Dad was a Martian. Tongue in cheek fantasy. Not a lot of sex.
"Happy birthday to you," the attractive woman sang. "Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Klaatu, happy birthday to you."
Klaatu Smith opened his sleep-blurred eyes and glared at the unwelcome intruder standing at his open bedroom door holding a gift-wrapped package. A glance at the clock told him it was much too early for festivities. "It's 6:30 in the morning, Mom. I need more sleep. Come back in a couple of hours." Klaatu liked to sleep in on weekend mornings. It was Saturday.
"I've been waiting 18 years to give this gift to you, Klaatu, and I just can't wait a minute longer. I promise to leave you alone for the rest of the day if you just open this one teensy weensy package. Pretty please? It's from your father." Klaatu groaned inwardly. Whenever the topic of his father came up his mother would always tell a variation of the same story. Well, the part about the gift was new. "Your father came from another planet," Betsy Smith began.
"Yes, really," his mother replied. "Oh, I know you know this story but I never get tired of telling it." Klaatu knew that too. "Your father and some friends arrived on this planet while on a secret mission for a secret galactic organization and went undercover as a rock band, Nicky and the Neptunes. Get it? Nep-tunes?"
"I get it, Mom."
"Anyway, I walked into the club where your father was playing and it was love at first sight for both of us." The attractive woman blushed prettily. "You were the result." She always blushed when she told that part of the story. "Unfortunately," Betsy continued, "your father had to leave the planet just before you were born; important business on the other side of the galaxy."
Klaatu nodded as if he understood. "That's too bad, Mom." A touring rock musician knocks up an attractive teenage airhead and then suddenly has important business on the other side of the galaxy. Naturally, the airhead is so stupid she falls for his line of bullshit hook, line and sinker. "When did he say he'd be back?"
"He didn't say," Betsy replied. "The other side of the galaxy is pretty far away, you know, but he did give me this to give to you when you turned 18 years old. That's today." Klaatu's mother smiled again and said, "Open it." Klaatu looked at the package with a feeling of dread. Some guy almost 20 years in the past gives his girlfriend a package to give to their unborn child when he turns 18. The dude sure knew how to make a joke go a long way. That's probably what it was, some practical joke. Well, the young man wouldn't get any rest until he opened the package. He took the package from his mother's hands and nervously tore at the gift wrapping. The birthday boy lifted the box lid, reached in and brought out an orange metal bowl covered in ceramic and drilled with a series of small holes into a star pattern. There were two handles for lifting and a circular base for placing on a flat surface.
"Uh, thanks for the spaghetti strainer, Mom."
"It's not a spaghetti strainer, silly."
"It's a spaghetti strainer." It couldn't be anything else.
"Well, I suppose it could be used for that but it's not a spaghetti strainer."
"What is it then?"
"It's a communication helmet. You put it on and then you can talk to your father wherever he is in the galaxy." Betsy pretended to put a hat on her head as if to give her son instruction. "Isn't that exciting?"
Klaatu sighed deeply. "It's pretty exciting, Mom," he agreed.
"Well, then put it on and talk to your father. You two have a lot to catch up on."
"Maybe later, Mom. Okay? I'm still pretty tired and you did promise you'd let me get some more sleep if I opened the gift. A couple of more hours won't matter when we're talking about 18 years, right?"
"I suppose not," Betsy replied. She bent down and gave her son a kiss on the cheek. "Your father and I love you very much." She stood up and said, "We'll have cake and ice cream tonight. Would you like that?"
"I'd like that fine, Mom." He watched his mother go to the door and then turn around.
"The funny thing about it was that your father wasn't from Neptune at all. He was from Mars." She walked out and closed the door behind her but Klaatu could hear her launch into the "Happy Birthday" song again as she walked down the hall.
Klaatu lay back on his pillow and began to feel the tears well up from his eyes. Every day of his life seemed to be a constant embarrassment or humiliation all because of his mother. She always seemed to find an excuse to tell the story of meeting her Martian boyfriend. Even as a child Klaatu knew her story was even less probable than those about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
At first people thought the story was cute until they had heard it five or six times. Then they began to avoid Betsy. As a consequence they made sure their children avoided Klaatu also. It wasn't easy having a ding-a-ling mom. Eventually someone told one of the supermarket tabloids of his mother's story. A reporter came out and asked Betsy a couple of questions and then had a photographer take a picture of Betsy and Klaatu. Two weeks later there was a front page headline, "I Married a Martian" three inches high all over the country. The newspaper had altered Klaatu's image giving him antennae and bug eyes. Of course, his mom had to cut the article out of the paper and put it in a scrapbook.
Then there was the matter of Klaatu's name. He was named after the character in an old science fiction film his mother liked. It wasn't so bad at first but then some of his classmates saw the film. If he heard "Klaatu barada nikto" once he heard it ten thousand times. Every single person thought he was being witty or original when he said it. Gosh! Even the cat was named Gort after the robot in the same film. Klaatu often dreamed of having his name changed legally to something more innocuous like Joe or Mike but he knew that would hurt his mother's feelings.
If all that wasn't bad enough Klaatu had the problem of turning green at the drop of a hat. The children on the school bus always gave him a wide berth because it looked like he was going to lose his breakfast. The kids drew lots and the losers had to sit next to Klaatu in class. His condition didn't help him at all when it came to meeting girls. In fact, the young man never had any luck with girls at all. He had gone his whole life without as much as a kiss to his credit. Klaatu begged his mother to have him checked out by a doctor but Betsy assured him he looked fine and anyway, all half-Martians turned green every once in a while. Klaatu never bothered to ask her how many other half-Martians she knew. When he finally went to a clinic on his own the physician, Dr. Butler, could find nothing wrong with him. At the same time Dr. Butler wanted to describe his condition for a medical journal and call it Butler's Syndrome. Klaatu declined to cooperate.
Klaatu often wondered if his mother hadn't had that accident things might have been different. His grandmother told him his mother was quite normal up to the time someone accidentally dropped a can of cling peaches from a second floor window as she was walking by. It landed on young Betsy's head and she was never the same after waking up from her concussion. Well, that still didn't explain Klaatu's turning green all the time. Klaatu couldn't stand the sight of cling peaches after hearing that story.
The young man looked once more at the spaghetti strainer, the so-called communication helmet. Klaatu wished he had a hammer handy. He'd smash it to bits. Well, that wasn't right. He knew his mother meant well. Klaatu closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep but his rest was fitful at best.
Klaatu finally got up a little after nine o'clock and wandered into the kitchen to get some breakfast. His mother was there and looked at him expectantly. "Haven't you talked to your father yet?"
"Uh, yeah Mom. Dad told me to say hello to you. He's playing a gig near Alpha Centauri."
"Oh, I don't believe you even talked to him at all," his mother replied. "If you did you'd be jumping up and down with joy."
"I tried, Mom. I really did but I got a busy signal. Thank goodness I did because then I got to thinking about all these long distance charges we'd incur. I'll get online today and find out if any of the phone companies offer a galaxy-wide plan."
"You can stop right now, Mr. Klaatu Smith," Betsy snapped. "Don't think I don't know when I'm being teased. I'm sure I won't mention your father to you ever again." She left the kitchen in a huff.
Klaatu sighed deeply. He did that a lot. Some days he sighed so much he'd start to hyperventilate. The young man didn't like to hurt his Mom's feelings but he seemed to have a talent for it. Klaatu really worried about his mother a lot. She was beautiful yet very vulnerable. Men seemed to sense her vulnerability and were constantly trying to hit on her; right in front of Klaatu! Even as a child, Klaatu wanted to beat up those guys. Well, he did have one secret weapon. If the guy teased Klaatu, and they invariably did, he was out the door.
