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The Abduction Chronicles

Finishing Touches

by Charles C. Cole

The Abduction Chronicles: synopsis

People who have been abducted by space aliens try to come to terms with their situation and with each other.

Nencheck: Micky, is it? I apologize for making you wait. I’m Dr. Nenchek. I understand you believe you’ve been subjected to an alien abduction.

Micky: No believing about it. I’ve got the night terrors and insomnia to prove it.

Nencheck: To be frank, Micky, I’m a little inexperienced with cases of this nature. I imagine we can try hypnotism to help fill in the details, but I must say—

Micky: That’s it! I want to know everything! I want to relive every moment.

Nencheck: I can’t see why, to be honest. The more of your true “waking life” you’ve experienced since the event, the greater your emotional distance. I’m sure, given time, your “dream state” will feel more like a low-budget sci-fi movie. Why squander your time chasing phantoms?

Micky: You know how people have a bucket list of things to do before they die, like jumping out of planes or dog-sledding in Alaska? I want the satisfaction of knocking the ever-loving plasma out of my gray-faced invaders. I want payback.

Nencheck: I’m not following.

Micky: Take this alien abduction business. I remember some stuff I shouldn’t, but I do. They assaulted me, plain and simple, maybe for greater scientific purpose. I don’t know. They didn’t ask, they didn’t apologize, and they weren’t nice about it.

Nencheck: Your emotions sound very genuine.

Micky: They’re all I have. They’re my little souvenirs from my trip in outer space, and I’m going to hold onto them for as long as I can.

Nencheck: I can see that.

Micky: Memory’s a muscle, right? Don’t get me wrong: I’m a peace-loving, live-and-let-be kind of guy. But they’re asking for it.

Nencheck: You sound determined.

Micky: I want to remember it like it happened five minutes ago. You can do that, right?

Nencheck: If I understand, you wish to immerse yourself back into the “event.”

Micky: That’s it! Because I’m thinking I wasn’t supposed to remember. That’s like “Alien Abduction 101.” And if they messed that up, maybe they were shoving things in me when they thought they were taking stuff out. Maybe they’ll accidentally turn me into an alien hybrid. I can’t stop them, but I can make them pay.

Nencheck: Micky, we’ll do all we can to prevent your turning into an alien hybrid, but I doubt this is the way to get peace of mind. I’m not saying I can’t help, but I don’t want to inflame your anxiety by stoking the fires of your paranoia.

Micky: Then I’ve got to go, because I’m way beyond duck-and-cover.

Nencheck: Just a minute. I concede I’m not the best for this job, but my partner, Jolene Harris, might be. If anyone can make this situation more tolerable, she can. (Exits.)

(After a pause, JOLENE HARRIS speaks.)

Harris: Micky, is it? I apologize for—

Micky: Stop. You guys need a new script: that one didn’t work the first time.

Harris: Force of habit. If it’s any consolation, I left my notebook in my office.

Micky: Does that mean we’re off the record?

Harris: Is what you want it to mean?

Micky: (Mumbles.) Did Nenchek explain my circumstances?

Harris: It’s your experience; I’d rather hear it from you.

Micky: Without judgment?

Harris: I think I left it in my other jacket. (Chuckles.) Shall we begin?

Micky: Lately, I’ve started having these waking dreams, something somebody says or does triggers flashbacks of nightmares I didn’t know I had.

Harris: Are they memories of dreams or of real events, in your opinion?

Micky: That’s hard because I don’t remember living them as they happened, only later.

Harris: And you’d say they fit the traditional abduction mold: bright lights, lying on an examination table, unable to move?

Micky: You saying I saw this in a movie and, somehow, I’ve transferred the experience to me?

Harris: Did you?

Micky: This is where I answer my own question?

Harris: There’s nobody more qualified.

Micky: I’m the doctor and the patient?

Harris: Ironic, isn’t it? You tell me, is there another likely scenario?

Micky: Other than my running away with somebody else’s story and sticking myself in the middle of it?

Harris: What about a nightmare so vivid it’s like you’re living it?

Micky: I don’t buy it. It repeats itself. Nightmares don’t do that, not for me.

Harris: The same nightmare with the same aliens doing the same procedures? They don’t sound very good at their job.

Micky: I guess they’re pretty useless.

Harris: Or maybe it only happened once.

Micky: But it’s like it just happened. (Sniffs hands.) I can still smell the chemical they used on me. I really can!

Harris: I’m sorry?

Micky: What’s behind that door?

Harris: The lobby. Remember Alice, the little old lady with blue hair?

Micky: There’s no Alice.

Harris: I’m certain if you peek, you’ll see for yourself.

Micky: There’s no lobby.

Harris: No lobby?

Micky: I know where I am! That’s why the nightmare seemed like it just happened! I’m still there!

(Nencheck returns.)

Nencheck: Problem?

Harris: I was just telling Micky he’s very brave... for a human.

Micky: I’m out of here. You can’t stop me. (MICKY exits, screams.)

Nencheck: Why do we bother?

Harris: How do we make our human simulacra respond believably to petty disappointments like missing a traffic light or losing socks in the laundry? Humans seem to react more to how their last meal agreed with them than they do to real crises. We’ve got the flesh-and-bone recipe down pat. Now we need to add the finishing touches.

Intercom: Dr. Nenchek.

Nencheck: Yes?

Intercom: Sorry to interrupt, but your last patient... he electrocuted himself.

Nencheck: Everyone okay?

Intercom: We’re fine. But do we return him that way: dead?

Nencheck: Just clean him up. They’ll assume he died in his sleep. Lucky for us, there’s plenty more where that came from, “stoking the fires of paranoia.”

Copyright © 2012 by Charles C. Cole

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