Saturday, May 14, 2005

Short Story: The Bitter Man

Well, here it is. Another short story and this one goes back a long way. (I know, I know - where is the newer stuff. - Coming soon - works for the movie industry) In fact, it was the first real short story I ever wrote during my first year of University (Okay, so it wasn’t a University - it was a Polytechnical Institute - bite me. But wouldn’t you expect me to have come from an Institute and not a University anyway?) Anyhow, this is a crude story - rife with violence, conflict, gunplay, drugs (prescription), death (on a very large scale) Oh, and it features a small green alien too.


The Bitter Man
by Paul Darcy

A gun fired, a dog yelped, and a curse was heard for miles around. "God damned critter comes near my place again and I’ll do more than just shoot its tail off!"

The hunched old man turned with the agility of a slug and managed to climb the stairs to his decrepit shack without falling. He stared bitterly at the steaming pile on his steps and vowed to God he would blast that hairy turd machine into a ball of mangled flesh next time.

Arriving at the door to his abode, he realized, to his senile dismay, that he had forgotten the key inside. Well, if that didn’t beat the fuzz out of a fat man’s belly button. He was just about to take his medicine for paranoia when that four-legged crap factory decided to set up a business on his frost step. Now he was in a fix and became even angrier.

The old man couldn’t afford to break into his house because all of his old age pension was spent on window and door locks, shotgun shells, digestible cookies, and paranoia medicine, leaving him nothing to fix the door with once it was broken. He was furious and nothing but a good curse could ease his bitterness now.

The sound that exploded from his lungs was enough to dislodge several leaves from their resting places in the surrounding trees. It also triggered a nearby skunk to spray in the direction of the sound and cause a sickly stench to mingle with the already existing reek of a certain steaming pile.

The old man had no choice now but to walk the two miles into town and try to get his drugs before it got dark. The walk shouldn’t be too bad if it didn’t rain.

The rain stung the old man’s eyes as he plodded along down the dirt road, mumbling to himself in a harsh, snippy dialect. About ten minutes into the walk he came upon an unfamiliar sight. There was a large round object blocking the road, resembling a mushroom without the stem.

"What in the flaming hell is this!"

At these words a door appeared in the side of the object and a bright light shone through its interior mist. The old man noticed a strange odor and felt a lump in the back of his pants. Now he remembered another thing he was about to do before the dog interrupted.

"This is just great. All I need now is a little green man to materialize from inside this thing and I’ll be all set!"

As if on cue, a small green man emerged from the craft.

"Greeting earth creature," said the green alien.

"What! You have got to be a God damned joke! I can’t believe this. Are you one of the Jones boys? You kids are always getting into trouble."

"You are quite harsh for a bipedal, underdeveloped, unintelligent lower life of the most insignificant kind. If you had the ability to realize just how useless you are, you would disappear in a flash. Put down that lead propulsion device and clean yourself up before I vaporize your worthless form." The old man didn’t move. "Very well then, I shall do it myself." The little green alien snapped what seemed to be a finger and suddenly the old man’s pants were free of unwanted substances and his gun was gone.

The old man was really pissed now.

"Look you little green son of a ... whatever you are. I am fed up with being tormented by dogs, cats, people, and even certain smells. What I don’t need is to be harassed by an undersized dwarf in a frog costume who pops out of a silver metal ball in the rain. I am —" Before he could finish, if he ever intended to, the little green alien snapped another of his limbs and the old man was instantly tied to a tree upside down with a dog biscuit lodged firmly in his mouth.

The little green alien studied the inverted human with despair. This was his fourth attempt to make contact and yet another disappointment. The first was a lady on a dark street. She started quoting prices and asked if he liked whips. The next was a young boy who wanted to know if he could have a laser gun to blast his sister with. The third was another boy named Phillip Jones who yelled the word Kermit at him and threw rocks. Now this. It looked as though he was getting nowhere. The alien, depressed and vexed, decided to talk to the old man once more.

"I can cure you, you know. I can make you young again, give you satisfaction, another head. But what would that do? You are hopeless, this entire race is hopeless!" With that the alien snapped a limb again and the old man was back on the road in the rain, alone.

"God damn! One hour without my medicine and I lose my mind." The taste of liver dog biscuit heavy in his mouth.

The old man stumbled further down the road and grew more paranoid with every step. Two alders and several tweetie birds lost their lives in heavy gunfire before the old man’s shells ran out. Without his gun for protection, a with pounding rain now blocking his vision from possible attack, he dropped face down into the mud and lay perfectly still. He was extremely bitter. He would have given up in peace had it not been for a green appendage lifting his head up, and two bulbous protrusions peering into his eyes.

