Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Strange Stray- short stories online

Troy was on his way home from school one thy when a medium size dog began to follow him. He had just jumped off of the bus when the dog approached him. At the age of 9, Troy was not afraid of dogs and welcomed the lost mutt. It had a slightly smushed face along with a pointy looking head. It was a terribly ugly specimen of the canine family, but Troy took a liking to the dog and allowed it to tag along. He hoped in his heart that his mother would let him to keep the dog. It stayed slightly behind him all the way to his house. Unfortunately, his mother was not too receptive to the idea, but saw the glow on her son’s face with the mutt and decided to talk the idea over with Troy’ s father. Troy was elated that his mother would even consider the notion of letting him keep the dog. As soon as his father came through the door, Troy jumped on him and begged him to say yes. His mother quicldy briefed his father on the little lost stray dog and it’s plight. His dad caved under the onslaught of pressure from the two of them and said Troy could keep the dog provided he would be the one to have to care for it. “Yippee!” Troy shouted as he jumped for joy at his dad’s decision. The ugly little mutt walked into the room and almost seemed to smile at the news. It appeared to know that it was welcome in their home. Troy quickly set up a water dish and a food dish for the little dog. Then he set up a little bed for his new friend. The ugly little dog seemed appreciative of the water, but did not seem interested in the food that he was offered. Troy reasoned to himself that the dog would eat eventually if he were hungty enough. Later that night the whole family went to bed. Troy’s mother tucked him into his warm bed and kissed her son goodnight. The little dog jumped up onto his mattress and lay next to Troy. His mother smiled as she was walking out of the room glad to see that the new dog was accepting his new home so quickly. Not too long after his parents had gone to bed and Troy was in a half asleep daze, the dog jumped down to the floor. It walked over to Troy’ s closet and nosed the cracked door open far enough to gain entry. The door creaked a bit and woke the sleeping boy. Troy watched his dog to see what he was doing but did not sit up to alert the dog that he was, in fact, awake. Amazingly, the mutt began to speak a strange language that Troy had never heard bel├áre. He was intrigued by the dog’s strange behavior and adjusted his position so he could see through the crack to watch it. The dog was lit up with a strange light blue glow that filled the little closet. A small panel on a bizarre device was emitting the light. The dog was speaking into the device with its non-earthly language. Then the device began to speak with the same weird language.Troy figured it must be some sort of communication device and that the dog was actually some kind of alien. He watched the crazy dog until he was finished. The dog then quietly jumped back onto Troy’s bed and went back to sleep as if nothing had happened. Troy pretended to be sleeping when the dog got back into bed with him. Needless to say, Troy did not sleep very well that night. The next morning, he told his mother what the ugly dog had done the night before in the closet. Troy tried to explain it in a serious manner, but his mother kept laughing at him. She explained to him that he must have just had a bad dream and that it was impossible for a dog to actually be an alien. However, Troy knew it was not a dream. He was scared of his new friend and did not want to interact with him in the same way as he did before. His mother saw the difference, but attributed it to the dream and just blew it off Later that night, after all had gone to bed, the dog again went into the closet to communicate with his ship. Troy cowered under his covers again and feared for his life. When he was fmished, the dog hoped back up onto his bed again like nothing had happened. Troy was absolutely sure he was not dreaming this time. The next thy, he begged his mom to listen to his pleas, but she would not hear the voice of her imaginative little boy. Again, she blew off his crazy ideas of the alien dog to a bad dream. Time passed and the night fell. Troy became afraid to go to sleep with the alien dog. His mother tucked him in as usual and told him to have sweet dreams as she left the room. Almost as if it were on a schedule, an hour later the dog repeated his communication routine in the closet. However, this time the alien called his ship over to the house. It hovered outside Troy’s window and awaited the alien’s commands. Troy was terrified and could not move or speak. Unfortunately, the dog that he once loved for a pet was going to abduct him and take him for his own pet. The dog used a strange device to transform himself from the dog back into his natural shape. A small gray alien with a big head and large black bug eyes stood over the terrified Troy and examined him in his bed. The alien then used a strange device to paralyze Troy and froze him solid. He floated Troy up out of his bed and out of his window into the waiting ship. Troy was strapped down to a table of sorts and taken out into the night sky on the ship. The next morning, Troy’s mother and father were horrified when they saw that their