Tagged: books

Unicorn

Dear Planet Earth,

“Hey, Exterminator.”

I looked up from my cold rice and beans to see Rachel‘s deceptively angelic face staring back.

“Don’t call me that,” I said.

“Why not? It’s a cool name.” She sat down on the stool across from me. “When I was a kid, I wanted my mom to change my name to ‘Unicorn,’ but she said that was stupid.”

I almost asked that ten year old when she thought she stopped being a kid. I almost asked her where her mother was.

“Look what I got.” Her eyes lit up and she reached inside her shirt. She pulled out a long bullet hanging around a dog tag chain. “It’s one of their bullets. Santiago put the holes in it for me.”

I went back to eating my gruel, tried to avoid looking at the giant projectile.

“Oh, and you can have your book back.” She pulled out the copy of The Time Machine from her messenger bag and slid it toward me. My father used to read it to me every night. “It was kind of boring.”

I laughed, weakly. “Compared with reality, yeah, I guess so.”

She abruptly stood up and saluted me. She had other errands to run, more adults to vex.

“Bye, Exterminator.”

Strength is the outcome of need, my father would read to me. Security sets a premium on feebleness.

The Mole Men Chronicles

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m probably not dead if you don’t see any updates on here for awhile. Our ragtag resistance is finally moving on out, somewhere north if the rumors have any truth to them.

Some people are talking about not going, still clearly upset about the military’s execution of those two homie spies. I’m embracing my neutrality, not convinced either way whether traitors should be killed or locked up. No one’s really qualified to answer that. My new friend Ray or Roy or Brad or Barry said it best today:

“It would be easier if they weren’t just mole men, but something completely alien. Like Martians or something. Those people are just people though. And when you have to fight against an enemy that looks just like you, you might as well be fighting against firemen or librarians.”

It sounded a lot more logical and optimistic when he said it.

Nepotistic Non-Neglect

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m not going to mind getting used to living out of five star hotels for the duration of the invasion. I won’t give any more information about our locations other than that from now on since it’s become disturbingly apparent that the mole people can and have been reading this blog all along.

When I’m not catching up on much needed sleep, taking advantage of this electric razor I scored, and enjoying the oft-neglected luxury of two-ply toilet paper, I’m getting piss drunk with old friends. Today was Dr. Eimer.

He was in the best spirits I’ve ever seen him. We’ve all been, really, since the successful raid and liberation of the slave labor camp. He was fascinated by the mole man manifesto Perry gave me. Eimer read entire passages aloud last night, as giddy as a school girl. A Japanese school girl.

I told him he could borrow the book since I think I already found the important parts I needed. It served as an uncomfortable reminder too, I guess. As my comrades were forced to work to the bone all day, many to the point of death, I was living it up in a shady room with three square meals a day. They’ve all been doing a good job of hiding their contempt, which by all accounts must be there. Hell, it’d be there for me if I was in their shoes.

Whatever the case, Eimer showed his ecstatic appreciation by giving me his bottle of vodka. And that lasted for a fun hour.

Song of Sirens

Dear Planet Earth,

A familiar feeling swept over my deaf, dusty body after Private Karter blew open my cell door with a surprisingly effective hand grenade. I forced myself up and sauntered to my new gaping opportunity of freedom, ignoring the ringing song of sirens playing in my head. A blurry version of Karter grabbed my arm and guided me through the fresh rubble. Some other, logical mirror of myself must have been active, because I somehow remembered to grab my laptop, broken walkie talkie, and the book, A History of the Inheritors.

I regained my senses faster than I would have expected. My vision cleared and I was able to make out dozens of jail cells identical to my own — all lined up like in a mental asylum, all empty. I had no time to interpret what this meant. Even now, I have few logical explanations as to why I was the only one in that underground mole people prison.

When we got to the end of the hallway, I could make out some earthen stairs and my ears had healed to the point that I could hear Karter say, “Eddy? Ah . . . oo . . . ee? Ah . . .” He shook me by the shoulders.

