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Mel's Shorts

 

 

 

 

Mel’s Shorts

 

By

 

EC Holm

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and devices are fictitious. Any similarities to actual events and persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. Any trademarks, service marks, product names, or named features are assumed to be the property of their respective owners and are used only for reference. If any of these terms are used, no endorsement is implied. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, file copy or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical review and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, contact the author. For information how to contact the author go to http://ideawritesfiction.blogspot.com/p/about.html.

Edited by

 

Sandra Kolta and Terry Holm

 

 

The cover was made by EC Holm.

The background for the cover was credit to NASA and STScI.

 

 

Note to the Reader:

If you find any mistakes, please feel free to contact the author.

Go to http://ideawritesfiction.blogspot.com/p/about.html

for contact information.

 

 

 

Copyright 2016 EC Holm

 

 

Smashword Edition, License Notes

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

 

Something is in the Shed

 

Dark Community

 

The Prayer

 

Old William

 

Frat Party

 

The Heist

 

The Sting

 

Child’s Play

 

Letters to Olivia

 

Secret Partners

 

Mel’s Apprentice

 

What’s Next

 

About the Author

To my wife, Theresa, without whom I would never have the courage to put my writing out there.

Something is in the Shed

Billy and Timmy played in their back yard. The yard had grass, a vegetable garden, and a tool shed.

“Bang, bang, …bang, bang,” said Billy yelling after his younger brother and holding a metal six shooter. He actuated the trigger so the toy clicked as if he was shooting a real handgun from the old west. He wore a brown felt cowboy hat with a steer emblem on it. His brown shirt, red scarf, blue jeans, western belt with a big buckle, and cowboy boots made him look like the ‘real thing.’

Timmy had a red plastic feather that was kept upright with a adorned plastic strap around his head. He was bear chested with color water based paint on his body and face. He wore blue jeans and authentic leather moccasins. He had a plastic bow and an arrow with a red rubber sucker as an arrow head in one hand. With his other hand, he patted his lips making Indian noises. He ran around dodging Sheriff Billy.

The two brothers had a wild west time in the yard full of laughs and giggles while Billy’s mother was in the kitchen talking on the wall phone.

Suddenly, the boys heard some noises coming from the shed. It was so loud that they made a dead stop and listened carefully staring at the blue door. Then there was quiet followed by some more banging and clanging as if someone or something was in there but what or who?

“Why is the door blue and the rest of the shed brown?” said Timmy.

“The door doesn’t matter, Tim. What’s going on inside is weird.” said Billy. Both cowboy and Indian stood there shocked for a moment. The clanging persisted. The boys trembled like the rattle on a snake.

Then Billy gathered up some nerve. “Maybe it’s just a raccoon,” he said.

Timmy nodded. Then Billy shoved Timmy towards the door. Timmy looked back at him with apprehension.

“Why do I have to open it?”

“‘Cause.” Billy put on a the meanest face he could muster and crossed his arms.

Surrendering to Billy’s demands, Timmy started to reach for the door knob. But why blue? What could a blue door possibly mean? As soon as his hand reached the knob, the door cracked opened and the clanging stopped. A face appeared in the opening. Timmy noticed that it was a very white face. The face was that of a man with white hair. He had never seen anyone like that before. It was like they were made out of paper or of snow. Timmy jumped back as if he was magnetically repulsed by the face.

“Oh, hello there!” said the face.

“Hello,” said the boys in unison. The blue door opened the rest of the way and out came a man. He was a tall figure. He had on a long brown rain coat, the kind that gangsters wore in movies. He had a pair of white pants with colored stripes on them. He also wore white high tops sneakers, but no sneakers like the boys had ever seen. The boys looked closely at them because the sneakers had what looked like a basketball on the tongue, and there was a word on it. The word was ‘pump.’

“Oh you are looking at my shoes, eh? Well! Are they not the cat’s meow?” said the man. “You see you can pump air….”

“Who are you?” said Billy feeling like the sheriff of his home and giving a stern look at the man.

“Oh, yes. My name in Mel I am a friend of William Stellacuston.”

“He’s my Dad!” said Billy. His eyes brightened and a smile appeared on his face.

“And mine too,” said Timmy with a pouting bottom lip.

“Oh! Good then. What are your names, gentlemen?”

“I’m Timmy.”

“I’m Billy and we’re not gentlemen. I’m a cowboy and he’s an Indian.”

“Oh I see.” Mel reached down and took Billy’s gun and examined it.

“A metal toy cap gun, eh? Where are your caps, Billy?” Mel handed the gun back to the boy.

“Mom won’t let me. She says they will hurt my ears.”

“Ah! A wise woman.”

“Who?” asked Billy looking bewildered.

“Your mom.”

“She’s not a woman. She’s my mom.”

“I see. Say would you guys not love to see some real Indians? You know, they were the first people on this land.”

“Really? That’s neat. But there aren’t any Indians anymore. They all been rounded up or something like that.”

“Well. Yes, they are in reservations now. But I know a place when they lived in freedom. Would you like to see? Your Dad is there now, Billy.”

The faces of the two boys changed from scared to excited. They jumped up and down and made a commotion.

“Well then, will you not step into my office kind sirs?” Mel held open the blue door, and the boys walked in. Then the door shut with a loud slam.

Betty heard the door slam, and she looked out the window to see what the boys were up to. She looked and didn’t see anyone.

She then ran out in the back yard and called for her sons. She got no response. Concerned, she opened the blue door to the shed and stepped in. All she saw were garden tools hung on the walls and a big metal tub which sat on the floor. There was nobody in there. She closed the blue door from the outside and looked at the garden again. Jiminy! Where could have those boys gone to?

Suddenly, she heard some clanging behind her. But that’s impossible! I was just in there! She turned around and to her surprise the blue door opened. Billy and Timmy ran out and around her making a ruckus like wild animals. Betty was relieved but then noticed something odd about them. Where was Billy’s cowboy costume and Timmy’s Indian costume she bought for them? How is it that they both look like real Indians now? She noticed that the boys wore leather moccasins that looked hand made, and leather loincloths tied around their waists with straps. They each had a leather strap tied around their heads with an eagle feather attached in the back. There was also some coarse white paint on their faces.

Just then, the blue door opened again. A man with a nice face and a great smile walked through it and gave Betty a hug and a kiss. She recognized him as her husband, William. He was dressed in what she expected him to be dressed in: a shirt and coverall jeans for garden work.

“But how did you…Where have you been?” said Betty rather stressed and surprised.

“Well, dear…we…” said William.

“Let me explain,” said a voice she did not recognize, nor was it a face she knew. It was Mel. “I took them on a history trip…um…lesson. Yes, a history lesson. I regret not informing you Mrs. Stellacuston. Mel Q. Zedek at your service, madam.” He offered a card in his hand to her and a grin from ear to ear.

“Better be sorry,” said Betty. She took the card and read it. “Mel Q. Zedek, Magister Temporal Autum Universitas Temporis Spatium. I never heard of such a thing.”

“Well, that is because it has not been taught. Scientists do not think it is possible. That is what I am here for. Oh, look at the time,” said Mel pulling his coat jacket sleeve up and checking 5 different wrist watches. One or two looked silver and had numbers instead of hands. They seemed fantastic to Betty’s eyes, like in the movies. The others were old in style but looked new. “Sorry. I have to go now. Remember, there is no time like the present.”

William shook his hand. “Thanks Mel for all you have done,” said William.

“It was enjoyable, all the way, Will.”

With that he stepped into the shed and closed the blue door.

“I suppose, he won’t be in there anymore,” said Betty. William shook his head. “What did he do, Will. What’s so special?”

“Let’s just say he gave the boys a new perspective.”

The couple watched the boys while they played. This time they were getting branches and setting them upright leaning on each other to form a cone.

“See, we’re building a tepee. Dad,” said Billy.

“It’s about cooperation, not war,” said William.

“He talks strange, doesn’t he?” she said.

“Yeah. He’s a strange guy.”

Dark Community

Paco strolled down the cobblestone street. He strutted like a proud peacock. He came to the Butcher’s shop. Juan, the butcher, was standing in its entrance putting on a clean apron with his purple hands.

“Good morning Mr. Juan. A nice morning is it not?” said Paco.

“Indeed it is Mr. Mayor. I have sales today if you like to tell the missus.”

“I will indeed sir.”

Paco kept strolling down the lane. It curved around the different shops and homes, all made of stone. Villareal was sure lucky to have him as mayor. He kept a shepherd’s eye on everything. He had to. It was such a small village that the next police station was a day’s travel by carriage.

“Good morning Mrs. Ellena.”

“Good morning Mr. Mayor,” said a middle aged woman dressed in a black dress that covered her whole body except for her purple face and hands. She had a bucket in her hand having just thrown out some dirty water on the street.

Paco proceeded on his morning patrol. Then he saw a stranger. You had to be careful with strangers because you never knew what strange things strangers would bring or do. Why he just might start a riot or worse an argument. Heaven forbid he would ask anyone questions. That would be just scandalous.

As he drew closer, he could see that the man was wearing a long brown coat of some sort, colorful pants, and some white shoes. Then he saw that the man’s face was pale, very pale. Paco intended on finding out who this stranger was. He started with his usual greeting.

“Good morning, Sir.”

“Good morning? How can you call this ‘morning?’”

“Well, because it is morning time. If it were afternoon, then I would have said, ‘Good afternoon.’ If it were evening time, I…”

“Do you not see what’s missing this morning? There’s something really big that should be there.” The colorfully dressed stranger pointed in the sky.

“No. Looks like everything is in order up there.” Paco scanned the sky checking the stars. “All the stars seem to be there.”

“Do you not know that the reason you have morning, afternoon, and evening is because your planet is supposed to be orbiting a sun?”

Paco laughed. “What nonsense. We do not live on a heavenly planet. We live on the ground, and there are always stars in the sky.”

