(The house pic DID inspire this week’s story but I forgot to mention it in the story! Oh well, it’s where our narrator lives! —–j)
Fools That Will Laugh on Earth
by Jeff Baker
The alien invasion failed but it still got me in a lot of trouble at school.
My name is Christopher Normand, but they call me Kip. I was a Junior in High School that year, trying to keep my head above water and keep a low profile. And I’m gonna blame my cousin Andre Prezetti for the whole thing. Well, most of it anyway.
Andre was my Mom’s sister’s (that’s my Aunt’s) youngest son and so we were the same age. We didn’t really hang out, he was awfully full of himself and always getting in trouble. And a lot of the time he could talk or charm his way out of it. Well, some of it anyway. And on Mom’s side of the family, we were Firsters.
“Even after all this time, a lot of people didn’t even believe in the Firsters, despite all the evidence.” That’s from a ‘cast I saw about the 150th anniversary of the initial contact when the aliens landed in the middle of the 21st Century
The aliens said they were the First so they got called the Firsters. They showed up around 2062 and gave us the usual sci-fi movie shtick about “coming in peace,” “boon to mankind” and all that. But their real motive was to breed with humans and create a superior version of their race.
The invasion was a terrific fail. The Earth’s magnetic field proved fatal to the aliens consciousness and only a few advanced traits showed up in the descendants without any sign of alien personality. The Earth governments figured any other alien invaders would be warned away.
As for the descendants, these “firsters” were human except for some flashes of advanced perceptions, super intelligence (we were able to upgrade communications satellites and colonize the Moon) and a few genuine super powers like Andre’s.
I just had this funny perception gift sometimes. I could look at something and analyze its physical mass. It only came in handy in chemistry and geometry which I was aceing anyway, and once I was going home from school and glanced at an old building and I knew that its one wall wasn’t firm enough and it did collapse a few months later.
Andre could change shape. Make himself look like anything he wanted. The catch was that he would still have the same general mass as he always had. He could turn himself into an elephant but it would be a 5’7” 155 pound elephant. And he couldn’t do anything about the clothes he was wearing.
Andre and I were both Juniors at Lyle Monroe High School that year. Even without the shape changing, Andre was one of those guys who could charm the socks off of anybody and managed to not do a lot of classwork. I really didn’t hang out with him.
Anyway, Andre and I only had one class together that semester and we weren’t even in the same lunch period. But it was at lunch I realized something was going on. I walked up to the serving counter and was told I didn’t get two lunches per school day. I didn’t think anything of it at first, I grabbed a MunchieHealthBar from one of the machines but while I was eating the bar I remembered a couple of the guys in one of my classes snickering at me and I’d heard something about my messing around with one of the girls behind the old gym during second period when I was supposed to be in class.
He could do it. We were about the same size. He knew I wouldn’t have the nerve to ask any girl out, or any guy either.
But I checked first. I knew what class he had second period so I went to the teacher and gave her a story about my Aunt wanting to know if he had any homework and she said he just needed to read chapter four and she hoped he was feeling better and would be back in school soon.
So Andre had been cutting his classes and going around school as me. I asked a couple of kids we both knew if they’d seen Andre around and I guess word must have gotten to him that I was onto him and then I saw myself turning a corner down a hallway and I ran after him but he was gone and then I passed the office and saw one of our neighbors, this tall, older guy In poorly fitting clothes asking somebody for directions in the office and I was wondering what he was doing at school and so I looked at him with my perceptions and I saw that his distribution of mass was all wrong. And besides, he was wearing Andre’s clothes.
I wasn’t a very physical guy, no good at gym but I ran and tackled the guy and I was right because suddenly I was on top of Andre on the floor and we were both hollering.
Well, Andre and I got sent to Mr. Bradford’s office and he was pretty old-fashioned about discipline and he also didn’t believe a word about the Firsters, he said all that alien invasion stuff had been faked. Of course, Andre just played dumb and let all the blame fall on me but he couldn’t explain what he was doing in school when he’d missed all his classes supposedly being out sick. So Mr. Bradford put some things down on our input sheet and we both had to do the after-school class for the next few days but when he was going all disciplinarian on us something clicked in my head…
…and I saw through him to who he really was, or part of him anyway. Not his physical mass like I usually could but his, well, his inner self I guessed. And I saw that he was scared. Maybe scared of us. Maybe he did believe Firsters were real and we were Firsters. I couldn’t tell that. In the instant I remembered something I’d heard about our gifts possibly expanding as we grew up and I glanced over at Andre and for an instant saw something hungry for power, love, money, all of it. Then, I was just looking at Andre again.
And that was the first time I got extra sight. It didn’t happen again for months but I spent the next few days glaring at my teachers, my parents, everyone. Hoping for another glimpse into who these people really were. By the end of the week, I was bleary-eyed. Control of the gift and its responsibilities would come later. And I still had to make it through the rest of High School.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second story I’ve written about The Firsters, the other was called “Four Star Review” and was accepted by an online magazine which vanished without a trace before the story could get published. I’d always wanted to write another story about The Firsters and this idea had been roiling around in my head. Although it’s set in the future it is a version of the more innocent school days some of us remember. Oh, and the title is from Christopher Marlowe. —-jeff