My writing hiatus has taken its toll on my creative side so today I thought I’d use not just today’s blog challenge for Day 19 but also a writing prompt from a random plot generator. Day 19 is to describe an alien invasion in 500 words or less (although due to combining two things I might use more). The random plot generator came up with some main idea about my protagonist and then this: “Another character is a fortune teller who wants your protagonist to hide him/her.” So I thought I’d combine the two today and see what I could come up with.
…it was a dark and stormy night… no, you know what I think that is overused so let me start again…
Jim awoke to the sound of screaming in the streets just outside his small practically cubicle sized apartment. Half asleep he stumbled out of bed to peer through the dusty white blinds to see if he could determine what had caused the commotion.
“Probably just another alien invasion,” he thought without much concern, “Oh well, back to bed then. If they want me I’m sure they’ll find me. No point in losing sleep over it.”
Disregarding the screaming and panicked people running up and down the street, Jim returned to bed only to be jolted awake a few seconds later by a loud knocking at his door. He waited for a few minutes for it to stop figuring it might be the neighbors trying to ‘warn him.’ Glancing toward the blinds he saw the flashes of lasers blinking occasionally. Explosions followed the flashes.
“Yep, definitely aliens,” he mused as he turned over in bed and ignored the first set of knocks at his door. Then the knocking started again.
Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock,knock,knock.
“Damn it! Cut it out would ya?” he screamed at whoever the relentless knocker was, “I’m coming, I’m coming. Stop banging down my door.”
Opening the door, Jim was surprised to find a man he’d never seen before. Who was this person? Was he lost? Why was he knocking on this door? Surely this guy was wonko. He was wearing a turban on his head and carrying a crystal ball in one hand and a stack of tarot cards in the other.
“Can I help you?” Jim asked with annoyance. This guy was disturbing his much needed nap.
“You have to help me. You have to hide me. The aliens… you know there are aliens invading again…,” the strange man studied Jim’s obvious lack of concern, “aliens? Invading?… whatever, anyway, they’re after me. I need your help to hide from them. I’ve been told you’re the only person who can help me. People say… that you know things, that you can do things.”
“People say a lot of things,” he responded with even more annoyance, “Look, I think you must be lost. You must have the wrong apartment. I don’t help people. And yes, I know there are aliens invading… again. I think they have a thing for this planet.” Running a hand through his floppy brown hair and casting a sideways glance to make sure no one was in the hallway watching or waiting to attack him, he moved to close the door on this stranger. A blast shook the building as something exploded nearby and he had to brace himself against the door frame.
The man seized the opportunity and wedged his way between Jim and the door to make it inside the small apartment but fell as the building shook a second time from yet another explosion. Landing on his knees against the hard wooden floor his crystal ball dropped and shattered. Glass and water sprayed across the wooden planks.
“Oh great,” the man sighed, “now how am I supposed to see the future?”
“So you’re a fortune teller?” Jim asked as he closed the door behind him and helped the man to his feet. So much for getting back to sleep. It looked like he had been tasked out with helping yet another needy oddball.
“Yes. That is why the aliens want me because I can tell them their future. I can help them win this time because I can see how our people will defend themselves. They believe if they can see the future that they can change it.”
“So… you’re saying these highly advanced beings, who as we’ve seen in their prior invasions have the power to destroy entire civilizations, wipe out entire cities and generally wreak havoc on our planet by introducing new diseases along with their superior weaponry… that they need you… to read their palms? Tell them what lies ahead? Give them an accurate and honest account of what is to come? They trust you, a human obviously affected by the residual radiation left after their last attack, to tell them the truth?
“Well now that you put it that way it does sound a little silly but yes, that is what I saw in my vision.”
“I don’t think you were having a ‘vision’ of the future. I think you’re having delusions of grandeur.”
“Well I can tell you that you’re about to cut your foot on a piece of glass.”
Jim heard the end of the sentence as his bare foot crushed down on an upturned shard. Blood seeped out onto the water covered floor. Reaching down to pluck the shard from his flesh he glared at the small man and the pack of tarot cards he still clutched tightly in his other hand.
“Yes well it doesn’t take a fortune teller to ‘foresee’ that I was going to step on a piece of glass. My floor is covered in it. Pull yourself together and grab a towel there,” he pointed to the shelf beside the door, “I hope you saw that you were going to help me clean up this mess.”
Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock…
“That’s them, they’ve come for me. They know I’m here. You have to help me. You have to hide me!”
“Well they’re certainly being very polite today, knocking and everything before they just burst through the door and kill us both.”
Smiling at his own snarkiness, Jim wasn’t sure it was the aliens knocking at his door. They had never knocked before, usually they just barged right in. Maybe they had learned some manners. Or maybe they were afraid to piss him off again.