The Amazing Adventures
of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey
Wow! I actually met a
Cryptoalien the other day.
I've known for some time that
they're hanging around the planet here and there. Not many, I
don't think, 'cause this is not exactly a good duty assignment.
They had a convention one year in Albuquerque that a band I was in
played for, but I wasn't paying attention to that kind of stuff
back then. Anyway, there weren't enough of them to fill up the
Four Seasons ballroom.
So I was pumping gas at this
Chevron down the street when he pulls in on his Harley. He looked
normal enough — burly, full red beard, a lot of leather — but
I could tell right away. Real humans are ususally either
right-handed or left-handed. Cryptos have this bizarre symmetry to
their movements that's a dead giveaway, if you know what to look
He noticed me staring at him,
so he turned to me and said, "What the fuck are you looking
At least he was trying to stay
in character. I played along. "What's it to you,
He finished gassing up, hung
up the hose, then came over to where I was standing and got right
in my face. "You some kinda motherfuckin' faggot?" he
I replied, "Fuck no. I'm
just wondering what one of you motherfuckers is doing in my
"You think you fuckin'
own this fuckin' neighborhood?" he asked.
"At least I fuckin'
belong here." I looked at him carefully. He appeared to be
sizing me up as well. Before he could say anything else, though, I
ventured a guess as to his origin. "Orion?"
He looked startled. "How
the fuck did you know?"
I shrugged, "That's where
they make the Protectors for this part of the galaxy."
"Huh?" he said,
making a pretense of not knowing what I was referring to.
"I took the tour. In
virtual reality, of course. I figure that's where most of you come
He shook his head. "You
are some kinda sick motherfucker, aren't you?"
I grinned, "It's probably
a prerequisite for the job."
"What the fuck are you
"Oh," I said
apologetically. "I just assumed you knew. I'm Toomey."
He looked puzzled.
"You're what to you?"
"You know," I said,
He looked suspicious.
"Yeah, I know Susan. She's my sister."
I was surprised. They must
have been part of the same batch. "Your sister…?"
"Yeah," he said.
"Susan O'Ryan. You know her?"
"Intimately," I told
"Oh," he said.
"You must be that musician."
I knew he'd admit it
eventually. "That's me."
"Well, then I've got a
message for you," he told me. "You better fuckin' do
right by her. You unnerstand?"
"Certainly," I said
reassuringly. "I'm giving her everything I've got. I spend a
couple of hours every morning on her, and sometimes before I go to
work in the afternoon. And, certainly every night before I go to
He glared at me. "Jesus
fucking Christ. What are you, some kind of fucking animal?"
"Of course." Hmm…
Maybe he was prejudiced against humans, or even organic creatures
in general. "I have no more control over my nature than you
do over yours."
"It's not like it's my
idea," I said. "I hate to complain, but it's really
something of a compulsion. Of course, you wouldn't know anything
about that, now, would you?" I added, sarcastically. After
all, it was their brain wave transmissions.
He looked defensive for some
reason. "Goddamnit. She swore she'd never tell anybody."
"Well, I'm not the only
one writing a book about Our Favorite Flying Blonde."
"Holy Shit!" he
swore. "You think they all know about me?"
"Don't worry," I
reassured him, "Your secret's safe with me. If I write
anything about this close encounter at all, it'll be so ambiguous
that nobody would ever think it really happened."
He looked mollified.
"Well, uh… OK, thanks, I guess."
"No problem. Hell, if I
ever really told the truth, everybody would think I was
"You got that right,
bro," he said. "Look, as far as Susan's concerned, you
just do the best you can — or you'll hear from me. Got it?"
I smiled at him. "I'm
positively looking forward to it."
He jumped back on his
motorcycle and blasted off.
Nice guy, I thought.
© Patrick Hill, 2000