Cloud Nine

Reads: 297  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


If you only had a limited time on earth, what would you do? Our protagonist lives in Could #9 and wishes to travel to Earth. He enters a poker tournament to win enough money to travel to earth. And
of course he has a bucket list.

Submitted: January 30, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 30, 2018

A A A

A A A


CLOUD NINE

 

“I will see your 500 and raise you another 500,” Bain said.

“Fine by me it’s your funeral.”

Ty was feeling lucky since he had a good hand.

The dealer reveals the river.

“Dammit man I needed a diamond for the flush.”

“Too bad, give me all yo money sucka. Ahaha papa is going to make a little trip to the bank.”

“Well wasn’t this a fun game, huh guys?”

Lydell had a smile on his face.

“Why are you so happy Lydell? You were out after only an hour.”

Iko felt terrible for losing all his money and could not see any reason for smiling. He and his friends saved a large sum of money, all for this moment. They all wanted to go to earth badly. It seems now that Ty is the lucky one.

They all knew it would take decades more to earn enough money for a trip to earth. So the four of them decided to play a game of poker and the winner would take all. The total amount of money would pay for a new travel pod. You see on Cloud #9 there is only one means to get off it and that means is the travel pod. It is guarded by a very large muscular man that wears a mask and is mute. He is known as the Pod Keeper. This is a position that is held for life. The inhabitants of Cloud #9 have a certain ritual when selecting a new Pod Keeper. All of them have to run to the large tree that stands alone in the middle of the cloud. Each of them has to touch the tree with their hand and yell out ‘NOT IT’.  The last one that is left is now the new Pod Keeper, a very democratic and not at all childish system if you ask me.

The travel pod is usually used for leisure activities like Ty is planning to do. It is a device that takes a lot of time and effort to make. The materials that are used to build the thing are expensive and scarce. Therefore it is only fitting that they ask the cost price plus a small margin. However there is a catch to the travel pod. It only has enough energy to last for a couple of hours. The traveller has to return within that couple of hours since the travel pod will disintegrate. Usually inhabitants of Cloud #9 go to earth to get away from their lives for just a few hours. None up there are wealthy and they have to work to make ends meet. Think of it as a vacation once every fifty years that lasts for a few hours.

 

Ty walked over to the Pod Keeper with a large bag of money. Suddenly a white and red barrier came down and stopped Ty in has tracks. He looked to his right and suddenly saw a tollbooth that was not previously there. Inside sat an old man wearing dark sunglasses reading a newspaper.

“Can you maybe lift this thing up so I can pay the Pod Keeper?”

“No can do there my friend.”

“Why?”

The man pointed upwards and Ty looked at the sign on top of the tollbooth.

THE CURATOR, it read.

“What does that mean?”

“I have to see whether your money is valid and if you indeed have the right amount in that bag.”

“Do you just sit there all day and show up if anyone get close?”

“Look man, I don’t bust your hump. Do you have the money or not?”

“Here you go.”

Ty handed the Curator a big bag of money. After the Curator took the bag he disappeared again. His tollbooth was replaced with a sign that said BACK AFTER COUNTING.

 

Ty started to think what he wanted to do with his time on earth..

Ideas for time on earth:

  • Finally watch a sunset
  • Find a nice girl…then I can brag back home
  • Eat all the chocolate I can
  • Find the meaning of life
  • In addition to the second thought…maybe I could impress her by showing my sensitive side. Girls love stuff like that…right?
  • Get drunk
  • Murder? No…what a morbid thought
  • Praying to our sweet lord
  • Find a way to reverse time and do all of the above

Well it probably won’t be possible to reverse time…so scratch that one. The one thing I would like to do is to watch a sunset. I know…I’ll just wait an hour until about 4 p.m. earth time. If this waiting takes longer than an hour then I can just go right away. What else could I do on earth…think man…think! Oh I know…I can always bring a bottle of Cloud wine with me. That stuff usually gets me hammered pretty quickly. Perhaps getting drunk on earth is a good story to tell the guys. I have to wait anyway, might as well get a bottle right now. I’ll just come back in an hour.

After an hour a puff of white smoke covered the sign and when it cleared up the tollbooth was revealed.

