Thursday, October 24, 2013

10/24/13

Wallace
By Michael White


An extra-terrestrial being travels through innumerable galaxies en route to Earth, only to kill itself shortly after arriving: why? Allow me to start from the beginning. No, I am pressed for time here, so instead allow me to start from near the Fall.

Several weeks ago, on a slow afternoon, what appeared to be a corpse was brought into my firm’s laboratory. From the little information I obtained through its couriers, I was able to surmise not only that it was in fact a corpse, but also that it had fallen to its death. Master detective work, I know, but it was a good start.

Hung around the corpse’s neck, or what I presumed to be its neck, was an oblong device which emitted a slew of vibration-like sounds. Our in-house translators deemed all but one of the sounds unintelligible: the sound was the word Earth.

I was tasked with dissecting the corpse, so I named it Wallace. (It is important to be on a first-name basis with your specimens.) Wallace is a short pale creature with a whirlpool of little spikes along its torso. It has a mouth-like crater middlemost its chest, sandpaper skin, and many stern eyes the color of burnt bread, which pimple its face—or maybe its genitals; it is difficult to know what is up or down (if there is “up” or “down”) with Wallace. I only tell you all of this because I struggle even now to put into words what I found inside.

The machine in which Wallace had traveled here was soon after found buried at the bottom of a lake in the city. I was fortunate enough to attain a handful of photos through a friend in the police department. In them, the machine, although distorted by water and night’s haze, was shaped much like a torch, and even dead in the water its aura flickered like a strobe light. As of now the machine is still there. The surrounding area has become a sort-of tourist’s attraction: people come from all over the state, stare at the lake and see only the water’s misty crown, and yet leave filled with childlike astonishment. Some even refuse to leave, camping as long as a fortnight in wooden cells along its shore. The whole absurd spectacle reminds me of a Panopticon.

But I digre—

“Samuel! What of the specimen?”

“I’m still working on it, sir.”

“Is that the report?”

“No, sir, it’s a personal log.”

“Have you ever seen a man decapitated?”

“Never.”

“What’d you find inside?”

“I’m afraid I’m not finished yet.”

“Let me rephrase the question: what did you find inside?”

“Sir, that’s the same question.”

“Have you ever seen a man decapitated?”

“I found an image.”

“Nothing else?”

“Nothing else but guts.”

“What of the image?”

“Well…”

“Samuel?”

“…it’s the Roman Colosseum.”


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Originally from Chicago, IL, Michael White is a current full-time student at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. He is working toward his bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment.

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