Billy Marston felt like a toy slinky walking down the stairs. Gaining momentum on his way to an inevitable crash.
Billy was a spectacle.
His family and friends worried about him. He was so close yet so far. Smart but stupid. Funny but not haha funny. He didn’t know how to do the simplest things and he felt that history would not be kind.
His family would call him a kind soul without the stomach for success. A loser. His friends would recall humorous tales. But Billy had lost his way. He knew what he was doing when he did it but didn’t know what to do with himself when he wasn’t.
He felt his tired act was wearing on his most ardent supporters and only the folks who wanted something from him would text him without relent. Like the bill collectors. He had no defining talent and he questioned his courage and grit.
He woke up at night in a pool of sweat and to the sound of buses outside his window. They would hummm and rumble as Billy looked out the window and wondered why it had gotten so dark so quickly. Billy didn’t understand daylight savings or how to program his cellphone or how to manage his bills and business. He was vulnerable and his fight to survive seemed not to matter to anybody. That’s when he decided that it was time to return home. It was time. Earth just wasn’t working out so great so he slipped out of his human suit and jumped in the shower as the cold water pelted his skeletal body washing off the gelatinous goop that quickly stopped up the shower drain. No big deal. I’m not going to be in this shitty rundown apartment much longer.
The night ride to the Moons of Moople wasn’t for a while. Billy still had some time before he blew this fucking popsicle stand. He never really could relate to any of his circle of human friends and family- they were obsessed with vapid, untalented reality stars on TV and wars and something called money that a few people had and something that everybody else was after.
“Glipernada dentromalama tricodomdum” a coded message that was registering in his cerebral receptors letting him know that his re-uptake to the universe was set for the following Earth day.
Ring ring Rinnnnng!
“Hello is this mister Billy Marston.”
“This is he.”
“This is Spectrum client services. We wanted to discuss a matter of an overdue cable bill.”
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“Would you like to pay your current balance or your total balance?
“What’s the difference?”
“About 249 dollars”
Billy could visualize the bill collector’s physiognomy. A neat extraterrestrial parlor trick.
“Hey listen pal- I’m not going to be able to pay that right now. I’m about to head out of town on a long vacation. A leave of absence if you will”
“Did you want to pay your current balance then?”
“No my friend… such matters no longer concern me for I am going back to a place where I will be a monster roaming the galaxy —hopping from planet to planet in search of – I don’t know – something.”
“Would you like to speak with our Billings department and explain your situation-perhaps work out a payment plan?”
“You don’t understand — I’m out of here. I’m done. I can’t find what I’m searching for here.”
“There are all sorts of cable packages for you and your entire family – Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu.”
“I’m going to hang up now but please know that climate change is real.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Marston have a good night.”
Billy tossed the phone against the wall with inhuman strength that sprayed bits of plastic and colored wires across the wood paneled floor in a small galaxy of broken parts.
Well, might as well rub one last one out before assuming a gaseous state of being —set free —to explore.
Who would Billy think about.
Fantasize over. His last earthly explosion. Pearlescent fluid. Filled with the seed to life. Actress Jenna Ortega is pretty hot these days— she does that trippy Wednesday Adams dance trend on TikTok. Nah. Miley Cyrus? Nah. Dua Lipa? Hmmm. There you go!
Ring Ring Rinnng (iPhone).
“Hello Mr. Marston just providing a courtesy sales call to see if you are happy with your life insurance”
“You know – that’s a very personal question. Good night.”
Back to the topic at hand. Using his hand one last time. As Billy looked at his arm and hand he was able to visualize the blue blood and colored veins and he felt the body electric.
The deed done. It was time for a snack before the night flight.
His table in the kitchen was awash in fluorescent light with strange figures in weird uniforms moving about in slow motion. Suddenly he felt nauseous and not hungry. The area around Billy started vibrating and emitting strange sounds and bright colored lights. It was the strangest feeling ever.
“He’s coming to.”
“Yeah, his eyelids are fluttering”
“Mr. Marston can you hear me”
Dazedly, Billy replied, ”yes… is this the night flight?”
“You passed out on the Reservoir path”
“Don’t worry, we got you.”
9 thoughts on ““Don’t Worry, We Got You” by Adam Kluger”
Poor Billy, he so counted on being a Monster. It would be a fairer universe if we had that option. Certainly would reduce the population crunch. Yet another wonderfully unique POV in your story list.
Hi there Adam,
I love the word quirky when used in the correct manner.
This was quirky!!
Huge congratulations on this being your 50th story – That is quite the achievement.
I’ve given you a wee nod in this weeks upcoming Saturday Post.
All the very best my fine friend.
Thanks so much Hugh -and also the wonderful Literally Stories team. So honored to be a small part of this vibrant community of talented writers and editors. Writing can be joyous and it can be painful but when it comes it flows like water and cleanses me in a way that nothing else does. I love that anyone can be a writer or an artist – and if you fiddle around enough, you can sometimes end up with something interesting, resonant or (hopefully) entertaining – and if you are really really lucky you will create something that connects with others. It’s a special feeling to find validation or a connection with your peers – it is the cherry on top of the sundae —something I am so grateful for -to have developed a special connection with the talented and creative minds that make up Literally Stories. So grateful.
Thank you all.
It may be hard to comment because I got whiplash reading this. I’ll be OK soon I hope. I wondered how he could have a human family if he is an alien, then I wondered if he was an alien, then the story ended.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I forgot to mention. As someone who can identity with the mc, I liked it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Doug – well done!
Thank you for you kind comments and question — That was a question I had too- how does an Alien have a human family? – I spotted that possible inconsistency and thought about it for a while —and then decided to just leave it as is- (like the Mystery Science Theater 3000 disclaimer in their open – I just told myself to relax, it’s just a piece of flash fiction – and to have fun)
focus on the MC’s feelings of wanting out and wanting to be rescued. Billy felt like a slinky – was it because he was physically falling down on the Reservoir path? Was he an alien in his unconscious mind? Or was the last name Mars-ton a playful hint that there is more to Billy than meets the eye – is there such a thing as a night flight and who was it that ended up collecting Billy? Central Parks EMTs or night flight attendants?
I don’t know —you tell me 😉
Thanks! A 😉
LikeLiked by 2 people
Lot of crazy going on. There’s a (unreasonably) well known person who thinks he’s a billionaire and president.
Humor, sci-fi (though imaginary) and sticking it to the cable company. Lots to like.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Billy is a great character and I’d love to read more stories about him. The conversation with the cable company is brilliantly done and hilarious.