Betsy Smith made a good living selling cosmetics on commission as a beauty consultant with an upscale department store. In fact, she was one of their top producers. Still, she was warned a couple of times that talking about Martians was against store policy.
Klaatu often wondered what he was going to do to make a living. He really didn't have a talent or interest to speak of. Now that the young man was through high school he thought he'd better start making some plans for his future. His high school grades were nothing to brag about and Klaatu didn't think he was college material anyway. Klaatu was too busy feeling sorry for himself to pay any attention to his mom who reentered the kitchen. It was a simple matter for Betsy to walk up beside her son and slip the spaghetti strainer/communication helmet on his head. "No, Mom," Klaatu began to protest but then he started to feel weird. Betsy looked at her son and saw the trance-like state in his eyes. She nodded in satisfaction and went off to vacuum the living room floor.
What's Mom done to me? Klaatu thought. He felt dizzy and disoriented. "You'll feel all right in a minute," a stranger's voice beside him said. He did feel better after another few moments and then cautiously looked around. Standing beside him was a man he'd never seen before.
"Where am I and... who are you? Where's my mother?"
"You're still at home on Earth. I'm sure your mother is still in the house somewhere close by. As far as who I am? Well, I'm your father."
Klaatu shook his head as if trying to wake up from a deep sleep. He was outside and it was night. Countless stars blazed brightly above him. "I'm not at home. I'm not even on Earth." The man he was staring at didn't look much older than Klaatu. "You can't be my father." The young man finally decided he'd accidentally ingested some drug and was hallucinating.
"I know what you're thinking but Martians are a long-lived people," said the man. "I won't be looking much older for a very long time. Where we're meeting is on a different plane of existence where time and distance doesn't mean much. We can meet and talk as if we were standing next to each other but we're really not. The man passed his hand through Klaatu's body. "See?"
"I see that I've finally lost it," said Klaatu. "I'm going to the mental health clinic just as soon as I've come down from whatever I'm on."
The man chuckled. "I can understand how you might think that way but, just for the sake of argument, let's pretend everything is just as it seems."
"Fine," said Klaatu. "I'll play along. I just want to say I hate your Martian guts for abandoning my mom and me and I hope I never see or hear from you again. If I could really touch you it would be with my fists." Klaatu knew it was just a hallucination but he just needed to get some things off his chest.
"Your mother told me you might be upset at our first meeting."
"Don't bullshit me! You haven't talked to my mom in over 18 years."
"I talk to your mother almost every night before she's goes to sleep. I've done it for the past 18 plus years. That's how we've remained so close; communication. You know about those Godzilla earrings she never takes off? That's her direct line to me."
Klaatu knew about the Godzilla earrings but then so would his hallucination. "I... I don't believe any of this but even if it's true, why didn't you ever talk to me? I sure wanted to. I wanted to believe in you."
"I couldn't talk to you without you using the helmet. I couldn't let you use the helmet without also giving you the powers which you're receiving now. You weren't ready for them before today. As far as not believing any of this I don't blame you," said Klaatu's father, "so let me just prove it to you. The helmet you're wearing is making some changes in your mind and body chemistry as we speak. Your mother tells me you haven't had much luck with girls. That's about to change in a big way. I won't have to explain it to you. It'll just come to you naturally."
"Yeah, sure. Thanks," said Klaatu.
"Fine," his father said. "Let's keep this meeting short, okay? If you want to talk to me again tomorrow just put the helmet back on and I'll be here."
"Dad?" Klaatu shouted but he found himself sitting alone at the kitchen table. It had seemed so real. He slipped the helmet off and set it down on the table in front of him. It's just a spaghetti strainer. I was just freaking out the young man told himself.
"That was pretty quick," said Betsy as she walked into the kitchen. "I thought you two would be at it for hours."
"We, uh... decided not to overdo it," Klaatu replied. He stood up and went back to his bedroom where he flopped down on the bed and slept soundly until noon. When the young man woke up he felt a little better but he certainly didn't feel any different. He didn't look any different either from what he could see in the mirror. The changes that were supposed to be taking place must be pretty subtle. Either that or it had just been a weird dream after all. After cleaning up and dressing he wandered out to the back yard.
Wanda Morgenstern was in the next yard sunbathing in a next to nothing bikini. "Hi, Kermit," Wanda called when she saw him. She had graduated with Klaatu.
"Hi, Wanda," Klaatu said with a sigh. Wanda had nicknamed him Kermit the first time she saw him turn green. He felt his boner coming on. Wanda did that to him whenever she was near. Klaatu once thought Wanda was going to allow him to kiss her but she backed away at the last second. That was just one more humiliation. Her girlfriends had been nearby and they had teased Wanda for backing down on their dare. A dare! In her loudest voice, Wanda told her friends that Kermit was turning green and she was afraid he was going to puke in her mouth. That brought lots of laughter and another one of the girls cracked that it wasn't easy being green.
Klaatu sighed again. The incident didn't sour his attitude toward Wanda. In fact, it made him even more enamored toward her. Wanda barely cleared five feet in height. She had dark curly hair that hung down to her waist with tits that stuck out to next year. Wanda was a classic Mediterranean beauty. Klaatu wondered if he was in love with Wanda. He certainly lusted after her but that wasn't supposed to be the same. Either that or he was a masochist. He noticed Wanda get up and walk toward him.
"Do you like my outfit? It's new."
"It's lovely," Klaatu replied. He didn't have to lie about that. She always had good taste in clothing.
"Thanks! So, where are you going to school next year?"
"I was thinking about getting a job for a year and then who knows?" I'll probably be flipping hamburgers at the Burger King for all my talent. "How about you?"
"I'm going to be traveling for a year... to Europe and Israel. I leave next week."
"That's super!" Klaatu said enthusiastically. "Be sure to send me some postcards." He wished he could go with her. Klaatu would genuinely miss her.
"I'll do that. Is there anything you want me to bring back?"
"Just yourself," said the young man sincerely.
Wanda smiled and said, "That's sweet of you to say that, Kermit. I hope I see you again before I leave." She turned to walk away.
"I'm still waiting for that kiss you promised me two years ago." Oh, gosh! Why did I say that? She'll probably laugh at me, the young man thought. Klaatu felt himself turning green with embarrassment. Instead of laughing, Wanda leaned over the low split rail fence that separated their yards and pressed her lips to his. Klaatu was so astounded he barely kissed back.
"I hope that was worth the wait," the young woman said after she broke the kiss.
"Oh, yeah," Klaatu breathed. "Uh, is any of your family home?"
"Not until four," Wanda replied.
"Let's go inside. I want to fuck you." Klaatu was amazed at his gall and waited for her outraged protest. He knew he didn't have the nerve to say anything like that so why was he saying it? The young man wanted to apologize and beat a hasty retreat but a little voice in his head started telling him this was Klaatu's new power which his father talked about. Could it be true? Wanda only nodded and started walking. The young man climbed over the fence and followed the beauty to the back door of her house. Wanda didn't make any comment as he joined her and followed the lovely girl to her bedroom. Heh! I can do anything I want and she can't stop me, Klaatu realized. The thought that Wanda wasn't really doing anything voluntarily gave the young man a brief twinge of guilt until she took off her bikini top. Her ample tits barely drooped. That's when all of Klaatu's ambivalent feelings disappeared and he quickly shucked his jeans.
