Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled Dire Consequences. Please enjoy. Also, if you haven’t already checked out my FAQ on my upcoming book, Magic Once Removed, please check that out as well. Thanks again!
Blurred gray blobs greet me as I blink my eyes open. An odd floating feeling encompasses me. I look down and discover that I am lying on butcher paper on top of a rigid bed made of some sort of composite material.
Above me is a screen. Strange, as I am sure it wasn’t there when I went to bed this night. Come to think of it, I don’t remember going to bed. My most recent memory is leaving the house for a morning jog. Everything else is a blank.
I certainly don’t remember my master bedroom being so small. Sure, my home is what you might call a modest one, to be sure, but I’m sure it’s not quite this tiny. There isn’t enough room to even stand. I’m also pretty sure my walls weren’t made of some sort of hard metal and reinforced with silver plating.
My brain feels as if it wandered into a fog. I’m experiencing an existential crisis as I seem to be having some sort of surreal relationship with language itself. There is an echo of a whisper in the back of my head that reminds me that the language I think and I assume also now speak is not my native tongue. It is as if a new language pushed the old one out of my head. I cannot begin to comprehend how I am aware of this.
Confusion seems to be the word of the day. What is going on? Where am I? Why I am here? How did I get here?
I can hazard a guess. Perhaps I went to a wild party last night and blacked out at some point. I’m not quite sure why I’d wind up in a fiberglass prison because of it as opposed to someone’s bed or a back alley. It seems like it’d be difficult just to get here. That a place like this even exists is baffling and in my bewilderment, I begin to shake.
No, that’s not right. I’m not shaking due to discombobulation. It’s cold, very cold. So cold that I almost feel the goosebumps form on my body.
That is when I look down and notice something rather perturbing.
I’m not wearing any clothes. I am completely naked.
My hands attempt to cover my shame.
Only, they cannot move.
The attempts to use my feet find similar success as they are also bound.
My arms and legs are secured to the bed.
All thoughts now focus purely on escape. Figuring out how I got here can wait. I thrash in a frenzy and attempt to free myself from the black leather straps. Fatigue sets quickly. My biceps and quads are the first to ache but the rest of the appendages soon follow. It feels as though my arms and legs have been lit aflame.
Stress and anxiety over my situation, undoubtedly, are playing a large factor in my struggles as typically would last a lot longer I assure you. I am in terrific shape.
I exhale a deep sigh. It takes a few minutes but I am able to calm down. My mind mulls over the current predicament.
Perhaps I am to blame. After all, now that my head is a little clearer and the haze swimming in my head as all but completely lifted, I realize, as embarrassing as it is to admit even internally, I may have paid for this. It certainly is something I would do which means the, shall we say, entertainer will arrive shortly. I need to relax as I certainly don’t want her to find me find me struggling like a buffoon to escape something I spent good money on.
My once frayed nerves now calmed, my eyes lazily meander until they settle on a window that seems to be my only view of the outside world.
The sight leaves me spellbound. A serene feeling engulfs me as I gaze into the jet black abyss. It feels as though I am witnessing something majestic, something many have dreamed of seeing but few had ever had the chance. Why do I feel this way about a mundane sight like the night sky?
An object appears right outside the window as it floated, of all things, from below. It seems like it is a bird at first but then I realize it is much too large. Perhaps it’s a satellite. No, that’s a ridiculous notion. It is far too close. They normally don’t have flames coming from their engines as they speed away, do they? Do satellites even have engines?
Wait a second. That wasn’t a satellite. There’s only one thing that could have been but it’s ridiculous to even give it an instant of consideration.
I laugh at my ridiculous notion. How ludicrous to even fathom for a moment that a spaceship would appear right out the window. Just where do I think I am? Space?
Holy shit, I’m in space.
Holy shit, I’m in a spaceship.
Holy shit, I’ve been abducted.
My efforts to escape return at double the speed as before. Fatigued or not I will stop at nothing to free myself from these bonds lest I be subjugated to depraved experiments. I scream and holler at my captors, threatening their lives, their spouses’ lives, and their children. Rather profane words escape my lips in long, incoherent strings, though I must admit I have no idea why I know what words are expletives in this language and which are clean considering I’ve just become aware of its existence.
“Please calm yourself! I assure you everything will be all right!” A sultry voice interrupts my flailing. I look up and notice that the screen has turned on. The upper body of an attractive woman wearing some sort of lab coat appears.
