Friday, August 17, 2007

THE END OF "THE *********"

This is the third and final installment of the Author's unsold science fiction story "The *********".

Dean had hoped to sleep in the next morning, but a knock on the back door awoke him about 7:30 am. He threw on some pants, slipped on his boots, and went to the back door. He opened it.

There was the alien.

The alien had a small device in his hand. He looked at Dean, then looked at the device, shook the device, and said, “Hale morning, is this the big dumb object.”

He shook the device again, then smacked it with his other hand.

“No, that’s not right. Where is the M********?”

The alien’s voice sounded strange, but he was speaking English.

“You mean the M********? Isn’t that what you called it?”

“Yes. I am here and must retrieve it or destroy it. My readings show that it has been moved but is proximate to here,” said the alien.

“Well, we got it. But just hold on. My partner and me figure the M******** has got to be real valuable. We figure it is kind of some religious shrine, for you to appear like you did and leave it off ahead of them guys chasing you. And the way it affected the deer and the cows. And now the hogs.”

“There,” said the alien, “I have found the dialect.”

The alien’s speech sounded more normal.

“I was having trouble finding the appropriate English dialect for this time and place. I’m no alien. I’m a college student and I’m from the year 2575. And I’ve got to bring back the Ma*******. If I don’t I’ll be suspended from school and arrested for breaking the Retro Hopping laws.”

Dean was still struggling with what the guy was saying.

“You say you are from the future and you are breaking some laws?”

“Yeah. People travel back in time all the time. But you have to file a plan with the Retro commission. It’s Homecoming week at Kentucky State and I swiped the Mac***** from the Tri-Delts party. They were chasing me, and like some dickweed, I hit a random Retro Hop to stash the MacG****.’

“The Retro Hop setting took me back to here, a couple of days ago. That is when you saw me out in the woodland. It was stupid, I know it. But I must get it back or destroy it. And if I destroy it, it might do some damage to whatever is adjacent to it. So it is best for all if I take it back.”

“Damn, we got news people coming out to look at the McG*****. And my friend Cal thinks it is a religious shrine, or something. All this is just too much. Well . . , come on, it’s back in the shed.”

Dean, and the college student that he just one-minute ago thought was an alien, walked back to the shed. He opened the door.

“You being from the future and all, what is so damn important about this that you came back in time and dropped this thing off and then come back again for it? You can at least tell me what it is? And why did it start flashing like that? We was worried it might blow up or something, flashin’ like it was”

The college student pressed a couple of buttons on his device. The MacGu**** wavered and then turned into a box. It was white with a lid on it.

“That flashing didn’t mean anything,” said the college student.

“Here, check it out. They’re ham sandwiches in there.”

The college student opened the lid and the box was full of sandwiches.

Dean took a couple of steps back and rubbed his face with his hands.

“Damn it all. All this fuss over some damn samwiches. The way this was affecting the deer and the cows and hogs. Man, future or no future, samwiches can’t make deer sit down in the woods.”

“Meat out of phase can have that affect when sent Retro. Meat doesn’t come from animals anymore. The meat in the ham sandwiches is grown from genetically engineered cells. The cells have bovine, buffalo, deer, seal, porcine, who knows what kind of DNA is in it…’

“It was out of temporal phase when I hid it here. I didn’t have time to phase it in. It is kind of complicated, but meat and some types of animal materials from the future can have this affect on Retro animals when they are out of phase. It has a lot to do with untoward quantum effects upon the metagenic fields. Like that.”

“I’ll never remember all that. And what am I gonna tell Cal about the MacGuf***. And them news reporters,” Dean bemoaned.

“You can tell them anything you want. We used to be worried about people from the future telling prior generations about things during Retro Hops. But it is just like UFO reports. Nobody will believe you, especially when you tell them that the MacGuff** was just a box of ham sandwiches from the future…’

“It’s funny”, the college student continued, “people would believe such fantastic things about a McGuffi*, even get others to believe these fantastic things. But tell them the truth and they will just laugh you out of the room. Hey, ‘Laugh you out of the room.’ That is a pretty cool piece of dialect. I may have to start using it.”

“Well, there goes our big find,” Dean said, “We figured we could sell the story for a book or a movie. Maybe even a miniseries. Now we know what the story’s about and nobody will even believe us.”

The college student nodded.

“Where’d you say you go to college?”

“Kentucky State. Listen, I’d like to stay and chat with you, but I have an 8:30 Etymology class. And no hard feelings, me retrieving this. I have to do it.”

“No, it was yours, or them other fellers’, to begin with. But what am I gonna tell Cal. He was so damn sure that it was something real important. Maybe even a religious shrine.”

“Tell him whatever you want. But judging from the way you describe him, he won’t believe that the MacGuffin was just a box of ham sandwiches.”

The college student picked up the box and walked out of the shed. He pressed a couple of buttons on his device, smacked it with the palm of his other hand, and disappeared. Disappeared, MacGuffin and all.