“Are you ready?”

I took deep breaths, flexed my muscles. The light coming from the surface was so sweet it blinded me in a whole new way, yet I managed to retain focus.

“I think so.”

“Trust me,” Karter said with a trademark grin. “You aren’t.”

Homos

Dear Planet Earth,

More noteworthy notes from the intriguing A History of the Inheritors:

“Homo soricomorpha and homo sapien evolved simultaneously and somewhat peacefully — at first. Their numerous shared characteristics are too dominant to ignore. They are nearly identical physically, both bipedal and with two upper appendages infinitely useful for their respective tools.

“However, the humans can easily be discerned by their comparatively colossal height. Though some fully-developed humans do resemble the Inheritors’ short stature, no significant studies have yet found a common link between these supposed ‘dwarves’ and homo soricomorpha. Humans also deviate in that they are virtually hairless. Both sexes grow ample hair on the tops of their heads, and some males do often sprout more on other parts of their bodies, yet they still contrast greatly with the superior Inheritors.

“Those who have had the opportunity to study both of these species up close generally agree that the most striking difference between them lies in the eyes. Humans are notorious for having a wide spectrum of pigments in their eyes due to the constant strain of adapting to both sunlight and natural darkness. This, in addition to their oftentimes darker skin, make them an odd sight next to the familiar whiteness of their evolutionary cousins. Interestingly, there are some cases of humans born with naturally light skin, hair, and eyes who display an extreme aversion to sunlight, though as with the ‘dwarves,’ it is unlikely that they share any ancestry with homo soricomorpha.”

An Excerpt

Dear Planet Earth,

For your perusal, an excerpt from A History of the Inheritors:

“The upworlder year of 1629 was a turning point in the ever-shifting truce between the layers. The humans developed the steam turbine, a technology that had already been in widespread use by the Inheritors for centuries.

“It appeared the upworlders were creating new tools at a more rapid rate than first predicted, and the possibility of true coexistence among all of the planet’s sentients seemed likely at long last. There were serious discussions among The Wise Ones contemplating whether or not upworlders had achieved a level of communal intellect worthy of the Inheritors’ recognition.

“All dreams of such a symbiosis quickly crumbled as humanity entered its so-called ‘Industrial Revolution’ 100 years later. They brazenly ignored the ill-effects of overusing steam and coal power on the upper crust. The environmental damage from their hasty, unnecessary innovations were drastic enough to be observed by even the most naive human, yet their unfiltered greed and arrogance blinded them to the inescapable truth that they were destroying the Earth beyond repair.

“The Inheritors, by contrast, carefully measured the changing states of the crust and mantle, taking great care to maintain the most prime of conditions — and prepared for the day when they could finally liberate the planet from its most dangerous parasites.”

Perry

Dear Planet Earth,

“Perry.”

That’s how he greeted me the last time he came to my cell. He was all smiles as he sauntered in, sat at the table and crossed his legs.

“My name is Perry. I guess you could call me that if ‘Dad’ or ‘Father’ feels too weird. It would feel weird to me.”

I laid on my cot, doing my best to hide the old book he gave me, A History of the Inheritors, behind my head. I didn’t want him to know I was reading it, that I’ve been reading it nonstop since I got it in the vain hope of finding some worthwhile reason to abandon family, friends, and species.

I’m tempted to not write anything. He’s watching. He’s reading this blog right now and there’s nothing I can do to stop him from learning about me besides staring at a blank wall all day.

There’s no use in trying to hide anything now. So, if you are reading this, Perry — and I know you are — screw you. Screw you for walking out on your wife and child. Screw you for kidnapping me multiple times. Screw you for selling out humanity to the mole people.

“Is there something you wanna say, little guy?” he asked me last time. His smile was stone, unperturbed by even my most fiery glares.

“I’d hate to have been you in middle school, Perry Panus.”

He laughed — more than I’d like for him to have laughed. He stood up to go with a painful grunt and said, “Well, I guess things don’t get more real than that.”

Screw you.