The Men | A Tale of Alien Terror (Part One)
Dusk, in the middle of nowhere. Beth pulls into a rest area and shuts off the engine. Helicopters can be heard in the distance; Frodo whimpers and whines. There is a drone of crickets as Beth leans against the wheel. The place is abandoned save for a single pickup and camper.
She sits back after a moment, stroking the dog’s neck, and rolls her head to look at the truck. It sits silently in the twilight about a hundred feet away: quiet as a tomb, with no sign of a driver. She experiences a wave of nausea—which sends her hurrying toward the restrooms—as the sound of the choppers rushes closer.
She collapses over the toilet, vomiting repeatedly, as the helicopters thunder overhead. The pounding of the rotors diminishes as she spits and wipes her mouth. At last she reaches up with trembling fingers and flushes the bowl, and the water swirls down, gurgling. She slowly catches her breath. The crickets drone and Frodo barks. She sits on the floor with her back against the cold cinderblocks—notices a shoe covered in green plastic just outside the stall.
She looks up. An eye is visible between the doorjamb and the wall. It blinks as she shrieks and suddenly disappears.
IT IS THE NEXT DAY. It is gray out. She is on the road again, listening to an AM talk show as she drives along. Frodo hangs his head out the window, tongue dangling. She is feeling better. She passes a sign that reads: OPEN RANGE, NEXT 10 MILES.
The topic of the radio program concerns human cloning and the problem of needing so many hosts ……