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The Call from Mountainview Road

by Charles C. Cole

OPERATOR: Answering service. How may I help you?

CALLER: I’ve been in an accident.

OPERATOR: This is the answering service, sir. The doctor’s office is closed. If you need immediate medical attention, you should go the emergency room or call 911.

CALLER: I’m fine. I was coming around a sharp turn. It was dark. I hit something crossing the road. A freaking alien, of all things.

OPERATOR: An alien?

CALLER: An extraterrestrial.

OPERATOR: Are you hurt, sir?

CALLER: I’m fine, but the alien’s not doing so well. He’s a mess, frankly. I don’t think he’s going to make it. You’ve got to send someone right away.

OPERATOR: Sir, did you know it’s a criminal offense to prank call a doctor’s office?

CALLER: This is not a prank.

OPERATOR: Have you called 911?

CALLER: I’m fine. Shook up some, trembling all over. In shock, I guess. Freakiest thing ever.

OPERATOR: Would you like me to take a message?

CALLER: I’m on Mountainview Road, just south of Route 11.

OPERATOR: Is the car drivable?

CALLER: Except for a nasty dent, fine. Everything’s fine, except for the alien. He’s not fine at all.

OPERATOR: Do you need medical assistance?

CALLER: That’s it, though I don’t know what they can do. And maybe the Air Force. They handle these sorts of things, I think. Or they used to.

OPERATOR: Do you belong to AAA?

CALER: I used to.

OPERATOR: Look, my brother-in-law practically lives around the corner from you. I can have him there in twenty minutes. I’m contacting him now.

CALLER: Great.

OPERATOR: What’s the make and model of the car, sir?

CALLER: It’s a silver pickup with a snowmobile in the back. You can’t miss me. Just woods and fields and me. I haven’t seen a car all night. Can you talk to me until he gets here? Is that allowed?

OPERATOR: What’s your name, sir?

CALLER: Sean Pelletier.

OPERATOR: Mr. Pelletier, what were you doing out on the road tonight?

CALLER: I was going home from a college reunion.

OPERATOR: Have you been drinking, sir?

CALLER: Not a drop. It makes me drowsy, and I have a long drive. Wait. If you’re asking if I’m impaired or distracted, does going through a nasty divorce count? Does having your kids hate you count? Because I would have to change my answer then.

OPERATOR: Sir, have you recently taken anything that might affect your judgment in any way?

CALLER: Nothing. Is this about the alien? Do you think I’m seeing things? Because I’m not. He’s leaking all over the road.

OPERATOR: Leaking, sir?

CALLER: Bleeding, I guess you’d call it, but it’s not red like ours. It’s blue-black and shiny. Is anyone on their way? The poor little guy needs help badly. He’s trying to say something, but it’s only coming out like a humming gurgle. Maybe he’s praying. I thought these guys were supposed to be telepathic, though I’m kind of glad he’s not. He’d probably be cursing me out. I don’t know how to help him.

OPERATOR: I’m not sure my brother-in-law’s equipped to help an alien, to be honest.

CALLER: This is serious. Maybe he’s important. This could lead to an interplanetary conflict. How we respond here matters.

OPERATOR: What exactly is it you would like me to do?

CALLER: I can’t just leave him on the side of the road. The coyotes will probably find him. Send someone from the government. Even if they can’t save him, maybe they can put him in a walk-in freezer or something until we hear from his people.

OPERATOR: Sir, I have to ask, are you serious? Is this a serious call?

CALLER: I wouldn’t have called you if it wasn’t serious.

OPERATOR: I do not know of a facility to store an alien body. Is there anything else I can do for you tonight? If not, help should be there in just a few minutes.

CALLER: This is Maine, for God’s sake, you must know a deer hunter with one of those big garage freezers. He can’t be more than five-foot tall. Maybe you can call a game warden. I can’t just leave him on the side of the road. That’s crazy – and disrespectful. He could be somebody’s child.

OPERATOR: Sir, I have to ask once more, have you had anything to eat or drink that would impair your faculties? Are you safe to drive? We want to get you home in one piece.

CALLER: I guess I could put it in my trunk, right? That’s better than leaving him out here to face the elements.

OPERATOR: I just received confirmation that my brother-in-law is on his way. Why don’t we let the EMT check you out, for a second opinion on your condition? Is that all right? Sir?

CALLER: Oh boy. Oh no. They’re coming.

OPERATOR: That’s right. That’s what you wanted.

CALLER: That’s not who I mean.

OPERATOR: Who’s coming, sir?

CALLER: His friends. I see lights in the sky heading this way. God, I hope they’re not going to be upset. It was an accident. What the heck was he doing in the middle of the road, hitchhiking?

OPERATOR: Sir, stay calm. Someone is on their way. Stay with your vehicle. They should be there in about ten minutes. Will you be all right until they get there? I can stay on the phone a while longer if you’d like. Sir? Are you still there? What’s happening?

CALLER: There are so many of them, like an angry swarm. They’re checking him out. They’re levitating him. They’re actually levitating him! They’re standing outside my door. I have a bad feeling. I think they want me to go with them. It wasn’t my fault! This isn’t fair. I’m scared. Call my wife. Tell her I’m sorry.

OPERATOR: Hang on, sir. Just hold on a few more minutes. Okay? Sir?

* * *

When the operator's brother-in-law arrived, he found no truck or signs of an accident. No missing person report was filed in the county that year.

Copyright © 2015 by Charles C. Cole

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