The Warning

Today, in celebration of Monday (because no one celebrates Monday, it’s like the red-headed bastard stepchild of the week) I’m going to take a day off from blogging. See how well this is working out for me so far?

Seriously though, what I mean is that I’m not writing anything original today or, at least, not yet. This is a short story I wrote as a mental exercise a few weeks back. What you see here is almost completely unedited, which stands as a testament to my bravery in the face of Internet ridicule for daring to make public a spelling or grammatical error. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, my writing style is pretty stream-of-consciousness, and sometimes it doesn’t make much sense.) I’d be interested to hear your take on my writing, so comments are welcome, if you’re so inclined. Thank you in advance. Anyway, enough rambling from me on my day off. Enjoy the story.

It took him a year and a half of phone calls to finally see Representative Tarleton, and now was his big chance.

“Sir, I’ll be brief, but you have to believe me, the entire world is under threat of imminent attack. I’m one of an advance party of beings from another planet whose mission was to assimilate into Earth culture and society. I came, I did my duty, I reported back what I saw, and then I started having second thoughts. I’ve never seen a civilization so hellbent on destroying itself and yet so full of hope. There are others here like me, who came to do a job and saw what we were doing was wrong, that want to help humans not only overcome their own petty differences but band together to defeat a global threat. Please sir, I have to see the President right away.”

Tarleton was understandably skeptical of his constituent, but continued to humor his guest. “Suppose I buy into this. The President will want proof. What do you have, Mr. Smith?”

Smith hung his head, sighed heavily, then showed Tarleton his proof.

Suddenly before the Congressman stood a mottled gray amphibious looking humanoid with moist, glistening skin. All six arms outstretched to show no hostility was intended. Tarleton shrank back in horror, eyes flitting left and right to find an escape, before realizing that whatever it was that stood before him posed no threat, meant no harm. He nodded twice, and the alien called “Mr. Smith” began to reassume his human shape.

The human head of Mr. Smith asked “Now do you believe me?” before his extra appendages had had a chance to absorb back into his body. Tarleton paused for a brief moment, fascinated at the bizarre image before him, then picked up his office phone.

“Brenda, I need to see the President immediately. Matter of imminent national security. Hurry.”

~ ~ ~

On the way to the White House, Tarleton briefed Smith on protocol. “Let me do the talking. Add what you can when asked to do so, but don’t volunteer. Whatever you do, DO NOT … uh … change into your actual self. The President and the Secret Service would see that as an aggressive action and kill you before you could blink.” He paused. “Could they kill you, Mr. Smith?”

“No sir, not without reloading a few times.”

“All the more reason for you to keep to your human looking self, then. Alright, we’re here.” Tarleton unbuckled himself from the back seat of his limo, then hesitated. “Any last minute information I need to know?”

“I’m just the advance team, so they don’t tell me much about strategy. All I can tell you is that they’re still halfway across the galaxy at this point, but when they arrive, it will redefine shock and awe,” Smith said, earnestly looking into the Congressman’s eyes.

“Can we match them, firepower for firepower?” Tarleton inquired. Smith shook his head slowly.

“Not a chance in hell, sir.”

“Okay, I’m advising the President to get as many people underground as we can. If they can’t find us, they can’t kill us. Let’s go.”

~ ~ ~

Tarleton did his best to sell the President, but it was a losing battle almost immediately. Smith, despite his instructions, had had enough, and he interrupted the two public servants.

“Madame President, Congressman Tarleton is telling the truth. I’m trying to save the human race here. I don’t know how much time is left – could be months, could be years. The point is we need to move NOW or we’re all dead!” Smith’s voice was shrill, piercing, hysterical, and desperate, his arms were flailing uncontrollably. He was panicky, and he didn’t care who knew.

The President was having none of this. She turned to her Secret Service detail and yelled, “Get him the hell out of here! Tarleton, you stay. How DARE you bring someone with that kind of a cockamamie–”

Smith never heard the rest of her sentence. It only took one perfectly placed pistol whip to the soft crown of his alien skull to knock him out before he was cuffed and dragged from the Oval Office.

~ ~ ~

“–cockamamie story into my office? What the hell were you thinking? Jesus, I need a drink. What will you have, Tarleton?” The President, visibly shaken, went to the bar and poured herself a scotch on the rocks.

“Whisky, neat.” He paused, then said submissively, “He was just trying to warn you of the danger, Madame President.”

Behind Madame President’s back, as she poured the Congressman his drink, Tarleton’s hungry gray mouth opened wider than humanly possible to reveal several rows of razor sharp teeth. Outside the White House window, the sky over Washington went dark with incoming dropships.

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