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THE LIES THAT BIND
Until a few weeks ago, Ronnie Dirksen was just another run-of-the-mill liar. Everyone knew he was a liar; no secret there, but Ronnie was also a very bad liar. His intellect was pitifully average, yet he stubbornly continued to sell his lies, though no one ever bought them. The thing was, Ronnie always lacked the one paramount detail that would make people believe him: evidence. He never had the evidence to back his claims, which were mostly about his supposed encounters with extra-terrestrials.
“Hey, Dirksen, seen any aliens tonight?” was the sort of jeer thrown at Ronnie by the town's cool kids, and was often followed by shrill, derisive laughter.
“I'll show them, someday!” thought Ronnie, every time they made fun of him.
Now Ronnie felt sure he had a way to finally prove his claims, though he knew they were bogus to begin with. It was all about the attention, and more than anything, he wanted to be able to say, “I told you so!” to all those jerks that had teased him for so long.
His plan, which seemed like pure genius to him, would provide the vital evidence he never had before. For starters, he acquired (stole) a veterinary implant gun while taking his mother's pooch in to see Dr. Larson for a check up. He would utilize the device on himself.
He had seen more than his share of alien movies, as well as every X-Files episode, and what was always the most irrefutable piece of evidence? The implant, which was usually found lodged somewhere in the abductee's head.
The next believable aspect of his hoax, according to Ronnie, was that he would fast for three days before the planned event. He had to be dehydrated, another common myth about abductees, to pull it off.
Lastly, he had to put himself in the right place, far from civilization, and stay there for the requisite three-day period. He would tell his mom, who worried non-stop about him, that he was going on a camping/hiking trip, and would be gone for a day or two.
While out there, he would implant the shiny, tick-tack sized piece of metal into his head, just above the hairline, and then begin his drive home after the three days were up.
He would arrive at his mother's house, dehydrated and starving. She would undoubtedly call for an ambulance, which would set the con in motion. At the hospital, he would be treated for his dehydrated state, but he would also have x-rays taken of his head. This would represent the evidence he was after.
The x-rays would definitely show the foreign object just under his skin. Surely the doctors would offer to remove the ambiguous implant, but he would sternly deny any attempt. He wanted the x-rays, and nothing else. The rest of the con would rely on his fabricated story.
# # # # # #
On his first day in the wilds of Sandpoint, Idaho, Ronnie killed time by building a fire and listening to his portable stereo. He hadn't brought any real food or water, but did bring one pack of gum: sugarless. He didn't want any trace of sustenance in his system when the doctors checked him out.
His second day seemed much harder than the first. He had chewed all of his gum, and the batteries in his portable stereo were almost dead. He kicked himself for falling asleep while listening to it. He went on a short hike, but soon returned to his makeshift camp for fear of getting lost.
That night, he warily took out the implant tool he'd taken from the vet's office, and with great courage (or stupidity) inserted the huge hypodermic needle under the skin, high on his forehead, and pressed the trigger. The device made a loud “Click,” and the small piece of metal, which was actually a metal bead from an old necklace, shot into his head.
He tossed the veterinary tool into the thick, brushy foliage and staggered away, howling in pain. It hurt a lot more than he'd expected, and it bled copiously.
He settled down next to the fire, unable to listen to his music, and so resigned himself to thinking about the fame and fortune that would soon be within his reach. His head throbbed where he'd implanted the bead, and his stomach groaned with hunger.
A few hours later, as the fire dwindled and eventually died completely; Ronnie lay tucked warmly in his sleeping bag, and gazed up at the stars. “I wonder if there really are aliens?” he thought, as he closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep.
The forest creatures were surprisingly quiet. No birds sang out. Nothing moved stealthily through the underbrush. An odd hush had fallen over the land. This fact went unnoticed by Ronnie.
He was weak with hunger, and his head was now burning where he'd implanted the metal bead. He was definitely feeling the effects of dehydration, but felt confident the sacrifice would pay off. This thought gave him comfort and helped him relax enough to begin drifting off to sleep.
It wasn't long before he was in a deep slumber, snoring loudly with his mouth open wide, providing an inviting place for any number of insects to take shelter.
His eyes began moving rapidly back and forth beneath his closed eyelids. He was dreaming.
# # # # #
The first thing Ronnie noticed was the icy air on his face and neck. He opened his eyes, blinking in confusion at the sudden change in dreamscape. “Am I still dreaming?” he thought.
The dimly lit room around him seemed to be round and featureless, with a domed ceiling. Ronnie could hear unintelligible muttering all around him, but he couldn't see anyone. His eyes were still blurred and unfocused. A sharp tapping sound echoed throughout the small room.
He tried to reach up and rub his eyes, but he couldn't move his hands or arms. Panic started to slowly creep into his mind. Next he tried to move his legs, but they were also firmly affixed to what Ronnie now realized was a table of some sort. Several blurry figures moved up on either side of him, muttering quietly amongst themselves. The tapping sound continued.
Finally, Ronnie's eyes adapted to the somber light, and he could now see the beings that stood around him. They were humanoid; tall and thin, but more resembled reptiles with their big, solid black eyes and grayish-green scaled skin. A crown of formidable horns ringed their heads, and their long spindly fingers were tipped with four-inch, dagger-like claws, which tapped loudly on the metallic gurney that Ronnie Dirksen lay bound upon.
“No way! It can't be!” yelled Ronnie as he struggled against his bonds. “You guys aren't real! It was just a con! You aren't real! You aren't real! You aren't--” Ronnie's shrieks of denial trailed off as he glimpsed the being on his left begin to reach out toward his head with one wicked-looking claw extended.
With a quick flick of its razor sharp claw, the being made a precise incision and removed the metal bead that Ronnie had implanted earlier. His screams of pain echoed and reverberated throughout the sphere-like room. The being held the bloody metal bead up to the soft light, clutched between two claws. It briefly examined the bead, and then dropped it onto the gurney next to Ronnie's head.
There was a fast, garbled exchange between the alien beings, and then all but one left the room. Ronnie wasn't sure, he thought he might be hallucinating, but it looked like a section of the curved wall had simply melted away to release the departing aliens, and then reformed in their wake.
The one remaining creature stared down at Ronnie with its huge, dark eyes. For a moment, Ronnie thought he saw compassion and sympathy in those Delphic orbs. That thought was quickly scrambled, along with Ronnie's Pre-Frontal Cortex, as the being thrust one of its claws through Ronnie's left eye. He convulsed violently for a few seconds, his legs drumming uselessly against the gurney, then stilled completely. Ronnie Dirksen was dead.
With the clinical detachment of a surgeon, the alien creature began dissecting and quartering Ronnie's torso and limbs. He was far from the first human to be captured by these particular beings, and for the most part, they found humans to be largely useless. They do, however, find them quite tasty.
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