“Strange New World”

My website needs some flash fiction. Yes, from time to time, I’ll put up a wee short story, and I’ll start with my first published science fiction story. Okay, so it was published in my high school litmag when I was 16 or 17, but still…

“Strange New World”

By Daniel Sherrier

Nice planet.

I’ll admit, it’s kind of barren, but the temperature’s just perfect, and it has this very peaceful aura to it. Just looking out at the vast, empty tract of desert just makes a person feel at ease, as if all is right and nothing could ever go wrong.

A whistling sound then makes its way to my ear. It’s a nice sound, and it gets louder, which is fine by me. I find it very relaxing.

Something miraculous then occurs. From out of the dry ground pops up a group of five short, stubby entities. Natives! How delightful.

“Greetings,” I tell them. “I come in peace!”

One of the natives cautiously walks towards me. He reaches up to grab my hand, and then he pulls me to the desert floor. It must be some kind of welcoming ritual, symbolizing my introduction to their land.

As I lie on the ground, the leader walks past me and enters my space ship.

“Oh, do make yourself at home!” I tell him.

The other four inhabitants surround me. All at once, they feel my arms and legs in what I assume to be another ritual of theirs. They soon bestow upon me a special token. They place these fancy bracelets on both of my wrists and around my ankles. I thank them repeatedly for their generosity.

“You’re such a hospitable race!” I say.

The natives contort their faces to display a sign of thanks. The leader emerges from my spacecraft and holds his hand high in the air. It must be akin to waving, so I wave back. I notice the others filing into the craft.

They seal the hatch and ignite the engines. They must be attempting to decipher my people’s technology. I would have been happy to show them myself, though. Maybe it’s against their culture to have an outsider aid them in exploration.

“Go!” I yell out. “Take it for a spin! I share with you the resources of my own people!”

Once they take off in my spaceship, I try to stand up, but some force keeps me magnetized to the ground. That’s no problem, though. They’ll be back shortly, and they’ll help me up. They are such a nice race, after all, so eager to please. Besides, it’s so relaxing on this planet that I could just lie here forever.

A message then comes in through my headset. My universal communicator is in the process of translating it for me…Oh, dear.

It says, “Sucker!”