Dear Ms. McAllen,
I wish to hire you.
The terms of our contract are as follows:
1. I, Gork, will require the full use of your body for one "year", or one rotation around your star. This period will begin once the contract is signed by both parties and will not end until the period reaches its aforementioned end, or circumstances force an early departure.
2. You may set limits for my use of your body, including but not limited to:
a) serious injury and / or death
b) acquisition and atrophy of muscle memory
c) diet, general health and fitness
d) interactions with others of your species
3. You will disclose any health / safety information pertaining to your body, monetary assets, interpersonal relationships, and potential connections to the Irish mob.
4. You may provide your price at the start of your service. The going rate for hosting is 3.531 metric tons of pure Ag (what humans call "silver"). Any more than that and payment will be delayed by up to 239 years, to account for shipping delays and cross-galaxy traffic.
I'm flattered? I think? Your proposal took me by surprise. Why me, specifically? How long have you been stalking me? Are you a parasitic alien or a creatively named serial killer?
Of course, with payment like that, you don't really have to answer those questions. My answer is yes! Yes, yes, yes! My medical history is enclosed, as are my demands and limits. My answer is, however, conditional upon your response to this question:
Why? Why do you need a human body? I have a lot more questions, but I can ask those in person.
I look forward to your response,
Dear Ms. McAllen,
I want to crawl into your skin.
I want to know what it is to feel your hair pricking at your eyelids in the middle of the night, to hear the particular timbre of your voice as it resonates up the jaw and into the ear, bypassing the air in favor of something private and vibrating and loud. I want to warm your hands with a mug of your favorite tea, burn your tongue on it as we watch the rain dash itself hopelessly against the windowpanes.
Does it hurt, when you stretch your arms up above your head? When your knees go snap-crackle-pop every time you stand up?
I see the smudges on your glasses, and I want to clean them. I see the ragged edges of your nails (oh yes, you can't hide that habit from me) and I wonder what stressor makes you worry at them.
I am small, fragile, ethereal. I am tentacles and wavering light and tentative connections. I need a body that hates and destroys and loves, without fear of being crushed underfoot or microwaved into oblivion by your star. The close one. What do you call it... "sun"? I need a host. Something unbreakable that crashes through the world.
I want... I need, to wrap myself in your skin. To use you as protection, transportation, and a somewhat less alarming interface with which to interact with others of your kind.
In short? My dear Meghan, I want to live.
I'll see you in three... days? Is that what you call the rotations of your planet? How charming.
Wrap up your affairs. I'll see you soon...
Not My Dream Job
"Maya! Did you even hear what I asked?" My friend, Alexis, demanded directly in my face with a snap of her fingers. Becoming an award winning singer and actress turned glorified social media influence did not quite help her patience - especially her patience with those of her employ. Working as one of the many spiritual advisors on her team meant providing my opinion to every single decision she made throughout her day, which entailed contributing more thought to the choices of someone else than I did for myself.
When we became friends in high school, I never could have imagined the girl with larger than life dreams would hire me to advise her on a topic with which I had a minimal amount of information. How many people out there went to Catholic school, had all the sacraments - baptism, first communion, confirmation - and could not tell you a single thing about what they learned?
Yet here I am, supposedly the encyclopedia on the Catholic church to a friend turned self obsessed personality forever unaware she was living in a delusional word of her own making.
Facing her with a faux serene smile pasted on my face I calmly breathed through my response. "I apologize, what was your question?"
Huff. "Do you think I would run into problems with the bible thumpers with the plans for my next vlog? I mean, documenting the female empowerment of sex to millions of viewers!"
She ended her exclamation with a smile so big it seemed as though every one of her pearly white veneers shined their display into the room. Every ounce of her illuminated with her latest idea - vlogging a day in the sexual life of Alexis DeMarco; her latest stunt at de-stigmatizing the reality of women have sex, and even beyond this, women like to have sex. The one before this was a review of celebrity sex tapes, specifically those of Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson.
Now, there is no issue in trying to remove the stigma on women, the idea they can only be one thing. Societal requirement to easily place a label on every individual, especially women, is based in lazy and outdated views of small minded men. Alexis is not, however, working to highlight the previously stated issue. Alexis is working to make her name and brand as popular as possible, she is trying to achieve a label as champion of feminism when she is nothing more than a performative activist.
Creating a whole video in which you provide reviews to celebrity sex tapes shown to the world without the consent of the people on them is cruel. It is not empowering. It further labels women as singularly sexual objects performing for the eyes of other when they're not. They were women having sex with people they trusted for the entertainment and views of them only. Women with lives and privacy they never consented to having invaded.
