Suicide no. 38: The Informant
by Derek Alan Wilkinson
“Don’t walk so close to the edge, son.”
The gaunt, middle-aged tie-wearer referred to the sidewalk where Jimmy sat, squandered a meek existence, and mostly tried to cover the ever-increasing cost of cigarettes by panhandling in the alleyway by the dying, local grocery store on the corner of Fifth Street and Grand Avenue. He could tell that, as dear old dad and son walked away, they grimaced at seeing the aging beggar. That, and the smell.
Unlike Jimmy, most homeless never even knew their own stench. Jimmy wasn’t like most, though.
The comfort that kept Jimmy going on those long, cold nights—when stuffing that old, wool trench coat full of wadded up newspaper wasn’t nearly enough to keep the cold breeze out—was that he simply knew why he had to do it. If he made himself known, signed up for government aid or assistance, or wandered into the men’s shelter, the agents might find out what he really was:
That he was a spy and messenger for an alien intelligence: beings who had taken the time necessary to implant his brain with a cross-space neurotransponder prior to his birth, that only the other, greater race of beings, galaxies away, could tap into and hear.
“No, they’re not onto me yet. No! I promise! You have the tickets?”
To which they would respond no, or interrupt with a question, or just with abusive silence—depending on what mood they were in. The tickets were supposed to be for a flight via an airline, which wasn’t really a flight at all, Jimmy knew—it was just a decoy created by the aliens to look like an airplane, which would actually be a space shuttle designed to fly beyond light speed to deliver Jimmy to an extra-terrestrial place where he could live with his mother, and a few other select elite from Earth, and elsewhere.
His mother. Jimmy’s poor mother, diagnosed with lung cancer, had to be whisked away almost ten years prior when the Earth doctors just couldn’t fix her.
But the aliens could.
That day, Jimmy remembered: her birthday was tomorrow. What was he going to bring her? Nothing she could want, aside from relics he’d collected from his dumpster diving expeditions. What was he thinking, though? It wouldn’t matter: she’d surely appreciate anything from Earth to remind her of home.
But he wasn’t going to let the aliens play coy forever. They always wanted more. “What’s in the newspapers today, Jimmy?” “Read page forty-eight, line seventeen out loud, Jim. Reception…breaking…up. Please read it again, Jimmy.”
He’d had enough, and he finally wanted to express how he felt—to let them know, through actions, rather than words, that today was their last day for probing—he wanted his tickets.
Above the grocery store sat seven stories worth of apartments. After climbing the fire escape, and making his way to the top, he made his final request before jumping toward the pavement:
“Mayday, mayday! Request terrestrial extraction! Need assistance! S.O.S! Send help! Somebody send help!”
While everybody on the scared street below heard him, no one could, or ever did.
Inspired by the Daily Post’s daily prompt: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/daily-prompt-express-yourself/