Friday, July 4, 2014
Flash Fiction Friday: George Washington's Body
They broke through the last gate and pushed it open, After more than 200 years it screeched like a miserable banshee on the barrows of Ireland.
"Shhhhh," John whispered. "The guard will hear."
Jack rolled his eyes. The guard was at least 80 years old and on the other side of the Mount Vernon complex. It would take him at least half an hour to get here as slow as he walked.
"Why are we here again?" Jack asked.
"To prove my thesis that they laughed at."
Jack nodded. He didn't really care, John paid well, having a trust fund apparently, and if he wanted to break into George Washington's tomb, Jack was going to help "facilitate" that (in John's words).
Jack had spent months casing the joint. Security was a joke at night. One octogenarian watchman who walked around the grounds. Slowly walked around the grounds. He wasn't due in this part for at least an hour. Jack glanced at his watch. Make the 55 minutes. Plenty of time.
"Your thesis," Jack said. It wasn't a question. He walked farther into the dark tomb. It did occur to him that no one had probably been here since Washington's body was entombed in, what was it, 1799 if he remembered right from his research.
"Yes," John hissed, following Jack. "My thesis, which I proved through the historical record, is that George Washington is an alien."
Jack had a difficult time not laughing himself. But his employer might take offense. "Okay," he said, hoping that would end the discussion.
It didn't. "First of all," John started reciting, "Washington was preternaturally tall. Six feet two inches. Tall today, back then nearly a giant."
Jack was half listening, thinking they buried the father of the country awfully deep, still walking forward, holidng the flashlight.
"Second," John continued, "He couldn't have children which indicates he's another species other then human."
"Or couldn't get a boner," Jack mumbled.
"Third," John kept talking, either not hearing or ignoring Jack, "He had horses shot out from under him, bullet holes in the coat, once his hat was shot off according to some reports. That indicates advance technology, a shield or some sort. A force field."
Jack pretty much stopped listening because they'd come to the end of the tunnel to a room with what looked like a stone coffin. Jack inwardly groaned at how heave the lid would be. "We're here," he said.
John came up beside him and fumbled with his digital camera. "If he's an alien, it should be obvious from the bone structure," he breathed.
"Help me get this lid off," Jack growled, and leaned against it. John, he thought, couldn't weigh more than 100 pounds but he pushed as well as he could agaisnt the lid. It budged, then started sliding which made moving it easier. It fell off the coffin and crashed to the stone floor.
Jack shone his light in the coffin, expecting to see bones and clothing fragments and not much else.
The clothing fragments were there but the body was intact, whole, almost looked as if Washington were merely asleep.
John gasped. "See, that's not natural." He took a picture with the camera's flash on.
Washington opened his eyes. He sat up and looked around.
"Who the devil are you two?"
John fainted. Jack looked at the man who had been dead for 215 years, supposedly. "That's complicated."
"Well, thank you, good sir," Washington said. "I've been inactivated for years, 215 according to my internal clock. That bright flash as activated me again. What was that?"
"Um, the flash of a camera," Jack said.
"Oh," Washington replied, not acting at all surprised. "And I see you are holding an artificial light. Electrical powered?"
""Uh, batteries, yeah."
"Excellent," Washington said. "And you've come to take me back."
"Back where, sir?" Jack asked.
"My planet, good man. After all, I've been wating two centuries to be rescued from this dirt ball."
"You're and alien?"
"No," Washington said, "I'm an American. But I'm also from another planet the orbits another star. Do you understand that?"
"Like Star Trek?" Jack suddenly wished he'd watched more science fiction.
"I assure you, sir, I don't know of what you speak. I get the feeling you are not here to rescue me."
"Uh, no, we're here to-" Jack decided it was best not to explain why exactly they were their.
John stirred at that moment, and tried to get off the floor but saw Washington sitting up and fainted again.
"Well, then may you please put my coffin cover back on?" Washington asked. "I guess I have to wait longer for rescue."
"Sure," Jack said.
"And what of your friend?" Washington asked.
"I'll let him sleep. Apparently his thesis was correct."
Washington frowned. "Well, then good day, sir," he said and lay back down.
Jack ran out of the tomb as fast as he could, leaving Washington and John behind.