I tried to steer her from this one with talk of God wanting people to move with respect of others. You know, because of that one commandment about your neighbor? She thought it was a great idea. Before I let the building anger in my chest consume me, I finally answered her question.
"Do I think bible thumpers will be upset you vlog your sexual encounters with your boyfriend throughout the day? No. Alexis, to them, your video will only be one of many many forms of pornographic content saturating media these days. Just another thing for their kids to secretly watch with their friends and giggle about. Do I think they may more publicly cry regarding the continuing fall of society due to the early exposure of sexual content to children? Sure. But will they give two shits about what you're doing? No."
With my last words, I knew I hit home the biggest issue for Alexis. She did not care about doing anything to help women. She cared about her name being in the mouths of millions of people.
Looking at her made me realize the enormous affect my attitude ridden diatribe had on her. She had growing fire in her eyes and ensuing rage, all pointed towards me as she forced out between clenched teeth, "What did you just say to me?"
When we met for our bi-weekly meetings, she always expected the utmost respect in every ounce of my being towards her. Lately however, I could not find the strength to lie anymore. I felt like as I saw less and less of the girl who became my friend over our shared dreams of making art for a living, I also saw less of myself. My life was no longer mine, it purely existed in connection to her. What happened to me, the girl who wanted to write for a living and share her stories with the world?
Did I become too scared of the idea of failing? Fearful I would never make it, I never even tried? So when my friend came to me after achieving her first record deal with an offer to work for her as an advisor, I jumped at the chance. How can you feel the disappointment of failure if you never try?
I was content to live in the safety of working at a job for which I had little to no passion, because I spent my days with my friend. All I had to do was provide my opinion every once in a while and I got paid. Why would anyone complain about working for a job where you make great money and basically do little to no actual work? Maybe the complaints will start when you stop seeing your friend very often. Maybe they will begin when you're sent different books on Catholicism every week you must read to ensure the best advisement possible. Or maybe it happens when you finally work up the courage to write a manuscript, give it your friend's manager for some help and he and your friend laugh in your face.
No. I think the grievances will come when your friend publicly announces she gave you this job after you begged her for it because you have always dreamed of making biblical messages more mainstream. The day after laughing at your year's work manuscript.
There it is. The biggest source of my lost patience. She really thinks I have a pinch of respect for someone who thinks so little of me. Maya, her little servant who lives and breaths to think for someone else.
Looking Alexis right in the eye I calmly reply, "You heard what I said Alexis. No one cares. You want to stand up for women? Maybe call out the largest corporations publishing content from women without their consent? Maybe showcase the full spectrum of your life as a multifaceted women who does not have one singularly label on her? Or is that last one too hard because you are not multifaceted? The only label you have is you, because all you think about is yourself!" Fuming in my last words I hear my chair scrape back as I stand from the table.
Before I can leave the room and possible even leave her life for good, she gets up from her seat and is slapping me across the face. I hear her say, "You're fucking fired and I want you gone," while I grab my cheek.
I can feel the slight stink from her slap when I smile my big, every 6 months cleaned slightly not straight teeth and laugh, "Thank you."
As I make my way out of her office in her grossly large mansion overlooking the Hollywood Hills I do pause for a moment. One last time between the friends we used to be.
"I am thankful you know. Maybe not right now, but for all you did in the beginning. I know you never intended for any of this to become so big and in your own way you did take care of me. So thank you."
Her old self made a small appearance in the glimmer of tears in her eyes before she scoffed and restated her order to leave.
She did wind up making the vlog on her sexual life and like I said, no one cared. Maybe it was anger I was right or frustration she had been so wrong, but she gave my manuscript to a publisher and had it published under some pseudonym - Allie Mark.
So I figured, if she would make such a move as if to show nothing in our friendship had been sacred. If she could steal my work. Then everything we shared was up for grabs. Never disrespect the cherished creations of another person.
Finishing these last words, I heard the applause of the crowd gathered before me. I was on the last stop of my book tour celebrating the best selling novel Faux Friends. Quite a corny title if you asked me, but my publisher marketed the shit out of exposing the real life of Alexis DeMarco and how she used the many people who dedicated so much time to her.
It might make me no better than her to have written a book on such a topic. A glorified gossip blogger, but I finally wrote something. Judge me, critique me. I have an in with a publisher who is willing to hear my ideas for once. I am finally living for myself
Dr. Mitch studied the alien plant. It had grown larger than expected, given the planet's gravity, 1.2 times that of Earth's. He poked one of the large pink pods coming out of it. It must have been a fruit, similar to an apple, but it was nearly twice as big as a watermelon. It was also bright pink. He debated cutting into the plant and taking a few pods home to his lab, but his pack was already filled with several other strange looking fruits. Each one of these fruits were multicoloured; the fruits colours were purple, white, black, yellow, and a few different varieties of green. He couldn't even zip the pack all the way up.
