Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Great Times," Chapter 9

Copyright 2006, Terry F. Phillips Sr.

All rights reserved

Chapter 9

He awoke in a little-used tool shed far from any other buildings.

“Hello, there, little fellow,” said a voice next to him.

Eddie turned to see a figure sitting in an old kitchen chair next to his head. He struggled to sit up and found himself secured bound by what appeared to be yellow twine used to bundle packages.

“Looks like we have some talking to do,” the voice said.

Suddenly there was a buzzing sound accompanied by the smell of burning ozone followed by the eye-watering, stifling fragrance of cinnamon candy cooking on a stove.

Eddie knew the smell well. Not only had he smelled it at Christmas time during his travels, but it was an odor he also associated with time travel.

There was a brief wave before him, much as one would see above cement on a hot summer day.

Then a second being was lying on the floor next to his cot.

“Hello, Eddie,” the voice said. “Remember us?”

Then Eddie realized the pair as the same two who accosted him on the train.

“It looks like we have something in common.”

“Oh, yeah? What’s that?”

“I think you know,” the new arrival said. “You’ve smelled the burning ozone and, what your people call the ‘cinnamon smell’ before, haven’t you?”

Eddie struggled against his bonds, managing to stretch the twine a bit.

“Don’t know what you mean,” he said.

“Sure you do, Eddie. We know all about you, about your time travel exploits.

“You people think you are so clever, that human achievement has to be the pinnacle of what has been done in what you call the universe.

“Now,” the being said, doing his own Bogart imitation. “Less have you come clean or we’ll get ruff wit’ ya.”

“Cute,” was all Eddie could say. He found the knot in the cord that tied his hands together and began working on it.

“You seem uncomfortable,” the first being said. “This climate doesn’t agree with you, does it?”

“OK,” Eddie said, deciding to trade information with the pair. “No, I don’t do well when I’m on one of these – uh, visits. I don’t know why, do you? Is it climatological? Magnetic? Does it have to do with air quality? Do you know? You seem to have all the answers.”

“Now, we’re getting some place,” the second one said, pacing the small room as his partner remained seated.

“Eddie, your little escapade, coming to New Mexico at this particular time has endangered us.”

“Who are you?” Eddie interrupted his captors. “And, what did I do?”

“We had covered up the Roswell incident very well, until your tour of Roswell began,” the second one said. “For centuries we had covered up the crash of a certain space craft on his ranch. But, then, inexplicably, history books began reporting a UFO crash at the Mac Brazel ranch outside Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947. Motion pictures were made about the crash. The United State government not only told everyone it was a weather balloon found on the ranch, but more than 50 years later, there were conspiracy theorists objecting to the government’s explanation.”

“So, you’re time travelers – too,” Eddie said, seeming to capitulate.

“Ah, now, we’re getting somewhere, “ Number 2 said.

“I don’t think I’ve seen you around the Project,” Eddie continued. “Are you working on another project? In the United States? From when do you come?”

“Let’s just say it is in our best interest that we reverse those reports of a UFO crash – for your people’s sake as well as ours.”

“You were involved – will be involved in that crash?”

“As you have probably guessed, it was our people who crashed,” Number 1 said, receiving a withering look from his partner.

“We lost some good people,” Number 2 said. “You have been given clearance, because even if we succeed in tidying up the mess that is going to erupt this week, we can erase your memory and you will never tell anyone – in any year – about the Roswell incident.”

Number 2 proceeded to relate the story of his friends’ crash on the Mac Brazel ranch in July 1947.

“It was an accident, a technical malfunction, pure and simple,” Number 2 said. “But we lost some good people and endangered ourselves and your people when they crashed.

“But we managed to erase all record of it, until the record began showing up in your year of 2147.”

“So, what are you going to do to me now?” Eddie said, though he guessed.

“Just watch you until after the crash is cleaned up again and we know the secret is safe,” said Number 1.

“Then kill me?”

“Probably not,” said Number 2.

Eddie continued to work on his twine bonds, finding them loosening gradually. By tightening and loosening his leg muscles, he found his ankles seemed to be tied less tightly as well.

While his captors napped that night, Eddie worked on his bonds.

At about 3 a.m., nearly 24 hours after his captivity, Eddie was loose.

Evidently, his captors we sleeping more soundly than he thought, for he was able to slip out of the shed and into the night without being caught.

“Next stop, California,” he thought. “I can’t do anything here.”