“It seems to be in order. Here you are.”

The Curator handed Ty an envelope that said POD KEEPER. Ty walked over to the Pod Keeper and handed him the envelope. He opened the envelope and reached inside to find a key card. The Pod Keeper walked over to the travel pod. He put the card into a crack on the pod door. He pulled it upwards and the door became unlocked.

 

“That’s really all you had to do to get into that thing? It seems so anticlimactic.”

“Please enter,” The Pod keeper said impatiently.

“Fine, fine I’ll go.”

Ty entered the pod and noticed a digital control panel inside.

“Please listen carefully to the following:

On the digital screen you can see the map of the world.

You can control your cursor with this joystick.

You can zoom in and out on the map to find your desired designation.

If you do not have a location in mind you can select a desired environment and it will randomly select a place to go.

Any questions so far?”

“Uh…no…I guess not.”

“If you do not return in three hours the device will disintegrate. If you do not want that to happen with you inside it I would suggest bringing this timer with you. I will even set it for you.”

“Wow…thanks man.”

“You can’t keep the timer though, should you return.”

“Fine…you will have to remind me though. Some have said that I am prone to kleptomania.”

The Pod Keeper slammed the door shut with Ty inside.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you to mind your limbs. Oh and push the red button to activate and deactivate it. A cloak will appear around it. This will keep the pod sealed and invisible.”

 Ty pushed the red button and next to it he saw a giant button labelled HOME.

This is easy…I don’t need his help. Let me see now where should I go…somewhere with mountains would be nice. I will just select mountains and hope for the best.

The travel pod started to shake violently and with a loud rumble it disappeared from Cloud #9.

 

It reappeared in a small mountain town. Ty was shook up from the rough landing and wanted to get some aspirin for his headache. He got out of the pod with his bottle of wine in hand and concealed the device with some shrubbery. Ty stumbled along for a while until he saw a general store.

“Do you have any aspirin and chocolate?”

“Are you sure that’s all you need? You look pale like a ghost! Are you from around here?”

“You ask too many questions! My head hurts like hell here man.”

“What kind of chocolate would you like?”

“All you have please.”

“That might explain your odd colour. I don’t think you should be eating that much chocolate.”

“Would you please just get all of that…please?”

The general storekeeper handed him his requests in a paper brown bag.

“That will be $144 dollars and 25 cents please.”

“I am afraid I can’t pay that. I do need those things though.”

“Do you know?” The storekeeper said while putting his rifle on the counter.

“I do not intend to do you harm.”

“No…but I do if you expect to leave here with my goods without paying.”

“I have to take precautions.”

Ty snapped his fingers and reached for the paper brown bag. The storekeeper did not flinch and grabbed his rifle. Ty turned his back and went for the door. The store keeper pointed his rifle towards Ty and pulled the trigger. The rifle exploded in the storekeeper’s hands which instantly killed him. Ty left the store with his new goods and felt guilty.

 

I crossed murder of the list and yet I still did it. Well technically it might not have been murder…I mean he pulled the trigger after all.

Look man…if anyone asks…just say it wasn’t you…you dummy.  

Oh right that’s a good idea. Good thing I have multiple voices in my head.

 

Ty was a little bit more relieved and started to drink Cloud wine while walking through the small town. He was nearing the end of the town and was close to some high mountains. He wanted to climb for a better sunset view. Just before leaving he stumbled upon a nice family house and was curious to see how the people inside it lived. Ty figured he might see some real life happiness inside. He looked through the window and saw a little girl playing with her toys. Mom and dad sat on the couch simply looking at their child with a large smile on their faces. Ty carefully walked away from the house and felt he saw the meaning of life. Although, knowing Ty, it might have been an exaggeration to cross that idea of his to-do-on-earth list.

He climbed up a large mountain to get the best view. The sun was starting to set as Ty sat down on the mountain. He started to eat a large amount of chocolate bars and he washed them down with the strong wine.

 

“Look at that…beautiful…damn. How can I go back to Cloud #9 knowing something like this exists?”

The thought of this made him emotional. Sure he had his friends but they couldn’t create such a beautiful image.