If not for her unusual hair color that I have never seen and her odd complexion, I would dare to say she was the most stunning creature I had ever seen in my life. Even then, it was difficult to truly say that her aberrations truly marred her beauty. She was truly a sight to behold.
“My name is Dr. Xenophyn Zeja. First, allow me to apologize. I am sure that you are perplexed and also considerably angry. I more than understand. If you allow me, I will explain.” She pauses as if awaiting a response. I am eager to hear her explanation so I remain silent.
The doctor nods as if she understands and continues, “Thank you. I will address some questions I’m sure you have. We have been monitoring your planet for several years and have determined that it is almost identical to ours. Everything about your planet, from the air you breathe, the liquid you ingest, to even the birds, the bees, the trees, and, most importantly to us, your species, from your culture, your hierarchal systems of government, and biology, is near identical to ours.”
She pauses for a moment. “Most important to us is the fact that the males of your species are for all practical purposes a perfect match genetically to the ones we have on our planet. Our tests prove as much.”
I look down at my genitals and look back at her. “I assure you that your nudity was necessary for us to conduct our experiments that were done purely in the name of science. Our medical team wanted to ensure you were a healthy and viable specimen.”
She bites her upper lip and looks away once again, this time flashing a bashful smile. The doctor mutters in the same tone as before. “Besides, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a male nude.”
Dr. Zeja looks to the side as if lost in thought then turns back. “I cannot stress enough how exceedingly lucky we were. Even with our recent great strides in space technology that allows us to span light-years, the odds of finding a planet so close to ours anywhere in our galaxy had to be one in a million. To find one in such short relative proximity to ours, the odds had to be, if you’ll forgive my pun, astronomical.”
The doctor takes off her glasses and rubs her eyes then gazes into mine. “We are desperate. Our males have transformed. They are now unable, no, not unable, unwilling, to perform the most basic of biological imperatives. Some due to an abnormal fear while others simply insist it defies some sort of ethical code. Others I dare not say exactly why they cannot perform the deed.
She lets out a deep sigh. “Why it happened defies a scientific explanation. I do know why it occurred. All of us do. This will sound far more superstitious than I truly mean it to be but I’m afraid the issue is metaphysical and due to factors that cannot be measured such as societal climate and culture. Regardless, the fruits of experiments that started centuries ago have now left our species at the brink of extinction.”
Tears begin to well. “That is why we have captured you and thousands like you.” She leans closer to the camera. One hand clutches her coat while the other alternates between lying flat by her side and tapping against her heart.
“Hundreds of males just like are being taken on this ship. There are hundreds of ships carrying hundreds of you. But we only chose the ones we are sure are unattached! No families, just those that were young and virile that have no ties binding them to their home! And we promise to take care of you always. We’ll treat you with the reverence you’ll deserve! You’ll live like a god, even when you advance to old age, if only you help us now! Please help us! Help us repopulate our dying planet!”
The doctor rubs the tears from her eyes, adjusts her lab coat, and combs back her hair. She returns the glasses to her face. Her stern look from before return, except for her eyes. The eyes betray her austere façade. “Do you have any questions?”
Do I have any questions? What kind of stupid thing is that to ask? I had a myriad of questions.
Yet, when I open my mouth to ask I find that I am unable to say a word.
I am overwhelmed by the plethora of thoughts reverberating in my head. It prevents me from asking all the things I want to inquire about.
There is a lot to absorb and I’ve only been given a short amount of time to do so. Only a day ago I was just a random nobody in a sea of millions of faces. Now, suddenly a fate of a foreign planet was resting on my shoulders along with what seems to be tens and thousands like me. We were the proverbial chosen ones.
I begin to weigh my options. She was correct. There wasn’t a whole lot going for me back home. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that life was terrible. I’m sure there’d be some things I’d miss.
I wouldn’t be able to go to my favorite restaurants anymore. A lot of my hobbies would get derailed. Sure, I could find replacements easily enough but that’s always a hassle.
My career wasn’t going especially well, I admit, but still, I’d feel a little bit bad leaving without giving the standard notice. It would certainly suck never seeing some of my friends again, not to mention my family. I would certainly miss them.
Then again, a lifetime of breeding in exchange didn’t seem like too bad of a deal. I can honestly say that I never expected to be offered an opportunity like this. It’s the stuff of dreams.
I think for a moment what my father would say.
“What, are you stupid or something? Accept the offer!”
I’m not sure she’s exactly giving me a choice.
“Who cares? Just say you’ll take the deal!”
You’re right. Thanks, Dad! There’s one thing I have to know, though.
“I have but one question.”
“What is your planet called?”
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