Tiny Earth Declares War On Earth
A short story by J. T. Pearson
“Gentlemen, ladies, the Secretary of Defense has briefed you about why we’ve requested that you join us this morning. We’re in a bit of a pickle and we need some help.” The president surveyed their faces.
The continual popping and snapping of the stenographer’s typing matched the president as he spoke.
“I want to know what these tiny people may request before arriving on their planet. I want an edge so that-”
Suddenly the stenographer pulled back from her machine and watched it slowly bending and crumbling inward, creating loud clanking and screeching metal noises, until it wasn’t much bigger than a football. Then it floated up to the ceiling and remained there like a helium balloon that had slipped its string through a child’s tiny fingers and escaped. The appointed committee sat silently, slack-jawed. The president remained composed.
“Did you bring a spare, Miss Flannigan, as I requested.
She nodded nervously.
“Well?” the president waited.
She reached under her chair and extracted a black case which she opened and removed the backup machine from. Then she placed it on the desk where the first one had been and took a slow deep breath.
“Are we ready?” asked the president.
She nodded and they resumed.
“This planet, Tiny Earth, though very small, is quite a big bully and-”
The second stenography machine started to bend into a ball like the first. The stenographer pushed back from the desk, breathing unevenly, as if she may begin to hyperventilate. After the machine was thoroughly mangled it rose to the ceiling and parked next to the first. Then both of them began circling the room on the ceiling as tough they were racing.
“That’s not a little unnerving,” said Tom, sarcastically.
The Secretary of Defense had come prepared. He reached under the table and produced a box containing several dozen pens and a dozen notebooks and brought them to Miss Flannigan.
“How’s your shorthand?” the president chuckled. The smile faded from his face and he became angry when the pens hopped out of the box paired up, walked to the edge of the table, and leapt off, burrowing into the carpet when they hit the floor. Then the paper began tearing from the notebooks, sheet after sheet, twisting into some kind of voodoo-fueled origami, as they congaed around the long table, pausing every so often in front of each of the horrified committee members to give them a private dance.
“These sons of bitches want to play tough? Fine!” yelled the president. “We’re going to have to go down there to Tiny Earth and meet them eye to eye! Show them what we’re made of! That we aren’t intimidated by floating stenography machines and dancing paper! Tiny Earth disrupted our meeting! That’s fine! Tiny Earth disrupts everything!” President Pierce stood up and pointed. “Luigi, you will accompany me.” Luigi nodded but never turned away from the stenography machines that were now driving around on the walls, careening off of each other like bumper cars. “You will come, Mr. Secretary.” The secretary was examining his hat that had been gravity-crushed flat while he was distracted by the dancing paper. “And you will come, Mr. Cruise.” Tom was now standing on the table throwing karate kicks and chops at the pieces of paper that bounced at him, terrifying and harassing. “Mr. Secretary, get the FBI to round up Holcomb and get him down here too. That weasel’s going with us. The rest of you go home today and don’t tell anyone that we’re on the edge of going to war with the microscopic planet. Keep it to yourselves. You’re on the honor system. And damn it, Mr. Secretary, tell Tiny Earth to cease the harassment because we’re agreeing to meet them!” As soon as the president said it the items in the room dropped, one of the stenography machines fell from the ceiling through the table, making everyone jump.
The next day, earth’s peace committee gathered in the park in a tight circle with their backs to each other and waited to be shrunken down and transported to Tiny Earth.
“So, Luigi,” said President Pierce, “why is it that we need to be in this park in order for them to bring us to their planet?”
“They need to be close to us, their planet near the surface of our planet in order to get their technology to work. I’m certain that there planet is fairly close to us right now.”
Suddenly Tom Cruise threw out a couple of random karate kicks into the air, followed by a downward chop. Maynard was wearing a small ear piece that he was using to stay in contact with Tiny Earth.
“Mr. Cruise, they would like you to please stop that. You’re messing with their subatomic particle locater.”
“Maybe I want to mess with their subatomic particle - thing.”
“They said that your random movement presents the possibility that you’ll arrive without your limbs.”
“Fine. But I’m choosing to stop on my own.” Tom became very still.
“Why the hell am I here, Winston? You had me dragged right out of a warm bed this morning. Do you have any idea how much you frightened Norma?”
“You knew about Tiny Earth for years and never said a thing.”