son had mysteriously disappeared. They called the police and reported him missing. Unfortunately, Troy’ s parents never saw their son alive again. His mother was forever heartbroken over his disappearance. Every thy of the rest of her life she wondered if the little stray mutt, who also disappeared mysteriously on the same night, was really an alien as her son had tried to tell her.Who’s Real? Garton was a small farming village where eveiyone knew everyone else. It was not a very large community, but the people tended to get along and help each other out during bad times. The population of the entire community was less than 200. It was late October and every capable body was out working on the harvest. Victor Crowell was one of the community’s hardest workers. He was in his mid 40’s and was very strong. Unfortunately, the community could not afford any fancy tractors to harvest their wheat; so they used an old fashioned sickle. Victor was very efficient at harvesting wheat with his sickle and could out-gather many of the younger members. This morning was like any other during this time of year. Victor had gotten up at the crack of dawn and headed to the fields for another hard day’s work. His friend since youth, Bumey, arrived at the field a few minutes after him. Good old Bumey was about the same age as Victor and the two had played together as youths. The freshly sharpened sickle sliced through the light brown wheat with ease. Victor bundled up several bushels in no time at all. Then, when he was working near Bumey, his blade accidentally slipped out of his hand and chopped off his ffiend’s left pinky finger. However, instead of spurting blood all over the place, the inside of his finger revealed some rather complex circuitry. Bumey tried to cover his secret as quickly as possible. He grabbed his handkerchief out of his pocket and wrapped his bloodless wound. Victor was amazed that Bumey was not bleeding everywhere. He picked up the sliced finger and saw the machinery inside as he handed it back to Bumey. “Sorry buddy, let’s get you to a hospital as soon as possible.” Victor tried to act sony but was concerned by the weirdness of the wound. “That is, if you think we need to go. Normally, a wound this bad would require immediate medical attention, but I do not see much blood in this case. In fact, I have never seen electronics in someone’s hand.” Bumey was acting very strangely. He held his hand and acted as if it was a very painful wound. Victor was able to perceive that his friend seemed to be faking the pain. Bumey did not say anything else to him, hit just took off rumiing towards the farm tmck. He jumped in and sped off into the distance. Victor was left standing in the field with his sickle in his hand and a very strange feeling in his gut. He did not know what to think of the bizarre situation Could his friend for all of these years actually be a robot? How could this possibly be the case? If Bumey could fool his friend for such a long time, could some of the other community members also be robots? Victor wondered if he was real. He took out his pocketknife and made a small cut on the back of his hand.Blood began to ooze out of the slice and drip to the ground leaving little red dots on the wheat. “Well, I suppose I am real, or at least human,” Victor said with a low voice. He looked around to see if anyone else was working in the area and night have witnessed Bumey’s strange behavior. Randy was in the next field over chopping wheat with his sickle. Victor walked over to Randy and tried to think of a method to test his theory while on the way. “Randy, did you see what just happened with ole’ Bumey?” Randy stopped his swing and turned to greet Victor. “No, what do you mean? What happened?” “Well, it was kinda strange. I was cutting wheat next to him and my hands had got a bit sweaty and wet,” Victor pretended to swing the siclde as a demonstration. “Then, my sickle accidentally slipped a bit and sliced off his pinky, like this.” He swung the siclde slightly and let it slip out of his hands a bit too much so the blade nicked the leg of Randy. Victor quickly looked down to see the wound he had ‘accidentally’ created on Randy. His leg. just as Bumey’s finger, did not bleed either. A circuit board was revealed just under the skin of Randy’s leg. Victor’s mouth dropped open in amazement as he backed away from the Randy robot in fear. “Sony about that. It kinda slipped again. Say, what the heck are you anyway?” Randy did not answer Victor’s question but quicldy tried to cover the exposed electronics in his leg. He turned and ran off just as fast as Burney had. “Yeah, you better mn you dad bum robot!” Victor started screaming loudly at the fleeing machine. Victor was actually begimiing to become a bit worried. How many other people in the community were robots? Who is real here? Victor decided he had better arm himself as soon as possible. If the two robots got together and decided to retaliate against him and try to keep their secret quiet by killing him, he wanted to be ready. He quickly walked to his truck aid hopped in. He sped through the wheat field and down the road back to his house. Victor quickly got his shotgun out of the closet and found a box of shells for it. He loaded the old crack double barrel and stuffed the rest of the shells into his pockets just in case. Unfortunately, Victor’s wife