Klaatu looked at Wanda's eyes. They appeared unnaturally dilated for the amount of light in the bedroom. The girl had to be in a trance. Klaatu wondered if she would remember any of this later on. Hmm. Maybe it would be better if she didn't. He'd give her some post-hypnotic instruction after this was all over. Wanda pulled down her bikini bottoms and climbed on the bed. Klaatu got a nice view of her neatly trimmed bush. Darn! I'm about to lose my cherry with this dream girl, Klaatu thought. "Are you virgin, Wanda?" The girl shook her head. Klaatu thought about asking who'd she been to bed with then decided he didn't want to know. "Are you on the pill?" This time Wanda nodded her head. That was good. Klaatu didn't have a condom. He'd never needed one before. The young man finished undressing and joined Wanda on the bed. Klaatu was in heaven. Everything about Wanda's body was touchable and waiting to be touched... and caressed... and kissed. Where should he start? Wanda wasn't waiting for Klaatu for to decide. She grasped his prick and started guiding it inside her body.
Klaatu gasped as he slid into the warm, velvety softness of Wanda's tight, wet pussy. The young man felt like he was experiencing paradise but he had barely begun to celebrate the loss of his virginity before he knew he was in trouble. The unfortunate fellow was losing control. He was already about to cum. He tried to remain still and regain some control but Wanda's vaginal muscles were massaging his prick like magic fingers. Klaatu groaned in frustration as he felt himself spurt... spurt... spurt inside the lovely girl's reproductive system. Oh no! Klaatu thought. Now Wanda's going to tell everyone I'm lousy in bed. Wait a minute! She's not supposed to remember any of this. "Wanda?" Klaatu said.
"You won't remember anything that happened between us after we kissed. Do you understand?"
"I don't like to be called Kermit. My name is Klaatu. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Klaatu." Fortunately, Klaatu's recuperative powers were very good and he spent the next couple of hours learning the ins and outs of lovemaking with a most cooperative and instructive Wanda. When he bade goodbye to the young beauty, Klaatu had trouble climbing over the fence to get home.
"Where've you been, honey?" his mom asked.
"Oh, I've been talking with Wanda."
"It must have been quite a talk. You look exhausted."
"She's going abroad for a year so she was telling me all her plans."
"Oh, how nice! Well, I have everything ready for tonight so you go sit in front of the TV and relax."
"Thanks, Mom." Klaatu's birthday celebrations had always been small affairs. With no close friends and his grandparents living out of state, it had always been just Klaatu and his mom. Klaatu had always felt especially lonely on those days but this was different. He finally met his father and received a unique gift. It was his best birthday ever. Wanda was just icing on the cake.
Klaatu thought he wouldn't have any problem sleeping after his workout with Wanda but he kept having vivid dreams of erotic conquest. Any woman he wanted was now his whenever he wanted. One particular dream had him ramming his cock into the beauty's snatch. He kept cumming... cumming... cumming. This dream was even better than the real sex with Wanda. He finally woke up and found a real woman in his bed. She looked like..."Mom?"
"Klaatu? What do you think you're doing in my bed, young man?"
"I-I'm sorry, Mom," he cried. "I don't know how this could have happened." The best day of his life was quickly followed by the worst day of his life as far as Klaatu was concerned. I've become a sex-crazed maniac with this power I've been given the distraught young man thought. It must have unbalanced my mind. I entered my mother's bedroom while she slept and raped her. The young man jumped out of her bed. He was filled with self-loathing, disgust and ... wait a minute. "Uh, Mom? I think it's you who's in the wrong bed. This is my room."
"Oopsy," Betsy replied after looking around to confirm her son's observation. "I wonder how that happened. I must have taken a wrong turn out of the bathroom during the night." The older woman giggled self consciously. She climbed out of her son's bed and straightened her negligee. "I'll go get dressed and fix breakfast. Would you like that?" Klaatu nodded dumbly and then watched in horror as his mother left the room. He could see rivulets of his cum coursing down her shapely thighs. The young man grabbed his communication helmet and shoved it on his head.
"Dad? Dad, are you there?" He felt a slight dizziness and was once again facing his father on the alien star-lit world.
"I'm here, Klaatu. What is it? Is something wrong?"
"Everything's wrong," Klaatu cried. "I was dreaming I was having sex with a beautiful woman but it turned out I wasn't dreaming. I woke up and Mom was in my bed. She thought it was her bed but now she knows it was my bed but she doesn't remember getting into bed with me. Anyway, we had sex but I didn't know it was Mom. I swear that's the truth. What if she's pregnant? What do I do?"
"Don't do anything."
"What? What do you mean don't do anything?"
"Calm down a bit and let me explain, okay?"
"I already told you that changes were occurring in your mind and body. One of the changes has given you the ability to make others do your bidding."
"I know that. I ... uh, already had an experience like that with the girl next door."
"Did you get laid?"
"Yeah, I did but, what about Mom? I didn't order her to do anything. I'd never do that to her."
"The experience with the neighbor girl was, without a doubt, very positive to your subconscious mind. Your subconscious wanted a repeat performance and used your new powers to telepathically call the nearest available female to your bed. That happened to be your mother. Even if your mother was awake at the time, she couldn't have done anything but obey."
"Now I feel like a bigger freak than I did yesterday. It's not safe for my own mother to be around me."
"Your mind is just trying to adjust to its new powers. That adjustment period shouldn't last for more than a couple of days at most. You'll then be in complete control. I didn't anticipate this beforehand but, since you're not fully Martian, perhaps I should have. I apologize for that. Don't worry about your mother. She's in no danger."
"But what if she's pregnant?"
"She's not pregnant. I gave her a special birth control pill to take before I left. The antidote doesn't exist on Earth. I didn't want anyone else to take advantage of Betsy. Frankly, I thought I'd be back on Earth long before now but it wasn't possible." Klaatu breathed a sigh of relief. His mother wasn't pregnant.
"Maybe I should go away for a couple of days until I'm in control. That way, Mom won't wind up in my bed again."
"Home is probably the safest place you could be for now. Your traumatic experience has already taught your subconscious that your mother is taboo. You won't have a repeat performance like that with your mother."
"I hope you're right, Dad," said Klaatu. "Is there something else I can ask you about?"
"You can ask me about anything you want, son," said the Martian. Klaatu felt his face turn warm and he knew he was blushing but from pleasure, not embarrassment. The young man didn't care whether or not he was turning green. He was so happy to be having an actual father-son conversation.
"You said you wanted to come back to Earth. I know Mom misses you like crazy and it sounds like you miss her. What's stopping you?" Klaatu's father looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Did you ever read the book "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells?"
"No, but I've seen the film," Klaatu replied, "lots of times. I really love the scene where the top of the L.A. city hall gets zapped."
"How were the invaders defeated?"
"The Earth's germs did them in. They got sick and started dying off. That's the part of the movie where Mom starts crying. She feels sorry for them."
"That sounds like something your mother would do," said the Martian with a chuckle. He became serious then. "Well, the same thing happened to virtually all my team members and it almost happened to me."
"You mean you almost died from an Earth germ?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying."
"Are you all right now?"
"I seem to be although my physicians think I might not survive if I return to Earth."
"At least you're safe at home," said Klaatu.
"I'm not home. I can't return home without the risk of infecting my own people, son," the man replied, "so I'm quarantined on this tiny moon in the middle of nowhere. It's really lonely here. Without being able to talk with your mother ... and now see and talk with you, I don't know what I'd do."
"That's terrible, Dad. Isn't there anything your scientists can do?"