“Why are you so sad? You aren’t trying to impress me by showing your sensitive side are you?” a woman asked.

“No! I mean yes…I mean where did you come from and why are there two of you?”

“I usually go for a run along the mountains when the sun goes down. I just love to run with the image of the sun setting next to me. As for the second part of that question there is only one of me. Maybe you shouldn’t be drinking near a high cliff.”

“We’re not even married yet and you already start telling me what to do!”

“Why would I want to marry you?”

“I have an awesome personality and I live up in the clouds.”

“You are clearly in the clouds and I can smell it on your breath.”

“Come on don’t be like that. I have a proposal for you. You said something about a love for running.”

“I love to go running…yes. I just love running alongside a beautiful background. A beautiful scenic environment usually brings a smile to my face. It makes running feel like fun and less like a chore.”

“Then I think I can show the background that you have always wanted to run next to. What if I told you that you could run over the clouds?”

“You can show me this?! Yes…please…take me there!”

“Would you please follow me?”

Ty and the woman walked down the mountain road, which Ty somehow didn’t notice before. They walked down the road and were nearing the travel pod. Ty had about half an hour left before the pod would turn to dust.

“Could you help me remove the shrubbery?”

“Why…what’s underneath there?”

“You’ll see…just help me remove it.”

The pod was revealed and the woman was in awe.

“What is that thing?”

“It’s a travel pod that will take us back to Cloud #9.”

“That’s so cool. Can you open it?”

“Uh…yes…sure…it’s a highly secretive process though. Could you please turn around?”

The woman first thought this man was simply a drunk, a rambling man talking about the clouds. However seeing the travel pod made her exited to see where it would take them. Although he looked a lot paler than a man usually looks, she trusted him and turned around.

“Now no peaking…this might take a while.”

“Ok…ok fine…just hurry up…please.”

Ty did a little victory dance for getting to take a beautiful woman home with him.

 

Thank you…my sweet lord…for the win at the poker game. Thank you…for not letting those other three win. Most of all though thank you…for this fun trip. I mean…I got drunk, had some food and I met this lovely girl. I feel like it was too short though. This is of course no fault of yours…sweet lord.

“Are you done now?”

“Ah…just a little longer.”

Ty quickly swiped the key card past the lock and opened the travel pod.

“You can turn around now.”

“Wow…would you look at that. Can I go in?”

“Sure…but we can’t go unless we get properly acquainted. My name is Ty.”

“My name is Leanne.”

“Well Leanne…would you care to come aboard?”

“Well don’t mind if I do.”

They both entered the travel pod. Ty pressed the large home button and the travel pod vanished from earth.

 

It reappeared on Cloud #9 and Ty opened the pod door. He walked out of the pod and looked around. He saw his friend Bain waiting for him. It was as if he knew when Ty would return.

“Welcome back stranger.”

“How long have you been standing here?”

“Ten minutes maybe.”

“What are you in love with me or something?”

They both laughed and hugged each other.

“Who is that person choking on the ground?”

“What do you mean?” Ty said confused.

“Look behind you.”

Ty turned around and saw Leanne gasping for air. They both ran towards her.

“What is she doing? How can we stop this?”

“We can’t.”

“Why not man? She is blue in the face…that’s not good.”

“Have you really forgotten that humans need air to breathe?”

“They do?!”

“Of course they do! You can’t just take them here…they’ll die.”

“Well we have to take her back then.”

Suddenly their attention was draught to the travel pod. It was making a loud noise. It started to crack and fall apart. Within seconds the device turned to ashes and was blown away by the wind. Both just stared in amazement at the events that just occurred.

 

“So…uh…how was your trip?” Bain asked.

“Well considering the fact that a human woman just died because I forgot she needed air to survive…ok I guess. I mean in the end the time I have spent down below felt short and unsatisfying. I feel like even a day wouldn’t be long enough.” Ty said.

“That’s somewhat depressing!”

“However I totally ate the largest chocolate bar you have ever seen!”

“Nice!”

Both high fived each other and simply went back to work. As if it all simply hadn’t occurred. After all…life continues on Cloud #9.

 

THE END

 


© Copyright 2019 Tales From A Martian. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: