Steam rose up from the savory sweat of the freshly cooked turkey as it rested upon the plain silver platter. Our guest, a lanky cerulean hued Archivist sat, curiously watching the time-honored tradition of the cutting of the bird. His cordial expression and pleasant demeanor cut against the negative stereotypes that float about these other-worldly beings.
The pleated double breasted suit he wore was reminiscent of something a well-to-do gentleman would’ve worn in the late 1800s, complete with a brass pocket watch. Except for the fact that his watch wasn’t a watch, but rather some form of a low-level bio-scanner that the Archivists use to make sure what they eat won’t disagree with them. Not that I’m arguing with the practice mind you, there have been covert attempts on their lives, it just makes them seem less friendly is all.
Within a few minutes Bryanna, my beautiful auburn-haired wife, brings in the bean casserole fresh from the oven and starts serving the food.
“My many thanks for you and your food good person Tho-Mas and to you, Bry-Anna. This man is honored to be a part of your evening meal.” Dar said while admiring the plate placed in front of him. “This is much better than the food that we get at the factory, am I right Tho-Mas?”
I fork the crisp onion from the bean casserole and nod. “It sure is, not that we’ll have to suffer another lunch there. With the attacks this week.”
Dar mimics my nodding, but ends up looking like a rooster bobbing his head forward. “It is sad that these extremists would take to the measures they do. These people wish nothing but harm to the Archivist men and Archivist women.”
A searing pain strikes the back of my head and runs down my arm, slapping at the tips of my fingers. The intense pain forces my eyes closed as I lurch forward.
“Good person Tho-Mas, are you-“
My eyes flit open to find a light waving before me. Voices filter in from behind the bright orb and surround me from blurred faces that strike me with vague notions of familiarity. A cerulean hand grips my shoulder and I’m back at the dinner table, struck offbalance from the change of scenery.
“Tho-Mas, are you feeling not well? You swayed forward with the soul-less gaze. This one is quite concerned.” Dar’s lips quiver as he speaks. He pulls out his pocketwatch, and consults the images flashing before him in his shaking hand.
My eyes fall upon my wife as she sits across the table from me, fishing a tablet from one of my pill bottles. “Here, dear. You need your medicine. I’ll never understand why you refuse to take them.” Her voice smacks with concern, but the words seem distant as her profile pales against the lamp hanging over the table.
“Dar. I am not feeling so well.” My stomach slinks down further with each breath as I fall forward onto the table, barely missing the plate of food set before me.
“Good Bry-Anna, we must seek-“
“Damnit, we’re losing him. C’mon, Corporal Thomas Mayer, you are hereby ordered to resist the drugs. Push damnit!”
My eyes flicker open and find two figures superimposed upon one another staring down at me. One, a cerulean-skinned friend that I’ve worked with for the past four years, and the next a figure who for some reason I know is called Sergeant Harris. The double image of being on the dining room floor and laid out in a field defies explanation and snaps all perception with an inaudible crack as darkness drowns the image in a hideous rumble.