"They're trying, Klaatu, but I just might take my chances and return to Earth even if it's to hold your mother in my arms one more time. I'd like to give you a great big hug too." Klaatu could feel tears start from his eyes. The young man had been feeling so sorry for his self all these years and now he realized his father had it much worse than him.
"I know Mom misses you terribly, Dad, and she'd like nothing better than to be with you again. But I don't think she'd want you to endanger yourself. I don't want you to do that either."
"It's a moot point. My superiors confiscated my craft. The only live visitors I get here are physicians and scientists. They're always in protective gear when they're examining me. So unless I commandeer one of their craft, I'm pretty much stuck here until they say it's safe to leave ... or until I die."
"Isn't there anything I can do?"
"You're doing all you can do now, Klaatu; just talking with me."
"There has to be a way."
"Let's not talk about it right now," said the Martian. "It gets me feeling down. Tell me about your new girlfriend."
Klaatu shrugged his shoulders. "She's more of a friend rather than a girlfriend. There's not much else to tell. Wanda's family has lived next door since I was in preschool. I've had a crush on her since the very first day I met her."
"Just be sure to continue using a condom with her."
"I didn't use a condom."
"Oh don't worry about that, Dad," said Klaatu. "Wanda is on the pill."
"Martian sperm isn't affected by Earth-based pharmaceuticals, Klaatu. Your sperm is mostly Martian. It's also viable for up to a month inside the female reproductive system. I gave that special pill to your mother, not your friend."
"What are you trying to tell me?"
"Your friend is or will be pregnant. She's going to have your baby."
"What? Why didn't you warn me?"
"I didn't think I had to warn you about the dangers of unprotected sex: unplanned pregnancy is just one of them. You did have sex education in school, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did," said Klaatu, "but--"
"Yes?" his father replied.
"I guess I messed up," Klaatu finally said. Jeez! Wanda is going to hate me for getting her pregnant, the young man thought. Not using a condom was totally inconsiderate even if he had asked if she was on the pill. Now he had another reason for feeling bad.
Klaatu's conversation with his father ended soon after that revelation. He felt totally distracted thinking about what he had done to Wanda. The young man supposed he should talk to Wanda but what could he say? 'Uh, listen Wanda. You won't remember this but we fucked yesterday and well, you thought you were protected but you're not, understand? I know it might mess up your travel plans but you need to know that you're now pregnant.'
Klaatu could just imagine how that conversation would end up. He'd be arrested as a lunatic and then when Wanda discovered she was really pregnant, she'd have her ex-friend charged as a rapist. Wait a minute. I can control her mind. Wanda will have to accept it if I tell her to. 'Uh, listen Wanda. You never realized this before but you're hopelessly in love with me. In fact, you're so in love with me you've decided to have my baby. I know it'll come as a great surprise to you but you're already pregnant. That's great news to you, isn't it?'
Well, at least I wouldn't wind up in jail Klaatu thought, but he didn't feel a whole lot better about that conversation either. Of course the young man would be thrilled to death for Wanda to be truly in love with him but he would just be forcing her to believe she was in love with him. That's not how true love was supposed to happen. Klaatu wished he was a little more ruthless. He just didn't have the killer instinct.
Finally screwing up his courage, Klaatu trudged over to Wanda's front door and knocked. He felt like he had just arrived at the place of his own execution. An older woman answered the door. "Hi, Klaatu," she said.
"Hi, Mrs. Morgenstern," Klaatu replied. "May I speak to Wanda?"
"Wanda took off for Europe on an early morning flight, Klaatu. She won't be back for a year."
"But ... she said she wouldn't be leaving for a week. I need to talk to her." Klaatu could hear the panic creeping into his voice.
"Something came up and she had the opportunity to leave early so she decided to take it. I'm sorry you missed her, Klaatu. Do you have her email address? That's how we'll be communicating mostly."
"Yeah I have it," Klaatu replied. "Thanks, Mrs. Morgenstern." The young man was thinking Wanda might be bringing back a bit more than souvenirs for her parents from overseas. Maybe it was time to move away.
"Your breakfast is getting cold, Klaatu," his mom said.
"It's cold cereal anyway, Mom. I haven't even poured the milk yet."
"That's right. I forgot." Betsy Smith giggled nervously. "You seem awfully upset this morning, Klaatu. Well, I can't blame you. It's not every day you wake up to find your very own mother in bed and having her way with you. Believe me; I sure would be upset too if I woke up to discover my mother having her way with me and she didn't even ask me first. But your father was just talking to me and he told me I didn't really rape you and even if I did I couldn't help it but the good news is that you won't get pregnant."
"Guys don't get pregnant, Mom."
"Oh, then I guess he meant that I'm the one who won't get pregnant. Your father can get easily confused with English not being his first language. He was from Mars, you know, and I'm not even sure they teach English in Martian schools."
"I'm not upset about what happened this morning, Mom," said Klaatu. "I had a talk with Dad also and he reassured me. I'm upset about something else."
"Is it anything you can share with your mother?" Klaatu shrugged his shoulders. He didn't think it would do any harm to confide in his mother. Besides, she might have some valuable insight.
"I had sex with Wanda yesterday. She's on birth control but Dad told me that I gave her a baby anyway."
"Well, of course! Wanda will be having a Martian baby. That doesn't happen every day, does it? I suppose on Mars it's no big deal but this is Earth, remember? Wanda and her parents must be very excited. I'm going right over there and give Wanda a great big hug. We have so much planning to do. I'm going to be a grandmother."
"Please don't do that, Mom."
"But why not?"
"Uh ... Wanda left for Europe this morning before I had a chance to talk to her. Being pregnant will probably come as a great surprise to her."
"I was kind of surprised when I discovered I was pregnant with you, Klaatu. But a woman has to expect that possibility when she has sex with a man or a Martian even. I adjusted and so will Wanda."
"But ... Wanda won't remember having sex with me. I hypnotized her with this power that I got from the hat. I raped her! She'll probably have me thrown in jail and that's the least of what I deserve. What am I going to do?" Klaatu felt totally miserable.
"With great power comes great power, Klaatu," said Betsy. "It also rusts very easily." Klaatu nodded like he understood his mother's words. He'd figure it out later.
"But what should I do?"
"That's so obvious, Klaatu," his mother replied. "You just hypnotize Wanda into accepting your baby and then hypnotize a dozen or more of her girlfriends. I want lots and lots of grandchildren."
"What?" Klaatu had already thought of that possibility but he was surprised his mother could think so deviously.
"Just kidding, Klaatu. Not! I honestly don't know what you should do, honey. I just know I don't want my son sent to prison. Why don't you marry Wanda?"
"Even if she wanted to marry me, how could I support Wanda and a baby? I doubt if I can support myself with the job skills I have much less supporting a wife and child."
"That shouldn't be a problem," Betsy replied. "Your father set aside some money in case I needed it to help raise you but I never had to bother. So now it can be used to help raise my grandchild."
"I suppose I should look for a job first," said Klaatu. The young man didn't feel right about using his mother's money to get himself out of the jam he was in.
"That's a good idea," said Betsy. "I have to get ready for work." She got up and gave her son a kiss on the cheek. "I'll pick up a job application for you at the store."
"Thanks," said Klaatu. "I appreciate it, Mom." Maybe they had openings for a stock boy. That would pay minimum wage at least and they could save gas money by riding to work together. The young man began to feel even more depressed than before.
"Do you want me to heat up your breakfast in the microwave oven, honey?"
"I can do it, Mom. Thanks for offering."
"White and Wong," said Betsy.
