© 2018 by Bill Murphy
It was a strange bug indeed, very strange.
He noticed it quite by accident, when he thought he saw movement on the carpeted steps leading to the upstairs bedroom. It was tiny, hardly 1/2 inch long, and beige in color. It blended perfectly with the carpet. He snapped on the stairway light, and leaned to have a closer look.
It appeared spider-like, but this bug had 6 legs. Two long antennae poked from the head, giving the illusion of an 8th set of legs. For a brief moment, he thought the thing had turned to look at him. That’s when he stepped down on it, hard – and continued on up the steps.
Paul Nelson had packing to do. He‘d pick up the dead bug when he returned downstairs – with a wad of tissue in hand. That morning, before reporting for his shift as a 911 operator, he’d taken the time to lay socks, underwear, and pajamas on the bed. Two suits, dress and casual shirts, and pants, on hangers hung on a rack attached to the back of the bedroom door. Soon, his suitcase and hand-up bag were packed and ready.
Grabbing a length of toilet tissue from the upstairs bathroom, he headed back down the steps, careful to watch where he stepped. The bug was on the 4th step from the bottom. But it was not where Paul Nelson had ground it into the carpet… it was a full 18 inches closer to the wall… and still crawling.
He stepped down on it again, harder this time. Lifting his foot, he saw that it was again, obviously dead. It looked dead. He continued down the steps and into the kitchen. The kitchen trash, where he knew he’d find an empty soup can, sat in the corner near the steps. He returned to the steps, picked up the bug with the wad of tissue, and stuffed both into the soup can, which he crammed back into the trash can. There! That takes care of it.
He returned upstairs, took the suitcase off the bed, and sat it beside the bedroom door. He then took the hang-up bag downstairs and hung it by the front door. He would have taken the suitcase downstairs also, but he still needed his shaving bag in the morning, so he’d add it to the suitcase then. On his return upstairs, and as he walked past the kitchen trash can, he didn’t hear the soft scratching sounds coming from deep within the trash.
He set the alarm for 5. One of his co-workers would be picking him up at 5:45 to take him to the airport. His flight to Washington DC would be leaving at 7:45.
Paul Nelson had a strange dream that night. At least he thought it was a dream.
The alarm rang 5:45. He pulled himself out of bed, and seemingly by rote, completed his morning bath ritual, and dressed. Next he packed the shaving kit into the suitcase, and took it downstairs – and waited, until he heard the honk of a car horn. Picking up the clothes bag and suitcase, he exited the front door. It was a short walk to the curb, where his co-worker sat waiting in his vehicle. Paul Nelson placed the luggage on the back seat, and then sat in the front, staring ahead.
“What’s wrong Paul? You look funny – troubled, or something,” said his friend.
“No, I’m ok. Let’s get to the airport,” replied Paul.
“I’ll bet you’re just nervous. I know I’d be. I’d be as nervous as a long-tail cat in a room filled with rocking chairs. Golly, and meeting the President too. And getting that award – Paul Nelson, 911 Operator of the Year. How lucky can one man be!”
Paul Nelson didn’t have a strange dream as he thought he did. It was real. It was very real. He only thought he was dreaming – that is, while he could still dream, and while he remained in possession of his own brain. He thought he was dreaming about the strange insect crawling into his ear, and into his brain.
But it wasn’t an insect. And it wasn’t a dream. Paul Nelson is now no longer thinking for himself. The mind of Paul Nelson has ceased to exist. It has been hijacked, and replaced.
It is less than 40 feet from the kitchen trash can to Paul Nelson’s bedroom upstairs. It is approximately 400 miles from Paul Wilson’s home to Washington DC. And it is close to 4 light years across the milky way, to the home base of the mechanical insect-like drone. Tomorrow the drone will made its final journey, an undetected transfer from Paul Nelson into the most power and influential leader on this element-rich planet.
The President is known to be a hugger. 4 inches is all that is required for the transfer… for that final journey.
The rest, as they say, will be history.