The stranger stroked his white pointy chin. “I see! You don’t know what science is. Do you?”

Paco frowned. “You speak of foreign things. I am Mr. Paco the mayor of this town. I demand to know who you are and why are you in Villareal.”

“Apologies, Mr Mayor. My name is Mr. Mel. I came for a polite and enjoyable visit. That is all.”

Paco’s face turned from a frown to a hefty smile. “You are a tourist. We enjoy tourists. We have a wonderful restaurant and several stores where you can buy a gift for your wife and children. You have brought much money I hope.”

Mel nodded with a lying grin. “I hear you have excellent mushroom dishes.”

He went along with the mayor and enjoyed the dishes the restaurant had to offer. The waitresses were nice looking, nice in personality, and had poise. He flashed some money on purpose letting the mayor know he had local currency.

While Mel enjoyed a creamy dish of sautéed mushrooms, Paco leaned over to him and whispered in his ear, “I think a man such as you would enjoy a special party with special mushrooms.”

Mel’s eyes widened. “Most definitely, my dear Mr. Mayor.”

“Good. It starts after midnight in the basement of our temple.”

Mel received the invitation with a devilish grin. Later, he took a room in the local hotel.

That night, all the streets were quiet in Villareal. A person here and a person there snuck out of their house and ventured a walk in the darkness. They met up at the temple and went in by way of a small side entrance that was not used during the day.

With Paco’s instructions, the visitor did the same as the others and ventured into the basement of the holiest building in the whole village.

Inside, Mel saw for himself what Paco had mentioned. The space was large with stone columns. A band of three people played some popular tunes. He noticed the people coming in fully dressed in coats, shirts, pants, stockings, buckle shoes, and dresses. In the space, they had shed their outer and inner garments and were feasting on each other’s desires and passions. He beheld a sea of purple bodies flowing with wave-like motions. He heard moans and cries of ecstasy over the music.

Mel scanned the space and finally found what he was looking for. In the middle, there stood a large plate of raw mushrooms. The people went to the plate and took a mushroom here and there, and ate it. Mel saw the mushrooms gave them a high and released them of their inhibitions.

“Come my dear Mr. Mel. Take off your clothes and enjoy a maiden or two, or, if you like, a young stud,” said Paco who had arrived behind him. Paco was starting to disrobe.

“And the mushrooms?”

“Ah yes. The mushrooms. They are special indeed. They give you a really good feeling of euphoria and you do not have the headache or stomachache as you do with ale.”

“Thanks! I will take it!” With that Mel moved in a hurry towards the large plate.

“Take it? What the diablo does he mean?” Paco did not move to stop the foreigner. He just stood there watching him. He could see that Mel made it to the plate. Then the white faced man took as much of the plate in his arms as he could. He is not going to try to lift it, is he? That is crazy. The plate is so much bigger than he. Paco thought and started to laugh at the sight.

Suddenly Mel, the plate, and the mushrooms disappeared from sight. All the people stopped in mid passion. After they realized there were no more mushrooms, they cried and groaned. One young man spotted something on the table which had supported the large plate. It seemed to be a small card with lettering on it. He picked it up and took it to Paco.

“Look Mr. Mayor. Look,” said the young man.

Paco went to him and took hold of the card from his hand. At first the lettering was indiscernible to Paco’s eyes. Then it suddenly changed to wording he could read. It read, “Mel Q. Zedek, Magister Temporal Autum Universitas Temporis Spatium.”

The mayor’s face changed from a dark purple shade to a light lavender. “No! NO! We have been robbed! He was a time traveler. The ones the Ethereals warned us about. Stop! Repent! Repent! Our misdeeds have come to haunt us,” said Paco.

“I am missing money!” said a voice in the crowd. “Me too!” said another. Several other voices said the same thing.

Paco knelt and cried in despair. The rest of the people followed his lead. Now they knew they had to prepare for atonement by the Ethereals. Punishment was inevitable.

The Prayer

Paco ran into the sanctuary. His purple feet smacked the stone floor as he went down the long aisle passing the wooden pews. He got to the votive candle rack. His fingers nervously lit a candle. He knelt near the front of the altar which was in front of the image of a holy Ethereal. The image was made of shiny metal. It was a male in a robe with outstretched wings. It was a magnificent piece carefully crafted by the finest local artist, fitting for any deity. Likewise, the sanctuary’s nave was beautiful with its tall adorned columns and painted ceiling. None of that mattered to Paco at the moment. In fact, not even his clothes, or the lack of them.

On his knees he prayed and perspired. His sincerity and excruciating reverence was painfully obvious to any observer, but no one was there. Paco continued to fervently pray. His face was to the floor nearly touching it with his nose.

He felt something. A small breeze blew. It chilled his body. He stopped praying. Fear gripped him. He dared not move. Moments passed. Then he ventured to look up in front of him with the least movement as possible lest he would be noticed. He saw metallic feet and the fringes of a metallic robe.

“Paco. Your prayers have been heard on high,” said a thundering voice. “What is your request?”

Paco kept his prostrated position. He trembled, but he managed to speak.

“I request forgiveness for the whole town and for myself for we have sinned against your Holinesses.”

“State your sin.” The deity’s hands went to his hips.

“We have engaged in fleshly desires and enjoyment of the metamente mushrooms, your Holiness.”

“Hmm…what else?”

“We have entertained a stranger who has deceived us and has taken the metamente mushrooms with which we have sinned against your Holinesses.”

The Ethereal’s face frowned. “How many has he taken.”

“All of them, your Holiness.”

“Does this stranger have a name?”

Paco gulped. He dared not say the name. Instead, he searched his pocket with his right purple hand. Then he remembered he had no pockets. The pain and the agony. What was he to do? No. He remembered. He had it in his other hand. He felt a little better and calmer. He held it up in the air. He felt it being taken from his hand. A moment passed. Then as if there was a thunder clap, the Ethereal said “Mel? Mel was here? Arrrrrrgh!”

The building shook, and dust particles rained from the stone joints above. The candle holder fell over, and the candles blew out. Paco trembled more than the building. Then it all stopped.

“If you ever come in contact with this creature again, you will pray at once! Is that clear!” roared the Ethereal.

“Yes, your Holiness.”

“Now. Be at peace. And clean up around here. It’s a mess.”

“Yes your Holiness.”

Paco felt another slight breeze. He looked up and saw that he was alone again. He looked around. Pews were out of place, but the ceiling was intact. He wiped his purple forehead with his hand. He breathed a sigh of relief.

Some of the townsfolk came into the sanctuary. Paco took on his mantle as mayor, stood up, and faced the crowd.

“That went well, my friends,” he said with outstretched naked arms.

Old William

Old Mr. William Stellacuston sat listening intently with his eyes closed and his head back. His ears absorbed the digital quality sound from his new personal compact disc player. It was currently playing one of his favorite tunes from the 1950s. He melted in the harmony of the strings, piano, and brass as he played with his wooden compass cane.

A slight breeze swept across his wrinkled face. This caused his eyes to open and look around the park. There was a playground in the distance. A couple of young ladies jogged by in their pastel leotards and leg warmers. He took a peek. No matter the era, the trees and the birds are always the same. How time goes by.

“Say, Old Boy, have you seen my friend William by any chance?” said a familiar voice.

William opened his eyes wide. He was so shocked and turned his head so fast that his lightweight headphones moved around his head. One phone landed on his cheek.

YOU! You crook! You kidnapper!” said William. “Where’s my boy? Where is Billy?” At this point William was shaking his cane at Mel, and his headset dropped off his face.

“Hmm…Let us see. Billy…Billy. Ah! Yes, Billy. Well, last I saw him he was a little boy about yea high running around thinking he was an indigenous native of your land,” said Mel putting a smile on the situation.

“NO! You clown! He disappeared years ago in college. His friends described a pale-faced freak with colorful pants and a brown overcoat such as you are wearing now.”

“Hmm…I see.”

“You wore the same clothes 30 years ago. Don’t you ever change?”

“Well, I do, or do I? But it is time travel, you know. So it is all… relative.”

“Well, that’s what I’m missing, a relative. And it happens to be my son. So go do whatever you do and go get him or…”

“Or… what? What will you do? What could you do? What could a tired old engineer who doesn’t have long to live do to a temporal professional like me? Face it! You have no power over me, nor will you ever.”

At that Mel snatched William’s cane away from his old hands. William’s shoulders slouched and he hung his head. He felt defeated and helpless. He wished he had never laid eyes on this white faced pointy chinned demon. “You’re right. I have no power and no recourse. What do you plan to do?”

Mel twirled the cane in his fingers and stood tall with his pointy chin up. He displayed an air of superiority. Then he struck the brass heel of the cane on the ground, hard.

“I am going for your boy. I have not done so yet, and you gave me the idea. Thank you, William.”

With that, Mel disappeared into thin air.

William bowed his head into his chest and cried. He sobbed for his boy. He sobbed for the lost years. Now, how will he walk back to the home? He really needed that cane to walk with.

“Don’t you need this, Dad?” said a voice. A voice William had not heard in years. It was an older man’s voice but it was also familiar. William looked up slowly into the face of a 40ish year old man whose eyes were unmistakable to him.

“Billy! Is that really you?”

“Yes, Dad, it’s really me. Here’s your cane. I heard you lost it.”

“Humph! More like it was stolen from me by that two faced white goblin Mel.”

“Well, we won’t have to worry about him again.”

“Really? Do ya mean that, son?”

“Yes, Dad. I mean that. I have a lot to tell you.”

“Let me get a good look at you.”

William looked at his son. He was tall, blonde with some grey, dressed in some kind of black suit. Overall, he looked well and in good health. William took the cane from his son. It looked more scratched up than it did just a few minutes ago like it went through some adventures. He unscrewed the top and took out a glass flask. He held it up in the sunlight. It was empty.

“What was supposed to have been in there?” Billy picked up his Dad’s player and headset that were on the bench.

