This Abduction’s Bed – Flash Fiction Challenge
Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction Challenge? Check.
Today I used this link to generate the following scenario:
The story starts when your protagonist wakes up in the wrong bed.
Another character is a pilot who is hiding a body.
The result is me using all I’ve ever learnt about Spanish from the TV in a story called…
This Abduction’s Bed
I get abducted by aliens.
Most people laugh when I tell them that.
It happens three or four times per year. I’m taken from my bed, beamed up or whatever to the mothership, possibly probed, and then returned to the Earth. The problem is, aliens—my abductors, at least—aren’t particularly choosey about where they return me to. First time it happened I woke up in France. I don’t speak French, and I hate snails, so that was a challenge for me. Second time it was Australia, and then Japan, and then Uzbekistan; if you’ve heard of it, you’re already doing better than me. I didn’t know the damn place even existed, until I woke up there.
Have you ever been to Guatemala? I hadn’t either, before today, when I woke up in a goddamn temple, of all things. I kid you not. Opened my peepers and found myself lying on some bloody stone slab in what looked like an Indiana Jones set. I suppose I’m lucky there weren’t any snakes around… or tourists. I hate tourists. Didn’t used to, but that’s what happens when you’re forced to become the world’s (probably) first unwilling tourist.
Guatemala’s nice. I’ve managed to find myself a little village, about three hours’ hike through the jungle. Hot, sweaty, trees, birds, you get the idea. Don’t know why, but ever since the little grey and/or green men started taking me, I’ve developed homing-pigeon-like senses. All I have to do is think of a place, and I know the direction it lies in. Even if I don’t know the name of the place, or anything more about it except “the nearest village that has indoor plumbing.”
Sometimes I wonder if the aliens are downloading information into my head. Maybe I’m their human puppet, dancing on their radio-strings. I really have no memory about what happens once the white light engulfs me, so it’s entirely possible they’ve installed a computer in my brain. Or at the very least, an amazingly clever Satnav.
So I’m sitting just outside this little village, underneath a sort of palm-leaf parasol, sipping what probably passes for a mojito. The locals don’t speak much English (they do, however, understand wild-gesticulation for ‘please give me a mojito’) but I just asked the local barman if guacamole is made in Guatemala and he looked at me as if I was nuts. Though maybe that’s something to do with the fact that I’m still wearing the fluffy bunny jammies I got abducted in last night. Not my fault. I’m sure he would wear fluffy bunny PJs if he had to endure Canadian winters.
As I’ve been sitting here, a little biplane has just pulled up on what they laughably call an air-strip. This is my ride out of here, and not a moment too soon. This mojito tastes suspiciously like snail. Maybe it’s French.
The pilot jumps out of the plane, a tanned guy wearing a straw hat and a pair of shorts with a mango motif on them. This does not instil me with confidence. I like my pilots to wear suits, or at the very least, proper shoes instead of piecemeal leather sandals. But beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose, so I approach him with my best disarming smile.
“You my pick-up, yes?” he asks, in broken English.
“That’s right. Just take me to anywhere with an international airport, and I’ll pay you handsomely.”
“Si, Si. Refuel first, otherwise we go nowhere. Si?”
“Si,” I sigh, wiping the sweat from my brow and wishing my jammies weren’t so stifling. I speak fluent Spanish, now. And French. Even know a few words of Chinese. You pick up these things, when aliens play Russian Roulette with your life.
Curious about the state of the plane, I peer into it, and notice a sole inhabitant within. The guy’s obviously a tourist, white-grey skin, huge black sunglasses perched on his nose, massive straw hat on his head. And, weirdly, he’s opting to stay in the plane whilst the pilot refuels, instead of coming out to sample the local snail-juice. God, he must be baking in there; it’s into the nineties here, and that’s in the shade. Airtight metal fuselage like that is enough to cook meat, in this weather.
Wait a moment. White-grey isn’t the normal colour for human skin.
“Hey, I think this guy’s dead,” I call to the pilot.
“No, no ha muerto. Is alive,” the pilot returns as he hauls a large canister out from behind the bar and over to the plane.
“Loco,” I hear the barman say to the pilot, making the universal sign for ‘crazy’ beside his head.
There’s definitely a strange whiff coming from inside the plane, I can smell it even from here. But I shrug, and wait for my pilot. What do I know? I’m just a tourist.