"White and Wong?"
"The Law Offices of White and Wong," his mother replied. "Their motto is: 'White or Wong, we always get our fee.' Get it? I thought it was so cute when I saw it I couldn't pass them up."
"I would have tried," said Klaatu. "What about White and Wong?"
"They're the ones taking care of the money."
Klaatu spent the rest of the day looking at job openings posted on the internet. It was quickly obvious to him that he wasn't qualified for anything except for the most basic of entry level positions. He'd start applying on Monday but in the meantime it wouldn't hurt to check out White and Wong. Even if there was a couple of thousand dollars available it would be helpful at this point. He went to the phone directory and found such a law firm with that name did indeed exist.
"Did you pick up a job application for me, Mom?"
"I did but they also mentioned something about a hiring freeze. Funny nothing was said until I told them you were my son and half Martian besides."
"I'm sure it was just a coincidence," Klaatu replied. "Thanks anyway."
"Did you call White and Wong?"
"I did but I can't touch any of that money until I'm 25 years of age unless it's for college expenses. It's some kind of trust."
"It sounds like some kind of lack of trust to me," Betsy replied. "I'll speak to your father about that. In the meantime, why don't I just give you the money? Will fifty be all right?" Klaatu almost laughed out loud. Fifty dollars wouldn't buy him a one way fare to the next big city much less Europe.
"I appreciate the offer, Mom but I don't want you to dip into your savings. I got myself into this mess and I'll have to deal with it myself."
"It's from the money I mentioned yesterday. Let's call it a loan, okay?" Klaatu watched his mother write out a check. He decided to take whatever money she loaned him and put it in a savings account so she could have it back whenever she needed it. The young man's eyes goggled when he looked at the check Betsy handed him.
"I think you put in too many zeros, Mom. This check is for fifty thousand dollars."
"That's how much money I meant to give you, Klaatu."
"But ... you don't have that much money lying around."
"I most certainly do and there's a lot more where that came from. Your father made some very wise investments before he left Earth and told White and Wong how to run them. I've never had to draw any money of it out before but now seems like a good time."
"But ... if you've got all this money, why are you working at the department store when you don't have to?"
"I work there because I like my job and I'm good at it."
"You could have traveled or done a ton of other things you talked about doing."
"It was only talk. I would've done them if I really wanted to. The only things I've really wanted to do were to raise you ... and have your father with us." Betsy wiped away a tear and smiled. "But the fate of the galaxy is in your father's hands and that comes first."
"I guess you're right," Klaatu replied. He looked at the check again. "I won't need nearly this much ... but I guess I'm flying to Europe." Well, he wouldn't get his hopes up until the check cleared.
"I'll help you pack. Don't forget your passport."
"Uh, I don't have a passport."
"Well, you'd better get one," Betsy replied. "I was never very good in geometry but I'm pretty sure Europe is in another country entirely. You can correct me if I'm wrong."
"I'm pretty sure you're right about Europe. I'd better apply for a passport right away."
Klaatu's money troubles seemed over but he had more hurdles to jump. He quickly realized that getting a passport issued to him so he could travel could take a while. It didn't seem like he'd be able to meet Wanda in Europe after all but Klaatu decided to go ahead and apply.
Klaatu picked up an application at the local post office and then walked across the street toward a shop that advertised passport photos in their front window.
"Look, Momma," exclaimed a young boy standing nearby. "That man is turning green just like Maya. Now he's turning even greener." Things like this happened to Klaatu all the time but he never got used to it.
"Hush, Jacob," said the woman with him. "You're being rude. I'm sorry," she told Klaatu.
"It's all right," said Klaatu.
"Are you sick," Jacob asked.
"I'm half Martian," Klaatu replied. "All half Martians turn green on occasion." He never would have offered this explanation before meeting his father but the young man now felt proud of his Martian roots. Still, Klaatu smiled to send the message he shouldn't be taken seriously.
"Maybe Maya is half Martian too, Momma. Are you packing a ray gun? Can I take a ride in your flying saucer? Are you invading Earth?"
"Jacob, you know we're not supposed to ... please don't pay any attention to him. As you can tell he has quite an imagination."
"Who's Maya?" Klaatu's curiosity was suddenly piqued. There was actually someone who turned green like he did?
"It's no one," the woman blurted and started dragging her child away.
"Relax, ma'am," said Klaatu in as soothing matter as he could. "I'm your friend. You trust me completely. Isn't that right?" The woman stared at Klaatu for a moment and then visibly relaxed. His hypnotic command seemed to be taking effect.
"I can trust you. You're my friend," the woman replied and smiled.
"What did you do to my mom, mister? Did you hypnotize her? Are you going to have sex with her? Can you make her bark like a dog?"
"I ... I didn't do anything. I'm just talking to her." Klaatu thought maybe he should put the kid in a trance too.
"You must have done something because she's always nervous when meeting strangers. I hope she stays like she is now."
"Tell me about Maya and I'll try to help you with your mother."
"Tell him anything he wants to know, Jacob," said his mother. "He's our friend and we can trust him."
"There's not much to tell. Mom visited this friend after she divorced Dad. The friend lives in this town in the middle of nowhere. That's where I saw Maya."
"Apparently her mother got involved in devil worship," said the lady. "She was supposed to have had sex with Satan himself. Her daughter turning green is part of God's punishment. The mother is a total nutcase from what I've been told. You seem like a nice man. Your mother never worshiped the devil, did she?"
"No ma'am, I'm pretty sure my mother never worshiped the devil."
"Anyway, the people at the church there are trying to save their souls. They asked us not to mention Maya to outsiders so they wouldn't come to town just to see her and try to turn her into a carnival sideshow attraction. I'm sure you understand."
"I understand," Klaatu replied. There had been times when he'd felt like a carnival sideshow attraction. The devil worship theory was a new one to Klaatu so far. Still he knew he wanted to meet Maya even if she didn't have a drop of Martian blood in her. He'd have to ask his father if he knew of any other Martian descendants on Earth. Klaatu asked where this town could be found and then told Jacob's mother she would always feel more relaxed when meeting strangers. Jacob wanted Klaatu to turn his mother into an obedient slave to her son but the half Martian politely refused and wished them well. After getting his photos taken, Klaatu deposited his check and returned home.
"Mom, are there any other kids on Earth with Martian parents?"
"You know, I asked that very same question of your father," Betsy replied. "I thought it would be real neat if we exchanged names and addresses, visited each other, attended each others birthday parties and had reunions; stuff like that. Does that answer your question?"
"I think so." He decided to ask his dad later.
"I found your birth certificate."
"Oh, yeah? Let me see." It was the first time he'd seen his original birth certificate.
"You'll need it for your passport application."
"Why did they put 'unknown' under father?"
"I can't understand why they did that, Klaatu," said Betsy. "I filled out the information properly so all they had to do was copy it: Nicky Neptune, father and birthplace, Mars."
"I guess the typist got lazy," said Klaatu.
"I guess so."
"Mom, my passport is going to take a while to get here so I was thinking about taking a road trip ... unless you need me to stick around."
"I think I can spare you. It sounds like fun. Where are you thinking about going?"
"I'm thinking about going to New Mexico."
Klaatu had never been on a long road trip before. It would be a new experience for him; his first solo outing without his mom or anyone else. His father wasn't aware of any other Martian descendants on Earth. His love affair with an Earth woman had been against strict orders by his superiors and he would have faced severe discipline on his return from Earth if he had not been very ill.
