Published January 28, 2014

You mourn the loss of a friend

Luke holding David's dead body
You weep for the loss of a friend

The sight of David’s mangled corpse overwhelms you with grief. You cry the first of what promises to be many tears this season and plead once more with your alien captors. They don’t understand. “What kind of world is this that a college graduate with technical skills, a diverse portfolio of creative work, and a proven reputation as a motivated self-starter can’t find work?” they ask themselves in their alien tongue, which you’re beginning to figure out.

“A mighty fudged-up one,” you say euphemistically. “Now can I please go back to Earth? I have to save my friend.”

The aliens release you. You wake up in some shrubs and walk briskly to the scene of the crime. Because you were traveling close to light speed, time has effectively stood still on planet earth. It’s still 2011. President Obama hasn’t quite fixed the economy yet, and there’s David, lying in a pool of blood at the foot of the stairs. There is no sign of your impostor. Not even footprints or drops of moustache wax.

You cradle David in your arms, sobbing and getting tired. After all the years, who would have thought it would have ended like this? “But it doesn’t have to!” you think, leaping to your feet. You pace back and forth scratching your chin and occasionally stubbing your toe on David’s corpse.

You decide to: