Science Fiction

Elephant In The Room Shaped Like A Monkey

By Perry Terrell

“You suck.”

           “Lauren!” yelled Jared. “For lack of a better term?” He thought she was joking.

           “There is no better term. You just plain suck.”

           “Why?” Jared asked.

           “Why? Why? Why, you ask? I see that monkey. I know it’s dark in this space ship, but I see that monkey. I thought since the two of us won this mission, it would be a great chance for us to be close and really get to know each other. But you brought a monkey along? Why would you do that? Why?”

           Jared looked puzzled. He was almost dazed and confused by Lauren’s outburst and attitude.

           “Suppose I want to kiss you and wind up kissing that monkey.”

           “Well, she has lips too.” He laughed so hard. He couldn’t see what the problem was with the monkey. Also, he still thought she was joking.

           “She? She? It’s a she?” Lauren was screaming.

           Jared was making frowning faces but Lauren couldn’t see his expressions because of the darkness.

           For a moment there was silence.

           Lauren went to the window and raised the shade. They were already on the moon and all she could see were Lunar Craters. Hundreds and thousands of them.

           “I want to go home,” she said.

           “Ahhh, we’re on the moon, Lauren. We have data to gather and pictures to take. Besides, you could have brought a pet.” Jared was trying to comfort her. He was saying to himself that this was going to be a real long mission if she keeps this up.

           “Well, my horse was in the shop and I couldn’t get him out in time for this trip.”

           For a moment Jared thought she was going to join him in a little humor. He went over to her by the window and put his arms around her waist.

           “Monkey, monkey, monkey,” she started yelling. “Get your monkey away from me.”

           Jared threw his hands up and back away. He said to himself again, yep, this is going to be a very long and painful mission.

           Meanwhile, the monkey was kicked back trying to see what she could see, mostly listening.

           Jared went over to his monkey and patted her on the head.

           “How did you get that monkey on this ship? I didn’t see you with a monkey packed with your things.”

           “The Captain put the monkey on the ship for me.” Immediately after he said, “for me,” he regretted it. He should have made it seem like the Captain did it as a part of the mission.

           “So, it is your monkey,” said Lauren.

           “The monkey is a part of the mission.”

           “By doing what exactly? You do know that three is a crowd.”

           “Lauren, please. Let’s just do our job and get along. The monkey is not a problem.”

           Lauren had romantic feelings for Jared. She was good friends with the moderator and had her manipulate the drawing to have the two of them paired up to take this mission together. There were a couple other candidates qualified to take this mission and gather the necessary data, but by the luck of the draw, she was paired with Jared.

           But with that monkey in the room, she had regrets. Although, she did fancy herself as romantically persuasive, she decided to ignore the monkey and try and concentrate on Jared. Besides, they were going to be stuck in this space ship on the moon for 27.3 earth days or there abouts.

           In her astronaut training, she think she read that if a person stays in one place on the moon, then the sun rises, stays up for about two earth weeks, then set, and stays down for about another two earth weeks. Then that makes a complete day on the moon which lasts as long as 27.3 earth days, or something like that. She was almost sure she remembered the correct calculations.

           “OMG!” said Lauren. “This monkey is going to start stinking. I’m not going to try and clean her up.”

           “Okay, Lauren,” she said to herself. “Get a grip. Ignore the monkey in the room. Twenty-seven point three days alone, well almost alone with Jared is going to be a good thing. At least the monkey won’t be talking.”

           Lauren took a few deep breaths and composed herself the best she could. Then she started feeling around and trying to see Jared. She couldn’t find him, so she called out.

           “Where are you, Jared?” Then she thought that he better not be hugging that monkey. She didn’t mention the monkey as she was trying to make peace.

           Jared wanted out of this trip too, but it was so very much too late and only the first day.

           “I’m over here getting the cameras in place. We need to take the videos and digital snapshots.”

           Lauren couldn’t help herself. She said, “snapshots and videos of what? Selfies with you and your monkey?”

           “You are a brat, Lauren.”

           “You are calling me a brat?”

           “Yeah, I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”

           “Well see this.” The monkey handed her a banana peel and she threw it across the ship.

           “You know, I never wanted to go out with you, Lauren.”

           “But you did. Why? Was your monkey busy that night?”

           “Well, why did you accept?

           “I took one look at you, Jared, and you looked like an idiot looking for his keys under a street lamp because that was where the light was. And I said to myself, he can’t be that pathetic. He is an astronaut afterall. You see, I have a weakness for the underdog.

           “Oh, you flatter me.” In his mind he called her a witch and a few other things.

           “You are like a non-drowsy sleeping pill and a crash landing all rolled up in one, Lauren Dear.”

           “Wait. Are you calling me an oxymoron?”

           “Well at least you are not an idiot, yet. But you do have more beans inside you than a burrito.”

           Lauren realized she was not accomplishing what she had set out to do which was to keep Jared in her life. She felt that she was getting to know him alright. But, so far, they were not getting closer.

           She thought it over in her mind. We need to call a truce. I suppose I should jump to it first.

           “Truce, truce, truce,” she kept saying.

           Jared took a deep breath.

           “A truce? That works for me.”

           Jared started feeling and looking around for Lauren, slipped on the banana peel and landed on top of her.

           She put her arms around him and was thinking to herself that Jared’s monkey might not be too bad to have along after all.

           Jared knew where the banana peel came from and was thinking the same thing.

           “This is going to be a great mission, Lauren felt good to say.

           “Yes, Dear, it’s going to be great waking up every morning and not feel like I’m in the middle of the freeway.

           Lauren wanted to react to that remark, but she let it go and kept holding Jared in her arms.

January 17, 2020 23:36

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Deborah Trahan
02:17 Feb 04, 2020

Very entertaining story, Perry. One suggestion: when a story begins with dialogue, I think it's challenging for a reader to identify the story's settings and what's actually happening. Maybe a couple of sentences at the very beginning? Otherwise, very nice.


Perry Terrell
18:33 Feb 04, 2020

Great constructive comment. Thank you. I will definitely work on that.


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