“Whiskey. That Mel drank my whiskey.”

“Well, I think we made out well enough if that’s all he took. C’mon, let’s get you home. It’s getting late, and I got a lot of stuff to tell you. Stuff you wouldn’t even believe.”

“I’m just glad you’re back, Son.” William patted his son on the cheek as they walked through the park. They made their way home while the sun set.

Frat Party

“Come On, Babe. Come On. Babe. Give it. Give it to me!” said the sophomore. The bed heaved wildly. Its springs gave off a rhythmic sound. Grunts and moans came from her partner under her. He felt like a rivet being jack-hammered. He heard the funk beat of the loud music playing downstairs keeping time with them. God this babe is hot. What a fucking great party!

“Well Hello, Billy!” said a loud voice. The sophomore screamed as she tumbled off the bed taking the sheets with her. She smacked her head on the orange shag carpet.

“What the fuck, man?!” said Billy. He grabbed for something to cover himself to no avail. He settled for his hands, both of them. The sophomore grabbed her clothes. She ran into the closed door and smacked her face again. She fell over. She got up and opened the door, picked her clothes up, and continued her semi-naked exit with the sheets.

“You browns ARE entirely pathetic!” said the stranger.

Billy tried to focus his blurry eyes. “Whoa! What! Who you calling brown? I’m white, man! She was…”

“Exquisite? Surely, you are not going to insult the fairer sex.”

“Black.”

“Black? Oh, no, no, no, no. Black people are from an entirely different planet. You see, she may have been darker than you. But she is not what I would call black, no, not at all. She and you are what I call brown, as in people from this planet.”

Billy’s eyes finally cleared up.

“Hey dude! You’re white. You’re an alien?”

“You finally noticed. You are a genius! How do you do it?” The stranger’s grin and tone of sarcasm made him somewhat amicable to Billy.

“No, but you’re white as paper or snow. Not white like me.”

“That’s why you are not white. Must I repeat myself?” The stranger paused. “Now, Billy, do you not remember me?” He smiled with a big grin from ear to ear. Billy could see he had white hair in a do that resembled a type of potted plant. He had a brown trench coat on, a white shirt, a white slacks with colored stripes, and some nice black and white wingtip shoes. He also carried a wooden cane with a round brass handle and heel.

“Dude! You’re that creepy guy from my childhood. There was you and the Indians.”

“We have a winner. Mel’s the name, remember?”

“Ah, yeah. How did you do all that popping in and out that you did?” Billy sat up on the bed.

“Well, I must be modest. But I did come to share some secrets.” Mel stepped around the bed as he talked and then stood straight.

“I’m actually wondering that I must have had some really bad shit to be hallucinating like this.” Billy felt a strong powerful blow across his face that cocked his head to the left and rolled him on the bed.

“Did that feel like a hallucination to you, Billy Boy?”

“Fuck, man! What do you want,” said Billy in a scream.

“What I want is for you to pay attention. I have come a long way to find out something about you. If it happens to be true, well, then this is your lucky day, Billy boy!”

“What the hell is it?” He sat up.

“I will demonstrate.” With that Mel disappeared into thin air and in a moment reappeared by the door shutting it with a slam. Billy looked in the direction of the door promoted by the slam.

“How did you do that? Some kind of magic trick?”

“Magic? Do not make me laugh. Think! Watch!” Mel disappeared again and then he appeared right next to where he was standing, then he disappeared and reappeared a little over. He kept on doing this until he had circled the room to the other side.

“How did you do that?” Billy gasped and looked at the opposite end of the room to find Mel standing comfortably.

“Come on, are you not a science student? How did I do it?” said Mel.

“Um…there are 3…no, …more than that, many dimensions….uh….you must have used one of them to pull off a trick and some fancy technology.”

“Hmm….D minus.”

“Hold on, hold on.” Billy held out his hand to Mel and pressed his hung over brain with the other hand to think of quantum theories. “The cat did it, dead or alive.”

“What? What cat? How absurd. You’re on your way to an ‘I’ for incomprehensible.”

“OK. OK.” Billy snapped his fingers. “Time!”

“Hmm….what about time?”

“You manipulate it with a time machine you stole from your planet.”

“Nonsense. I did not steal anything from my own planet nor from my own people. Who does that?”

“But you manipulate it.”

“And…..”

“Time and space. Space-time! Of course! That’s how you can move from one position to another from one moment to another.”

“Yes! Bravo. But how?”

“Our science only tells us we can manipulate space-time with gravity. We can’t generate gravity with mass. The more mass the more gravity.”

“Do I look fat to you? How insulting!”

“Lasers. We can manipulate space-time with lasers. But lasers are expensive and big and use a lot of power. So, not practical.”

“Browns ARE pathetic. Think! Delve into your brain, young one. If the answer I’m looking for is there, then the one you are looking for is there too.”

Billy brought his knees to his chest and rested his head on them. Mel sat next to him on the bed and took his hand.

“Here. I will think with you. I am not such a bad guy after all. Now think hard and deep.”

Billy inhaled and exhaled, and then they were not on the bed anymore. He felt grass on his behind. He looked up. He was in somebody’s back yard.

“What the?”

“You did it, Billy Boy! You did it!” said Mel.

Then they heard barking and a Doberman came running around from the side of the house.

“Run!” they both yelled. Never had Billy ran so fast to scoot his bare ass up and over a pine wood fence to someone else’s yard.

“I’m going to need some clothes.” Mel agreed with him and the two scampered through the neighborhood.

“Where did you land us, boy?” Mel came across a clothes line and grabbed a pair of overall jeans. He threw it towards Billy.

“1951. I think.” Billy slipped them on and they kept running and hopping fences until they came to a street and they stopped.

“Why Billy, my boy. I think you hit the nail on the head.” The pair saw cars. They were large cars. Some had wing tips on them. They had chrome bumpers and white walled tires.

“Yeah. I think this IS 1951.”

The Heist

Jaahneet followed her new boss into Central Bank’s main lobby. The hall ceiling was cathedral height, and the walls and floor were covered in purple and white polished marble. Her high heels echoed every time she took a step.

“As you can see we have state of the art security in this facility,” said Marbell in his most impressing voice in hopes of winning a dinner with this pretty new employee.

“I see multi-spectrum cameras; alpha, x, and gamma ray sensors; and guards with photonic rapier guns at their side,” said Jaahneet.

“And do not forget the temporal sensors. They are new. We received new intel that there is a loony time traveler on the loose. He could be capable of anything.”

“Now, why would a time traveler rob a bank? I mean, what will he do with the credits? I would think he could steal anything he would want to buy if he was going to steal at all.”

“I would agree with you, Jaahneet. You are as intelligent as you are beautiful. But this one is said to have a couple of screws loose. Who knows what he will do?” Marbell had stopped at the marble counter and looked over her exquisite slender form. He liked her curves, her well primed suit jacket and skirt, her blue hair tied in a tight ponytail, and her nicely complexioned yellow skin, “So, this is the biggest bank in the capital of the most advanced civilization in the known universe. What do you think?”

“Well…” Jaahneet looked over the large lobby with many, but not solely, yellow skinned customers in queue. “I see what element we have to deal with. Not only upstanding Veheemean citizens but also those of other races and planets. Even one from a back sector planet.” She pointed to a purple skinned old man in a traditional clergy brown cloak and a staff. He was bent over with age, and clearly stood out in the crowd.

“Don’t point. It’s not polite. Yes. Yes. Your security skills are quite admirable, but you have a lot to learn about customer service. That is why you’re here as a security administer intern, to learn.” Marbell’s voice emphasis on his last word made Jaahneet feel that she should switch her mind into learning mode.

Just then smoke bombs went off in quick succession, and the ten guards fell to the floor quicker than Jaahneet could turn her head. There were screams and commotion from the customers and from the employees behind the counter and their reinforced transparent wall.

Then, a light brown skinned alien appeared in front of the Security Administrator and his intern holding two photonic rapier guns pointed at them and wearing a brown overcoat. Jaahneet was disgusted with his unsavory skin color, but he was not that bad looking in the light. He had a handsome jawline, shapely muscles, and a flat belly. He must have been around her own age or even younger.

“Hi, this is a stick up,” said the stranger, “So, stick them up! Your hands, that is.”

Jaahneet and Marbell lifted their hands up. She thought that the young man showed confidence with those guns. He looked rather sexy.

“No. No. It is a bank robbery not a stick up job, Billy boy. Can you not see this is a bank? We are not on a road, now are we?” said another voice behind the two bank security officials.

“Well no. But, it sure is a pretty fancy bank. I mean, it looks like a damn palace. They got some nice birds here. Where do they hide the bread?” Billy looked over Jaahneet’s body, and she became increasingly annoyed.

“Yes, well, that is what banks and bankers are, moneygrubbers!” The owner of the voice came around to Jaahneet’s view. She recognized him as an Albinoozer. They rarely leave their planet Albinooz being that they are so white skinned and suffer unmerited mistreatment by many people. He was not her type. That type was bossy and crazy. That type was micromanaging and blaming.

“What shall we do with them now, Mel?” said Billy anxious to get going. He was jumping with adrenaline as much as with inexperience.

“Now, let us get on with it, shall we? Ladies and Gentlemen kindly hit the floor!” said Mel to the crowd of customers as he shot one round up in the air. It hit the ceiling and some debris came crashing down. Luckily no one was hurt. The crowd dropped on their bellies including the old purple man in the cloak.

Suddenly several large virtual screens appeared all around the lobby above eye level. They all showed the same yellow face of an elderly man.

“You’re surrounded. Stand down your weapons and let the hostages go or you will be terminated,” said the face.

“Oh. I am Mel Q. Zedek who has taken this bank so easily from your wretched security systems. Who is it that I am talking to?”

“This is Chancellor Qelloq. Now GIVE UP!”

