Close Encounters of the Enraged Kind

By Lee Alon


On Madison and Ashland the light turned red. Behind his beat up old Volvo he could see a large car edging up to the rear bumper. He was with Robin and hating the world for yet another fucked up day.

It changed to green, but the car behind glistened in the dark, making him even angrier. Why should some asshole drive around in a better car when all he has is this crappy old Swede wonder? So he didn't move. Green but not moving. Let them get angry.

Big headlamps flashed from behind. Robin didn't even notice, slumped over the derelict radio controls. So he moved, reluctantly and out of pure socially-ingrained reflex. That made him even angrier, doing something though he obviously didn't feel like doing it.

He mashed the pedal, bitterly letting the vehicle behind follow close. He and Robin wanted to drop off a movie at the Blockbuster ahead, and the fact gave him new, exciting ideas.

A minute later the store was on his right and so was, lo and behold, a total dearth of parking. So he swung hard and stopped without signaling at the street corner. Then he saw the big car trying to turn in front of him, so he jerked the Volvo forward a bit, narrowly missing the other auto. Good thing about shitty Volvo's from the 80's, they can jump around on a dime.

Feeling good about himself and proud of having socked it to the pricks of this world, he opened the door and started getting out. Robin gave up on the radio and followed.

En route to the Blockbuster's main door from his illegally stopped POS, he froze upon seeing the other car by the curb. It was a bright red Chevy, much like a cop car. He guessed whoever was inside got pissed and now wanted to pursue the matter further. Excellent, it's been a while since he kicked butt last and that chip on his shoulder has been gaining alarming weight lately.

Two guys emerged from the Chevy, clad in black. They walked nonchalantly, intercepting him and Robin before they could even move.

"You got a problem, motherfuck? In a hurry to get somewhere? What, you ain't good enough to wait?" he proclaimed at the two with an unconvincing voice. He wanted to flail arms around menacingly, but they wouldn't move as ordered.

The rightmost of the two then said:

"Road rage got you bad. Interesting, we were driving lawfully and can't think of anything we did to warrant such aggressive behavior."

"What? Go fuck yourself!", he shouted. But since these two felt like trouble even to an anti-social dumb-wit like him, he began a cautious retreat. Robin just stood there.

Before he could do anything else, they were upon him. One grabbed Robin while the other (he couldn't really make out differences even if there were any) took possession of his arms. A gelatinous, feeble sensation washed over him.

"You best come with us now", said the one securing Robin.

No one around noticed, including the odd five patrons inside an adjacent Starbucks.

They were then inside the Chevy. It growled like a wild animal.

The two men in front talked among themselves, in tones clearly unmasked so he could eavesdrop.

"This one probably thought he can go around treating everyone abusively and get away with it."

"Sure, the likes of him generally display delusional personalities high on confidence while deficient in empathic capabilities. We've seen lots of them before. However, in this case there was little instigation on our part."

"We were just minding our own business."

"Precisely. And he made it his via unprovoked hostility. Fascinating."

What were they on? He began to worry, still weakened for no apparent reason. On the many run-ins he had with motorists in the past nothing like this ever happened. Usually he managed to intimidate the idiots into submission.

"Who are you? Let me out", he muttered feebly. Robin was no where to be seen. He was alone in the enormous backseat.

"Shut up and reap what you sow", said the driver, and then both captors proceeded to laugh whole-heartedly.

"Didn't they teach you road rage doesn't pay off?"

From tinted windows peered in views of re-gentrified gentrification. Streets and avenues scrolled by anonymously. He conked out, dreamed of peak rush hour traffic and the opportunities it brought, still clutching the movie he was about to obediently return.

A shiny, orange triangle looked back at him. It was suspended in mid-air. Two figures clad in shiny metal foil stood beneath it. The triangle had a voice, tinny as if with distance.

"We've conducted a thorough examination of your character. Certain issues have revealed themselves. Issues beyond help. Like in many of your species, a lacking social composure cannot be remedied without massive genetic intervention. It isn't your fault you turned out demented."

"I always knew it wasn't my fault, it's everyone else that's fucked up!" At least he had his voice back.

"Silence. Vermin will not speak unless requested. And by the way, you moron, I'm not letting you off the hook. You have no place in a society of any kind and as part of our mandate we will proceed to terminate you."

"What mandate? You're a freakin' hallucination."

"If you must know, we were contracted to devise means of bettering humanity. Too huge a portion of the race do not have the tools necessary for cooperative living and must be removed. Future generations will benefit greatly. As you can see our research has been exhaustive."

He looked around. His left leg and right arm were gone. He screamed.

"Another major facet to individuals with low social skills is cowardice", prompted the triangle with even-minded alacrity.

"Let me go, fuckface! You said it isn't my fault!"

"The universe isn't fair. Some beings are good, some bad. You're very bad. It's genetic, that's all I meant. And we thank you for helping."

"How did I help?" the innocent, incredulous tone in his voice made him boil with irritation.

"You completed our studies. The mandate demanded a specific number of test subjects be examined. You filled the quota. I can now go on and apply for corrective measures."

"You'll make me better?"

The triangle hesitated. When it spoke again its voice didn't sound distant any longer.

"Not viable. Let me make it easier for you to understand. You know computers? Species are the same. If a sound card burns who bothers fixing it, right? New ones don't cost that much. Neither do you."

"Motherfucker! Wait till I get my hands on you!", he bellowed.

"Hand, at most." The triangle laughed at him. It evidently wasn't above childish gloating.

The two foil-covered sentinels gripped his reduced body, making sickening syrupy sounds when they detached him from the platform to which he was glued.

He screamed uncontrollably.

They put him in a dark, cylindrical object. A few seconds went by and then a whooshing spray ejected him through a porthole outside. Maimed and confused, he saw open space all around. He hurtled at amazing speeds towards Earth.

Before burning out to microscopic wisps on the upper atmosphere he saw his favorite place in the entire wide world. A small, red streak. The natural timer inside him chirped elatedly again. It was rush hour.

The End

Copyright © 2004 by Lee Alon




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