Elvis Has Left the Planet

Submitted into Contest #210 in response to: Set your story after aliens have officially arrived on Earth.... view prompt

14 comments

Funny Science Fiction Contemporary

Dean staggered into the kitchen rubbing his bleary eyes.

“Coffee. Gotta have coffee. My kingdom for a cup!”

His kids, Lucy and Rex, looking at the morning paper, barely reacted. They’d heard it many times. Rex focused on the sports section. Lucy commandeered the calendar page.

“Where’s your mother?” He began making coffee.

Monica, still in her robe and slippers, stood at the kitchen door. “Here. What a night! Dogs barking. Lights flashing…” Dean rolled his eyes. “You too?”

“Like the good old days, huh?”

She smiled wanly. “Ready for school, kids?”

They mumbled an affirmative. Dean read over Lucy’s shoulder.

“Damn! I wanted tickets…”

Monica looked at him. “To?”

“Taylor Swift’s show sold out…”

“Never, never gonna…”

“How many people…” Dean grabbed the front page. “Oh my god! Look! Aliens have landed!”

Rex ran to look. “Wow! Space aliens, Dad!”

Monica shuffled up behind him. “Where?”

Dean read, “Just outside Bakersfield! Close!” They locked eyes. “Easy drive.”

Monica said, “You mean…?”

Lucy said, “Could we?”

Rex yelled, “Yay!” He began dancing. “Goin’ to see the aliens!”

“What about school?”

“So, they miss a day. Once in a lifetime… Remembered forever.”

“We’ll write a note. Grab your stuff. Oh, I’m a mess!” Monica ran out.

Dean called in sick from work. “RV’s gassed up… Traveling in style!”

“Don’t forget sunscreen!”

Lucy changed into a polka-dot party dress and found favorite lipstick. Rex raced around making sci-fi noises.

“All stocked up. Let’s hit it!”

The kids ran to the RV.

Monica stopped Dean and did a twirl. “How do I look?”

“Out of this world!” They laughed.

Dean pulled onto the highway. Traffic was light.

Lucy asked, “Think they’re friendly, Dad?”

“Of course. We’d know by now if they weren’t.”

“Pow! Pow!” Rex aimed his finger at his sister.

She pushed his hand away. “Cut it out, Rex. Fingers don’t shoot lasers.”

“Mine does.”

“Then be careful picking your nose…”

Traffic bunched up about twenty miles out. Roadside souvenir stands sold t-shirts and google-eye glasses. A sign touted ‘extra-terressed kettle corn,’ and toys. Traffic crawled by a guy selling tin foil hats from the back of his truck. Dean thought, ‘What a geek.

“Dad! Can I get one of those?”

“There’ll be plenty of stuff to buy, Rex. You won’t wear that.”

“But I will. Promise. They’re cool. I always wanted one.”

Dean pulled over and found parking. A family walked by eating ‘alien’ funnel cakes.

“Anyone hungry?”

Monica and Lucy declined. Rex wanted everything and now.

“Lucy, sure you don’t want a hat?”

“No thanks. Hate hat hair…”

They perused the t-shirt selection at another stand. Lucy held some up for her mother’s opinion.

“‘Take me to your breeder,’ is boxy. ‘I lean alien’ is nice. You like the color?”

“Chartreuse clashes with everything I have.”

They piled back onto the RV and edged into the slow, steady traffic. A billboard featured pictures of classic movie aliens. It advertised the theme park that hadn’t existed 48 hours before.

Lucy looked from her phone. “I just googled,” she said. “They’ve landed all around the world. Say they come in peace.”

“Good to know,” said Monica.

“But what do they want?” asked Dean.

Lucy said, “It says the rocket came from the planet ‘Bop.’”

“Never heard of it.” Monica laughed.

“Good beat. Easy to dance to,” Dean added.

Rex asked Lucy “What are they talking about?” She shrugged.

The traffic began to move as it split into streams for parking.

The giant rocket loomed in the distance.

Rex could only say, “Wow!”

The family found parking and joined the crowd migrating toward the rocket. A ramp came into view. A low stage stood at its base. People gathered as if for a show.

The crowd cheered as a figure dressed in white began descending the ramp. It raised his arms in greeting. A glittering white cape wafted behind him.

Dean stopped. “Wait, what? Did I make a wrong turn and end up in Vegas?”

Lucy said, “Is that…?”

“It looks like…”

Monica shouted. “It’s Elvis! He’s so dreamy.”

Rex said, “That’s not Elvis. He’s fake.”

Lucy bit her knuckle and said, “But he’s still dreamy.”

Cell phones began pinging. Lucy checked hers.

“They’re inviting earthlings to planet Bop.” She summarized. “When they left Bop, Elvis was in style here. Due to the vast distance traveled, their fashion trends lagged.”

Her phone pinged several more times.

She said, “China rejected this invitation. They say Elvis is an American propaganda tool.”

Monica said, “All I know, is he’s dreamy.”

Rex and Dean shrugged at each other.

Lucy said, “They’re desperate to repopulate their planet. Everyone looks like Elvis. They have no females. Everyone’s invited. A good time will be had by all.”

The women surged forward and lined up at the ramp’s base.