After assuring his mother that New Mexico was part of the US and he could travel there without a passport Klaatu set out on the road a few days later. He didn't pay much attention to the sights. The young man was intent on meeting and talking to the mysterious Maya, a woman who turned green occasionally just like Klaatu.
Klaatu's destination was not too far from Roswell, New Mexico. He heard about it being near the location of a UFO crash a few years after World War II. The US government had maintained it was a weather balloon that had crashed and not an alien spacecraft but there were still plenty of believers. Klaatu wondered if Maya and the UFO were somehow related.
The town wasn't too far off an interstate so it was easy for Klaatu to find a motel room. Now that he was situated it was time to find Maya. But how? The town's citizens seemed friendly enough although asking outright about Maya was not to be done if what Jacob's mom told him was to be believed. Klaatu supposed he had plenty of time. It was a small town and one of the women might suddenly turn green in front of him. That would be Maya.
Klaatu got lucky his second day in town. He was eating breakfast at a local restaurant. He caught the tail end of a conversation when he heard Maya mentioned. A lady was complaining about having to watch Maya out of turn because someone else was having guests from out of town. The waitress nodded in sympathy to the older woman's problem. Klaatu wondered why Maya would have to be "watched." Was she a nutcase just like her mother? Klaatu was having second thoughts about intruding into someone else's personal affairs but since he'd come this far he decided he might as well see it through.
"I'm on my way over there now," he heard the woman say.
Klaatu bolted down the rest of his breakfast and waited out in his car. He didn't have to wait long before the lady came out, got into her car and drove off. The young man let the lady get a block ahead before following. Traffic was light and he doubted whether he would lose track of her.
The woman parked on a side street and walked inside a house. A few minutes later another woman walked out; the changing of the guard. Klaatu waited a few minutes to screw up his courage before walking up to the door and knocking. A young woman about his age answered the door. She looked at him curiously but didn't say anything.
"Are you Maya?" The woman turned a slight shade of green and Klaatu knew he'd struck pay dirt.
"Who are you?" She sounded annoyed.
"My name is--"
"Excuse me," the woman from the restaurant interrupted from behind Maya. "Let me take care of this," she said and pulled Maya back from the doorway. "Who are you and what do you want?"
"My name is--"
"I don't care who you are or what you want. You're not welcome and I demand you leave immediately."
"I'm your friend, ma'am," Klaatu replied. "You know that. You trust me completely."
"I ... trust you ... completely," said the woman.
"May I come in for a few minutes?"
"Of course," said the woman. "You're my friend and I trust you completely." She stepped away from the door and allowed Klaatu to enter into a darkened living room. Once he got used to the darkness Klaatu could see Maya looking at him like he was a ghost.
"How did you do that?"
"It's a trick," the young man replied and shrugged his shoulders. "I don't want to frighten you. I'll leave if you want me to but I just had to see you and talk to you."
"You mean you just had to see the girl who can turn green at the drop of a hat or because I'm the spawn of Satan?" She twirled in place. "There's not much to see so I hope I haven't disappointed you."
"I don't believe any of that Satan stuff but when I heard about you I thought you and I might have something in common." He thought back on one of the many humiliating moments of his life and heard the girl gasp.
"You ... you're turning green ... just like me. But how?"
"I'll answer your question but I'd like you to answer my questions first. Is that okay with you?" Maya shrugged her shoulders and nodded her head.
"What has your mother told you about your father?"
"She's told me just what I told you; that he was Satan and I was the result of having sexual relations with him."
"That's all she told you?"
"Well, she also tells me she hates me and wishes I'd never been born."
"Is it possible to speak with her?"
"All she does is sit in her room and read the Bible."
"Where does she live?" Maya pointed down a narrow hall.
"You won't get anything out of her except some vague mumbling. The only time she's clear is when she's telling me how much she hates me."
"I've got to try." He looked at Maya's watcher. "You look tired. Take a nap." The woman sat down on a sofa and was sleeping moments later.
"If you succeed using that trick of yours there are a couple of questions I'd like to ask her. Her name is Sarah Gilbert."
Klaatu entered the bedroom and saw a woman sitting in an easy chair with a Bible. She didn't acknowledge Klaatu's presence by word or deed. She only stared. Klaatu knelt down beside Sarah and just stared back for a while. There was still some beauty left in the woman's face but it was fast fading away. He gently touched her hand. Sarah looked down at her hand and then at Klaatu's face.
"Sarah, I've come to ask you about Maya's father."
"Satan?" He heard a gasp and knew Maya was behind him.
"No, not Satan," Klaatu replied. "It was someone else. Please tell me who it was. I'm your friend and you can trust me."
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Was it a man from Mars?" Sarah looked surprised. It was the first sign of emotion that Klaatu had seen in the woman's face.
"How did you know that?"
"My father was a man from Mars too."
"I don't believe this," Maya gasped.
"It's true," said Sarah and smiled. "He was a guitarist in a rock band; Nicky and the Neptunes." This time it was Klaatu's turn to gasp. Was Maya his half sister?
"Was it the lead guitarist?" Sarah shook her head.
"My guy was the bass guitarist." So Klaatu's father wasn't the only one violating regulations.
"The lead guitarist was already sweet on someone else; a real nice girl but completely ditzy. I forget her name."
"Betsy Smith," said Klaatu. "She's my mother."
"I told him I was pregnant and he said he'd take care of everything. I returned here to visit my parents. He wrote me and said he was ill but if anything happened to him the baby and I were provided for. I later heard he died. My parents were scandalized when I told them I was pregnant but nothing was said until after the baby was born. The trouble started when she started turning green. People started talking and the church's pastor showed up and told them it was Satan's work, that I'd been involved in devil worship."
"I have a question," said Maya. "What have I done to deserve your undying hatred? Is it because I'm different?"
"I don't hate you," Sarah replied with a puzzled expression. "When have I ever said that?"
"You've said it every day of my life as far back as I can remember."
"Have I? Oh my goodness, Reverend Bryce and his gang really did a job on me. When they found out Maya's father had left me a substantial sum of money, the reverend convinced my parents that the money was tainted and should be turned over to the church. Of course I refused to turn over my money. That's when they started working on my mind. I remember some of it now. I guess they broke my spirit. They got the money and you got a vegetable for a mother. Can you ever forgive me, Maya? I didn't realize what I was saying but it seemed to please the reverend so I kept on saying it. I never meant a word of it."
"It wasn't your fault," said Maya. She knelt down on the other side of the chair and the two women embraced.
"Listen to me, darling" said Sarah. "You've got to leave here with your friend. Go into hiding."
"But why? I'm not going to leave here now that I have a mother who I know really loves me."
"I'll tell you why. They talk in front of me like I'm not really there. I suppose in a lot of ways I'm not. Still, some things penetrate my mind. Reverend Bryce intends to marry you off to his son in order to gain access to your fortune."
"I don't have a fortune and I wouldn't marry that guy if my life depended on it."
"You do have a fortune and your life may very well depend on it. You get it all when you turn 18 years of age. Now you know why they watch over you 24 hours a day. They'll do to you what they did to me to get that money if you resist."
"I turn 18 tomorrow."
"Already? You've got to leave right this moment."
"I don't get anything until I turn 25 unless it's for my education. Maybe Maya's is the same," said Klaatu.
"Maya's money doesn't have any limitations after she turns 18."
"If I leave then you're coming with me." Sarah shook her head.
"I'd only slow you down."
"No buts, honey. They can't do anything worse to me than they've already done. When you're in a safe place and you have access to your money, you'll have the wherewithal to arrange my escape."
"When I have you out of here I'm going to make some people very sorry they messed with us," Maya swore.
"That's the spirit," Sarah said.
"At least you can fight them now, Mom."
"I don't want to fight them."
"I don't understand. Why not?"
"Because I don't want to go through the same thing that they put me through the first time. I couldn't live through it this time." She turned to Klaatu. "Leave me the same way you found me. Do you understand?"
"I understand," Klaatu replied. "One last question; did Maya's father leave anything with you to give to Maya on her 18th birthday? A kitchen item perhaps?" Sarah smiled.
"I'd forgotten about that. It was a spaghetti strainer."
"Where is it? Maya needs it."
"They took everything away from me including that," Sarah replied. "I haven't seen it in years." Klaatu groaned in disappointment. Well, there was nothing he could do about it now.
"Are you ready?"
"I'm ready. I love you, Maya. Never forget that no matter what happens."
"I won't, Mom. I love you too." Maya and Sarah were both in tears and Klaatu didn't think he was far behind. Klaatu took Sarah out of her trance. A hostile, mumbling woman stared back at the pair.
"Do you want to pack?"
"There's nothing here I want. Let's get out of here."
Maya and Klaatu didn't notice the woman staring at them from across the street as they left. She took out her cell phone and dialed a number.
"Let me speak to Reverend Bryce," she said to the person answering the phone. "It's very important."
Klaatu drove immediately to the motel and checked out. He then tanked up at the filling station. They were soon on the interstate heading out of New Mexico. Even though he moved as quickly as possible Klaatu worried about the time. He was unsure how long it would take Maya's minder to wake up from her nap and discover them gone. Then all hell would break loose. He wanted to be as far away as possible when that happened.
The young man left Maya alone with her thoughts. She hadn't spoken a word since leaving the house.
"I never did get your name," said Maya breaking her silence.
"Where are we going, Klaatu Smith?"
"I'm going to take you home with me," he replied. "After that, I don't know ... someplace safe I hope."
"Is home on Mars? I wouldn't mind visiting Mars but I'm not sure I'd want to live there permanently. Of course I'd want to finally meet my father's side of the family."
"No, it's right here on Earth. It's in--"
"Don't tell me. I want to be surprised. Just so long as it's somewhere out side of New Mexico I'll be happy. You know, I don't think I've traveled more than 40 miles from my birthplace."
"We've already driven more than 40 miles so all this is new territory to you."
"So far, it looks a lot like the old territory," Maya replied. "I'd be surprise if they're not already after us." Klaatu didn't reply but he was already speeding up. It was far faster than he'd ever driven before. Yet, other cars were still sailing past him as if he were standing still.
"What's this about a spaghetti strainer? Of all the things I think I'd need a spaghetti strainer wouldn't be anywhere near the top of my list."
"It's actually a device that allows me to talk with my dad. It's also giving me powers like the one you saw."
"Maybe I can borrow yours."
"I left mine at home but we can try it when we get there."
"So your father is still alive?"
"Yeah, but I didn't know even that much until just recently." Klaatu started giving Maya an account of what had happened since he turned 18. Naturally he omitted telling her about the incidents with Wanda and Betsy. Maya talked about growing up and Klaatu responded with his own stories. Klaatu soon realized he had things easy compared to the mental abuse Maya suffered under the dominance of Rev. Bryce. The time went quicker and they made good time but Klaatu was feeling tired.
"Would you like to take a turn at driving?"
"I don't know how to drive," said Maya. "I guess they figured I'd leave and never come back if I had the means and opportunity."
"I need to rest a bit so let's stop and eat. We should also get you some clothes and other things."
Maya didn't have much of an appetite but she did have some French fries and a Coke at a roadside McDonald's. Klaatu drove the rest of the way into a nearby town and let Maya shop for clothes, toiletries and an overnight bag to carry them in. Klaatu hated shopping so he just waited outside. When Maya was finished shopping, he went inside and paid for the purchases with his credit card.
"I'll get us a couple of rooms," said Klaatu after more hours of driving. He had just pulled into a motel parking lot. It was fairly early. The young man knew he could never make it as a long haul truck driver.
"Rooms, Klaatu?" Maya looked terrified. "You're not going to leave me alone tonight."
"I know what you're going to say. Well, we can register as husband and wife or brother and sister. I trust you and they won't know the difference anyway."
"That wasn't what I was thinking."
"I don't care, Klaatu. You're not going to leave me alone."
Klaatu shrugged his shoulders. "I'll get a room with two beds." The young man was in truth worried about his subconscious mind seducing Maya like what happened with his mother. His father told him he'd be able to control his subconscious by now but he hadn't really been tested. Still, his mother didn't wind up in his bed again since that first incident so maybe Klaatu was being overly cautious. Even so, it would perhaps be best if he warned Maya and then she could decide whether or not she still wanted to share a room.
"I think I should warn you that my system is still adjusting to physical and mental changes that I'm told comes from wearing that helmet." They were sitting in their motel room, one with two queen beds.
"You mean it can make your body turn green? I already know about that," Maya said.
"Well, no but there are other things."
"Like what? Do you turn into a werewolf at the full moon? Don't worry. The full moon doesn't come for another couple of weeks."
"Well, no but--"
"Give me an example."
"For example, I could uh ... make you do ... things ... even in my sleep and I wouldn't even be aware I was making you do them because I was asleep." Klaatu knew he was blushing green trying to explain it.
"You mean like sex?"
"Yeah ... like that."
"Has it happened before?"
"Once." Twice if you counted Wanda but that didn't count since he did it with her on purpose. There was no way Klaatu was going to give her a detailed explanation. He'd die of shame if she figured out it was his mom he had sex with. "You wouldn't even be aware that you were doing something against your will."
"I'm not going to worry about it," Maya replied. "I doubt if you're interested in me that way conscious or unconscious. I know I'm ugly."
"What gave you that idea? You're very pretty!" Maya wasn't anything like Wanda but certainly attractive in her own way. She was at least six inches taller than Wanda, almost as tall as his mom. Maya had a slim build with a small bust. Her shoulder length brown hair hung down straight. She could pass for a much younger teenager than ... my gosh Klaatu thought. She's going to have a birthday tomorrow. It won't be much of a birthday for her.
"You're just saying that. Really?" Maya had a smooth complexion and pleasant face which at the time was blushing green too.
"Really," Klaatu confirmed.
"No one's ever told me I'm pretty. Thank you, Klaatu."
"Those people were just being mean."
"I realize that now," Maya replied. "I'm going to take a shower," she added. The young woman got up and walked into the bathroom. Klaatu closed his eyes for a moment. He was asleep in an instant. When he woke it was dark and Klaatu felt a body beside him.
"Oh ... but ... I was wondering if you realize you're in my bed."
"Of course I realize it. I've been lying here awake waiting for you to have your way with me."
"I guess your little trick doesn't work with fellow Martians. I guess it's me who's going to have her way with you." Maya leaned over and kissed Klaatu on the lips. The kiss took Klaatu by surprise since it was apparently Maya's own idea.
"What are you waiting for, Klaatu Smith; an engraved invitation? Make love to me. I'm legal now if that's what you're worried about. It's after midnight." Klaatu wasn't even thinking of declining the invitation. Here was a woman who wanted him. Maya wasn't under any kind of hypnotic spell and she still wanted him. He would put the lessons he learned under Wanda's tutelage to good use. His prick rose to the occasion. Klaatu had a brief twinge of guilt for cheating on Wanda but then he realized it was ridiculous to think that way. Wanda had never been his to cheat on. Still, there was something he was forgetting. It could probably be blamed on fatigue or horniness but he was sure he'd remember it in the morning. Also, there was a nagging feeling that they were being watched. It was probably Klaatu just being paranoid.
