Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C.
The Conclusion to An Arrow for an Olive Branch
Two weeks following the defeat of Ghar, President Golden speaks to the world
“My friend, Dr. Anton Ferris, when speaking on the topic of possible alien visitations, used to liken Earth to an ant hill and the people to ants. The homeowner, who represented the aliens, became irritated with the pesky insects and wiped out the colony. But Dr. Ferris’s speeches were theoretical, speculative, and based on fear of the unknown. The theoretical is suddenly very practical, speculation is fact, and fear is not nearly so irrational. The aliens have come, and it is a bittersweet story.”
Fifty-six thousand in the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C along with billions more who watched on television and online, witnessed people pouring onto the athletic field.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” continued the President, “I present to you the sweet side of that story, the men, women, and children of the planet Rhon, who came here, not as invaders but as refugees. Join me in welcoming them to Earth, their new home.”
In the stadium’s sixty-four year history of baseball, football and soccer championships never had the cheers grown so loud, nor lasted so long.
“Humanity has just taken a giant leap forward in technology, possibly by millennia. Our new friends are freely sharing their advanced knowledge with all nations which will sign an agreement to use it for peaceful purposes. The pact will be known as the Toshu Accord. Some will use this knowledge to cure diseases, feed the starving, house the homeless and eradicate poverty. There are those who will use light speed technology to conduct manned missions to deep space. We will discover new civilizations, I have no doubt.”
The President walked to the edge of the stage and paused. “We are about to become the alien visitors to other worlds. Will we go as the homeowner to the anthill, boot raised? The history of Earth is a story of civilizations conquering and dominating. The time has come for the human race to break that pattern of violence and greed and chart a new way forward.”
Four weeks after the battle, Ruth and Alec lounged beneath a giant umbrella while two girls, Bethany and Andrea, sculpted their version of the White House in the sand. The children ran to Ruth, whispering and laughing.
"Are you going to be the First Lady?" Five-year-old Bethany slapped her hand over her mouth to stop a new stream of giggles.
"Bethany!" Alec tried to interrupt.
"’Cause Dad told us all about you and he likes you lots and you like science and so do I and if Dad likes you so do we."
The girls ran back to their place in the sand, leaving their father holding his face in his hands. "Maybe we could talk about this––later."
Ruth let the matter pass with a smile as her only answer.
Janet, the president's secretary, approached from where she and her family basked in the sun. She carried a tray with a tall glass of ice and an energy drink. "I know you've probably already had your limit for the day, but after everything you've been through, you deserve it." She set the tray on a table and returned to her family.
Ruth poured the drink and handed it to Alec. "Why don't you relax here and sip on this? I won't be gone long.”
Two women approached the water, the pungence of the sea growing stronger with each stride. They arrived to find waves breaking and washing onto the beach, carrying back into the surf crabs and seashells just delivered. Long legged shorebirds played tag with foamy run-up as it rushed across white sand. Pelicans flew in undulating synchronism over heaving swells where dolphins surfaced for a breath and dived again. Farther out, a humpback whale breached, waved its flippers, and dropped gracefully back into the briny depths. The two women waded into the ocean, bathing in sunshine, clean water, and the aura of kindred spirits.
A few miles south of the Mojave National Preserve, Jake dozed beside the receiver of his homemade radio telescope. He had gotten the instructions off the internet, and it proved to be a good way to pass the time in a small, high desert town. The idea was to listen for alien communications in space.
Jake sat up, spilling hot coffee on his lap. He ignored the burning and listened. He couldn’t understand it, but he had no question that he was hearing a voice from space.
One phone call to the SETI Institute and a dozen transfers later, he was talking to a woman named Toshu. She wanted to hear the audio, so he dropped the file into an email and within a few minutes heard his distorted recording on the other end. Toshu’s translation came through loud and clear.
This message is for Admiral Ghar of the Rhonk Fleet, from Commander Rhath. A small number of the original arks have reassembled after repairing our sabotaged communication and navigation systems. We will proceed to our original destination while awaiting your instructions.
Homemade Radio Telescope
© 2017 Chris Mills