The Stars Return

Jim was coming back from lunch when the tall stranger drifted down from the sky.

“Greetings, you poor pathetic person. I’m here to save you from your horrible life.” The man fiddled with buttons on his belt, and gently settled to the ground.

“Huh?” Jim said.

“I am PittSean vin Brangelino de Winfrey,” the man said, “and my people have returned.” At Jim’s puzzled frown, he continued “From the stars…?”

When that didn’t seem to make an impression, he said “Four score years ago, my ancestors set sail through the sky. We abandoned you pitiful lesser beings to destroy yourselves. Now, I, the greatest of our species, have returned to bequeath upon you the wonder and glory of my benevolent rule.”

“You really shouldn’t…” Jim said, but the stranger cut him short.

“Shouldn’t?” PittSean put his fists on his hips and struck a dramatic pose. “Shouldn’t? You DARE try to tell me what I should or should not do? I, and I alone, survived the trials of leadership! I alone made it through the 197 hour marathon retrospective of Showgirls, Ishtar, Shortbus, Pink Flamingo, Caligula, and Steve Urkel reruns!”

“I didn’t mean…” Jim said.

“And I alone,” PittSean said, a bit louder this time, “was able to recite the classics from memory. All of them–Shakespeare, Salinger, Nabokov, and even Gore! I ALONE survived the battle recreations of both Braveheart AND Gladiator!”

“No, I mean, they changed the law after you left, and you need to…”

“You needn’t worry about laws,” PittSean chided. “I will be writing your laws for you, from now on. You may report to the President that his new ruler is…”

At that moment, a passenger car blasted through the intersection where PittSean was standing. The impact hurled him over a hundred feet through the air. The car’s onboard computer registered a collision with a pedestrian, and immediately docked the driver’s record with two points. Then, following procedure, it analyzed the accident, and noted that the pedestrian was a full forty-seven feet from the nearest crosswalk–and restored the two points, since the accident was clearly the pedestrian’s fault. Next, it automatically diverted a generous amount from the driver’s insurance fund into an account to cover hospitalization and/or funerary costs, and notified local emergency crews of the accident. The driver didn’t slow down, but she did turn on the windshield wipers.

“…get out of the Autobahn,” Jim finished.

If this collision with the future hasn’t left you battered and bleeding, scrape a nickel out of your cuts and contusions and time-travel it our way, to nickelatatime@gmail.com!

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