Have you ever had a notion swirling around in your head and tried to figure out how best to present it? This is one of those notions. I can’t promise that this will be the last version in which you see it. I have a tendency to keep writing “ideas” until I’m happy with the way they turn out.
Because They Live
There are things we do. Things we see. Things that happen in the morning light when all the world sleeps around us, but we are spellbound by phrases and suggestions no one else can hear.
The thing happened on a winter’s day. Snow fell in gray intervals, traffic congealed, anger rose. Sitting there in a Ford whose heat was giving way to cold made me aware.
I looked up and saw green vapor streaks across the sky, blinked, because, certainly, they couldn’t be real. But they remained. I glanced around to see if anyone else stuck in traffic noticed. No. They were focused on their phones, almost all of them. Life as normal.
And then I heard words. “Keep the one in the blue car. She understands.”
People around me disappeared, their faces still glued to their electronics.
I sat alone, watching as a creature with an abnormally large head nodded at me. “You are chosen.”
I tried to speak but was met with a pale white palm.
“The ones who don’t worship their phones, worship a god who tells them they are the supreme creatures. You treat all creatures as if they are supreme. Only you understand what we have planned.”
It felt as if sleep impaled me. I awoke to sunshine stinging my eyelids, thinking that I had the most visceral dream ever. My heart ached for something I couldn’t comprehend.
A strange man with a bald, veined head entered the room, a pink pig at his side. “What do you think?” the man asked the pig.
I rose on my elbows to see the pig, noticed that he nodded his head.
“You are only a few of your kind to be kept,” the strange man said.
“Your fellow humans act as if they are superior. We’ve had great fun with them. We relish their egotism. But we despise how they treat their fellow creatures. They worship a god. But we have been making decisions all along. I believe that they would name us their god. Amusing. Such short-sighted creatures.”
“I don’t understand,” I choke out.
The man tapped his chin. “Do you know how you little girls play dolls and give them an entire universe?”
“All of the people on your earth have been our dolls. We’ve given you free will to see how badly you would behave. So many don’t care. They eat their fellow creatures. They beat each other. They kill each other. It’s very barbaric, is it not?”
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I may have been a Barbie doll.
“But you. You’re not alone. There are others. Why do you care? Why are you different? Why do you love the creatures who walk the earth who ‘seem’ not to be as smart as you?”
They wait as if expecting an answer. I shake my head. Why do I care?
“Because they live.”