The Elevator to Mars
My name is Rich Lee, and I’m the kid who went to Mars by elevator. Yes, really. I went to Mars by elevator. Whether that was the weirdest part of my adventure, though, is up to you.
Now there’s one thing you should probably know before I go on. I have a problem with heights. So maybe you’re wondering how I ended up on the top of a one-hundred story tower. Well, to tell the truth, I don’t remember why myself (I get along fine if I stay away from the windows). But that is beside the point.
What I want to tell you is how I got so popular at school in one day. As in, prior to my adventure, a lot of kids knew me simply as “that weird kid from room 5B”. Afterwards, I became even more widely known as “that kid from room 5B who flew to Mars.”
It happened like this: the week before, while we were taking the stairs down to the ground level, my dad had hurt his leg (he’d been attempting to beat his own record time of twenty minutes down to the ground, which he would have had the elevator mechanic not gotten in the way on the 37th floor). In consequence, he couldn’t walk very well for a few days afterward, and so my mom would send me down to bring up lunch. To make the job easier, I was allowed to take the elevator.
Well, on the first Saturday after dad’s injury, I left the apartment, just like every other day, to take the plunge down to the ground floor to bring up lunch. I must have had my mind on something else at the time, because I distinctly remember now that I accidently punched the ‘up’ button on the control panel instead of the ‘down’ button, which is the only one worth pushing when you live a hundred stories above the ground. Anyhow, instead of staying where it was, as it should have at the top of the building when one pushes the ‘up’ button, the elevator did go up, straight through the roof of the building. The last thing I remember thinking before being thrown against the wall by the force of the rocket boosters underneath is “I’m gonna get that elevator mechanic somedaaaaaaay!”
When I finally woke up, it took me a few moments to realize that the elevator had stopped, and a few more before I was ready to stand up. After ten minutes, I did so, walked to the control panel, and punched the ‘doors open’ button. As soon as I stepped outside the elevator, I heard a loud, robotic-sounding voice announce “Abduction pod 15 has returned. Welcome, Earthling.”
Turning around to look for the speaker the voice was surely coming from, all I saw was a green humanoid creature wearing a bright red jumpsuit. The creature greeted me again. “Welcome, young Earthling.”
Stunned, I hesitated, and then asked the thing “Where am I?”
“On Mars, of course, buster, where’d you think, the Hilton Hotel, New York, USA, Earth?”
“What am I doing on Mars?!” I shouted at the alien receptionist, inexplicably hoping that it had the answer. Surprisingly enough, it did.
“You can hear, can’t you?!” It shouted back, in it’s strange robotic voice. “You heard me say you arrived on abduction pod 15, didn’t you?!”
“You abducted me?! What do you want from me?! What do want from any Earthling? You’re Martians! You’ve got all the super high-tech technology Earth is still only imagining! Where are your high-powered laser guns?! Where are your teleportation tubes?!” I retorted, stomping over to the alien’s desk and pounding my fist on it.
“I’m only a receptionist. I don’t know where they keep those things. There is one thing I do know about, though.” Having said this, the alien pushed a bulky gray computer keyboard toward me until my chin was practically resting on it. A moment or two went by while I stared dumbfounded at the typewriter in front of me.
“A typewriter?! A typewriter?! Is that all you have?!” I shouted, astounded.
“Typewriter, you call it?” The alien replied, surprised “Really? My superior calls it the HAWC, short for Hyper Accelerated Word Copier.”
I was so surprised at the backwardness of the Martian society I had landed in that I hardly noticed that I had lifted the alien’s ‘HAWC’ above my head and was preparing to throw it across the room. I was stopped just in time by the alien, who exclaimed “Careful! That’s my only one! Those things cost five hundred spoons, and I only get paid three hundred every year!”
“How long is the year on Mars?”
“About twice as long as yours.”
“How much is a spoon worth on this planet compared to a American dollar from Earth?”
“Have you got some on you? Find out for yourself.” The alien replied, pointing toward an enormous box that I would have mistaken for a soda machine had there been a coke on the front. Instead, I saw a large image of a shiny golden spoon. In every other way, the box was exactly like a soda machine. I walked over to it and dug two dollars out of my pocket. I fed them into the machine and waited. After a moment or two, I heard the noise of several objects tumbling down a narrow chute to the opening at the bottom of the dispenser. I reached into the opening and drew out, not two, but twenty spoons, which would have been hidden in plain sight on any dinner table, except for the fact that they really were solid gold.
“Crazy!” I shouted, holding up the spoons. “It’s like, a universal ATM!”
“ATM?” the curious alien replied questioningly. “That’s not what we call it. We call it the MISS, Mysteriously Instant Spoon Supplier.”
“Well, you’ve beat us there.” I conceded to the alien. “That’s a better name than ATM. Now what happens?”
Just at that moment, a second alien walked into the room through the door to the left of the first alien’s desk. This alien’s voice sounded like Darth Vader talking down a tube. It bounced around the room painfully as he announced “Interrogation room 5 is now prepared for the subject. You are cleared to bring him in, Minion 10.”
TO BE CONTINUED... IF ANYBODY LIKES IT...