Chapter 1: Splash
Jack walked down the hallway at work when he heard yelling coming from his boss’ office. He walked towards it and the door was shut. Unable to resist, he put his head to the door to listen.
“This isn’t just a drop in the bucket, Karl” yelled Jack’s boss, Paul, “This is a splash in the bucket. No worse than that, it’s a cannonball in the bucket and it has all spewed out the bucket.”
“I understand” said Karl, calmly.
“Well what are we going to do” yelled Paul, “I can’t just tell everyone that they are going to starve because we’re so low on resources we can’t pay them their nutrition.” Jack gasped, then listened to make sure that they hadn’t heard him. Starve. Low resources. Jack thought himself lucky that he had no children. He couldn’t bear to think how it would be to watch another starve and also to starve yourself even worse for their sake. Then his mind quickly turned selfish. ‘How am I going to survive?’ he thought. He had not been listening to the conversation going on in the room while his mind was reeling. He soon found himself flat on his face. His boss had opened the door with Jack still resting on it. Paul and Karl looked at Jack. Paul turned to Karl and said, “I think we just found our first volunteer.” Jack quickly got up. Karl walked off.
“What are you talking about Sir?” asked Jack. Paul put his hand on Jack’s shoulder.
“I think you should come into my office” he said, leading him in there. Jack went ahead and stood in the office.
“Sit down” said Paul, gesturing to a grey slightly frayed office chair. Jack sat down. Paul shut the door. Paul sat down opposite Jack on the other side of Paul’s mahogany desk. He grabbed a pen and began to fiddle with it, not looking directly at Jack. Finally, he took a deep breath and spoke.
“Things are getting grim Jack” said Paul, “We are running out of resources on this whole planet.” Paul paused for a moment, with a pained expression on his face. He continued.
“We have decided the best way to deal with this is to send a few of us to different planets to see if we can blend into the culture and environment of that planet and live off of their resources. Since you were at our door, you are going to be the first one. We are going to send you and four others to the planet Earth” said Paul. He paused to let Jack take this all in. Jack was flabbergasted. He didn’t know what to say. Earth. Where the heck is Earth? Jack knew nothing about Earth. Jack didn’t know what to expect when he was told he was a volunteer but it was definitely not this.
“There will be five of you because we need to put you in the bodies of people of different age groups in the society because we need to know that all age groups of us will mix with all age groups of them” said Paul.
“Couldn’t we all be the same age?” asked Jack, “If we pick our bodies?” Jack immediately regretted saying that, thinking they might send only him down to Earth with no one from his home planet.
“No” said Paul. Jack sighed in relief.
“If we decided to move to a planet, we can’t all be the same age” said Paul, “How would we explain the fact that the percentage of adults or children or babies increased randomly?”
“Good point” said Jack.
“Okay” said Paul, “We will find some more people to send with you and you will pose as an Earth family – a human family - and some others to go to other planets and then we will send you off. Now, get back to work.” Paul stood up and Jack took it as a sign to do the same. He stood up and walked out of the office. Back at his desk Jack thought, ‘Well Earth might be completely different, but it is better than starving to death.’
WHAT IS CONFUSING EARTH?
Confusing Earth is a story that I first started creating while part of a Writer's Group. We would choose one word and then write something using that word for the following meeting. This is a common writing exercise. I decided to make one bigger story with each word being a chapter. I did not finish this though in the time I was going to the writer's group.
I have decided to revive this story and I am posting it here chapter by chapter and eventually once I reach the end of what I have written so far, you guys will be able to suggest words or phrases that I use for the chapter following the one I got suggestions on.
I hope this story is entertaining for you and that it can live on on Steemit.
Thank you for reading!