CW/ Ableism, bright colors in the image in the post.
I’m typing away at my computer when I hear a sound behind me. I turn to find an evil alien warlord pointing their ray gun in my face. Thinking fast, I hurl the keyboard at the gun, knocking it away. It vaporizes my bed. Darn. I liked those sheets.
No time for sheets, though, I have to stop the alien. He leaps at me, teeth bared, and grabs me around the wrist. I jab a pen into his hand and he yanks his hand back as I grab my telephone and hit him over the head. He slumps over and I kick him in the stomach.
“Serves you right for messing with me,” I tell the unconscious figure. I call to my sister in the next room. “Hey, Sis, could you help me for a sec?”
“Sure.” She appears at my door. “What do you need help with?”
“Getting rid of this alien. He tried to attack me.”
“Yeah, right.” She rolled her eyes. “And there’s a zombie living in my closet. You’re writing another story and you needed an exciting open.”
“My life is too boring to write about, let alone read.”
“Maybe if you got off your lazy butt and did something with yourself, you’d have something worth writing about.”
“Leave me alone. I have a story to write.”
She throws her arms up and walks into her room, shutting the door behind her. I sit down at the computer and stare at the screen. I don’t normally get headaches, but something’s pulling at my forehead. Wait, I’m being sucked into the monitor!
I land on grass, I think. This place sure is weird. The ground has a silvery gleam and the sky is rosy. There’s a figure in the distance, rapidly approaching.
I watch as it gets closer. About 3 feet tall, he’s wearing all white and his skin is blue. He motions for me to follow him. I half expected him to take me to a bearded guy wearing red named ‘Papa’.
Instead, he brings me to a village where a festival is in full swing. I follow him into a building where someone has laid out a feast. I sense the festival is in my honor. How did they know I was coming? Are they the ones who sucked me into my computer monitor? Am I still in the monitor? Do these people live in my monitor? Or is it a porthole to this world?
I shake my head. I’ll never get answers to these questions if I don’t ask them aloud. I don’t want to offend anyone, so I say nothing.
After hours of feasting and dancing, one of the blue people approaches me.
“We were told you could help us,” he said.
“You were? By who? Help you with what? Where am I?”
A blue person wearing a long, colorful robe and holding a tall staff (a wizard?) comes forth and stands next to the plain-looking person speaking to me.
“So many questions.” The wizard motions to a chair behind me. “Sit down, and I shall give you your answers.”
I look at him, then at the other folks gathered around. They all seem concerned. I turn back to the wizard.
“Times are troubled,” he explains. “A great evil has taken over this land of Krysteway. The world we knew is now gone. Our skies were blue, our grass green. We ourselves were of a flesh tone. But that has all changed. In our time of need, I called upon the Great Spirits to give us guidance. They told of one whose face would appear in the sky. They said to bring this Great One to Krysteway. You are the Great One from the sky. You can help us.”
“Help you get your color back? How am I supposed to do that?” I am stumped. What do they expect of me, magic? Isn’t that the wizard’s job?
“The Great Spirits lied!” a rogue cries. “This Face in the Sky cannot help us!”
“Quiet,” the wizard orders. “The Great Spirits do not lie.” He turns to me. “We will help you in any way we can to return our world to its former state.”
“Who runs this village?”
“I do,” a rotund blue person says as he steps forward from the crowd. “I am the mayor of this village.”
“Take me to your office, please.”
The mayor leads the way. The crowd of blue people join us. When we get there, the mayor lets the wizard and me inside, leaving the townspeople to murmur and wait.
I motion to a large key on the wall. “What’s that?”
“That is the key to the city,” he says, grabbing his lapels and puffing out his chest.
“Is there a lock?” I ask.
“Yes, but only I have authority to use it, and only in dire emergencies.”
The wizard arches his brows at the mayor. The mayor looks at me, and I helpfully imitate the wizard.
“Of course.” The mayor pulls the key from the wall before pressing a button on his desk.
Across the room, a large bookshelf rotates into the wall, revealing a large keyhole. The mayor walks to it and hesitates. He looks at me.
“I don’t know what this does.”
“Can’t hurt to try.”
He inserts the key and takes a breath before turning it. The wall opens, revealing a switch labeled ‘Color Setting’.
I step closer. “There’s your problem. It’s set to the ‘scrambled’ setting.”
I flick the switch to the ‘normal’ setting. All the colors are restored. The mayor and wizard both have skin that an Earthling such as myself would consider normal. The wizard’s robes are now subdued earth tones. I liked the old robes better, to be honest.
The mayor looks at the wizard, then at his hands in relief. He runs to the window and looks out at a blue sky, white clouds, and green grass. He hurries back to me and grabs my hand, pumping it up and down.
“Thank you. Oh, thank you so much!”
The wizard is calmer. “We are grateful to you for helping us. What can we do to repay you for your kindness?”
“I’d like to go home,” I tell him.
“I shall honor your request,” the mayor proclaims. “Follow me.”
He leads me to another room, where there is a large metal capsule shaped like a small hut. He opens a door and motions to me. “Just step inside and we will get you to your home.”
I look at him with another raised eyebrow but do as he says. He closes the door after me. It’s so small and dark. There is a flash of light. I feel dizzy, then I am falling through the air.
“Do cats eat bats?” an ominous voice inquires. I can’t tell where it’s coming from.
“Do bats eat cats?” it continues.
“Do badgers eat stoats?” I ask in challenge.
“What’s a stoat?” the voice replied.
“It’s a member of the weasel family.”
“Well, smarty-pants. Can you answer this: What is the air speed velocity of an unladen pineapple?”
“Hawaiian or South African?” I ask.
After a beat, it said, “I dunno.”
“Then into the Gorge of Eternal Peril with you!” I shout.
“AAAARRRRGGGHHHH!” The voice cries as (I presume) it was tossed into the Gorge of Eternal Peril. I can’t tell for sure in the dark.
Eventually, I land and take in my surroundings.
“Just an inch or two around the waist, but the sleeves need about four,” I say to my surroundings. If they could, I’m sure my surroundings would give me confused looks and shake their heads. I interrupt my tailoring activities to figure out where I am.
“Well, whaddya know? I’m home.” I go inside, heading for my sister’s room.
“You’ll never guess what just happened.”
She puts down her book and scrunches her mouth—the way she does when she believes nothing just happened but is too nice to say so.