[a short story by ~burning woman~ ]
Ada Muir has just finished with the bathroom and exits into the hall leading into the kitchen when there is a knock at the door of her small, clean suburban bungalow.
She thinks, ‘What the…at eight AM?’
She looks through the peep hole and sees a man with what appears to be a roll of papers under his arm. She opens the inner door a wedge, “Yes?”
“Ah, good morning ma’am. My name is Valentor. My company has just expanded its readership into this area and I represent the Venus Monthly, a magazine with a varied theme, but dealing mostly with stories emanating from this system. If you could give me a few minutes of your time, I could introduce you to our feature article of the month.”
“I’m sorry, but do I look like I was born last night?” She replies a bit huffed. “I don’t have time for this nonsense.”
“Oh, ma’am, time need not become an issue. If you don’t have any of yours, I’m entitled to let you use some of mine, within reason. Shall we say, a half hour of my time for free and you take out a one year subscription to Venus Monthly.”
Ada Muir, as it happens, is a part-time reporter for the Rosedale Herald and she realizes this cockamamie story could have potential. Plus she is totally taken by his rich, deep, bass voice. She unlatches the inner door.
“C’mon in, Mr. Valentor.”
He walks in. She sees that he is very tall, possibly the tallest man she’s ever met. Well dressed and under the sharp suit, she senses a body of perfect proportions. The face is chiseled but not harsh. She is particularly attracted to his lips and his ears… she gets a sudden urge to kiss him and chew on his earlobes.
‘What’s the matter with me!’ she remonstrates to herself as she smiles at her visitor.
“Nothing is the matter with you, Ada,” says Valentor. “I have that effect on most earth women. It’s called “sex appeal” and one of the reasons I’ve been given charge of this sector. It’s enjoyable for me. I hope it will prove as enjoyable for you.”
“You know my name; read my thoughts?”
“Yes, of course. Why? Should I not? Is this a breach of protocol?”
“I can’t read yours so it isn’t really fair, is it.”
“I don’t understand ‘fair’ in thought exchanges. Whether I read your thoughts or not doesn’t stop you from having them.”
“What if I thought something, well, too personal, or critical of your appearance, and such like?”
“What of it? It makes no difference. They’re still your thoughts. Have them.”
“What if they hurt your feelings in some ways?”
“That is of no concern of yours, they’re my feelings, not yours. What I do with my feelings is my business. Speaking of business, can I show you this month’s copy of our magazine? Cover page here, that’s the Crab Nebula, awesome isn’t it?”
“Are we on your time now?”
“When you leave it’ll still be eight o’clock my time?”
“Yes, of course. That was the understanding.”
Ada shakes her head. “Oh my, so sorry but in all this I forgot to offer you something to drink, to eat? Do you drink coffee, Mr. Valentor?”
“Yes, I have developed a taste for coffee. It is pleasant. I will have a coffee.”
She deftly slips a pod in the machine, slides a cup under the spout and flips down the actuator, pressing ‘medium’ to be safe.
“Cream and sugar?”
“Sugar only please. Two lumps.”
“They taught you to say that, didn’t they, your trainers before you came here? I knew it, I just knew it!” She half laughs, half smiles. She smells a story; she’s on track.
“I don’t understand. If you knew it, why did you ask?”
“It’s a different kind of knowing. Never mind. Have you ever tried your coffee black only, or with cream, or cream and sugar?”
“Those choices were not included in my training manual. I was not made aware of their availability.”
“Are you an AI Mr. Valentor? Artificial Intelligence? A robot? Are you human?”
“All of the above, of course, but I am also Pleiadian, primarily from source.”
“You mean from the actual Pleiades star system? Now you’re pulling my leg.”
“I would never do such a thing! Such a pointless and cruel thing to do to anyone; particularly to someone as pretty as yourself. What made you think I would pull your leg off? Why? You have such crude notions of relationships here.”
“I didn’t mean that literally! It’s just what we say when we think someone’s lying to us.”
“Why not just say, ‘You’re lying to me?'”
“Never mind. Here’s your coffee. Tell me if it is to your taste.”
“How could it not be? I don’t understand how it could be to someone else’s taste when I’m the one ingesting it.”
“That is an order I cannot comply with. I am designed to remember everything.”
Ada puts her head in her hands, “Oh, God! This conversation is becoming anal!”
“I am not God and you have no need to pray to me. Do not be worried, you will get your magazine, I assure you, and on time each month. To clarify, we were not having an anal conversation, we were definitely using our mouths.”
“Would you like a glass of warm water to help clear your throat impediment?”
“I don’t have a… Look, if we’re going to get along, will-you-please-not-comment-on-everything-I-say?”
“That seems quite impol…”
“Shut up! Just shut up, Mr. Valentor.”
Ada knows that she is now quite flushed and before she even realizes what she is doing, she stands up abruptly. Facing her alien salesman, looking down at his gorgeous face she drops her robe. Valentor looks up at the nude twenty three years, eight months, three days and thirteen hours of age Earthian female and thinks, ‘this I understand.’ He stands also, makes his clothing vanish and lets Ada get a full frontal view of his anatomy, waits while she tries to gather her thoughts, knowing what would come next.
Ada impulsively throws herself into the man’s embrace and hugs him to feel all of him. She then backs away, takes his hand and leads him to her bed.
It is a good thing the neighbours had already gone to work and their kids to school. If they had heard Ada’s cries they would have been certain someone was killing her and likely have called 911. The aftermath of an armed RCMP intervention would definitely have made a colourful story, though probably not one Ada would have cared to read about, much less watch on the evening local TV news.
There’s a lesson for us ladies here. Watch out for those tall, dark and irresistibly handsome time-traveling Pleiadian magazine salesmen. They’re a lot more than they at first appear. Just sayin’!