“If I had, do you really think you would’ve taken the job as president? Why do you think you came on so strong at the end? This country wasn’t going to elect you. I had to stage that last minute scandal with those Girl Scouts just to lose the election. What a surprise, the upstart challenger Winston Pierce has just taken both Texas and Florida!” the former president said sarcastically. “Those were my states, Winston. Do you really think they would’ve ever voted for you if I hadn’t forced it to happen?”
“It’s starting. Please keep still, Mr. Presidents” said Maynard.
The peace committee felt the warmth of their atoms beginning to speed up and then suddenly it was done. They found themselves in a glamorous room with a very tall, very old, and very naked man, watching them.
“Who are you?” asked the president as soon as he was oriented.
“Does this help?” The naked man grabbed a crown from his desk and placed it on his head, then sat down on the corner of his desk and folded his arms. “How about that. The flesh eating waste mongers have finally arrived.”
“King Johnson,” Said Holcomb.
“You’re a slippery one, President Holcomb. Your promises are as hard to contain as a buttered epotna.” He motioned to a large table that was rising from the floor. Chairs followed. “Why don’t you men have a seat and I’ll have one of the inhabitants of our planet killed and cooked so that we can satiate your blood lust,” said the king sarcastically.
“Good. I’m starving,” said Holcomb as he headed for the table.
Tom kept looking at his body and then at everyone else.
“Why am I like a foot shorter than everybody else? This isn’t right. You guys screwed up. I’m not even close to being proportional to the others.”
“Perhaps it was all the moving and kicking you did just before transport, Tom.” The king smirked.
“All of you wasters, please take a seat.” King Donald’s smile was condescending. “We have demands to get to.”
The peace committee sat politely at the table watching King Donald, except for the president, who remained standing at the front of the table, an intentional exhibition of equality to the king. The king walked up alongside the president and stood very close so that he could look down on him.
“You know that shrinking me down until I’m smaller than you and then looking down on me like you’re superior to me because you’re now taller makes very little sense because in actuality I’m far taller than you are. In fact, I’m immense in comparison to you.”
“Really,” said the king flashing his condescending smile again. “Not anymore. Sit down.”
“Only because I choose to,” said the president and then nodding to Cruise. “We don’t follow orders.”
The king’s wife entered and looked at the peace committee. She was as tall as he was and not much prettier.
“Oh, we have guests, how nice.”
“The president leaned into Tom and asked him, “You think you could seduce her and get us some type of advantage?”
“I really don’t think so.”
“No? Not even with your charm and good looks?”
“I couldn’t do it.”
“You want to give it a try, Tom, you know, without alerting the king to what you’re up to?”
Tom looked at the enormous naked bony woman.
“I’m afraid that it just wouldn’t work.”
“I always say nothing ventured, nothing gained, but I’ll respect your opinion.”
The king’s wife left.
A couple of men even older than the king brought in a tray of fruit. One of the men brushed Holcomb’s face with his underarm as he reached forward to set the tray on the table. Holcomb’s face contorted and he rubbed his tongue with the back of his sleeve and spat.
“Where are your clothes?” asked the former president.
“Clothing is just another constraint,” answered the king.
The men who had brought the fruit left.
“Let’s get right to it,” said the president. “What is it that you want from us?”
“Your diplomacy needs work, Mr. President, but I’ll do as you like and cut to the chase. First, the inhabitants of Big Earth will immediately cease eating their fellow inhabitants and keep their nutritional choices to vegetation, and second, they will agree to be resized so that they are less of a burden on Earth’s resources. Those are our simple and reasonable demands,”
“No more meat?” asked a shocked Holcomb. “No deal. That means giving up burgers and steak and chicken and pork chops and bacon and-”
“Yes, President Holcomb, no more eating your neighbors.”
“And we need to become as small as you are?”
“That’s correct, President Pierce. You’ve already got a leg up on the rest of your people. Your golf clubs are nearly down to size.” King Donald laughed.
“What you did to Gentlebird’s dog was cruel. Maury was so frightened.”
“A harmless but necessary warning, Mr. President. We actually treat our animals far better than you do on Big Earth. We miniaturize them even further so that they have plenty of room to move around.” The king pushed a button on the wall and a tiny ranch slid out with extremely small horses galloping around in it. The king grabbed a pitcher from a nearby shelf and watered them. “Here it comes, guys, rainstorm.”
“When does this madness end? How small do you shrink things?” said Holcomb, tugging at his hair.
Post 5 will continue on Tuesday May 21, 2013
Guest Post by J. T. Pearson