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Elmo’s Sojourn

by Walt Trizna

Table of Contents
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
appear in this issue.
Chapter 9, conclusion:
Elmo Has His Homecoming

The four stayed up late into the night. Rolack described how she was made pregnant three times, felt the joy of motherhood as a new life stirred within her body and was filled with revulsion at the sight of the tiny winged monster she delivered. She never met any of the women from Earth, but had heard talk of them. They had not, she learned, survived for very long on Gylex. Because they were physically so much smaller than the women of Roth and Gylex, they often died during pregnancies in which they carried fetuses much larger than an Earth child. Labor and delivery killed the few that survived to term. All that was left were stories and bones scattered among the trash of the prison.

Valmid and Cal could not take their eyes from their daughter. They couldn’t believe she was back and that the planet was safe from more women suffering her fate. Valmid explained to Rolack how Elmo had traveled to Roth and how his visit led to her freedom and that of her companions.

After a while, Valmid and Elmo decided to take a walk and let Cal and Rolack have some of the mother-daughter time they both desperately needed. Valmid sensed also that something troubled Elmo and thought perhaps a stroll in the early morning air would ease his mind and loosen his thoughts.

They walked for a while, enjoying the peaceful countryside. Then Elmo began, “Valmid, before I arrived on your planet, I was a retired scientist just puttering around in my cellar. Then I hit on the concept that brought me here. Back on Earth, I have a wife with whom I have spent most of my life. But that life is over and I can’t return to it. Now, I’m a young man. I have a future again. I cannot go back to Earth and resume my retirement. There is so much I want to learn from you, from your planet. I want Mildred to journey here. She is my life; we share a history. I need her to share my future on Roth. If I cannot convince Mildred to come here, I don’t know what I will do.”

They walked on a while more before Valmid shared his thoughts. “Elmo, your knowledge has already proved indispensable to Roth. Who knows in what ways my planet could benefit from the knowledge you have of Earth? And if there were a problem on Roth that can only be solved by making a trip to Earth, I would find it difficult to blend into the population. I have discussed all this with the elders of the planet and we all reached the same conclusion: We want you to stay.”

They continued their walk in silence until Elmo asked the question that had been nagging him whenever he thought of making Roth his home. “Valmid, if Mildred agrees to come here, could she travel through the wormhole that I first used? If she could, we would both be starting a new life on a new planet.”

Valmid considered this, “If she agrees to come here, I see no problem in granting your request. I think we should return to Earth and try to convince Mildred to spend time on Roth.”

* * *

Mildred was watching TV when she detected footsteps coming up the cellar stairs. She immediately knew the sight that would soon greet her: a young Elmo and his alien friend. She also knew Elmo had returned because he wanted her to go back to Roth with him. Could she? Could she leave her family and friends to live on an alien world with Elmo? What would Elmo do if she said no? Would he willingly return to the body of an old man and finish their life together in this house? All this ran through her mind as the cellar door slowly opened.

Out stepped young Elmo and the alien. This time Mildred was able to handle their appearance much better. Valmid went upstairs to entertain himself with the computer and Elmo asked Mildred to join him at the kitchen table to discuss their future. They sat there for a long time, going over the pros and cons of staying on Earth or returning to Roth.

Elmo finally said, “Mildred, the stay on Roth does not have to be permanent. We could return to Earth any time we wish. The residents of Roth time-travel with the ease of our driving to the store.”

This argument pushed her over the edge. She replied, “You know Elmo, during all the years we’ve been together, I’ve done plenty of crazy things with you. This has to be the craziest, but I’ll give it a try.”

“Mildred,” Elmo responded, “the last time I was this happy was when you said you would marry me. Let’s go explore the universe!” Elmo headed upstairs to get Valmid. But before retuning downstairs he sat at his computer and typed out the following e-mail message.

My name is Elmo Finch. I am a retired scientist formerly employed at Los Alamos. What I have to say is unbelievable but true. I have traveled to the planet Roth. There I found that during the early twentieth century, monsters from the planet Gylex invaded Earth. The purpose of this invasion was to obtain women for the survival of their civilization because a virus had killed most of the females of Gylex. Unfortunately, all the women captured are no longer alive. I have included two attachments. One is a detailed report on how to protect the Earth from further invasions, because it’s likely that these monsters may be returning soon. The second attachment is a video of one of the monsters attacking a house on the planet I visited. Please believe me and take action.

Elmo sent the e-mail to The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other major newspaper he could think of. He then shut the computer down and headed downstairs. As he entered the living room, he found Valmid laying out two time-space machines on the floor.

Elmo told Valmid, “I’ve alerted some of our major newspapers. I hope to God they heed my warning.” Valmid then had Mildred stand in one of the machines, handed her the control box and told her to push the start button. With a face full of apprehension, she followed his instructions and was gone in a flash. Elmo and Valmid entered the other machine and made their exit from the planet Earth.

* * *

The three stood before Valmid’s house. Elmo admired Mildred’s youthful body and long blond hair. Mildred also admired the feelings of her body and experienced for the first time in years the pleasures of youth that old age had robbed her of. She had not expected to make the same transition that Elmo had made on his first trip to Roth, because he’d been going back and forth so many times since then and had not changed a bit.

“Elmo, I can’t believe it! I’m as young as you.”

“Welcome to Roth, my dear.” He reached for her hand. “Let’s take a short walk. Then we will go inside and you’ll meet Cal, Valmid’s wife.” They walked towards the rise that would afford a view of the ocean. “We’ll have so many adventures, Mildred. We’ve got so much life to live. Once we have something to eat, I’ll show you to our bedroom.”

Mildred noticed a twinkle in Elmo’s eyes that she had not seen for a long time, felt a thrill she had not felt for years. The sky was darkening, the day was ending and pinpricks of light began to populate the night. Elmo squeezed Mildred’s hand excitedly as they walked hand in hand toward an emerald green sunset made more beautiful by thoughts of all the tomorrows they would share.

Copyright © 2006 by Walt Trizna

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