Friday, September 12, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday: Guest of Honor

Today's Flash Fiction Friday is: Guest of Honor.

"You seen the Twilight Zone, right?" the man, who said his name was Darby, had both hands cradling his beer as he sat at the bar.

"Yeah," Jones replied, "I've seen some of them. Reruns, you know." He was nursing his seven and seven because be ethanol had deleterious effects upon his body chemistry.

"You seen the one where the aliens come down with a book called 'To Serve Man'?"

Jones shrugged. He looked at the clock behind the bar. He'd been there nearly an hour and he had to meet someone. That and this Darby was boring company. "Maybe. That's where the book turns out to be a cook book?"

Darby nodded. "Yeah, that one."

"And The Simpsons did a parody of it for one of their Halloween episodes," Jones added.

"I guess," Darby said. "But, it's true, you know."

"What's true?" Jones took a sip of his drink, thinking this would be his last.

"Aliens, man. They're eatin' people."

Jones scoffed.

"No, man, they are," Darby insisted. "Do you know how many people go missing each year from the U.S. alone?"

"No idea," Jones said, barely engaging in this conversation.

"Nine-hundred thousand. That's almost a million."

Jones turned to look at Darby. "Seriously?"

"Yes. And the aliens are eating them."

"Some have to be murders or people who just purposely disappear."

Darby scoffed this time. "Yeah, but 900,000 of them?"

"Well, I find it hard to believe aliens are eating the rest."

"Yeah, you'll see," Darby said.

"Right," Jones replied, deciding the sooner he left the better it would be. This has been a mistake now he was running late.  He swallowed down the rest of his drink, feeling the whiskey burn, not quite quenched by the Seven Up.

"Good night, Mr. Darby," Jones said.

"You don't believe me," Darby said as an accusation.

Jones smiled. "No, sorry."  And he slipped off the bar stool and walked out the door before Darby could reply.

Jones wasn't worried about driving, he'd only had one drink.  He got in his old Ford Taurus with the oxidized and speckled paint, and started driving.  He had to make his appointment and now he was running late. The shortest route took him through some woods where houses were far apart. It was pitch black out as there was no moon and there were no street lights on this road. He drove for nearly two hours until he reached the designated spot. He turned off the car's engine and waited, glancing at his cheap watch. He'd just barely made it.

Without warning a bright, actinic light hit his car from above. It temporarily blinded him, it was so harsh. Holding on to the steering wheel with one hand, he tried to shade his eyes with the other.

But suddenly he was not in his car. The light was gone to be replaced with a soft green glow. Before him were two beings that he immediately identified as not human nor even from the Earth. They looked like every cliched portrayal of aliens with the big black eyes and small mouths.

"Welcome, Mr. Jones," one said, its mouth moving as it spoke.

"Thank you," he replied. "Did you make the pick up?"

"Just as you ordered, Mr. Jones," the second alien said. "The guest of honor is here."

Jones smiled. He heard movement behind him and turned. A portal had opened. He took a step toward it, his stomach already growling with anticipation. Slowly he let his form return to normal, and now he had big black eyes and a small mouth.  The mouth bent in a smile as he entered the room.

On a long table surrounded by many chairs was a human body: a trussed, dressed, and roasted Mr. Darby, the look of surprise on his face still present.

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