The story so far:
On my way back home, I encounter disembodied voices. Takes me a while to actually figure out they are disembodied. But when I do, I freak out. The story continues…
Very slowly, I started to back out, throwing occasional glances all around, trying to ascertain if the voice-without-a-body was just that, or if it had other surprises in store, hidden away somewhere.
I must have hardly taken a few steps, when I heard the same wheezy, “Excuse me?”
“Yes?” I noticed that my voice came out an octave higher, what was commonly called a squeak.
“We detect fear. Are you a-fear?”
“Afraid. The word is afraid,” my TA instincts took over, “And the answer is yes. I don’t talk to disembodied voices everyday, you know!!”
“No, no! You have gotten us all wrong. We are not dis-whatever-ied. We are humanoid voices!”
This seemed somewhat familiar – thanks to all the sci-fi novels I’d devoured. And familiar territory always helps calm jangled nerves. I silently thanked all the Asimovs and Clarkes for being there.
“Yes. We possess shape-shifting capabilities. We look and sound very human. You will never recognise the difference.”
“Well, in that case, how about giving me a demonstration?”
“Demonstration? How is that?”
“No, you don’t have to appeal for a wicket. Just come out of the shadows and say a simple ‘Hi’ or whatever it is that you Humanoids say by way of civilized greeting.”
“Yeah, greeting! You know the random things you say when you meet someone for the first time??”
“Oh those! But we did greet you the first time, in the exact Earth custom of the humans, didn’t we?”
“Yes we did! We said ‘Excuse me!’ like all the other Earthlings!”
Earthlings? EARTHLINGS?? That meant…
“Listen! What do you mean by Earthlings? What planet are you from? And why don’t you show yourself, whoever or whatever you are??”
The entire exercise was getting a little frustrating. Also, the realization had dawned upon me, that the direction the entire exercise was taking, any attempts at channel-surfing the telly and that cup of hot coffee would have to wait another day. And that exactly, was what was frustrating about the entire exercise.
“Well, we can’t tell you where we are from. But we can show ourselves, provided you promise NOT to – how do you say it – free-caught?”
“FREAK OUT, you mean.” TA instincts again. “Yeah, I promise.”
Before we continue to the exciting part that follows, I must mention that this silly habit of mine, of going ahead and promising has landed me in trouble many a time. And I am not referring only to the more aesthetic samples of the female species. I mean the whole concept of saying the stupid phrase, in general.
Just as I did in the paragraph earlier to the explanation.
I wasn’t really ready for what I saw.
In my defense, I’d say, no one could have anticipated what I saw, let alone prepared for it.. And though I had been amply fore-warned, the scream that left my throat could easily have earned me one of the top 3 spots on the list of THE Ten Scariest Blood-Curdling Screams of All Time.
To Be Concluded.
No. Honest. I have had enough of not finishing stories. So I am gonna CONCLUDE this one with the next post. :)
Missed ya, all! :P