As if sleep walking, Lucy joined the line. Monica looked at Dean.

He said, “You must be joking.”

“I’m sorry, Dean. You can’t argue with dreamy.” She took Lucy’s hand and looked back at him.

He nodded. “I understand. Go…”

Monica wiped a tear from her eye and turned away. She and Lucy jumped up and waved to the Elvis alien.

Dean called out. “I’ll miss you…”

“What are Mom and Lucy thinking, Dad?”

Dean watched them. “Good question. You’re a smart kid. I don’t get it.”

“They look happy.”

“I hope so.”

The crowd surged to safety at the sight of another spaceship approaching. Shaped like a saucer, it landed a hundred yards from the rocket. The updraft made the long flaps around its perimeter flutter and fly up.

It settled. A portal opened and a ramp emerged.

A voice like honey announced, “Greetings! We come from the planet ‘Hubba.’”

An alien emerged and walked gracefully down the ramp. Its white dress moved hypnotically with every step. The crowd of men swayed as the alien descended with an alluring smile.

Dean’s mouth dropped open. “Marilyn…”

“Wow! She’s prettier than Mom!”

“Shhh!”

From the line of women, Lucy said, “That’s not Marilyn.”

Rex pulled at Dean’s sleeve. “Who’s Marilyn?”

The men silently lined up to board the saucer. Thousands of people stood in two lines. No one spoke.

Throughout the crowd, I-phones pinged. People broke from the lines and walked to their cars.

Dean called out. “Lucy! What’s going on?”

She held up her phone. “Look, Dad… Taylor Swift tickets!”

“Unbelievable!” He shouted, “Use the app, Lucy. Use the app! Did you get the tickets?”

She tapped her phone and, grinning, nodded.

Dean pumped the air. “Yes!” He waved at Monica and Lucy. “Let’s go!”

They broke free from the crowd and ran to the RV.

The alien Elvis and Marilyn watched as the lines dissolved. Turning, they saw each other. Each stepped from their stages and shimmied toward each other in a silent dance.

Dean’s family boarded the RV. He idled forward as cars approached the exit.

He looked at Monica sitting in the seat beside him and reached out.

“I love you…”

She took his hand and smiled. “I love you too…”

Entering the highway, they rolled toward home. The souvenir stands they’d seen earlier had packed up and left.

Rex said, “Man! I didn’t even get a t-shirt!”

Dean said, “Wear your tin foil hat, kid. I paid good money for that.”

He looked at the solid line of cars leading away from the spaceships.

“Will you look at the traffic!”

August 07, 2023 14:19

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14 comments

Amanda Lieser
13:40 Sep 21, 2023

Hi John! It’s an interesting premise-desperate planets hoping for one last bid at survival. I loved how the husband and the wife got their own “dreamy” version of the past. But the happy ending was the cherry on top. The dialogue felt realistic and fun. I love how the world didn’t collapse upon the aliens’ arrival. It felt realistic. Nice work!!

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John K Adams
14:50 Sep 21, 2023

This was so much fun to write. I'm glad it worked for you. Sci-fi is an odd genre. I can't help but be in a playful mood when attempting it. Thanks for reading and commenting so extensively.

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Cedric Busteed
18:57 Aug 18, 2023

Cute little slice of Americana with funny insight on pop culture. The dialogue can be a bit vague on who's talking, but that's a given with more than two characters.

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John K Adams
04:40 Aug 19, 2023

Cedric, thanks for pointing out your confusion with the dialogue. I'm usually careful about such things. I'll take another look.

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Michał Przywara
20:37 Aug 16, 2023

Ha! Hilarious and absurd :) How quick we are to abandon things, when something better comes along. Thankfully Taylor Swift saved the day. "extra-terressed kettle corn" :) I think the best moment was when the mother and daughter lined up for Elvis. The agreeable resignation in the father was just perfect for the story. Thanks for sharing!

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John K Adams
23:48 Aug 16, 2023

Thanks, as always, for reading and the comment. It is always a pleasure to find out what (and if something) worked.

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Delbert Griffith
13:26 Aug 16, 2023

The tale was hilarious, and you managed to skewer western consumerism in a savage and apt manner, John. This story has a lot in it, and all of it is amazing. Fantastic piece, my friend. Two big non-alien thumbs up! Cheers!

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John K Adams
15:00 Aug 16, 2023

Thanks Delbert. All the credit goes to my muse, who touched me profoundly, for this one. You packed a lot of superlatives into your comment. I thank you for each one.

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22:15 Aug 15, 2023

Very fun story John. Breezed through it, the dialogue is great!

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John K Adams
23:34 Aug 15, 2023

Thanks, Derrick. Always love comments. Glad it worked for you.

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Mary Bendickson
14:57 Aug 07, 2023

Elvis and Marilyn so passe. Taylor Swift is where it's at. Not sure if her songs have a good beat and easy to dance to, though.🕺

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John K Adams
16:52 Aug 07, 2023

I'm glad you got the complete subtext, Mary. Love your comments!

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Unknown User
19:10 Aug 15, 2023

<removed by user>

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John K Adams
19:57 Aug 15, 2023

Thanks Joe. It was fun to write.

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