Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mr. Muxley Meets Mediocrity: Part II

Mr. Muxley sat impatiently in the passenger seat. “Why is this taking so long?”
“It’s a common land vehicle,” Monty explained. “It can’t even go a hundred miles an hour.”
“What’s a mile? What’s an hour?” Mr. Muxley asked.
“That bridge we passed a couple minutes ago is about a mile back that way,” Mervin said. “A minute is sixty times the length of time it takes for me to mississippi. An hour is sixty times a minute.”
“I see,” Muxley huffed. “That is quite frustratingly slow.”
Mervin pressed the pedal to increase his speed by just a little. “We have things that go faster, like trains and planes. But this thing is cheap. We can’t all afford spaceships.”
“The spaceships we do have,” Monty furthered, “haven’t gone any farther than the moon, except for a few unmanned vessels. But it takes them a really long time either way.”
They were finally at their destination. They stepped out of the car and into the diner. There were a few other people in there. They took one look at the alien then went back to their meals. Despite having never seen an alien before, this was a ghost town, and people didn’t really care about anything. Monohon was small lake town that lived and died in the span of a century. In its place was a completely different city. A few decades ago, however, Monohon came back to life. If you drove on the streets, you would remain in Sammamish. If, however, you drove on East Lake Sammamish Trail while flickering your lights and keeping your radio on static, you would end up in Monohon. Half of the residents were dead; but half were alive, like Mervin. Why they chose to live there was kind of a mystery. Few people, Monty included, lived outside of the ghost town but were aware of its existence.
Miss Milly’s Mess Hall at the Mill was one of two major businesses in Monohon. The sawmill had burnt down and was rebuilt so many times, that people theorized that time itself eventually got used to the idea of the mill’s existence. Instead of waiting for someone to rebuild the town, it invoked the buildings on its own. The only people that worked at the mill were the ghosts. They never seemed to get tired. At the end of the day, they would eat dinner at the Miss Milly’s, and then eventually fade into oblivion. The next morning, they would reappear at the hotel and start all over again. On the weekends, they could be found fishing on Lake Sammamish. They would mouth words and pretend to talk to be polite, but were seemingly incapable of forming sounds. All the living residents worked at the diner, hotel, and post office. The train depot was completely out of use, but there were a few people, both living and dead, who wandered around and received payment to do nothing.
Mervin and Monty went over all this while they were waiting for their food, but Muxley was completely unimpressed by it. He shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, it’s a pocket dimension. Whatever.”
“Is that what this place is called?” Mervin asked. “So, you’ve seen a ghost town before?”
“Yeah, of course. We have them all over the place. You were supposed to show me something interesting.”
Monty laughed. “Did we not tell you that we’re not really equipped to be tour guides of Earth?”
“Oh, well. It should be pretty obvious. I thought we’d start with breakfast, and hopefully come up with something to try afterwards.”
“What does breakfast mean?”
The waitress set the plates down and smiled. “It’s when you eat food in the morning,” she said.
“Eat food?” Muxley asked.
“Yeah, you put it in your mouth and chew,” she said. “How else would you gather energy for the day?”
“We lather ourselves with the sap of the miulwebirkovel plant. Then we set our body on fire, and when all the sap has evaporated, we have enough energy for the rest of the week.”
The other three stared at him in silence. “We don’t have any...” Monty started to say.
“Miulwebirkovel,” the waitress assisted.
“...plants on this planet,” Monty finished.
“Well no, of course not,” Mr. Muxley laughed. “It only grows on Mekajs. But any sokugni class vegetation will do. I’m not picky.”
“We don’t have any plants that will help you if you set yourself on fire,” Monty revealed. “I hope you packed enough of your sap.”
“You’re telling me that you put objects in the same orifice out of which you speak every day?”
“That’s right.”
“Where does it go after that? How would it even evaporate?”
The two men looked away uncomfortably. The waitress went back to the counter and tried to forget the last five minutes.
“Answer me,” Muxley demanded. “What happens after you do this strange eating food thing?”
Two minutes later, Mr. Muxley burst out of the bathroom and ordered them to take him away from that wretched place. “I want to go somewhere I haven’t seen before and that doesn’t make me want to tear my ears off and erase my memories!”
Mervin sighed. “Let’s try the space needle,” he suggested. Click here for the next installment...

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