Thursday, April 3, 2014

Story 27: The Call During the Movie

           The perils of the modern age: bright and noisy electronics have invaded that sacred hall of darkness and silence, the movie theater.  All it takes is one user to distract an entire audience from the awesomeness happening on the screen.
            One afternoon, a theater in the heartland of the U.S. of A. had only eight people in it, since the current blockbuster was already in its third week on the marquee and therefore almost dead.  Half of the attendees had seen it at least once and were still trying to figure out when exactly the villain had tipped his hand before they even knew he was a villain, the sly devil.  Sixteen eyes were staring at the flickering screen, blinking only if absolutely necessary, when the jarring beep-beep-beep-boop-boop-bip-beep-beep resounded.
            The response was a mix of “Argh!”s, “Ssh!”s, and kernels of popcorn thrown at the sound.  The siren call could not be ignored, however, and was answered in a whisper.
            “You saw a what?!”
            “Take it outside, man!”
            One repeat viewer didn’t mind missing a boring scene to drag an usher in and bodily evict the caller, who was struggling out of his seat and down the row, blocking the view of people behind him, and dodging more popcorn.  “Don’t kid about stuff like that – I don’t believe an actual alien spaceship has just landed next to Stonehenge.”
            This got everyone’s attention.  Those with super phones consulted the oracle that is The Internet for confirmation of the news.
            “Holy crow, a spaceship just landed next to Stonehenge!”
            “This has to be a hoax.”
            The caller covered one ear as an usher with the helpful audience member came up to him in the aisle.  “My friend’s over there right now – ” He glanced at his phone.  “She just sent me a picture of it!”
            Everyone got up from their seats and ran over to see.  The spaceship looked like a cross between an aircraft carrier and a tugboat, and was coated in a strange shade of mauve.
            The usher yelled up to the projectionist.  “Hey Mark, get down here, you gotta see this!”
            The caller put the phone back to his ear.  “Is anyone coming out of it?”
            “Put it on speaker!”
            “It doesn’t work.  Someone’s coming out!”
            “What does it look like?”
            “A… slug?”
            “What’s it doing?”
            “Does it have a ray gun?!”
            “It’s looking around… it turned around… it’s sliding back into the ship….” The sound of a roaring engine was heard and the caller had to hold the phone away from his ear for half a minute until it was done.  “Brenda!  What happened?!”
            “Oh no, the invasion’s beginning!”
            “I knew something like this was going to happen today!”
            “It left?”
            “To where, New York?!  They always go to New York.”
            “They never go to New York, there’s not enough room to land.”
            “No, she said it went straight up into the sky, back into space.”
            Phones were consulted again.
            “It left!”
            “That’s it?  No war of the worlds, no insight into the mysteries of the universe?”
            “Brenda, what’s happening?”  He listened and hung up.  “She had to give her phone to the G-men.”
            Everyone looked at their phones.  “Hey, the photos were taken down!”
            “I can’t find any of the discussions I was in the middle of!”
            “They can’t wipe out everything about this, can they?”
            “Who’s ‘they’?”
            “You know, ‘they’.”
            “You may never see Brenda again, you know.”
            “We need to fight this!  We can’t let them get away with a cover-up of this magnitude!”
            “They can’t find out that we know what really happened!”
            “We have to go underground – I have a bunker!”
            They all followed the usher in determined panic after he said this.  The house lights came on as the credits rolled.
            One attendee turned back.
            “Hey, they made me miss the end!”

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