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Bar Fly

by Paul E. Gibson

 

You talkin' about UFOs? Man, you have no idea.

You're not from around here, right? Probably passin' through, on your way to the City? Well, you ended up in the right place. And the right time. And you're talkin' to the right guy. Just a coupla nights ago it happened, and I'm the only one who saw it. Did you see the paper today? "Unexplained Lights Planet, Says Astronomer." My ass. This guy figures we don't see Mars in the sky every night for a month and then the entire city suddenly finds it on the same night? Okay.

Buy me a drink and I'll tell you about it, sure. You some kind of reporter? Yeah, well, who isn't interested in this kind of thing. And you found the right guy. Wednesday I was driving out in the country 'cuz I, well, let's just say I had some stuff in my truck I needed to get rid of ... Yeah. I guess you could say that. Anyway, I see the light, same as everyone else, but it's super-close, like somebody turning one of those big searchlights, like they use when a new business is opening downtown, you know those mondo air-raid things? Yeah, the light is like that, right in your face. I end up driving off the road 'cuz I can't see where I'm going. Coulda flipped the truck with all of that garbage in the back. Ahh, my beer.

Evidence? You want to see evidence? Sittin' out in that field just a few miles away is enough evidence to win you one of those Nobel Peace Prizes for Journalism, man.

Sure, I'll show you. You bet. My truck's out front. Naw, don't worry, the cops around here are imbeciles. Besides, I dumped that stuff last night.

Man, that Emma's one hot number, huh? She wears that stuff just to get to me. No, we never really dated, but we've spent some time together.

Here it is. Not much to look at, but it gets the job done. Uh, you'll have to get in from my side. That door doesn't work too great.

You don't have a smoke, do ya? Well, thanks anyway. Don't worry, it always takes a few tries to start. Come on, baby. There. Sounds sweet, eh? Well, it's just a little cold. She'll warm up.

Yeah, so like I was saying, I'm drivin' out here Wednesday, and boom, this light is in my face. I swerve all over the road, end up in a ditch. Then the light fades a bit and I see this thing. Looks kinda saucer-like, like they always say, smooth silver or steel, but with black legs. Landing gear, I guess. The light is coming from the middle of it, the disc. And it's rotating, just the middle part, and where it would join the body this intense light is comin' out. Just white, though, not like Close Encounters. And no music. No real sound at all. Course my motor's still runnin', so maybe I don't hear whatever sound this thing is making.

Well, the legs are all black and non-reflective, like burnt wood. And after the light dies down and it stops rotating -- it never actually stops rotating, it just slows way down. So now I can see the top of this thing. And dude, it looks like some goddamn jet boat. It's got this chrome engine with dual exhaust. Absolutely bitchin'. No, no smoke or anything comin' out of it. No, no belts are exposed. You'd have to cover 'em, right? I mean with the cold in space and everything.

Then I hear a noise like a fan with a bad bearing, wobbling. Hey, can you reach behind the seat there, I got some Coors in a chest. Don't worry, man, this is the County. No cops out here, just Sheriffs. And my old man is a Detective. He's my stepfather, actually. Thanks.

So I look and the UFO has lowered like a gangplank, or maybe an escalator, but it's on the far side of the ship, so I can only see the back of it, but it's made of the same graphite stuff as the legs holding the ship up. No way am I going to get out of the truck. They haven't noticed me yet, I figure. And I can just see someone on the ground, away from the gangplank. Walking. I turn off the engine.

I don't really know how to describe him. At first I think he has a great big head, then I figure it's some kind of spacesuit. On account of they aren't from here, so they probably don't breathe our air. He looks like an astronaut, but with real stubby legs. And there's something comin' out of the back of the suit, like a tail, but maybe it's an antenna or something. Kind of like a short hose. No, it doesn't reach the ground, not quite. Its arms are real long and it kind of moves like a monkey, but slow. I can't see real good.

So this guy walks away from the ship and away from me until I can't see him any more. Then I just check out the UFO, looking for some movement or some markings, anything. Nothing else happens though, and after fifteen minutes or maybe less I get a little bored and I really gotta piss, to tell you the truth. But I don't want anybody on the ship to notice me, so I gotta get out the other side of the pickup, away from the UFO. But the door doesn't work, right? So I crawl out the window, only my belt buckle gets caught in the door, where the window goes in. I'm stuck half in and half out of my truck and I hear this shrieking suddenly from the direction of the UFO. But my head is out the window and all I can see is the ground. It takes me like five minutes to get the buckle unhooked and the whole time this godawful noise is going on. And I'm about to go out of my mind. I ain't too proud to tell you that I peed my pants right there, hanging upside down with my ass facing this alien ship.

Finally I detach myself and hit the ground. I crawl under my truck so I can get a look. From down there it's kind of hard for me to see what's going on, but the shrieking has all but stopped. Something is going on on top of the ship. I can see movement but not much else. After a couple of minutes it's all quiet, and I'm just about working up the cojones to climb out and take a look, when light starts from the disc part again. And now I can see that half of a cow is sticking out of the engine thing. Yeah, I said a cow. Half of one. The front half. It is slowly turning and disappearing into the engine. Like a fuckin' Cuisinart. The cow is slowly being ground up by this thing. You really can't see any blood, but you can see the cow jerking as the blades in that thing hit bone over and over again.

No, I don't think so. I mean I can't see any winch or anything. Somehow they lifted that cow up there, but I didn't see it happen.

I've had enough of this, you know. I'm hoping in all the confusion I can make a run for it. Okay, maybe I panic. Either way, I crawl out and this time I use the driver's door. I'm cranking on the ignition and then I hear a voice. Never been that scared before in my life.

"Do not attempt to leave," it says. Voice is in English, like a radio announcer, but definitely a voice, not some kinda ESP-voodoo. "We can prevent your vehicle from functioning." Like my truck needs any help.

Yeah, it's right around here. Let's get out and I'll show you. It's just a little ways up. So the voice says: "Unfortunately, we need to replenish our supplies." And, you know, in the worst way I don't want to be their supplies. I don't feature myself goin' through the grinder, you know.

Yeah. There it is. Pretty bitchin', huh? Did I lie? No, it hasn't moved since Wednesday night. Go ahead.

Don't struggle, man. It doesn't help. Sorry, but they need to replenish their supplies, you know.

And anyway, you said you were interested in seeing a UFO.*

 

 

Story copyright © 1998 Paul E. Gibson <ethics@jps.net>

Artwork "Oofo" copyright © 1998 by Eric Seaholm <seaholm@io.com>


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