had died several years ago of cancer and they had never had any kids. He had been living alone for a while and was not worried about any of his family members being robots. Victor reasoned that if he could find another human and show them that there were robots among the community that he could get some help. He decided that the best way to accomplish this was to go to the community church house and ring the bell to try to get all the members together in a meeting. This was somewhat dangerous since he did not know if the entire town was robots. If this was the case, he might be quickly overwhelmed, but he had to take the chance. He walked down the road a bit and stopped at the big bell on the pole outside of the small church building. He began to ring it furiously and continuously. Several women came out of the nearby houses and asked Victor what he was doing. He explained to them that he needed to have an emergency town meeting and that they should gather everyone together. Immediately, the women went out into the fields to collect their husbands and after a mere thirty minutes or so almost eveiyone was within shouting distance. “What is this all about, Victor?” one of the men shouted. Victor collected his nerves and spoke to the crowd, “We may have invaders that have infiltrated our community. I was in the field with Bumey cutting wheat when I accidentdly cut off his finger.” Several of the people gasped at the news. Others had a puzzled look on their faces as he continued his story. “He did not bleed a single drop of blood. He had some sort of electronics inside of him instead of flesh and bones.” Now many of the people started to shake their heads in disbelief “Have you been drinking Victor?” one of them shouted loudly. “No. Look I am telling you the truth. Randy is a robot too. I cut his leg and he had wires in him. I am telling you...” “Come on Victor, what kind of hoax is this?” another yelled. “I’ll prove it. Come here, Gary.” Gary looked a bit frightened at what might happen next. He slowly made his way to the front of the small crowd to get to the strangely acting Victor. “Now pay attention people,” he shouted above the crowd. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his pocketknife. Before Gary could resist, Victor flipped open the blade and cut a small slit into his palm. A trickle of blood spilled out as Gary yelped in pain. “What the heck has gotten into you Victor? Have you gone mad?” he screamed as he held his hand tightly to try to stop the bleeding. The crowd began to get very restless at Victor’s bizaffe behavior. “I don’t understand. You must be real,” Victor said quietly while backing away slightly from the angry crowd. “Of course I am real! What is your problem going around cutting people like that?” Gary fussed at Victor. “Wait! I am telling you all that Bumey and Randy were robots! Now you will all be tested or I am going to start shooting!” Victor waved the shotgun in the crowd’s direction showing his intent. They all fell silent and gave their full attention to the shotgun wielding crazy man. They could not believe that their friend was acting in such an abnormal manner, but they realized he might be serious if he was willing to commit murder to prove his point. Victor tossed his pocketknife to Gary. “I know you are human so you will be my tester,” Victor shouted to him. “Everyone get into a line!” he yelled at the community members as he waved the double barrel shotgun in their direction. Many whispers were exchanged among the people as they slowly formed a single file line. Victor got behind Gary with his shotgun pointed directly at him. “Let’s get started. A small cut on each of their hands will do.” Gary reluctantly took the knife and sliced a cut into the first man’s hand. He flinched as the blood triclded out of the opening. “0. K. you are real too, Next!” “Victor, when are you going to stop this madness?” Gary begged. “When we finish everyone,” he replied with a stone cold look on his face. Next in line was a young lady, one of the many farmer’s daughters living in town. Gary took her little hand and made a small incision with the pocketknife. To his surprise, circuitry was revealed inside her hand. He stepped back away from her and stared at the wound in disbelief “Great Scott! Victor is telling the tmth!” Gary yelled loudly. The girl robot covered her wound and took off mnning from the line. “Let her go! We need to test everyone before we do anything,” Victor hi.rked to everyone. Gary tested the next person in line and found he was a robot as well. Just as the others had done, he turned and ran out of sight. They went down the line and tested all of the people of the community. After it was over, only a small handful of real humans remained. Only a total of about 35 people huddled together were left, many of them crying about their loved ones being robots, all of them clutching their freshly cut hands. All of the robots had run off after having been discovered by the humans. Unfortunately, the community had lost a large amount of their population from the ordeal. However, fortunately, the robots never came back to the town again. All of the members living there had meetings once a month from that time forward to cut each other to test if they were still real. Nobody questioned Victor’s words ever again.


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