“They got you surrounded. You bumble-heads! Now give up before they turn us all to dust,” said Jaahneet.

“Turn us all to dust? They would do that to the hostages and you too?” said Billy. She nodded along with her boss and all the hostages lying on the ground. Billy looked around and started to look scared. “Mel? What do we do, Man? Shit is hitting the fan!”

Mel kept calm. “Observe.” He twirled the brown with gold color stick and slammed its tip down on the floor making a great noise. Then he vanished.

“Now Chancellor Qelloq…,” came Mel’s voice, but it came from the screens. Jaahneet and everyone looked up and gasped. Mel had the gold colored tip of his stick next to the Chancellor’s neck. “One false move, and it is off with your head! You cannot scan my weapon can you? Well its technology is far more advanced than yours. All I have to do is…”

“NO! No! I will do as you say!” said Qelloq visually crying.

“Wow! That is great reception. You can see every tear,” said Billy, “You really are an advanced race.”

“Thanks!” said Jaahneet in a huffy tone.

“Now, hand over the bracelet,” said Mel.

“Not the bracelet of…,” said Jaahneet.

“…of Mifaustofiless,” finished Marbell.

A few seconds passed, and the face of the Qelloq was not seen on the screen but only Mel’s.

“Now hear me, all of Veheemia. I have been bequeathed by Chancellor Qelloq the bracelet of Mifaustofiless. I am your new Chancellor. Chancellor Mel. As my first act as Chancellor I declare the emergency at the Central Bank as over and that regular business to be resumed shortly,” said Mel with a big smiling grin on his white face.

The screens disappeared. Mel reappeared next to Billy.

“Now, my boy, put those guns on the floor.”

“What? Just like that?”

“Hurry. The cavalry is coming to clean up the mess.” Billy did as Mel said. Then the troops and medics came storming in. They took the weapons and the bodies of the guards. New living guards came in, and the troops and medics left. Some housekeepers popped in for a few seconds and mopped up. In the meantime, the customers got up and the clerks behind the counter got back to business.

“Now, no harm done. Is there mister…,” said Mel.

Marbell cleared his throat. “Marbell. Chancellor. Of course not. We carry on.”

“Good. Good. See to it that my friend here opens an account for this amount.” Mel handed Marbell an electronic tablet. Marbell took it and almost fell over as he read it.

“This is sanctioned, of course?”

“Of course.”

“Jaahneet take this young man to the counter and have them open an account for this amount please.” Marbell handed the pad to his assistant.

“Right away,” said the intern,

She took Billy over to the counter and had them open the account as instructed.

“So, you and Mel are time travelers aren’t you?” she said.

“Umm. Yeah. That is right. How did you know?”

“We had some intelligence that you were coming. Well, that Mel was coming. I did not expect him to have a partner.”

“Yeah, well, I guess he took a liking to me and taught me.”

“Taught you?”

“Yeah. It is like learning a new skill.”

“A skill? I thought it would be some kind of device or technology.”

“Nope. The only device I have is this thing in my ear that translates every language so I can understand what people are saying, and translates what I’m going to say so people can understand me.”

“Of course, that kind of tech is common in the universe. But your time travelling is not. How do you do it?”

“Well, it is like wishing upon a star.”

“Wishing upon a star? You’re joking.”

“No. I mean it. You just wish where and when you want to go and poof you’re there.”

“I don’t believe it.” The clerk finished the transaction and handed the pad back to Billy along with an electronic money card. He took it and then took Jaahneet’s hand.

“I’ll show you.”

Suddenly they were across the street from the bank and in front of a high end restaurant. The street was busy, and the restaurant was as well.

“Oh. That was a nice trip across the street.” Her sarcastic tone came across loud and clear.

“Did you like it?”

“Why are we here?”

“To eat. I’m starving. Are you not hungry?”

“Well, yes. I could eat. Won’t your boss miss you?”

“No. He is not in the bank yet. It is an hour before the heist. Just as long as we get back in time. Until then we can enjoy a relaxing meal.”

They entered. After being seated and ordering their meal, they relaxed and enjoyed the 5 star treatment.

“So, what’s a boy like you roaming around with a crazy man like Mel?”

“Well, for starters, he did get me off my planet. It was getting pretty bad there anyways.”

Their food came, and they started to eat. She had a salad of blue leafy vegetables and other colorful things. He had a plate of green pasta with orange sauce.

“What do you mean?”

“The two main power countries are at a cold war. They have nuclear missiles that threaten to annihilate life on the planet.”

“I take it that nobody has any defenses against such weapons.” They began to eat while they talked using utensils common to Veheemia.

“You are right. Enough about me. What about you?”

“Oh. Well, I just got this great job as Security Administrator Assistant Intern at the greatest bank in the universe. Then on my first day on the job some nitwits try to rob it and end up taking over my PLANET!”

“And take you out to lunch. I sense some hostility.”

“Who me? Not at all.” She feigned a smile. “Why is Mel taking over the planet?”

“I do not know.”

“Lie!”

“No, It is the truth. I really have no idea. I do not know what he’s going to do from moment to moment. Why do you think I brought you an hour in the past?”

“Why DID you bring me back here an hour in the past?”

“To get a break from him and to spend time with you. Once, he set fire to some crabbits just out of the blue. They ran around the countryside spreading the flames.”

“Oh my creator. Did they cause a lot of damage?”

“I do not really know. I presume the auto-fire service had their hands full. But the authorities were after us, and we had to make an escape with a two ton holy hornasaurus.”

“You stole a sacred animal?”

“Yep. So he is mad alright. Really, out of his mind.”

“Do you know a lot about him?”

“No. I really do not.”

“I recognize that he is from a planet named Albinooz. Everything there is white. The trees, the ground, all the animals. Everything is white even the people.”

“Yeah. I’ve noticed that there is a pattern. On each planet there is a distinct skin color plant and ground color. They seem to go hand in hand.”

“Yes, that’s the case. We have evolved in our own environment though the laws of science are universal. We are all simians.”

“Does not leave much room for God or religion.”

“Well,” she smiled with a sigh, “the debate between faith and knowledge goes on through the eons. The more we know the less faith is needed.”

“Yet, the more you uncover the more questions spring up. Thus perpetuating the need for faith.” He pointed at her with his utensil wrapped in his light bite of pasta, and then ate it.

“And that’s why we have many religions even in well-developed societies. Some claim even being visited by spirits and angels.”

“Really? We have the same thing on my planet, Earth.”

“Sorry I never heard of it.”

“Oh. That is OK. It is probably not developed enough. Heck, we do not even think there are any other societies out on any other planets but our own.”

“Really? How pompous of you.” She said it with such honest disgust that it caused him to blush.

“Sure. Yeah. I get it. We are kind of stuck up.”

“Getting back to your boss. Granted he is mad, but how did he get that way. His people are usually shy and keep to themselves. They very rarely ever venture from their planet because they are mistreated for their skin color.”

“Hmmmm. I did not know that. Something to put under my hat.”

“You don’t have a hat.”

“It is a figure of speech where I come from. It means keeping it to myself.”

“Oh I see.”

“Our time is up. We should get back now.”

Instead of jumping back to the bank, they simply walked across the busy street. An old purple skinned clergy man passed them as they entered the building and he was leaving. Billy had timed it just right to where they entered the lobby just when they had disappeared to the restaurant an hour before.

While Jaahneet completed her day at the bank and Billy and Mel checked out the Chancellor’s palace, the clergy man went to a dark alley where nobody could see him.

There, he took out a candle and set it on a canister someone was storing in the alley. He lit it with a kind of a lighter. Then he prostrated himself on the dirty floor, and made petition to his deity.

Soon a small breeze picked up, and the man looked up to behold the object of his prayers in metallic looking skin and robes. The entity looked humanoid with large bird wings.

“What’s your petition, Paco?” said the entity in a thunderous voice.

“My Lord. The villain Mel is on this planet,” said Paco still prostrated.

“Mel? He must be stopped!”

“Yes. He made himself Chancellor, that is ruler of this planet.”

“I know what Chancellor of Veheemia is. I am not an idiot.”

“Of course not.”

“Paco, you have served me well over the years leaving your political life to become a priest. I will see you will be well taken care of. I will also see to Mel myself. Go now, go home!”

“Yes, my Lord.”

The entity disappeared. A breeze blew out the candle. Paco collected his candle and left the alley making plans to charter a transport back to Villareal, his home.

The Sting

Billy yawned.

He slept in. The sun was hitting his eyelids causing him to do something he didn’t want to, wake up. He remembered the previous night when he partied it up with some women of ill repute and booze. He felt like heavy bricks were weighing him down. He didn’t want to move.

He opened one eye and saw the beauty of the golden sun. It was much like his own at home, Earth. This was not home. This was an alien planet which he and his mad friend, Mel, took over in a bank heist con.

Something strange was happening. Something strange was happening to the Sun. It was getting darker. To his knowledge, there wasn’t supposed to be a solar eclipse today from either of Veheemia’s moons. What is that? What’s going on? He thought. The Sun continued to get darker and darker until…

“Ow! “ Something hit his head and plopped on the floor. He rolled off the bed and stood up facing the open window and holding his wound around his eye with one hand. “Damn it! What the hell?!” he said. “Fuck!”

The pain was agonizing for a minute or two. In that time, he could hear moans of people waking up. His loud comments must have woken them. Then he remembered about the girls. He looked around the lavishly decorated room with his good eye and saw yellow and orange flesh moving about. It was like looking in a citrus landscape. The red walls with gilded picture frames reminded him of some palace in Europe.

“All of you, go. Get out,” he said loudly and angrily while motioning with his arm. The girls immediately got up and collected their clothes and belongings and hurried out in a great clamor. He was left alone. He went to the washroom and tended to his eye. Not too bad. Just a cut. Nothing that a simple med pack can’t help with. He looked in the cupboards and found one.

