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by Jumbo 

Posted: 19 February 2010
Word Count: 501
Summary: Not for the first time, i must admit!

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When Elijah Scrivens Jnr left the wheat plains of Montana he told his mother, Clarissa, that he was going to New York for a job interview in Greenwich Village. It was a lie. His real purpose was to attend the 43rd Symposium of FAVORS - Friends And Visitors from the Outer Regions of Space.

This was to be Elijah's first convention.

He'd pre-booked a hotel room in Stuyvesant, on the east side of the city. They gave him room 1419. To Elijah it seemed to be a good sign: Clarissa's birthday was January 4th, 1919.

The room was like something he could never have imagined: the king-sized bed, the cherry-red desk, the huge bathroom. The outside wall of the room consisted of three ceiling-high glass panels - giving him a spectacular view over the East River. Elijah knew that the morning sunrise would be something special.

That evening he had a sandwich in Subway and hot chocolate in Starbucks before returning to his room around nine o'clock. The city was already lit up: across the water a million lights sparkled and twinkled in the growing darkness.
Elijah pulled back the curtains and took in the view.

Something woke him in the early hours of the morning. His mouth and throat were dry from the air-conditioning and he realised he was still dressed in his denims and casual shirt. Brilliant moonlight reflected off his new Nike trainers and bathed the room in pale-blue.

But part of the view across the river was missing. Where the central panel of glass had been there was now a metal door. Pale orange light filtered through the frosted aperture of a small round window.

A low rumble vibrated the bed-frame. Elijah's spectacles, which at sometime he had placed on the side table, seemed to be dancing across the polished surface. He grabbed them, put them on and re-checked the glass wall: the door was still there.

Elijah slid off the bed. Just below the frosted glass the word WELCOME was etched into the metal of the door. And there was another sequence of letters - SJENKZ.

He touched the handle and the door swung away from him revealing a long upward-sloping corridor. Peculiar aromatic fumes drifted around the space. The resonant hum had shifted to a higher pitched whine and alternating green and red lights flickered along the floor, drawing him deeper along the inclined shaft.

Elijah heard the door click shut behind him. There was a sudden change in the air pressure and pain stabbed though his sinuses. In front of him there appeared what looked like a floating glass bubble. A small hatch led into the orb and its single seat.

He turned back but there was no corridor, just a blank wall. A loudspeaker crackled as Elijah stepped into the bubble.

'Sjenkz. Welcome to the Planet Zkeerojn shuttle. Please be seated and fasten your lap restraint. Thank you. Tapnejk'

Another door clicked shut behind him.


Clarissa won't be getting her promised postcard.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 10:46 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
Pity he never saw that sunrise... Still I suppose he was going to be all right? Maybe he could send his maw a postcard return shuttle, John. Maybe it would just be light years before she got it. Then it would say Hzkldf sdksd dojueajag

I loved all that about the inlined corridor and the bubble and having had sinus pain recently I went OUCH!

2 thoughts
In N Y would they say 'of the city' not just 'on the east side' ?
The room was like something he could never have imagined:

He could never have imagined such a room. ?


Forbes at 11:06 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
Hi John

I haven't read you in a long time - but then I've been missing

I loved the end line - kind of a Homer D'oh echoed for me when I read it. Nice he got what I bet was a deep seated wish - and it could just be a dream - until the last line.

I kind of see what Oonah means about the bed - but it's an aspriational thing on his part - yes?

All together now - Doo dah dah dee dah (CEO3K)

Nice one.


tusker at 11:16 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
This is a good one, John.

Poor old Ma won't be seeing her son anymore.

I wanted to shout, 'No, don't go there!' but of course he did.

Nice to read a story of yours again.


Prospero at 11:38 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
Closet Encounters, John.

I don't remember this one. So I enjoyed it all over again assuming I ever read it in the first place. I think I will go and lie down. On the hand perhaps not. I might end up on the Biro Planet.


Prosp the Bewildered

Bunbry at 12:48 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
A good tale John, but I think it peaks in the middle when we all gyuess the door is to an alien craft. After that the rest of the story just confirms what we expected.

Perhaps try another surprise at the end.


Laurence at 17:53 on 19 February 2010  Report this post
Enjoyed the read John. Well constructed.

Feel sorry for Clarissa!!


Findy at 08:01 on 20 February 2010  Report this post
Enjoyed the story John, nice one.


Jubbly at 09:27 on 20 February 2010  Report this post
Good fun John, loved the last line and the fabulous invented language.


Jumbo at 09:38 on 20 February 2010  Report this post

Thanks to everyone for reading this.

As always, your comments are very much appreciated.

Thanks again


crowspark at 10:33 on 21 February 2010  Report this post
Excellent scene setting, John and enjoyed the fluent Zkeerojn which reminded me a little of Venusian, without the spitting.

Favors was a nice touch. My only nit was that a scratchy loudspeaker which seemed overly retro.

Thanks for the read.


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