Sunday, March 29, 2009
Otis Flebber. A Dunce's Alien Abduction.
Otis Flebber is the son of Wallace and Nancy Flebber of Elm Street. Wallace is the owner of Cloverdale's only comic store "WallaceWorld". Otis is a good helper in the store and works with his dad every Saturday stocking shelves and running the cash register. Although not really lazy, Otis generally does only what's required to keep his head above water and stay off everyone's radar; however, there are other times when Otis steps right onto center stage and into the spotlight. One such occasion occurred last week.
Otis walked into Mrs. Nedved’s first period math class at Cloverdale Middle School with his green knit shirt untucked and his sneakers caked with mud. His backpack was unzipped, barely keeping its contents from spilling onto the floor. He staggered to her desk, stopped and planted both hands squarely on the surface . He appeared to be struggling to catch his breath. The rest of the class sat quietly wondering what it would be this time.
“He’ll claim the wind blew his homework out of his bag,” Jon Salmon said to Molly Phillips. Jon and Molly sat in the back of the room with Otis. You might call the three of them friends on the days Otis had his brain attached to the here and now. Nobody could tolerate Otis when his electrons were shifting his self awareness to another dimension along the space / time continuum. Today seemed like a day Otis was shifting between universes. Jon and Molly, along with the rest of the class, strained to hear the words Otis was preparing to speak.
“Mrs. Nedved,” Otis said looking her straight in the eye. He read somewhere during the hours he spent in Cloverdale’s village library that looking at someone eye to eye elicits a sense of truth and trust. “I was walking through the field on my way to school. I was in a hurry. I didn’t want to be tardy again because I know how it upsets you.”
“It’s getting deep in here,” Molly mumbled under her breath. Jon nodded in agreement. Mrs. Nedved stood tapping one of her high heels. Her arms were folded across her chest. Her body language said, “Oh you’re so going to get a week’s detention if this isn’t good”.
“Suddenly there was a light,” Otis stripped off his backpack. Its contents spilled onto the floor. He needed his hands free as he told his tale. “A light came down from the sky. It nearly blinded me. I shielded my eyes with my arm and dropped to the ground on bended knee wondering if I was having a stroke or something.” The class was getting a real treat that morning. Otis was acting out his story with full gestures and voice inflection. “From the light emerged a saucer shaped object. It was spinning so fast I was getting dizzy just watching it. There were lights, red blue, green and..... and,” he looked around. Molly was wearing her pink sweater. Otis liked the pink sweater. He complimented her every day she wore it for her color selection. “Pink. Yes, I definitely saw pink lights.” Molly rolled her eyes. Jon burst into laughter.
“Silence,” Mrs Nedved shouted. Jon held his breath. He could tell his teacher was nearing the end of her patience. “Otis, you may continue this fascinating story.”
“Just as this flying saucer stopped over my head I went all dizzy. My body started tingling and BAM. I was out cold.” Otis fell to the classroom floor. He laid there in a false unconscious state for ten seconds and then jumped to his feet so suddenly several of the girls in the class screamed.
“I woke up inside this space ship. I was in a room. I was alone except for this odd shaped robot thingy. It whistled and beeped but I couldn’t understand it. It had two arm like things attached to its sides. Each arm ended with wheels. It used them to move around the room. I tried to communicate but it didn't understand English. Then the door opened and in walked this man. He was tall and looked almost human - if it wasn’t for his pointed ears and bad haircut.”
The whole class turned to look at Stew Mopperd who was sitting in the front desk of row three. On his good days, Stew also almost looked human. His hair went every direction - having never been formally introduced to a comb. Stew nearly fell out of his desk as he sank low in his chair to hide from the unwelcome attention of twenty pairs of eyes.
“This alien walked up to me, sat down and held out his hand. He wanted something. I wasn’t about to shake some alien dude’s hand if thats what he was after. Then he spoke. He spoke English. He told me their starship’s engines were out of alignment and they couldn’t make the jump to warp speed. He explained their chief engineer had been killed in a battle with this other alien race that wanted to take over the planet. I guess there is a hugh space war going on way out there. Some alien race wants to kill us and eat our brains or something and the aliens that captured me were helping us. Isn’t that amazing,” Otis looked at his classmates. They were all in shock. This story was the best he had every told. He was feeling very proud of himself.
Otis continued, “I asked him why they needed me. He explained that it wasn’t me they wanted. They wanted my math homework because It had the the equations they needed to go to warp speed so they could return home to restock and pick up reinforcements to defend Earth and our brains.”
“Good Grief,” Mrs. Nedved said as she glanced at her wrist watch. “Otis will this riveting tale take much longer. My soon to be eaten brain has a Otis ache!”
The class burst into laughter. Otis bowed to her in respect to the impressive cut she had just given him.
“I’m nearing the end of my sad tale,” he said. The class grew quiet. Otis continued, “I took out my math book and did my duty for the defense of Earth, my family and all of yours. I gave up my homework. I’m willing to suffer the consequences for what I did Mrs. Nedved, but wouldn’t you have done the same thing?” he asked her. The class all nodded their head in agreement for her. Mrs. Nedved ignored the question and again, looked at her watch.
Mrs. Nedved jumped into the pause to try to speed things up. “Otis," she said. "Let me get this straight. You gave Mr. Spock your homework so their starship could go warp speed?” Otis nodded. He wasn’t aware Mrs. Nedven was a Star Trek fan. Her knowledge could work against his story’s believability. It didn’t matter at that point. He was too far into it to change the facts now. Mrs. Nedved continued her questioning, “Why didn’t they just keep you as their engineer. They would have done us all a favor,”
Again, the class roared in laughter. Otis was being out witted by his own math teacher.
“Mrs. Nedved, I begged to be returned I explained that I had a family. I explained I would be missed. He nodded his head and agreed. I gave him my homework. He thanked me for saving them and tapped this badge on his uniform. I got this tingling feeling all over and then, in an instant, I was back in the field and he ship was gone.”
Otis finished his story. The class gave him a standing ovation. It was his best missing homework story yet. Mrs. Nedven gave him an pass and another day to turn it in.
Later that day in English, Otis wrote the story of his alien abduction for a creative writing assignment. His teacher let him read it out loud. She was impressed and gave him an A. Otis entered the Story Teller’s Festival with his story. He took second place. It was a good day.
Otis Fleeber was a celebrity.