Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | March 14, 2009

Adventures of an Interplanary Spy

Boston, Massachusetts. April 23, 2008.

Boston Commons

Things aren’t always what they seem.

For example, here’s a photograph. The man is dressed a little oddly, but other than that, no biggie. Nice day at the Boston Common.

But where am I in this picture? I’ll give you a hint. You can’t see me. If that woman with the umbrella knew I was there and who I was, she’d shut her mouth and move her convo (aka conversation) to a different plane of existence.

There are 5,682,405 planes. Most of them uninhabitable except by creatures you’d rather not get to know–like the shapeshifter sitting on the brick wall, just hanging out. This plane you know best as “Earth, 21st century” has some nice vacation spots, with no worry of interplanary justice tracking you down for a lack of ID.

My ID is blank, but I’ve never been caught. It’s one of the perks of being me. You can call me J. W. Ames, or Ames for short, and I’m hiding in that green bin.

It may look like a dumpster, but that’s just a clever disguise. I’m quite comfortable in there.

And this convo I’m overhearing is simple delectible. Don’t strain your ears. The words she’s saying out loud are perfectly boring: “Nice day, hmm? How was work? Love the hat…” but her mind is shooting out different messages. And he’s answering. I’m picking it all up on my Wave-O-Matic.

“The people require your presence at the assembly,” she says.

“Is this plane secure?” he asks, and I know I’m in the right place at the right time. It’s all I can do not to giggle with glee. That would give me away for sure.

“Any plane that knows not of other planes is secure.”

Poor kids. They are so naive.

“Fine. Have you the sign?” He asks, and she raises her hands and holds them in a circle, just for a second. Her spoken words say, “I had this huge cookie at lunch, and like, I’m gonna hafta put in extra hours at the gym…”

He nods, as if agreeing about the cookie. But I know what’s really going on. She’s an emissary from a young plane of vegetation-worhipping druid-like wackos, and he’s their god. He shows up as a talking tomato plant, not a man. I’ve seen it. It’s pitiful.

That’s illegal, by the way. Using the planes to masquerade as a god to citizens who don’t know any better.

But he’s not the one I’m after. She’s the one who’s paying him, and someone’s paying her. Religion is a profitable business. If you can deliver up a real, breathing, speaking god to a plane full of devotees, they’ll hand over whatever it is you want. Gold, honey, rabbits, stardust, advanced memory storage devices… I’ve seen it all. Confoundingly idiotic if you ask me.

Then things get complicated. My Wave-O-Matice picks up something from behind the man in the red hat. And it’s not just the mindless static of Earthlings who can only speak with their mouths. These are words in a bizarre language I don’t even know that well: “Blath arg teggilzerk.”

The shapeshifter. He’s not just vacationing.

My job just got complicated…

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Responses

  1. oooh- sci fi- a new genre for you!

  2. oooh- sci fi- a new genre for you!
    Sorry, forgot have mentioned good post! Waiting for the next post!

  3. I love it! Maybe b/c my god IS a talking tomato plant?


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