After patching up his eye, he looked for the projectile. He found a rock with a paper note on it attached by a string. It was decisively low tech for this high tech world. He unfolded the note and saw the weirdest writing he’d had ever seen. Then he checked his ear. His translator fell out. No wonder the girls were scared. They’d never heard English before. He proceeded to look for the translator and found it among the sheets. He put it in his ear and proceeded to read the message again.

“Billy, while you are whoremongering, your friend is charging exuberant amount of taxes, taking people’s lands, and killing them if they refuse. Get off your pompous ass and stop him. Jaahneet”

Stop him? Why that ungrateful bitch. And after all that I did for her. What did I do for her? Ah, yes. I gave her a house, candy…umm. Well, maybe she is right. Maybe Mel has gone too far. But how could I persuade him? After all, he’s pretty smart. He’d see me coming a mile away. Damn, taxing is so anti-American, though.

He went to the closet and picked out a white button shirt, a colored striped pants, and a brown overcoat with a hood to wear. He thought he looked rather spiffy.

Billy popped into the regally clad Chancellor’s office. Mighty fine place.

“The doors are sealed. Guards are posted. How dare you bypass them and interrupt your Chancellor, boy. Especially when he is trying to deal with these rebels incited by your ex-girlfriend, and who are relentless to disrupt the revenue flow,” said Mel in a stern tone. He sat in an expensive leather chair with a high back. His back was to Billy. A large desk, with virtual screens on it and floating above it, lay between the two men. They were alone.

“You seem preoccupied, my friend. I have not seen you in quite some time. We should do lunch,” said Billy.

“Lunch? Lunch? Is that what you are here for? Have you tired of your whores?” Mel swiveled the chair around to face his friend. He held the wooden cane with the brass handle in his hands. The screens disappeared.

Billy came up close to him. “Sure. We could go to that restaurant you like by the shore. You like their squid dish, remember? “

“Squid?”

Billy placed a hand on the cane. “Yeah. You know, the little creature with the tentacles.”

“Ah, yes. The Obkiderfen. Well, if you like. I thought you hated that place.” Billy pulled on the cane hard, and it pulled right out of Mel’s hands. “Hey, what do you think you are doing? Give that back, you rascal.”

Mel tried to reach for it, but Billy was too quick and stepped back. He then disappeared and reappeared on the other side of the room. He flaunted the cane and then looked it over.

“I was curious about this thing. Where did you get it? Oh look, there’s some writing on it…” Billy examined the brass handle holding a compass on it and the writing on the collar.

“Hand that back. It is mine.”

“Oh! I beg to differ,” said Billy suddenly looking up at Mel, “It would seem to be a family heirloom. MY FAMILY’S! It says Stellacuston here.”

“Well, you good for nothing…” Mel disappeared and reappeared behind Billy with his hands on the cane. They wrestled for it.

“Why is this so important to you?”

“It is on loan from a friend!” The two grunted as they continued to wrestle.

“A friend? You don’t have many friends. Would that be my father? I think you just took it from him.”

“Good guess.”

Billy lowered his body and was able to make Mel tumble over him so Mel landed flat on his back. Then Billy yanked the cane from him and tried to strike him with it in the face. Mel impulsively protected his face with his hands and the handle of the cane hit the Bracelet of Mifaustofiless at the proper spot where it disconnected from his wrist. The blow also bruised the wrist.

Like in slow motion, Billy saw the bracelet fall from Mel’s wrist onto the floor. Before it hit the floor, a hand caught it. A hand of burnished bronze.

“I will take this, thank you,” said a thunderous voice of an Ethereal.

Billy looked around and the room was filled with Ethereals. They all looked metallic in their skin, robes, and wings. They had weapons that looked like bright lighted swords.

“Ethereals! Oh! Oh! Time to run!” said Mel and he disappeared leaving Billy holding the cane.

“Holy shit!” said Billy. He was stunned. An Ethereal reached out to grab his arm, but Billy pulled back and hit him with the cane. All he could think about was Mel and where in the universe did he go…where he was from. Then he disappeared.

Billy reappeared in a different place. There were no Ethereals anymore. There were no buildings either. There was no sun. There was no…color. He looked around, all the way around. There were trees, rocks, and ground. They were all white. The sky was black. It was dark, but there was some light. Where was it coming from? He explored cautiously. He found a fire and some children around it. They were near a camp of some sort. Perhaps he could make friends. Is this Albinooz? Maybe Mel was here.

Child’s Play

Billy saw children around a fire in the distance. He was in a forest of white trees. Everything on this planet was white. Even the ground was white. Like someone threw a bucket of paint on the whole place. It was an incredible sight. In contrast, the sky was dark. He drew closer and crouched behind a stone column. He clutched the wooden cane with the brass handle. He saw another stone column on the other side of the clearing with a statue of what appeared to be an angel on top of it. He brushed back his hair from in front of his face and observed the children. He counted four boys about thirteen Earth years old.

“..and then the garmatal came in and ate them all up!” blurted the biggest boy. The others gasped in horror with obvious frightened faces on them. Billy held in his giggles.

“That was not so, Gimolee,” said a small skinny kid with messy hair.

“Was so, Belloff.”

“Was not.”

“See if you can tell one better.” The two silent ones taunted Belloff. Billy saw where the lines were drawn here.

“Yeah. Tell a better one, if you dare,” said the overweight boy and he threw a rock at Belloff. It hit him in the face. Belloff did not cry.

“Yeah, Belloff. Tell us or we will beat you into the ground,” said the last boy who also threw a rock. It hit Belloff in the knee. He brushed his knee off and rearranged his position.

“Alright then. I will.” He paused for a moment. “Well, there was this mystic man who appeared and disappeared in a blink of an eye and…”

Billy suddenly appeared next to Belloff. “..and he offers 3 wishes,” Billy shouted. The shocked boys scurried backwards in astonishment.

“Good story. Good story,” said Gimolee. Belloff did not move, nor was he frightened. Billy was impressed by this. In fact, the boy was smiling. The other boys ran off in sheer fright.

“Good day, Mister,” said Belloff calmly looking up at Billy.

“Day? Is that what you call this? It’s so dark.” Billy looked all around and then up at the sky filled with stars.

“It is always dark. Light comes from fire like the camp fire here.” The boy stretched out his thin arm and finger towards the fire. “I am Belloff. What is your name?” The boy’s head tipped to one side in curiosity and with a serious face, but he remained in his sitting position.

“Well…” Billy paused, he brushed the hair from his face, and he stood tall with his shoulders back. “It’s Mel Q. Zedek at your service.” His enthusiasm surprised even himself. He felt like patting himself on the back for that. He even stepped back and took a bow.

“That is a stupid name.” Billy’s enthusiasm became deflated as well as his grandiose posture at Belloff’s emphasis on the word ‘stupid.’

“It’s not.”

“It is so. What does it mean?”

“It doesn’t mean anything it’s just a name. I bet you don’t know what yours means.”

The boy paused and thought.

“Mine means sharp tool.”

“Oh. Well I bet you can’t do this.”

Billy disappeared and reappeared on the other side of the skinny boy. Belloff laughed.

“How do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Do that.”

“That what?”

“Disappear and reappear, stupid.”

Billy started to get annoyed at the boy’s use of his favorite word. “You’re not very nice. Are you?”

“You are not very smart. Are you?”

“Yes I am.”

“No you are not. If you are so smart, tell me how you do that.”

“Well it’s easy I just imagine real hard that I want to be over there in a second from now and then I am.”

“Is that all?” Bellhoff’s eyes squinted and his head shook side to side.

“Well, I have to imagine real hard.” Billy stepped closer to the boy gallantly using his cane like an aristocrat.

“It is hard to believe that it is just that simple.”

“Well, I guess you have to be special, and you’re not.”

“I am special. My mother told me so.”

“I’m sure she did, kid. Mothers do that.”

“My mother told the truth. She is dead.”

Billy looked at the boy, who turned away from him. The man feeling pity for the boy. “Look. I’m sorry.”

The boy turned back to him. “You will teach me then.”

The boy’s determination was genuine. Billy couldn’t deny him an honest attempt. “OK. Stand up.” Belloff did as Billy said and got up off the ground brushing the white dirt from his thighs as if it was snow. “First, relax. Breath in slowly, then out, slowly.” The youth did so. “Then choose a spot. Say by that column there where that gargoyle thing is.”

“That is a Daemos. You really know little.” He leered at the man.

Billy snorted. “Hey! You want to learn or not? Now concentrate on that spot.” The boy turned to the spot, and his face grimaced. His eyes narrowed as he focused. “And then WILL IT!” Billy’s loud voice sparked Belloff’s action and suddenly the boy disappeared and reappeared by the Daemos column. Billy stood dumbfounded.

“Yay! I did it. I did it.” He disappeared again and reappeared in another spot at a considerable distance. Then he appeared next to Billy and grabbed the cane. He then disappeared and reappeared another distance away.

“Look I am Mel Q. Zedek. I am Mel Q. Zedek. I am Mel!”

“Hey that’s mine! Thief!”

“Come and take it. If you can.” Billy didn’t hesitate and popped next to the boy, but the boy popped away. They kept up the pursuit game until Billy totally lost the boy.

“Fuck!” he yelled out loud. There’s no telling where he might have gone. No way to track him. How the hell could he do that anyway? His thoughts bothered him.

He returned to the clearing and the two columns.

The fire was dying out now. He saw only red glowing embers. It bathed everything in the area in a eerie color of red.

He approached the angel column and looked at the statute on it. Its wings were spread out. It looked familiar somehow. It’s an Ethereal. He thought to himself. He looked at it closely. Then he looked at the other column.

He approached the Daemos column and looked at the gargoyle like statue on top of it. Its bat wings stretched out. Its humanoid form was crouched. Its face had small horns protruding from the forehead, and its open mouth showed sharp fangs. It looked fearsome. Ethereals vs Daemos?

