The Alien Find

rawson lake

© Google 2014

“How long do you think he’d lain unconscious in that gully?” Elaine Allred gripped the shoulder of their guide Bill Davis as he pulled her husband’s limp form into the wrecked fuselage of the seventy year old B24 Liberator.

“Probably most of the day. Good thing we found him before nightfall. Next time, you talk some sense into Toby and don’t go letting him wander off alone. These mountains above Rawson Lake are dangerous.”

“Do you think he’ll be alright?” She helped Davis ease Toby down on the floor of the aircraft near the cockpit.

“I think I know what will help.”

“The artifact?”

“My people have known the secret of your Granddaddy’s plane for two generations but we kept it to ourselves. It was my brother, who went off to college in British Columbia who finally figured out what it does.” He used a wicked looking knife to cut off Toby’s right boot, the ankle having swollen too tight to simply remove it. Then he reached in his pack and took out the alien technology.

“It doesn’t look like much, does it?” Elaine stared at the swirling gold and crimson lights within the baseball-sized globe.

“Looks aren’t everything,” replied the Cree guide. “Lift his foot up gently by the heel.”

Toby winced and his forehead glistened with sweat, but he was still out.

“We were pretty sure this was a healing device, even before we tested it. Tried it on my seven-year-old niece who was diagnosed with leukemia a few years back. Docs called it a miracle and she’s as strong as a horse today.”

The strange lights emanated out of the sphere onto the injured man’s leg as Davis manipulated tiny controls at the device’s base.

“The swelling. It’s going down. I can’t believe it.”

“Believe what, Elaine,” Toby muttered.

She went to hug him but the guide warned her off. “Not yet. I’m just about finished here.”

“What happened?”

“What do you think happened, Allred. You went off on your own while your wife and I were securing the device and fell down into a ravine, breaking your ankle and knocking yourself for a loop.” He voice carried an angry tone, but his face seemed so passive.

“That thing. You say it fixed my ankle?”

“Brother, you’re going to be strolling down any lane in Calgary with your wife like you were never hurt. Good thing too, since it’s a long hike back to our rigs at Upper Kananaskis Lake.”

As Bill deactivated the mysterious alien technology that had been hidden in the World War Two bomber for over seven decades, Elaine held her husband in her arms. “You’re going to be the most famous doctor on the planet, Toby.”

“Assuming the government lets you keep this thing,” Bill shot back.

“It was my grandfather who discovered it. Maybe he was going to give it to the military, but it’s mine now, and I’ve giving it to my husband.”

“We’ll see, Ma’am. We’ll see.

I wrote this for the Saturday Mix – Double Take Challenge for 4 August 2018. The idea is to take two sets of homophones and use them to craft a poem, short story, or other creative work. They are:

heal – to cure of disease
heel – hind part of foot
he’ll – contraction of “he will”

and

lain – past tense of lay
lane – narrow road

I bolded the words in my story to make them easier for the reader to pick out.

This tale is actually the continuation of one I wrote for the What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge, but I think it stands on its own as well.

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8 thoughts on “The Alien Find

  1. What, no word-count to justify that this qualifies as a short story? It happens to be 497, which I think is sufficient qualification, though certainly it is not as tightly constrained as the previous episode’s 150. And you did, after all, meet the intended criterion of fitting the specified homonyms into its natural flow.

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    • I was kind of in a hurry. I still needed to read the Torah portion for today plus additional parts of the Bible, and then get to the lawn work before it got too hot outside. Taking a wee break right now.

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      • If I’m inferring the timing correctly from when I received your last few postings, you must have started at sunup. While you’ve previously referred to doing lawn work on Shabbat, I’ve never quite understood what was so pressing or why it would need doing just then rather than at some other convenient time. Torah study, on the other hand, seems a much more fitting activity, even if not quite fitting the Acts 15:21 pattern.

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      • I’m much more pressed for time on Sunday generally, and as I’ve mentioned before, since my wife, who is Jewish, doesn’t observe Shabbos (she’s out doing a part-time job right now), I doubt I’d be able to convince her that I should be more observant than her. Also, relative to both of us, we are on the Internet on the Shabbat, and if I recall this correctly, an observant Jew cannot make more than a few marks without writing, which is a form of creating. I imagine that our keyboarding is probably not particularly observant, either.

        Also, every other Sabbath, we have our two young grandchildren, and perform many activities (driving, for one) on their behalf. Their Dad is Jewish but not even slightly observant, so I’m sure imposing such a structure on them would be confusing, especially for a three-year-old.

        I’ve heard it said that Judaism is not an all or nothing religion, and that one works on one mitzvah at a time. Also, not being Jewish, the vast majority of the mitzvoth do not apply to me, and the Sages would argue that any observance on my part as a Gentile would not be permitted (I know there are Messianic applications that would allow me to “recognize” Shabbat without necessarily “observing” it).

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      • In my case, if you’ll pardon just a bit of halachic sophistry, the keyboarding occurred very close to the conclusion of Shabbat, though I must admit to jumping the gun just a bit. Nonetheless, arguments might be adduced that keyboarding is not writing or making permanent marks in the halachic sense of creating, and even the operation of my laptop is by means of battery power which is stored energy not freshly “kindled” on the Shabbat — which is therefore not unlike the permissible transferring of an existing flame (i.e., an energy expression) from one place to another. As with most comments from Chazal (the Sages), they are not monolithic about the circumstances under which non-Jewish support or recognition of the Shabbat might or might not be problematic. Nonetheless, my previous comments were not intended to represent a technical halachic challenge, since technically you are not bound by halachah, but rather only a curiosity about your kavanah.

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  2. Ooh, nice to have a lot more words to work with, isn’t it? I still wonder where Granddaddy got this, and what else might be hidden somewhere else. I suspect that Toby would have a hard time passing off instant alien healing as his own doing, but maybe he could pull it off, if he’s enough of a con man… Starting a new religion might work!

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