"I have decided to come back. You may be a vulgar, insignificant and typical example of this species, but you show more signs of promise than the others." A small round hole undulated from beneath the green alien’s two bulbous eyes as he spoke.

"God damn, can’t I just lie here and cease to exist? Why am I so pestered? All I ever wanted was a wife, a few kids, maybe a dog. No, not a dog, but at least one kid. No woman ever wanted me though, and my life ..."

"Oh stop your sniveling you worthless excuse for congealed matter. The only reason I came back was to bring you with me on a little trip. You see, as useless and weak as your race is, they possess a certain ability to resist cold on the order of thirty below zero centigrade. If you perform a simple task for me I shall grant your pathetic self a meaning. It’s not every day that you deal with a being as powerful as I, so if that revolting grey matter in your skull is arranged in such a manner as to give you adequate sense, you will do this with no squabbling!"

The little alien snapped a limb and the old man found himself inside the ship, floating in a pool of mist. The alien was there also, suspended next to a golden orb which he was tracing with a finger.

"Okay, this really is it, isn’t it? I’ve finally kicked off and you are death, right? I expected a scythe and cloak, but who am I to argue. Hell is, no doubt, the next stop. I would have preferred non-smoking, but I presume this is a booked flight. Do you serve ..."

A snap sounded and the old man fell silent. The little green alien rotated one bulbous eye to observe his handiwork. Yes, he thought, this race looks much better without a mouth.

The flight lasted all of three minutes, time enough of the old man to reach new heights of bitterness.

"Don’t try to resist. Why is it your race has an incessant need to do things which are impossible to them? Anyway, we are here, and I believe we were discussing a deal."

A green limb snapped and the old man’s mouth returned, which was most fortunate because the mist in the ship was plugging up his nose, also he had been thinking up a lot of nasty things to say.

"You green blob, what gives you the right? I won’t do anything for you!"

"Well, don’t do it for me, do it for your feeble race, or yourself. You see, my power si near limitless, except for cold, and I will grant you any wish."

"God damn! You are serious, aren’t you, and I’m not dreaming. Any wish you say?" The old man’s thought all kinds of selfish thoughts.

"Quite right. All you need do is retrieve a dark blue crystal from a cave. Should be a simple task, which is all I can expect from your kind anyhow. Enjoy the trip." One snap and the alien was alone in his mist.

The old man just sort of appeared, like a pimple on a forehead overnight, in a crystal cave of smooth floor and jagged walls as well as roof. Several blue crystals lay about and the air was frigid, just like his mood. The old man checked over his shoulder many times too for signs of aggression, by anything. He walked over to a blue crystal, bent over and picked it up, simple.

He disappeared then, just like that same pimple when squeezed, and was once again in the mist facing the little green alien.

"Thank you, insignificant one." A snap sounded and the crystal was in the alien’s grasp.

"What about our deal, oh powerful green thing." The old man’s words dripped sarcasm which soiled the ship’s floor.

"You need only ask." was the alien’s indifferent reply.

The old man thought a moment. "Please, I don’t want to be paranoid any more, also I would ..." The alien’s upheld limb stopped him in mid list.

"That is simple." The snapping sounds of his limbs were like popcorn and very soon the old man felt very much better although he didn’t know why.

"Hey great, I feel wonderful, what did you do?" The old man was quite pleased with his success.

"I took away all the reasons for your sniveling race to be paranoid about."

And sure enough, back on earth, miraculous things had happened. Wars ceased and hostilities left people’s minds, a world government appeared which helped all who needed it, religion vanished and gave men no reason to curse and kill, air pollution turned to fresh new oxygen, horrid toxins turned to water, all lying stopped, and all the species of animals killed by man’s ignorance and stupidity thrived again. There truly was peace everywhere and honest relations existed between each and every human alive. The ecological system was in complete harmony and all aggressive weapons vanished. A task which had barely tapped the alien’s powers.

Before the old man could thank the alien a snap sounded again and he found himself back in his home, a good feeling inside of him. He even threw the dog a bone. Why had he been so bitter before? He couldn’t even remember.

The little green alien orbited the earth in his ship and was hard at work installing the blue crystal into a cylindrical device. When he was done, he loaded it into a slot in the wall and snapped a limb. The cylinder jettisoned and headed towards the earth. A few seconds later there was a blinding flash, a gargantuan explosion, and billions of particles of debris spinning off in all directions. The earth was no more.

"D-crew to D-crew central, operation disinfect has been completed in section 91-A." His work done, the alien headed for home and thought to himself how fun it was to toy with the unclean organisms before he exterminated them for the betterment of the universe.

The End

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