“Is it not magnificent?” said a familiar voice behind him. Billy’s heart skipped a beat in shock. He turned quickly but he already knew who it was.

“Mel!”

“In the flesh Billy Boy.” Mel grabbed Billy by his brown coat collar that match his own and slammed him up against the column. “But you have already met my younger self.”

Billy pushed him away. Mel went back three or four steps. “That was YOU?”

“Of course it was me. Who else would even have our abilities? There is no one. Not a soul. I have checked. What we have is unique except for the Ethereals, of course.” The two started to circle each other slowly with their arms out ready to wrestle.

“What we have is a curse! It’s ruined us. Look at us. We have nothing. We have no families and nothing of worth.”

“On the contrary, the universe is our oyster. But YOU refuse to see it that way! You are petty and simple minded. There are riches, drugs, and power to be had, Billy. You have seen it. We lived it.”

“That’s not a life. That’s playing. And it’s selfish, Mel.”

“You have to look after number one.”

“What about others? How are you going to help them?”

“Help THEM? What have they done for ME? Nothing, that is what. They maligned me. Here at home and everywhere I go. I am the white outcast. There goes that ghost they say. They leer at me with their eyes. They hide away from me like I am some kind of disease. Well, FUCK THEM! I am out for myself. I am going to get everything I want. If they get hurt, so be it.”

“You’re demented, Mel. You’re really crazy.”

“And you are a pussy.” With that, Mel lunged at Billy. The human stepped out of the way and managed to strike the Albinoozer in the back. Mel landed on the ground unceremoniously. Then Billy popped away and Mel pursued. They popped in and out of reality after one another but always visible to each other. They chased each other ripping holes in the fabric of reality.

They chased each other until they attracted the attention of the Ethereals. Winged sentinels appeared everywhere. Billy let go, and Mel did likewise. Then they popped away.

Letters to Olivia

>Open New Folder – Letters to Olivia

>Open New File

1/1/2110 13:01

Dear Olivia,

Well, I’m out here, like I said I would be, writing to you on my tablet. I’m traveling in a cramped capsule with five other people, and all of them are guys. Even after 10 days of travel, they have been behaving, but I’m going nuts missing my best friend.

How are things back home in San Jose? I hope you’re keeping yourself safe with the gang fights everywhere. Who would have thought that the news of alien contact, a few years ago, would rupture into civil unrest worldwide, right? The Encounter mission, to meet the aliens, has still a few years to launch. What will happen then? Full blown wars? I hope not.

Meet any cute boys in college? And how’s that biology major going? Are you really interested in going to Mars? Ever since the microbe discovery, it seems like every biology major wants to be a Martian.

I’m not like you. You’re smart and got the means to go to college. You know why I had to take this opportunity. There was nothing left for me back home. I don’t want to get stuck in retail in my small hometown. I want to live, explore, and see what’s out there. This job at Deep Space Station 1 lets me do that.

I didn’t get a chance to tell you about the station before I left; we had so much to talk about. It’s actually a helix. That means it’s shaped like a spring. It rotates to provide artificial gravity. It’s about a tenth of a mile in diameter and a tenth of a mile long. There’s a central corridor that runs through the middle of its structure. Using that corridor, you can walk the whole station from end to end without turning right or left. That’s about 7.5 miles. Yep, I intend to run it.

It’s so cramped in here I hope we’ll dock soon.

Love Susy.

>Open New File

1/1/2110 16:15

Hey Olivia,

We finally docked. And I got out of that small capsule. Now we’re in a waiting area. I have to get used to this artificial gravity. It feels weird; not like on Earth. You feel off balance if you move in a certain way. The decor here is non-existent. The walls and everything are painted a dull white. It’s really stark. I consider it a challenge to get some color in here.

They have a weird docking system. Because the station rotates, there’s a rail system that runs the diameter at the front of it. Now, there are two trolleys on that rail with robotic arms. Those arms capture the spacecraft coming in, and they berth the spacecraft to the station. Yeah berth. They don’t call it docking. It was a wild ride when the arm grabbed our capsule and swung us around to a berthing port. We suddenly felt gravity forces. It was like being on a roller coaster ride. Fun times.

Oh, got to go. They’re about to assign us our quarters. Let’s see what cozies we get.

Love Susy.

>Open New File

1/1/2110 21:25

Hey Olivia,

So there’s this rumor going around this place. A couple of guys have talked about a metallic statue that appears out of nowhere and then disappears. Weird right?

They wonder who in the world would make a statue and then play games like that. It seems like waste of material. Not to mention the fact that the company considers it stealing ore. I mean, I’m all for self-expression and all, but this sounds creepy.

Anyway, I was issued my gear and shown my quarters. So this is what they call quarters. It’s a bed. The bed lifts up and underneath it’s like a big drawer to store you stuff. All of your stuff. Some quarters! I just have three small panels that surround my bed to decorate. I’m not allowed to decorate anything else. Well, we’ll see about that. If some guy can have a statue in this dingy place, I sure as hell can have some color.

Worse is that there is little privacy. I have a curtain that surrounds my bed and that’s it. The bathroom is communal with individual showers. I bunk with 19 other guys in this module. The cool thing about this place is how you get into it. You have to climb a ladder to get from the main hallway to the sleeping module. Nothing like a little exercise before bed.

Remember when we played on the jungle gym as kids? You couldn’t get me off of there. I told you I wanted to run away and join a circus to become a trapeze girl. And you said there was no circus any more. You burst my bubble that day. So here I am, searching for my circus.

Well, I have to organize and fold this stuff before lights out. Tomorrow will be my first day on the job.

‘Night.

Love Susy

>Open New File

1/5/2110 17:30

Hey Olivia,

What a week! I’ve been sooo tired. I work on the pig crew, and this is the first chance I got to write. No, it’s not a real pig. It’s a device we put in the processing tubes to clean them. The pig travels down the tubes and breaks up any deposits that get built up. With 12 tubes and about 7 miles each, there is a lot to clean up all the time.

There’s five of us on the team. Tom, Brent, Tony, Steve, and me. Steve is the supervisor. Brent is the muscle. He can pick up the pig and put it in the tube through a door. Tom and Tony are the data guys. They track the pig as it travels. What do I bring to the team? I’m small enough to fit in the tubes and push or pull the pig when it gets stuck, and it gets stuck a lot. Good thing I’m not claustrophobic. I had to retrieve that thing seven times already. I cut myself in a few spots, but it’s all good.

I got to tell you this. There’s this guy going around the station. He says he’s an inspector and get this: he’s looking for that statue. His name is Ralph. And yeah, he’s kinda cute.

Anyway. I’m tired. I have to get to bed, and it’s another work day tomorrow.

Love Susy.

>Start audio file

1/7/2110 07:05

[AudioText by AudioTech Inc. a subsidiary of AI Tech Corp.]

“Testing. Testing. Let’s see if this works.

“Yep! It looks like it’s recording my voice and transcribing it to text.

“Cool!

“This is Susy here, Olivia.

“I downloaded this app to my phone from the station store. Yes, they use phones here. How else do you keep track of 200 people on a space station that’s essentially a small town?

“You do it by phone! That’s how.

“This app will transcribe my voice and anybody else’s voice. It doesn’t know names so it just names people person 1, person 2 and so on. Looks like I’m person 1. I guess it does some noises as well. It’s OK for a small app. So I’m told.

“So yeah, they have their own phone infrastructure here on Deep Space Station 1. So everybody gets their own phone number.

“Can’t dial Earth. That’s not in the cards. Still have to rely on good old fashion e-mail, as slow as it is.

“By the way I got your e-mails this month. They arrived before I got here. We get one time a month to send and received any transmissions. What a pain right? They claim band-width restrictions on the high gain. So I will send all these e-mails, I’m writing, all together. Right now, though, I’m tying my shoe laces. Yes, my running shoes! I’m going for a run and I decided to record my run down the full seven miles. It’s my off day, you know.

“Of course you don’t. How would you unless I told you. So I’m wearing my blue shorts and my bright orange t-shirt and bright yellow shoes. That should get everyone’s attention.

“Like I don’t get their attention enough already. So I plan on sending you this file because we can only send text files. No VR files, videos, or pictures. Kinda sucks, huh? Well, that’s life by the asteroid belt,” said Person1.

>End audio file 07:07

>Start audio file

1/7/2110 07:35

“(panting) OK. Leaving my quarters module and heading counter. (panting)” said Person1.

“Hey Susy! Looking good!” said Person2.

“Thanks Matt. He works in Ore Receiving. They receive the ore from the incoming ships. (panting)

“I’m just running now counter. Oh yeah! That’s how we say counterclockwise. It’s either counter or clock. Those are the two directions on this station, other than up and down which are inside and outside. (panting)

“Did I confuse you yet? (panting) Trust me. I got confused at first too. (panting)

“OK. Here’s the Ore Receiving area and a lot of guys,” said Person1.

“Hey Missy! (whistling)” said Person3.

“Bonita!” said Person4.

“Yowzer!” said Person5.

“(panting) OK. That’s the end of that. Pressing on.

“(panting, slurp, glug)

“Ah! Needed that sip of water. Those guys back there have to hoist up raw ore using wenches and a large bucket. The cargo ship is berthed to the floor and open. So they jump down in there and shovel the bucket full. They dump the ore into large funnels that feed the processing machines. Those machines span the whole seven miles of the station. At the other end is the material departing area. Those guys fill up processed minerals and waste into empty cargo ships.

“(panting)

“Those guys are just muscular eye-candy. Heh. (panting)

“Phew! It’s a long way to go. Have to press on. (panting)

“Wait! What’s this? It’s a key.

“Hmmm, it’s not like any key I’ve seen before. It looks like a small skeleton key. And the style looks old. I guess I’ll keep it and see if I find the owner. It must be a personal item. Pressing on then. (panting)” said Person1.

