeze, and its dozens of eyes stared everywhere at once. Talons popped out of its tentacles and began whipping at everything in the room.

“I’M INVADING YOUR PLANET, YOU SHITHEADS!!!”

Blorg looked at Lorg among the ripped and gored carcusses of those who so recently had been clapping for their killer, and said, “Well…I guess this means we lost.”

A Recent Murder

I didn’t know the man who talked to me that night, only that he wanted me dead. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I was investigating a murder scene on Main Street, which of course the local police couldn’t handle on their own. Sergeant Milton greeted me with a cloudy puff of his cigar. “Eh, detective, how’s the private business going?” His sneer cut daggers into my soul. Just then, the rain started to fall.

I walked inside the house after CSI had left. Crime scenes are always empty at night, just like my soul. It didn’t surprise me that the chalk outline lay in the kitchen. This killer was on a streak. He had struck a trend of killings, blood, gore in the kitchens of the suburbs for the past two years. No one knew what he looked like or when he would strike next. Only MacGregor the Butcher had left worse crime scenes. The only thing I knew was that he needed to be stopped.

Outside, Natalie waited for me. The taxi drove off and I knew the murder wasn’t the only problem I’d be dealing with that night. “Oh,” she uttered, smoking her cigarette like Aphrodite in a campfire. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Of course not,” I said, staring her down with my hands in my pocket. Carelessness is important when dealing with girls like her. Girls that creep up behind you and leave you gasping for air after a two hour choke session. “Murder scenes are the perfect place to find a man, eh? You’ll only find coldness here, doll.”

“I’m warm enough on my own, detective. Come home with me tonight, and you might warm up too.”

How could I refuse? A girl like her, with hips as wide as the Cumberland Gap and as rough too, ready to be ridden ’til exhaustion. “You got it, dame. But don’t expect me overnight.”

She stepped closer, the rain streaming the makeup down her face like some clown that had seen far too many men go down in that clown fire gag where they start a fire and then they jump out onto a tiny trampoline, only one of them misses and cracks his spine and there’s nothing you can do to console his grieving wife save giving her the biggest, wettest kiss you can muster. Well, that’s just what I did with her.

I said I didn’t expect to spend the night and I meant what I said. Still, I somehow found myself waking in her apartment. Maybe it was the wine, or perhaps the lilac in the air, but something trapped me there. It might have been her majestic eyes, eyes that shine in the darkest night.

“I’m going to kill you,” said the man who wanted me dead.

“Oh, yeah?” I replied, sleep lisping my voice like some death-dream. The barrel pointed at my face grew larger with each passing moment. I lit a cigarette. “Why’s that?”

“You killed my father, MacGregor.”

MacGregor, the man who killed nearly forty of Boston’s best citizens. Authors, poets, musicians, and even politicians had perished at his hand.

“And now I will kill you.”

Just before he pulled the trigger, his eyes crossed and he collapsed on the bed. Natalie stood in the doorway, gun in her hand. I took a drag of my cigarette and tried to make sense of the scene.

“Don’t bother, baby,” Natalie said, pushing the pistol back into her lingerie waistline. “He killed my father, and I wanted him dead. He’d only meet me if I brought you home. Thought I had a grudge against you, too.”

“Well, ain’t that something,” I said, smoking a long drag of my cigarette. “I suppose you don’t hold any, then?”

“That’s for me to know,” she said before laying on top of me. I put my cigarette in the ash tray and closed my eyes.

Jimmy the ice cream man

Jimmy was a hump back with dental issues. The bores on his back broke the skin, pushing puss from pores. Hair stringy and grease-covered slacked down a fat left shoulder. An exhale exhumed a bit of spittle that landed on the hot sidewalk. “Can I get…can I get some ice cream?” he asked the ice cream man, his sad eyes drilling holes in souls.

“I…um…” the ice cream man hesitated, wondering what the way was with this wary fellow. “I don’t really have any ice cream? This is, uh…it’s a front…for like, drugs?”

“I….I….I…….” Jimmy was hard of breathing. His chest tightened thick with the tension of the ticking time. “Got any…popped corn?”

“NO!” The ice cream man jumped out of his truck with a bat, swinging it this way and that. “GO!”

Jimmy tried to run, but his legs could only be pushed so much.

Martian Immigration

I don’t know what this is. Maybe I could mix it up with something, like underground refugees he finds. Maybe he’s captured by the Martian Immigration Police. Maybe he finds evidence of ancient Martians by accident. Let it simmer…

_____________________________________________________

Too many people got on the boat. We crashed somewhere on Mars. At least, they said it was too many people, and I assume that’s why we crashed. Who knows? Could be anything. It was a cheap ride.

I walk outside under the blue-red sky and wonder what desert lay here centuries ago and what beauty is here now. The surface of the nearby lake ripples in the wind, and the trees smell like a dream. Nothing like it on Earth, nothing at all, but I guess that’s one of the necessities of progress.

The rocket that got me here was cheap. It was one of those that they overbook to get that much more money. Look where it got them! I’m the only survivor.

Any family I had is long gone. My only friend died in the crash. I’m here, alone, and I don’t know in which direction the closest settlement lies. I drink water by the lake, sit, and think.

