I was approached by a strange group of humans. Not strange as in from a different cultural background or race – strange strange.
They looked very human except for their slightly extended jaws and hooves instead of normal human hands. They were a large group and formed a circle around me.
‘Come on,’ one of them said in a deep voice. ‘You’re coming with us.’
‘We’ve identified you as the next specimen for our genetic experiments. You are our new lab rat,’ another declared.
There was a big number of them and they stuck together tightly to form a circular wall around my body, so I knew I had no chance of making it out of there.
‘o.k.’ I said.
They all clapped in unison like one big audience. Then they started protruding weird sounds – very similar to a cult call – after which a bright light flashed from the sky.
The light started to descend on us, and as it got closer to the ground I felt an incredible heat along with it.
When the white light hit the ground it shined over all of us, and we slowly started to levitate off the ground. Then the light sucked us high into the dark sky.
From there on I was blinded by the powerful light. I couldn’t see anything but felt my body continuing to rise and rise until it finally stopped. Then the light disappeared and we were inside of a strange vessel.
‘This is our mother ship,’ one of the aliens proclaimed. ‘It’s also the hub for all our experiments.’
‘What kind of experiments?’ I asked.
‘Genetic slicing,’ another one said. ‘We select humans based on specific criteria and abduct them so that we can run tests on them.’
‘What kind of criteria?’
‘Social indicators,’ another explained. ‘Things like communication, interaction, dating, popularity serve as parameters to evaluate humans based on their social lives and thus determine their importance. You see, we believe that human beings are just another failed experiment – an incomplete species that is only close to the finished product. Through our advanced scientific research and methods we hope to successfully engineer the perfect specimen by genetic mutation.’
‘And why did you select me then?’
‘Because we’ve identified you as our next potential test subject. By sacrificing you we hope to create a new mutant that will be far superior to any living human.’
‘But first,’ another mutant said, ‘we need to run some tests to make sure we’ve selected the correct candidate.’
The alien pulled out a small machine that resembled a taser. On that machine were a blank screen and a lot of buttons. The mutant pushed one of the buttons and the machine lit up. He pressed another and started scanning me from top to bottom. The screen drew a graph and started displaying values.
‘This is a rigorous method of analysis,’ the mutant said proudly. ‘These results will determine if you’re good enough to be altered.’
Once the machine stopped recording values the alien pressed another button. He turned the machine off after sending the data and displaying it on a big screen hooked on a wall behind us.
He read the data.
‘Strange,’ he said.
‘What is it?’ another one of them asked.
‘These readings seem a bit…off,’ he answered him. ‘They show that this man lacks any kind of social skills and human interaction. It’s almost like he’s different from all the other humans. Let’s see…no relationship track, no dating attempts, no social interactions… it seems this man has been living off nothing but solitude. He’s closed down from all other humans.’
‘This is by far the poorest data I’ve seen in a human,’ another one said. ‘Not only does this man make a terrible specimen for our experiments, it’s amazing he’s still even alive at this point.’
Another alien approached me. ‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘don’t you ever miss going out or meeting people? Don’t you choke on loneliness? Doesn’t your heart bleed for love like the rest of the humans? Normally the social aspect of a man’s life is his strongest point but also his greatest weakness because it ties everything else together. For you that’s both a bad and a good thing – it makes you look poor and insignificant as an individual but it also eliminates your weakness.’
‘Uh-huh,’ I said.
‘You got lucky kid,’ the mutant said while patting me on the back. ‘We had a laser prepared to cut through you and everything. For now, consider your life spared by some higher mercy.’
I stared into his mutant eyes. ‘Love will save us all in the end, right?’ I said. None of them answered.
‘If that were true, though,’ I continued, ‘then most of us would have already found paradise or the great big flower garden or heaven or the greater sky above us. I guess then that there’s no telling what might save a man…what this world is truly made of that holds down its pillars and keeps it grounded until one day it decides to pull itself from under like an old rug and send us all crumbling into the big black pit.’
The aliens all looked at me with astonishment. ‘We might have some use for you after all,’ one of them said. ‘Tell me, what is it that you do with your life since you don’t seem to fulfill any of your basic social needs?’
The aliens looked astonished again, but this time, their expression quickly turned to anger and disappointment.
‘Thanks for coming with us,’ one of them said. ‘But that’ll be all.’
He pushed a big button and a hole opened up under my feet. Another light came down from the ceiling and I was caught in it. The light carried me through the hole and out of the ship, all the way back to earth. When my feet hit the ground, I looked up but could no longer see the alien vessel.
I walked around and made it to a small park. I went inside and started wondering whether this was all a dream.
But then that cold, harsh loneliness crept up on me and sent a shiver down my spine – and I knew it was too true to be a dream.