08:01

“There’s something up ahead. It looks metallic. It really stands out against the dull white paint of the walls. Let’s get a better look.

“Wow! You’re not going to believe this. I found the statue. He’s impressive. He’s all bronze. He’s some sort of demon. He has small horns coming out of his head. He has large bat like wings. He’s wearing a gown. And he has FANGS! Cool! I really don’t remember anyone saying his mouth was open. His hands are cuffed in handcuffs. Those handcuffs are an old style. Wait.

“Yeah, the key is the same style as the cuffs. I wonder…

“Yep. The key goes in! Wow! I’m excited! I’m trembling. But here goes nothing…,” said Person1.

(click)

“(shrieking)” said Person1.

(bonk, bonk)

“(growl) Thank you, human. Pardon my manners but I cannot have you make any more noises. I cannot have your slaughtered carcass on this station. I cannot let you go either,” said Person6.

“(muffles)” said Person1.

(wind blowing)

(footsteps)

“Susy! Susy! Oh no. Her phone and the cuffs are on the floor. They’re gone. Tracking them. Got them,” said Person7.

(wind blowing)

08:31

(wind blowing)

“You did what?” said Person1.

“At least I got him,” said Person7.

“Yeah! At my expense! Why didn’t you tell us he was a fugitive instead of this cockamamie story of this statue business? Someone could have gotten fired or killed, you know!”

“But they didn’t and in the end that’s what counts, isn’t it?”

“Oh the end justifies the means? Is that it?”

“No. Would you really have believed me saying that a trans-dimensional being is hiding on your space station and I’m a trans-dimensional being myself who needs your lower lifeforms to help find and apprehend him?”

“Lower lifeforms? Is that what we are to you? Aren’t you supposed to be some kind of angel with your bird wings and gown and everything?”

“Ok. Bad choice of words. And it’s Angelicos. Angels are your myth.”

“I don’t know. You look pretty real. So you’re leaving?”

“Yeah! That’s the plan.”

“Are you coming back?”

“I have no reason to.”

“(smooch) Is that reason enough?”

“NO! Get off of me! Don’t do that!” said Person1.

“Why? What’s wrong? It’s only a kiss,” said Person7.

“Only a kiss. Only a KISS? That’s how this whole mess started in the first place.”

“What the he…”

“Jetriel was part of a group. They were like me with bird wings, no horns, or fangs. They came to your universe to simply catalog what was in it.”

“Then what. Someone kissed some girl?”

“You could say that. The short story is that they ended up having families on many planets. When the elders got word of the misdeed, they took action. They had all of the reprobates gathered with their children and taken back to my dimension.”

“That doesn’t sound all that bad.”

“There they were cast out of service and society. They were given the appearance you have seen in Jetriel.”

“You mean the horns, bat wings, and fangs?”

“Yes.”

“Wait. If that was all done, why was Jetriel here now?”

“He broke into your universe to look for his son.”

“He still has a son roaming here?”

“Yes. Rest assure we will find him.”

“Are we in any danger? Can he pop in and out of places like you?”

“You are not in any immediate danger, no. He has all our abilities, but none of our technology. Jetriel was going to give him some items. Luckily we caught him in time. If he doesn’t know about his abilities, he can’t use them,” said Person7

“But you’re not sure,” said Person1.

“No. We’re not certain.”

“So, no kissing?”

“No kissing.”

“So, what’s your name?”

“Rafalo. I have to go. Thank you, Susy.”

“Yeah, any time. Hey!”

“What?”

“Visit me sometime. Just to say ‘hi’ or something.”

“Hmm…OK. I’ll do that. See you around.”

“See ya.”

(wind blowing)

“(sniff)”

>End audio file 08:46

>Open New File

1/8/2110 09:01

Hey Olivia,

He was cute. Trim dark hair. Gorgeous eyes. Nice smile. A mean left hook, too.

Sure, you always warned me about impossible relationships, but this one… No. You’re right. This one is wrong too.

So to recap, Rafalo was the inspector Ralph. He came from another dimension. So did his fugitive, Jetriel. Who posed as the statue. Rafalo asked questions about the statue, and some saw it. But it wasn’t until I uncuffed Jetriel that he nabbed me and transported us off the station to some remote planet. That’s when Rafalo detected him with some technology and followed.

Jetriel was about to kill me when Rafalo appeared out of nowhere and clobbered him. Then he cuffed him and disappeared with him. Moments later he reappeared, and he told me everything. Then he brought me back to the station.

I had asked him how they could transport from one place to another. He said it was inherit in their DNA. They look metallic only because that’s the way our universe interprets surfaces from their dimension. He’s really not metallic and neither is Jetriel. Then they have the ability to shape shift into anybody from our universe. That’s how Rafalo disguised himself as an inspector. They used technology to get back home and to do other stuff. Like the cuffs did not only restrain wrists, but prevented transporting, and prevented detection. So when Jetriel got away from him, he had a problem.

I just wish he’d come back. I guess he won’t with that stupid rule he has. It’s like they never heard of birth control. Stupid upper lifeforms!

Love Susy.

PS Are you going to believe any of this?

>Delete files – All – are you sure? Yes.

>Deleting.

>Open New File

1/8/2110 09:34

Dear Olivia,

Guess what? I have this great job at Deep Space 1…

Secret Partners

On a faraway planet, there stood a mountain ridge that was secluded from society. On that ridge, sat a secret government lab. It was currently being used by two intrepid scientists who were about to make a breakthrough.

Jedcos measured out the ingredient. His orange hand was shaking like a photon imbued electron getting ready to raise its energy level.

“Don’t drop it. That stuff’s expensive and highly lethal. You wouldn’t want me to find another ethically challenged scientist that just does what I ask, would you?” said Doctor Zilther.

“O…of…of course not, Doctor. I…I wouldn’t think of it.” He managed to slip the small sample safely into the test tube. He lowered the flask as carefully as he could. It was shaking, or was it his hand? The flask made a soft landing on the counter. He sighed. Then he placed the test tube in its rack. He looked at his boss, mentor, and object of his misplaced affection. She is a blazing sun, orange and beautiful as she is fierce. She is mean, but I could stare at her pretty caramel eyes all day. And her delicious auburn hair complements the curve of her face and her silky skin beautifully. If I could only get her out of that lab coat..oh, what a treat. His thoughts excited him. Her presence intoxicated his existence, and brought it meaning.

“Get me the super serum Onyx,” said Zilther. Her loud voice reverberated through his body like an alarm going off.

He grabbed a clear flask with some opaque goo inside labeled, ‘Onyx,’ and put it into her outstretched hand. “Here you go, Doctor.”

She wrapped her dainty fingers around the tube like she was wringing his neck. His mousy impotent ways boiled her blood, but he had a boyish face. Now she needed him to help her complete her triumphant project. This one will raise the eyebrows of those stingy old science men that have kept me back year after year. They will be in awe. They will worship the supremacy of the female mind. They will… She thought to herself over and over.

Finally, she picked up a DNA sample retrieval device that was sitting on the counter, and held it in her fist. She went up to Jedcos.

“Hold still,” she said.

He smiled innocuously. Oh boy! She’s going to reward me for all the work I’ve done for her. He thought to himself and closed his eyes as if he’d never been kissed before. He puckered up.

With all her might, she jammed the head of the device into his neck.

“Ow! Don’t bite,” he said.

She held it there until it gave off a beeping sound. Then she removed it from his neck and read the display on its side. “I’m not biting you, moron. I’m retrieving your DNA.”

He put his hand on his neck and noticed it was bleeding. “Did I sign up for this?” He felt more confused than betrayed. He went over to a cabinet and took out some gauze and placed it on the wound.

“You signed up for whatever I subject you to.”

“OK.” She was right, and he knew it. She was always right.

Zilther sighed as she glanced up and down at his tall physique. If only he was man enough. “To the telescope.”

They walked towards a door. He was tailing her and watching her hips sway. She knew it and didn’t mind the attention. They went through the door which led to a large round room with a dome roof. In the middle of the room was a large green machine. It was a cylinder on a hydraulic mount. There was a console and control panel at the far end of the room.

She flashed her caramel candy eyes at him. “Open the sample tray. Won’t you?” Maybe nice will ease matters.

He walked over to the control panel without saying a word. He punched a couple of buttons. The machine made some hissing noise, then the cylinder lifted causing its back-end to lower, and a small tray rolled out from a flip door.

Zilther took the DNA sampler and emptied its contents in one of the tray’s inset cups. Then she tossed the expensive device over her shoulder like a used and soiled tissue. It crashed on the floor making a loud echoing bang. She then focused her concentration on the flask in her hand and carefully opened it. She held her breath. Then she slowly tilted the flask over the tray’s empty inset cup and let two drops fall. She exhaled and closed up the flask tightly. The tray closed.

She giggled and then laughed. The laugh turned into a dance, and she celebrated as an athlete relishing a championship victory. Jedcos hit a button on a remote in his pocket. A funk tune started to play, and he joined her. They shook their bodies in sync and even jiggled their butts. They wrangled and swayed their bodies closer and closer together. By the time the music stopped, they were in an embrace and face to face. Never had they been so close, so intimate.

Coming to her senses, the doctor pushed her assistant off of her body. There is no time for that now. “There. It’s ready.” She turned towards the console and started walking. “Let’s find some people.”

At the console, she tapped some buttons and then slapped a red button. Then she turned around and set her eyes on the telescope like a girl mesmerized by her first magician.

The machine hissed as it slowly came to life. It pointed its large pipe towards the starry night. Like a paintbrush in the hands of a mad artist, this telescope stroked across its view of the sky in swirly motions.

“Amazing!” said Jedcos. He was stunned with excitement. Part of him understood every motion of the machine and every step the algorithm was going through. The other part was just amazed that all the work and all the late night hours came together for this moment. Then the telescope stopped. “Whoa! Did something break?”