A Tired Monkey

The wingbat stared at the sky and pondered what might be in another era. Thousands of years had passed and the gubers lived strong. These beasts, with horns that reached hundreds of feet high and trunks like the elephants that you had nightmares of as a child, destroyed the homes of the wingbats, who flitted of to Mars to live the rest of their sols.

The gubers ruled the Earth for millions, if not many millions of years. Decades? Centuries? Millenniums? They were nothing to the gubers, who wanted only production and evolution, management and organization, peace and brutal warfare.

The moon was home to an old species…you guessed it, humans. They were tall and thin and light from Luna’s light tug, but had little food to subsist on. More water evaporated into space than could be replenished. The humans were to die, and the gubars only waited.

A new type of wingbat was born one day, on Christmas Eve in the year 86,723,148 A.D. He flitted about and felt the wind of Mars and was ever happy and proud. All the other wingbats were in awe of his speed, his dexterity, and his abilities in the game of poker.

One day, an old wingbat approached Maximus and said, “My crapson, you are the fucking chosen one that our goddamn, dumbass people have spoken of for like three years. You know your shit and that’s why we’re fucking sending you to the worst kind of shit your ass has ever witnessed.”

“Just tell me what to fucking do,” Maximus said to the old wingbat.

“Go kill the shit. On the thing.”

“What the hell? You speak of Crappy the Crap, the crappiest crap who ever crapped?”

“Fuck yeah.”

“I’ll fucking go to Earth and fuck some shit up.”

Maximus, the crapperson of Plentimus, flew off to Earth to face Crappy the Crap in battle. When the young wingbat arrived there, however, he witnessed something that disgusted him: All of the gubers were ugly, lazy, and malcontent. It would be an easy battle, but there would be no honor in it.

“You there,” Crappy the Crap said, the biggest guber said. “You are Maximus? I hear you play a good poker game. How about we play a round and whoever wins shall inherit the Earth?”

“I can fucking deal,” Maximus said. Winning in poker against one of the greatest gamblers in the universe would certainly be a greater honor than slaughtering the pathetic creatures.

THe first hand was the wingbat’s, but the guber came back around in the second. The battle tipped up and down for each combatant and there was the ever flowing sound of chips being transferred back and forth as each other one gained the upperhand. Finally, Maximus landed the best hand imaginable.

“No,” Crappy muttered. Hands of sludge covered his eyes as tears poured forth like Niagara Falls expels water during spring. “It can’t be!”

“Oh, but it can, bitch,” Maximus said, the wingbat’s eyes gleaming with the shining light of righteous victory. “It can, bitch.”

“Five kings! Five of a kind! Why, this hasn’t happened since Bleepy destroyed Gappy in the Great Poker Tournament of 24,565,019 A.D.!”

“Give us our home back.”

And so the wingbats returned to Earth from their temporary shelter on Mars. The humans left the moon at the urging of the wingbats and returned to Earth, where they crossbred to become something like angels.

The gubers, on the other hand, were left with a Mars that was already rusting over. The radiation set in after three hours.

Open Letter to a Yeti

Listen. I saw a yeti yesterday. It was big and hairy and it stood there in the street (many people were in the street, for this was a festival) as though attempting, albeit failing, to be an obstacle. I felt then, so long ago, and again today, so far in the future, that the yeti was there to remind me of something. It wanted to be noticed, but not despised. Perhaps it was self hate.

A dangerous man with a knife threatened the yeti. The man with the knife stood in front of it for a few moments, perhaps now considering that there were children about, unaccustomed to gore and most likely to be traumatized by it. Sure enough, the man’s young son approached him and pulled at his shirt. The man looked at the yeti, his son, and the yeti before finally tilting his head down and leaving.

This interaction was beautiful. It reminded me of those aspects of human nature that many like to deny the existence thereof. A man can change, although he may presently be violent, despicable, and rapacious. A man can surely change.

The yeti followed me home yesterday. I cannot be certain why it followed me home, why it picked me over the thousands of fellow festival-goers. It walked inside and sat in my breakfast chair. I gave it some cereal.

It stares at me now, resting on my couch and flipping through the channels on the television (not having cable narrowed that slim selection). It stares through me. In me.

Somebody…listen…let the yeti out.

Procrasta-astanation…

The rolling waves of tomorrow’s crest destroy the passing thoughts of future obligations. The ocean drives its angry water further inward, deploying its salty weapons upon the empty shore. A man may think he has an inkling of his purpose, a goal in his mind, and the means to enact all this within his own power, but that envious wonderment is only the foam that the wind drives up the dunes.

The coast is worn from the storm’s thrashing. Erosion cycles its surface so that it shows preserved freshness, unnatural in its constant newness. The tree that was safe for decades from the water is now only a resting place for the birds. Had it been allowed to triumph against destruction, then what wonders may have flourished from its seed!

The gulls dare take flight from that stump just a minute fore the air’s weight crushes their wings. Collective calmness soothes their bellies, waiting for the storm to pass. Patience is a virtue, for it allows us to wait til the moment for action is ripe. It is also a curse, for it forces us to stake our aspirations in the ground.

The hazy dreams of yesterday float tween the water and the sun, afraid to evaporate in the cold air. The day brings heat, and soon, clear skies. Attempts are made to grasp onto one last cloud, but gusts blow the thought away. Another time, another place, another way. Just not today.