The Intruder

As I watched them dancing–a folk dance I supposed–a shadowy figure appeared behind the translucent curtain, staring toward Talumon who was watching the dance in his chair in the front row.  Another appeared next to the first one.  “Who are those by the curtain on the stage?”  I asked Clive.

“Did you see the blurry figures?”  he asked, his face rigid.  “They are the invisible Rakutans!  No one but you can see them.”  He drew a pistol from his belt.

Meanwhile, the Mkumban security guards around Talumon started sniffing the air, like they detected the odor of Rakutans.  “Makira!”  one security shouted.

“What’s Makira?”  I asked, following Clive running up to the stage.

“Intruder!”  he said.  “Tell us where they are now, you idiot!”

“They are gone.”

As Clive and a guard were shooting blindly on the stage where the intruders had been, the other guards took the dancers and musicians to safety.  Also, several guards surrounded Talumon.  The audiences were screaming.  The MC announced that the Rakutans were gone now so they should remain calm.

Clive snatched the microphone from the MC.  “Ladies and gentlemen, the intruders fled.  I apologize this happened.  Have a safe return home.  Thank you.

“Now you know why we need you,” he told me.

“I wouldn’t mind helping you,” I said.  “But abducting us from our shelter then removing our memory is freaking wrong!  Tell me where my friends are.”

(from THE SPACE HERMITS)

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