I, Jim Roberts, got fired today. I didn’t realize Mr. Kerr, my boss, was standing behind me when I referred to him as Kerr-mitt. He failed to see the humor, and now I have no source of income. Looks like my journalistic aspirations are out the window. I swear, I can catch a cold faster than I can catch a break. Now I find myself sitting on one of the large chunks of cement at the local landfill.It’s the only place I can go to clear my head when I have a lot on my mind. The stench alone works wonders.
The landfill is like a giant bowl, filled with defunct appliances, tires without tread, and papers of every kind and color, etc. The cement is on the bowl’s rim and gives me a view of the entire landfill. No one is supposed to be here after hours, so I park outside the gate and duck under. As far as I know, there are no Landfill Police, so I’m not worried. Besides, I’m not stealing junk or adding to the debris.
This place fascinates me. Rumors have flown for years that it’s a mini version of Area 51. All I know about aliens is that when Drew Barrymore let out that high-pitched squeal during Spielberg's E.T., I nearly peed in my Superman Underoos. Not a manly thing to do, but I was seven at the time.
Here’s my life in a nutshell: I'm no longer gainfully employed, I’ve got $22.19 in the bank, and on the drive over here, my car made a sound I didn't appreciate. I swear, nobody in the entire universe could have a life that sucks more than mi . . . what the hell? Is that a . . . oh my god, that's a spaceship! And I haven't done drugs since that time in Kindergarten when I accidentally got high on the fumes from rubber cement. Wait . . . am I getting Punk'd?
Maybe I’d better hide behind the cement, just in case this is for real. Think I’ll turn on my recorder, too; I want to have proof when I tell The National Enquirer!
Well, I guess it’s just me, the stench, and the spaceship. Speaking of which, it seems to be stopping. Yes, it’s hovering a few yards above the landfill. Wait a minute. It looks like a door's opening; yeah, and now some sort of a, I guess it's a plank is extending out of the mouth of the craft. Now I'm watching space guys walk the flippin' plank! They sure are weird looking. The one in front, the bluish guy with so many appendages an octopus would be envious, is waddling way out to the tip of the plank. Now he's turning around while the other two, both red in color with single appendages, are hanging back. Is that a weapon the bigger of the two red ones is pointing at Blue Boy? Yeah, yeah, that's what it's got to be. Big Red hands it to Little Red who resumes pointing it at Blue Boy. Now Big Red pulls a scroll out from God knows where.
Okay, I'll be the first to admit I'm no linguist. In fact sometimes I don't even enunciate as well as a washed up boxer, but I swear I understand every last word Big Red is yelling as he reads that scroll. The gist of it is that Blue Boy is hereby exiled to Earth for being, and I quote, "a multi-armed, blue Thingie" and he's never to show his "ugly mug" on their planet again or he risks on-sight extermination. Wow, and I thought we humans had a low tolerance for tolerating tolerance. Now Little Red's doing a shuffle march down the plank, demanding that Blue Boy, "Turn around and face space, Mister!"
Are you kidding me? He ju … Little Red just kicked Blue Boy in the seat of the pants – well, where the seat of the pants would be if he were wearing any. Oh no, Blue Boy's gone airborne! He's spiraling downward where he bounces off a box spring mattress, does a Triple Lindy, and floats to the ground. Big Red proceeds to fold a scroll, stamped Your Copy, into a miniaturized version of our F-16 fighter jet. It's a slow process since he's only got the one arm. Finally, he aims it over the side. Big Red watches intently as it glides in Blue Boy's general direction. It looks like it's going to miss Blue Boy by at least three mattress lengths, but the wind shifts. The scroll veers to the left, hesitates a moment then zooms downward where it not so gently pokes Blue Boy in the eyeball.
"Owww," Blue Boy yells. Several of his hands flap, flap, flap into each other, jockeying to cover the injured eye. The Reds then give off a piercing squeal and attempt what looks like a high five, but these guys couldn't hit a two hundred pound duck on a sunny day. They give up then flip Blue Boy what I can only assume is Earth's equivalent to the bird because it certainly doesn't look like any salute I've ever seen. Then it's shuffle march, march shuffle, and both Big and Little Red are back onboard where one of them reels in the plank and off they go into the wild dark yonder.
Two thoughts occur to me: as far as I know, Blue Boy is the one true resident alien in America; and, it’s apparent that the Reds consider banishment to Earth as some sort of torture.
Gee, and I thought my life reeked.
Bio: April Winters hopes to help people forget their troubles through her stories, even if it’s only for a little while. Her other works can be read at The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Linguistic Erosion, The Short Humour Site, The Story Shack, and here at Short-Story.Me.