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Space Girl Blues

by Bruce Pavalon

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Chapter 9: Guess I’m Doing Fine

Cuddled tightly together, Anini and Aaron slept in the igloo. Sunlight shone through a ventilation hole onto Anini’s face, and her eyes slowly opened. “Oh no!” she said as she quickly sat up, pulling away from Aaron. She looked at her watch and screamed, “It’s seven-thirty in the morning!”

Aaron woke up. “Seven-thirty in the morning! We missed work!”

Anini grabbed her umbrella, looked at the handle and turned on the switch. “I forgot to turn my umbrella back on after the craftster fair. They found me.”

Anini stood up. Her eyes fearfully widened. She pointed at an equilateral triangle connecting a circle to a spiral to a circumscribed pentagram etched into the wall of ice.

Aaron gazed at the strange triangle and touched it. “Where did this come from?”

“They’ve been here.” Anini grabbed Aaron’s arm. “We’ve gotta get out of here.”

They quickly gathered their stuff and left the igloo. They ran down the hill and to Tina’s Honda. Aaron drove as fast as possible toward Saint Paul. He tried to remember what had happened after Anini cuddled up to him, but he couldn’t recall a thing. He didn’t even remember falling asleep. Last thing he remembered was looking at the Big Bear through the ventilation hole. Then his mind went blank.

“What happened?” Aaron asked Anini. “Why can’t I remember anything?”

“What do you think happened?” responded Anini.

“We were abducted by aliens?”

“What else could’ve happened to us?”

“I don’t know.”

“You’re missing time, right?”

“Yeah. I think.”

“Then there’s only one explanation.”

“Yeah, but...”

“But what? Didn’t you believe what I told you last night?”

“Of course.” Aaron actually didn’t know what he believed anymore, so he left it at that. They got to Schroeters’ in less than twenty minutes and had the bakery open a little after eight. They were focused on opening the bakery and did very little talking.

After Anini had baked enough bagels to fill all the bins, she told Aaron, “That should do it. I can handle things from here. You should return your friend’s car.” They had missed the morning rush, and there were no customers in the bakery.

“So what’s next?” asked Aaron.

“I’ll talk to my supervisor, but I think our jobs are safe. Nothing like this has ever happened before. I’m sure he’ll forgive me.”

“I was referring to what happened last night.”

“I don’t know. He’ll be coming for me. He knows where I am.”

“Why didn’t they just take you?”

“I told you. He doesn’t want me. He wants my heart, and the only way he can have my heart, is to win it.”

“So you’re safe.”

“I don’t know what safe is anymore. I have to figure things out. Everything has changed for me.”

“Okay, then. I’ll call you later.”

“You don’t have my number.”

“You’re right. I don’t have your number.” Aaron took out an old pad of paper and a pen. “What’s your number?”

Anini looked him in the eyes. “Shouldn’t you return your friend’s car?”

“Yeah, I guess I should.” Puzzled, Aaron left the bakery.

* * *

Tina worked as a receptionist at a women’s clinic a couple of blocks from her apartment. While Aaron knew she would be pissed, he also knew she was probably able to get to work on time.

Aaron entered the clinic, and Tina’s eyes were instantly on him. A few people were sitting in the waiting room, and Tina was behind the front desk. Her gaze was piercing, but Aaron shook it off and walked up to her. “Six-dozen condoms please,” said Aaron with a smirk on his face.

“If you’re just wanking it, you don’t need a condom,” replied Tina.

Aaron was glad to give her the upper hand. “Funny,” he said, pretending to be hurt.

“You are still a practicing celibate?” asked Tina.

“Of course. Abstinence is the best contraceptive.”

“Where’s my car?”

Aaron pulled the keys out of his pocket and dropped them in Tina’s hand. “It’s in the parking lot. Sorry.”

“What happened?”

“We fell asleep in the igloo.”

“That’s all?”

“We didn’t even take off our jackets.” As far as Aaron could remember, he was telling the truth.

“Right...” Tina clearly didn’t believe him.