Zilther, still at the console, scanned the panel and read all the indicators. She gasped and pointed to a screen.

Jedcos came flying over. He looked. “By the Stars. We found it!” he said. The two scientists grabbed each other’s arms and pranced around.

Zilther’s dream had come true. Her research and calculations. She was right. Now she had proof. All those stuffy male scientists will have to eat their shirts. She had successfully created a long range DNA detector. She could find other lifeforms on other planets without going there.

Then she heard rhythmic clapping behind her. “Well done. Well done. Congratulations are in order, Doctor Zilther,” said a strange voice. Nobody was supposed to be in the lab. Nobody knew this project was going on. So who in the universe could be clapping and congratulating them?

She turned around quickly and beheld a thin man wearing a brown overcoat and white pants with colored stripes. He was not from their world. His skin was not orange like theirs. It was white, as white as snow. He was from Albinooz.

“What are you doing here, alien?” she said. Her blood was boiling at the sight of the intruder.

Jedcos had no weapons but he prepared himself for battle by putting up his fists and squinting his eyes. He only had some remedial self-defense classes in youth camp.

“Oh, I was in the neighborhood. Seeing what there is to see. When look what I found? Someone making a DNA detector. Something that I have been shopping for,” said the Albinoozer and he pouted.

“Shopping for? No one knows about this idea let alone that it exists and works.” Zilther extended her arm towards the telescope. This guy must be insane.

“Of course because you were so upfront about your project to your investors.”

How did he know I lied to my investors? She started to get scared.

The intruder started to walk around periodically placing small devices on the telescope. “You see, my dear doctor, I am taking your project with me and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Zilther gravitated towards the console and hit a button. The telescope whined and then went silent.

“What did you do?”

“Something.” She shrugged her shoulders while holding her hands together and her head held high. She felt smart and felt like she switched tables on the thief.

The thief walked over to the console and tried some buttons. Then he grunted and tried again. He pounded the console. He turned to her and grabbed her by the throat. He pulled out a dagger with his free hand and said, “What is the code to unlock the console?” His voice turned ferocious. She struggled with fear in her eyes and shook her head. He put the dagger to her cheek. “You will give it to me.”

“Let her go!” said Jedcos rushing to Zilther’s aid.

“Take another step and she gets it.” The Albinoozer turned her around and faced the scientist. Jedcos froze. “That’s it.“That’sThat is it. You know your place, don’t you? Now, give me the code to unlock the console.”

Jedcos swallowed. He couldn’t let anything happen to her because he loved her. On the other hand, he couldn’t let this guy get away with the research. It’s just too powerful. What was he to do? Then he looked at Zilther. She was shaking her head. What am I going to do without you? “No. You slime bucket. I won’t. I won’t. I WON’T.” His scream turned his orange complexion crimson.

The Albinoozer raised his elbow and was about to slice her throat, but he stopped. He removed the blade from her pretty neck. Then he grinned an evil grin. He let Zilther go and disappeared.

She coughed and regained her composure. When she looked up, she said, “Oh no!”

“Oh yes!” said the intruder. He held Jedcos and threatened him with the knife. “Now, Zilther. Give me the code.”

“Don’t do it. I’m not worth it,” said Jedcos in agony.

“No. But you are more than worth it. My pathetic adorable lab mate. It’s 796DRY765+,” she said.

The thief disappeared and reappeared at the control console keeping Jedcos with him. He punched in the code. The console dinged. “Hah! It worked,” he said. Then he slit poor Jedcos throat open.

Zilther screamed a piercing scream. He disappeared then reappeared next to her and plunged the dagger right into her heart. She could not scream, and her body crumpled to the floor. Red blood poured from her carcass. “You could have found love right here. Hmpf.”

He walked over to the console and stepped over Jedcos bloodied mess of a corpse. He placed a small device on the machine. He took out a business card and tossed it on the dead man. Then he pressed a button on the device. The telescope, the console, and he disappeared.

All that was left in the secret lab was two dead bodies of brilliant scientists and lost lovers. The business card read, “Mel Q. Zedek, Magister Temporal Autum Universitas Temporis Spatium. – Studio in Tempus.”

Mel’s Apprentice

The young man picked up rocks and made piles of them to form a circle. He then took his seat in the middle.

His red face absorbed the red sunlight coming from the star he grew up with. He took down the hood of his grey gown and closed his eyes. He breathed slowly and regularly calming his body and mind. He tried to feel the area. Red weathered rocks with very few vegetation made up the landscape. The sun beat down on everything in the clear sky.

He hummed and chanted. Every now and again he would open his left eye and look around. Then he hummed and chanted some more.

This went on for quite some time. Then he heard footsteps. Footsteps that were slowly and carefully coming up the slope towards him.

He checked with a spying eye like an eagle eyeing his prey. He saw a person in a pressurized suit walking towards him. The suit had a linen bag slung over one shoulder. It walked with a brown stick. The suit had a large helmet with a view glass in front. It also had a panel on the chest with buttons. There was a prominent large red button that stood out.

“Chaterag, I presume. It is certainly hot here,” said the suit.

Chaterag opened both eyes and gave attention to the stranger.

“It is a nice cool day, stranger. You must be an alien.” He spoke in a deep voice, a trait that was common amongst his people.

The head in the suit nodded and was breathing hard. The person used the brown stick for support. Chaterag could see a white face in it.

“You want to travel the stars. I can show you how,” said the face.

“Tell me your name, and we can talk.”

The suit handed him a card. It read ‘Mel Q. Zedek.’

“Mel? Sit with me.” He put the card in a pocket of his gown.

The suit sat down in a kind of awkward fashion. Not able to cross its knees, the suit settled having the legs straight out. He laid the stick across his legs and the bag on the ground in front of him.

“How long have you been doing this? Calling out to the Universe?”

“Since I was a boy. I never got an answer.”

“Well, my friend. Today your answer is answered.”

“You? You are my answer?” Chaterag chuckled. “How can a foreigner like you answer my request? You are a stranger. You look strange. You have to wear a suit to keep yourself from burning here. How can you know me?”

“My dear red friend, I can show you places you could not even have imagined in a million cycles. Worlds that you never heard of or even known to have existed.”

“My people cover two worlds. Space travel is not what I am looking for.”

“No. It is not. You are looking for the Riddle of Time.”

Chaterag just looked at Mel for a minute. Then he nodded slowly.

“How do you know that?”

“Like I have said, your answer has been answered.”

“And the answer is you….”

“In the flesh. Here. Let me show you.” Mel pulled out something from the linen bag and gave it to the young man. Chaterag looked at it. It seemed to him like a cooked mushroom of some kind. He sniffed it and then gave it a taste. The mushroom melted in his mouth like butter. Suddenly he felt light headed. Then his body relaxed, and he felt like he was in utopia.

Mel grabbed Chaterag’s hand. Chaterag observed the scenery of red rocks and a sunny day fade away. In its place appeared a room full of boxes. There were some lights on top. Chaterag felt a tremendous chill on his skin.

“It’s cold here.”

“Perhaps it would be better that you wear this suit.” Chaterag agreed. Mel got out of the suit from a door in the back and Chaterag got in, albeit slowly. In the process, the stick fell on the floor and rolled away. Mel gave it no thought. Chaterag regulated the temperature of the suit to his liking.

“This is like getting out there. You must show me how we got here. Then you must show me how to time travel.”

“In time my dear friend. We are in the cargo hold of a science space ship belonging to a race of blue people. They are not friendly to foreigners. You must wait here. You will be waiting for three people who are light brown skinned.”

“Will they show me the Riddle of Time?” Chaterag’s head was bobbing to and fro as he talked. A smile was on his face.

“Yes. They will. Go up to them and press the red button on the front of the suit.”

“Oh. Like this one here?” His hand went to the button and was about to press it. Mel grabbed his hand.

“No. No. Not now. Only when you see the brown skinned people.”

“Brown skinned? What an ugly color. I would like to see some purple skinned people. Purple is pretty.”

“In due time, Chaterag. In due time.”

“When are we going to time travel?”

“Why my friend we are already 700 cycles in your past.”

“OK. See ugly brown people, press button, Riddle of Time. Got it.” Chaterag plopped on the floor and fell asleep.

“Oh the people I have to deal with…” said Mel.

Suddenly, Mel felt the ship lift off. Startled, he waited until the opportune moment.

What’s Next?

A full novel is coming. Sam Stellacuston is an astronaut with NASA taking part on a mission to meet the first official aliens known to humans. The UES Encounter is the best technology the humans can muster. Let’s hope it’s good enough to make the two light years voyage from Earth to the meeting spot. There are other forces at play here, and something happens that puts Sam and his friends on a path through space and time. Where is Mel in all this? Well, you’ll have to wait and see. Keep your eyes peeled for Pursuit in Time.

 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the stories. If you did, leave me a message on my Facebook page, Twitter account, or my Google Plus page.

 

Thanks!

 

EC Holm

About the Author

EC Holm is member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild. He is a world traveler and a science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves to read about science fiction, science, history, and cultures. He is always catching up on the latest on any space program. Exploration and adventure are what drive him. He has written several short stories and is working on his first full blown novel.

Author’s Website: http://ideawritesfiction.blogspot.com/


Mel's Shorts

This book contains science fiction stories of a pair of time travelers causing mayhem in the universe. A time traveler gives a family some historical perspective. An alien village it duped by a stranger. A mayor seeks help from a higher power. An old man is abused by an acquaintance. A young man is challenged to greater things. Thieves steal a bank. Friends confront differences. Origins of the time traveler is discovered. A human girl discovers new things at her new job. Scientists make good on their project. A young alien is visited by a time traveler. These stories are full of mischief and intrigue. They tell of how people relate, love, and betray one another.

  • ISBN: 9781370148912
  • Author: EC Holm
  • Published: 2016-07-22 14:35:24
  • Words: 16490
Mel's Shorts Mel's Shorts