On the Way to The Next Level

Task: create a story using four random words.  Use them in any order to write your story. Source: De Bono (2008).

My words: Nose  Gloves  Comet  Bird

I remember the day very clearly.  It was about 13 Earth years ago when it happened.

I was riding following the draft of the Hale-Bopp Comet, trying to pick up some speed through Earth’s solar system, when my “Intruder Alert” gong sounded.  Within seconds, 39 Earth people, all dressed in black shirts and sweat pants, appeared in my main cabin.

I turned from my console and asked,”Who in the cosmos are you people?”  A balding,white-haired man with the eyes of Mr. Bean stepped forward and said,’I am Marshall Applewhite, the head of Heaven’s Gate. We are ready to be transported to our Next Level existence.”

“What in Heaven’s name are you talking about?”, I asked. 

The old man squeaked,”You are of course our ride to the Next Level. We knew you were here, which is why we have left our bodies on that miserable ball Earth. We await your instructions as to how to prepare further for our journey.”

“You’re crazy old man. First of all, I am looking at your bods right now”, I said. It looks like you left nothing behind. By the way, nice Nikes,” I interjected. 

“Thanks”, said the old man.

“Second”, I went on,”I am not taking you people anywhere.  I have an engagement in the Alpha Centauri System to get to. I’m not a bus line.”

“We pay well”, said a woman a the front of the group.

A rather droll looking, short haired, middle-aged woman stepped forward. “Hi, my name’s Bonnie”, she said.

“Ok. I’ll bite”, I said.”How much are you offering?”

Bonnie took off her gloves and felt in her pockets. She pulled out a five dollar bill and some quarters.

“Well, each of us have 5 dollars and 75 cents on us. Will that do?”, asked Bonnie.

As she turned to her purse I noticed the “Heaven’s Gate Away Team” patch on her shoulder.  I laughed, not at the patch, but at the ridiculous sum.

“So, if I am doing the math right, you are offering me approximately 225 dollars to take you to this ‘Next Level’ you mentioned”, I said.

“We of course have alien abduction insurance. That’s wortth about $10,000 dollars”, said Marshall Applewhite.

The old man and Bonnie whispered to each other for a moment, and then Bonnie said,”Of course, I am not sure we can collect. The Earth has undergone a ‘recycling’.”

“What the bajeebers does that mean?”, I asked.

Applewhite said,”It means its being wiped clean and reborn. So I doubt if there’a anybody left from the last set of garbage on that planet.”

That’s when I got mad. “You’re talking about my family and friends, you old coot”. I punched him in the nose.

“See, that’s what I am referring to, sir”, said the old guy.”We abhor violence of any kind.”

“Well, you just killed yourselves”, I noted.” I wouldn’t call that an act of non-violence.”

“Oh, what we did  wasn’t suicide”, said Applewhite. “Suicide is not taking the offer of being transported to the Next Level when it is offered. That’s why we have come.  We thought for sure you were the one to take us.”

“Who told you”, I exclaimed. ” A little bird?

“Well, I can see  this is getting us nowhere,” said Bonnie.”We’re stuck here now, though. What do you propose?”

“I don’t have the slightest idea”, I said.

I was getting hungry, so Bonnie offered me some pudding and a bottle of vodka. “We brought this along for emergencies”, she said.

I swigged the vodka and ate. I started to feel a bit woozy, then I don’t remember a thing.

The next thing that happened was that I woke up in my bunk on the ship.  A Captain Pilotbody was manning the console, and Marshall and Bonnie were standing above me.

“Welcome aboard the Next Level Express”, they said.

I looked down, and almost passed out again. I was dressed in a black shirt, black sweat pants and a new pair of Nikes.

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