Bewildering Stories

The Gate

Chris Spoone

A little bird was singing a song when Melinda came to the tree. It said, "Good morning, can you feel the sunshine?"

Melinda wasn't sure if the bird was really a bird.

"Are you a bird?" she says.

"No, merely a figment of your imagination."

She understood. She stands up and walks back down the hill, where the alien spaceship is waiting.

"So is it a bird?" the blue alien says. He scratches his chin, thinking.

"No, merely a figment of my imagination."

"But if it is," the alien said, "how can I see it too?"

He thinks, What am I doing here? I must return home so I can finish my work. I am wasting time here. I must leave. Now. Do something.

He didn't know what to do.

Melinda looked up at his face.

"Who are you?" she says.

"Me?"

"Yes. Are you a bird?"

"No."

"Then you must be a figment of my imagination. You don't exist."

And just like that, he didn't.

Melinda turned away and walked back up the hill to where the little bird was singing a song.

"I like your song," she says. "It makes me feel happy."

"Really?" the bird says. "I don't exist. Nor do you."



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Copyright 2002 by Chris Spoone and Bewildering Stories.