"Ugh, I will get you tomorrow then." He said as he stood up, wondering what it tasted like. He saw one of the local xenomals, the name his mission gave to alien animals, eating the fruit. The xenomal was one of the ones that looked like a cross between a antelope and a snake. It had the horns and legs of the mammel, but Dr. Mitch and his coworkers guessed that it was a cold blooded creature, due to slow it was during the colder days. It also had the scaly skin and eyes of a snake. However, his team had not had the opportunity to capture and disect one of them. The xenomal had grabbed the pink fruit with its large neck and pulled it off. It then used its hooves to crack open the outer layer and then licked up the inner flesh of the fruit. However, it bolted away when Dr. Mitch had gotten out of his hiding spot.
Dr. Mitch had one last look at the fruit plant with its large pink watermelon like pods, and then he started back for the lab. The hour long walk back was a bit uneventful, he saw a few more of the snake/antelope things, Snakelopes? But, he did not get to see the whole flock of nearly 50 beasts that he and Dr. Adam saw a few days ago in the same area. Dr. Adam insisted on calling it a flock despite it looking more like a herd. There was not a single feather amoung them. Adam was the xenobiologist focused on animals, while Dr. Mitch was focused on the plants, so Mitch went along with it. Dr. Mitch snapped a few pictures of the xenomals, but they were not high quality.
He got back to the lab, located at the bottom of a mountain surrounded by alien plants with a sealable capsule in the mountain. The capsule was there in case of a disasterlike an earthquake or volcanic eruption. So far they had not needed to use it. Mitch climbed over some the wooden barricades they had put up, so protect the local wildlife from the highly electric fence that surround the lab. He reached the electric fence's door and keyed in. The door opened and he walked in, looking around to see anyone. Nobody, he must have been the first that got back from the daily expedition. He went into one of the lab buildings and took off his suit, which included a helmet even though the planet's air was breathable. He set his pack on the table and started sorting the fruit. It was only then that he noticed the sweet smell coming off of them. It made his mouth water, and remainded him of sweet strawberries.
Without thinking, he picked up the yellow fruit and took a bite.
Alpine Falls was no joke. Bears, fucking EVERYWHERE. And there was only one person who could protect the amusement park quests and employees: Roxanne. Burly, they were larger than any other person at the park. They were strong, and built for endurance. Calloused hands attached to thick wrists, which gave way to muscular arms. A ripped and scarred torso was hidden beneath layers of flannel: full lumberjack garb. Onlookers were in awe at the sight of them, and were more grateful for them then they would know. Roxanne had the most important job of all: fighting the bears. Alpine Falls was an extremely popular tourist attraction and theme park, styled after the Swiss Alps. Montana seemed to fit the bill for a location, but the investors didn't think about the bears. So many fucking bears. Grizzlies were prevalent in the area, and when the park first opened, bear attacks were rampant. That is, until they hired Roxanne. They had lived their life with their father, who bred and raised big cats down in Florida. He was eventually killed by the very animals he cared for (it was common in the big cat profession), so Roxanne decided to spend the rest of their days up north, taking rich men on hunts for big game. They had hunt many different animals, and bears were nothing new. But, the their job at the park had a very odd twist. They weren't allowed to shoot the bears with a gun. The owners didn't want to scare the guests with gun shots, or the sight of a gun strapped to an employee. So, Roxanne had to bear knuckle box these fucking bears. They trained for a year and a half before taking the job. No one could do this but Roxanne, and they knew it. They were the best. Guests loved it. Roxanne, bravely having a fist-cuffs with a 600 pound grizzly. It truly was a sight to behold. A knife was gifted to them after awhile, which was a blessing. Roxanne could take down a bear easily, but killing them was an entirely different story. A good twist of the head, sometimes strangling would work. But it took a lot of strength and patience, which, Roxanne lacked much of the second. They would pin the bears, or the bears would get them against a tree, and the large knife would be pulled from its sheath to meet the bear's thick neck. Blood would spew everywhere, sometimes flinging onto park goers that would get too close. The kids would stare in half terror, half sick enjoyment. "Who the hell would bring their kids here?"; Roxanne thought anyone who would come here was absolutely bat shit crazy. But, they were payed well, and they were saving people. "What a bunch of fucking nut jobs", they would think, as they punched another grizzly in the face.