Klaatu woke up with his arm being caressed. It tickled him some. He opened his eyes and saw Maya looking at him.
"Good morning," she said and continued to caress him.
"What time is it?"
"It's about six." Jeez! She was another early riser just like his mom.
"Don't you want to sleep some more?"
"I'm wide awake. I guess it comes from all my clean country living. At least a part of you is wide awake too." His prick was standing at attention.
"That's just my morning wood. It means I gotta take a piss." Klaatu got up to take care of business and then decided to take a shower. It was the only way he'd be able to wake up. He felt better after that and could smell coffee brewing.
"Is something the matter?" Maya looked kind of nervous.
"You wouldn't think less of me if I asked you something that might totally disgust you. I mean you could just say no. Okay?"
"Okay," said Klaatu. It must be really something he thought. She's bright green.
"Um ... may I suck your prick please?" Klaatu smiled as his loins twitched.
"I'd love it if you did that." Maya looked relieved.
"Just lie back and relax." Klaatu did as requested and sighed with pleasure as he felt Maya's warm wet mouth envelope his hardened prick. He could get used to this. Maya was a talented cocksucker and it wasn't too long before Klaatu was shooting his sperm down the young woman's throat. She swallowed like a good girl. Gosh! No wonder the guys at school talked about fellatio so highly. On top of the pleasure experienced, there was no way the girl could—
"What? Did I do something wrong? I'm sorry. This is my first time and I'm bound to make mistakes. I'll try harder next time."
"You didn't do anything wrong," Klaatu replied. "It was me. I came inside you."
"Should I not have swallowed? I've never heard of it being poisonous."
"I'm not talking about right now. I'm talking about last night. I've given you a baby."
"That's possible I suppose," Maya replied. "But it's not a sure thing."
"Oh, it's a sure thing all right from what I've been told." He related what his father told him about Martian sperm.
"So I'm going to be a mommy?"
"It looks that way," said Klaatu. "I feel really bad about this."
"Don't feel bad. Actually I think this is kind of cool." She caressed her tummy.
"You think it's cool?"
"Well yeah. I've always been told I'd wind up an unwed mother like my mom if I didn't listen to Reverend Bryce. Well, I didn't listen to him and now I'm going to be an unwed mother just like my mom. I guess they were right. It's the best birthday gift you could have given me. I couldn't be more pleased." She kissed Klaatu on the cheek.
"Oh, yeah," the young man replied. "Happy birthday." Klaatu supposed he should marry Maya and try to be a good husband and father. But then he couldn't marry Wanda. Multiple marriages weren't allowed as far as he knew. Didn't Wanda have priority? She was the first one he knocked up. Klaatu just knew it was something he was going to lose sleep over. Having these new powers weren't all they were cracked up to be when you were brought up to have a conscience.
Maya took a shower and got dressed. The pair packed up, loaded the car and then ate the free continental breakfast the motel provided. Thirty minutes later they were on the road again. Klaatu guessed it was good they were getting an early start. They could be home in the early evening at this rate if everything went right.
"I've got to warn you about my mom," said Klaatu. He'd just pulled into the driveway outside his home. "She might seem a little ... strange when you first meet her. But when you get to know her she'll seem very strange."
"She can't be any stranger than my mom. I heard my mom saying she remembered her as being ditzy?"
"That describes her pretty well."
"So she's still ditzy? She's not violent, is she?"
"Yes to the first question, no to the second question. It's just that she can be--"
"Just let me meet her. For goodness sake, Klaatu! I'm more nervous now than when you started talking."
"I know," said Klaatu. "I should quit trying to explain, warn or apologize to people when it comes to my mom. She's really a neat lady. You'll like her but if you don't understand something she says, just ask me and I'll try to translate it for you."
"I'm sure I'll get along fine with her," said Maya.
"Hi, Mom," said Klaatu when he saw his mother sitting at the kitchen table. She got up and embraced her son.
"I was wondering if that was you, Klaatu. I didn't expect you back so soon. Did you miss me too much?"
"I sure did, Mom. Uh, Mom? I brought someone to stay with us for a while if that's okay with you. Her name is Maya Gilbert and she's--"
"A Martian," Betsy exclaimed and rushed to embrace the girl.
"I'm just half Martian," Maya said after she accepted Betsy's hug. "My mother is from Earth."
"Well, that's just like me. I'm from Earth too, you know. I wonder if Klaatu's father and your father know each other."
"They apparently did. They were from the same rock band, Nicky and the Neptunes."
"Really?" Betsy gasped. "What instrument did he play?"
"I believe she said it was the bass guitar."
"That was Elvis."
"I could never pronounce their Martian names so I just nicknamed them. Oh, I'm so excited. I can hardly wait to tell Klaatu's father."
"I'd like to tell him first, Mom," said Klaatu. He didn't want his dad to get the confused version first.
"Well, then you'd better get to it. Your helmet is right where you left it. Of course you're welcome to stay here as long as you wish, Maya."
"Thank you, Mrs. Smith."
"Call me Betsy. Smith is my maiden name. I never did get around to getting hitched to Klaatu's father. He had an important mission on the other side of the galaxy and had to leave pretty quickly. Perhaps your father is with him."
"He didn't marry my mother either. Also, I understand my father died before I was born."
"I'm so sorry to hear that. Perhaps your mother can join us. We have plenty of room."
"My mother has been sick lately so that won't be possible, Betsy. Maybe after she gets better?"
"That's good enough for me. I hope she's feeling better soon."
"I hope so too."
"I'm so happy Klaatu found you. I've been looking for other Martians and the people who love them for years. Sometimes I feel like I have more in common with beings from outer space than I do with Earthlings, except for those guys from Uranus. I don't care for them much at all."
"I'm glad that your son found me too, Betsy. Already, I know he's saved me from a fate worse than death."
"That's good. Say, when do you turn 18? Your mom has quite a surprise for you."
"I turned 18 today but--"
"Happy birthday to you," Betsy sang. "C'mon, Klaatu. Sing it with me. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Maya. Happy birthday to you." Klaatu joined in but half heartedly. He felt sorry for Maya. He joined his mom in giving Maya a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Maya's spaghetti strainer was ... misplaced, Mom. She might have to wait until we can locate it."
"Well, maybe she can borrow yours."
"That's what we were thinking. I'll ask Dad about it."
"There's been a lot of excitement since Klaatu started using his. Within hours of using it he had the little girl who lives on the next street knocked up."
"Oh be quiet, Klaatu. I can tell Maya. She's family now. Now he wants to follow her to Europe to tell her she's pregnant. Hehehe! As if she won't realize it sooner or later whether he tells her or not."
"That's very interesting," said Maya. "He mentioned something about his new powers; that he can even cause unsuspecting young ladies to join him in his bed even in his sleep." Maya was grinning at a very uncomfortable looking young man.
"That was me the very next morning," said Betsy.
"Mom! Gosh darn it!"
"More and more interesting. Are you pregnant?"
"I don't think so. Either I'm on the pill or Klaatu is. I forget which it is."
"I guess now is a good time to tell you that I'm expecting your son's child."
"Maya!" Klaatu specifically asked Maya to let him be the one to tell his mother about her possible pregnancy and she agreed.
"Go talk to your father," his mother said. "This is girl talk. That's wonderful news. I've always wanted grandchildren. I have a feeling I'm going to have lots of them." