The Others (Short Story)

February What if Challenge question 2: What if you discovered a lost civilization? 

I knew I was different since I was small. I could see people in a crowd others couldn’t see. They stood out like a burning candle in a sea of darkness. They were not like the others; they had an air of confidence not seen in the slinking shoulders of an average man. They had delicate features with blue markings on their face and carried long spears that evoked respect more than fear.

I learnt to keep this secret to myself, lest people think I was not quite right up there. I often wondered myself if I was crazy or just in the wrong place. These “other people” only appeared in crowds and I never saw them on their own.

The first time one of them looked me in the eye was the day I turned sixteen. That day my life changed forever.

I awoke that day with an excitement I attributed to my birthday. When I went down for breakfast everything was routine and my family hadn’t bothered to remember what day it was. I was off from school and I decided to go to the mall.

I was walking along a street when some distance away I saw him. He was looking straight at me with a gaze that pierced the soul. I stopped and stared. It was as if time had stopped for me. Around me the sea of humanity went about their business, but there I stood as he walked towards me. He stopped in front of me and motioned me to come with him. I followed mesmerized.

He walked to the end of the road and stopped. He turned to look at me, then took a step and disappeared. I followed him and suddenly the road, the cars and the people melted away. I was in a different world.

There were bluish grey mountains as far as I could see with dwellings dotted all across. Below us a raging river meandered through the rocks. Men and women worked near what looked like a mine. I saw some carts with a bluish rock that glowed. Children noiselessly scurried along the mountains playing hide and seek with each other. I could feel many eyes on me as I made my way slowly and a little out of breath to one of the dwellings.

A group of elders sat in a circle. One of the elders rose as I approached. He spoke in a soft assuring voice.

“Welcome! You must have known in your heart that one day we would come for you. This is where you truly belong. We are a small race but we are more advanced than the other humans. We have built our own world away from the cruelty and selfishness of the others. It is a great day when young blood like you joins us. We will celebrate the induction tonight.”

My heart raced. It was true what he had said, I had known that I didn’t belong in the other world but this was so sudden. I had so many questions about this new world I had been brought to. As if he had read my thoughts he said,

“Don’t worry, we will answer all your questions one by one until you are satisfied.”

My heart lightened and my worries were replaced by excitement. I knew at last I had found my right place.

There’s a space-ship in my neighbor’s garage

This is the winning post for the Jan 2014 What if challenge (link given below).

What if you discovered a space-ship in your neighbor’s garage?

I was coming home from my afternoon walk when suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. There in broad daylight was a shiny white space-ship parked in my neighbor’s garage.

“I knew it” I thought to myself, “I just knew it”. I always knew there was something strange about the neighbors. They had never returned my calls or thanked me for the cookies I sent them nor the chocolates on New Year. And then their two boys were so odd because they never made any noise. I mean how strange is that? I never saw them playing in the garden or heard them shouting or laughing.

I giggled to myself. So my neighbors were aliens. I wondered what they actually looked like. Did they have green skin and one eye in the middle of the forehead? Mrs. Jones always looked so prim and proper with not a hair out of place. But I must say they were being very daring, not even bothering to hide the fact that a space-ship was parked in their garage.

I was just opening my front door when I heard a voice behind me.

“Hello there!” It was Mrs. Jones standing in my driveway in a neat little blue dress.

“Xertang from Mercury is here to see you. They landed in the wrong house and asked if they could keep their space-ship in my garage. I told them of course, what are neighbors for?”

I swore. My secret was out.

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If you had your own personal stealth mode spy drone with unlimited range, how would you use it?

Yes, yes, yes, I really need this! I would not spy on my husband or on my bosses (I’m unemployed), but on my husband’s bosses. And that’s because my husband who works in a chocolate company has been told by his bosses that he will be switching to a new position soon but nobody bothered to inform him of what and where this mystery position will be.

As days and weeks pass by the tension is getting to both of us. How can we plan anything if we don’t know where we’re going to end up in a couple of months?

So coming back to the spy drone, I would adjust the setting so that wherever my husband’s name crops up in his company, I could record and hear the conversation.

“N is an asset of the company. We cannot afford to lose him. We should send him to Timbuktu.”

What? Timbuktu?? Is that even a real place???

“The pet care business is in a crisis. We need to move N there.”

From chocolates to pet care? We don’t even have a pet. I like chocolates though!

“What about our business in Afghanistan? Would N move his family there?”

No he would not! Do not even think about it.

This spy drone business is not getting me what I wanted. I need to hear about Europe and promotions. Maybe it’s not such a good idea after all. Can I switch it with something that hypnotizes people and gets you what you want?

What If Writing Challenge