“We were talking, and the next thing I knew, it was seven-thirty in the morning. I don’t even remember falling asleep.”

“Sounds like she slipped you a roofie.”

Aaron scratched his chin. “It does.”

“Martha thinks she’s a lesbian.”

“That’s predictable.”

“Did you kiss her?”

“Well... not exactly. I don’t think so.”

“You don’t think so?”

“She’s screwing with my mind.”

“At least your mind is getting some.”

“I wish I knew what it was getting,” said Aaron with a shake of his head. “Sorry ’bout the car. I should go.” Aaron turned and headed toward the door.

“Wait,” Tina called out. “I haven’t told you the good news.” Aaron stopped and faced Tina. “Olsen Brothers’ Coffeehouse called and booked Pussy Teeth for Sunday night.”

“Wow!” said Aaron, surprised. “How did that happen?”

Tina shrugged. “I don’t have a clue.”

“Join the club,” said Aaron. He left the clinic and went to his and Bud’s apartment. Bessie greeted Aaron, but Bud was still asleep.

Aaron burst into Bud’s room and jumped on Bud’s bed, waking him up. “Bud!” screamed Aaron. “Wake up. We’ve got to go to the igloo.” Bud covered his head with his blanket, but Aaron pulled the blanket off. “There’s something I need to show you.”

Bud sat up and rubbed his eyes. He was wearing thick wool pajamas. “What?”

“You’ve got to see it for yourself.”

Bud’s eyes fully opened. “You got laid last night and you want to show me? That’s gross.” Bud grabbed for his blanket.

“No something else happened last night. Get your clothes on. We’re going to the igloo.” Aaron grabbed the other end of Bud’s blanket.

“I want to sleep,” said Bud tugging at his blanket.

“You forced me to get a job. Now, the least you can do is come with me to the igloo and see what I want to show you.”

On that point, Bud got out of bed and got dressed. Bud had an old gutted minivan that he had acquired from his older brother for part-time contracting jobs. In two years, he had only completed two jobs, building a fence and hanging a door, but the theory was sound. And most importantly, Bud had a van.

They stopped at the minimart, picked up a four-pack of three-two chiladas, and drove to the igloo. Aaron showed Bud the Alien Triangle. Bud gave it a solid look then sat back, pulled a chilada from a four-pack, cracked it open, and swigged. Bessie curled up on a blanket.

“So what do you think?” asked Aaron while examining the triangle.

“I think I’m afraid to know what you think.”

Aaron ran his fingers over the circumscribed pentagram. “It appears to have been melted right into the ice.”

Bud swigged his chilada. “Before you completely flake-out, allow me to point out an obvious fact. This Star Trek convention reject has consistently messed with you from the moment she first attacked you with her stun-gun.”

Aaron closely looked at the ice inscription. “You really think she’s messing with me?”

Bud sighed. “You’re still looking for a reason?”

Aaron sat down next to Bud against the ice wall. Bud opened a chilada and handed it to Aaron.

“There’s got be a reason,” said Aaron. “Things just don’t happen.”

“Sometimes they do.” Bud put his hand on Aaron’s back, comforting him.

Aaron sadly shook his head then refocused on the alien triangle. “This is different. Look at that. That just didn’t happen.”

“She could have made it when you were asleep.”

“Why? Why would she do that?”

“Why did she zap you with her stun-gun? You’re trying to make sense of someone who doesn’t make sense.”

“I’m tired of things not making sense.”

“Sometimes it’s easier to believe in outrageous stuff than the truth.”

Aaron solemnly swigged his chilada. “The truth?”

“She’s either crazy, or she’s messing with you.”

Aaron sadly slouched against the ice wall. “But I’m missing time, too.”

“Maybe she slipped you something.”

Aaron sat up and thought for a second. It was the second time someone had suggested that Anini slipped him something, and it was starting to sound like a logical conclusion. “If she slipped me one, then I’m going to find out!” declared Aaron.

“That’s the spirit!”

Now, all Aaron needed was a plan.

To be continued...

Copyright © 2015 by Bruce Pavalon

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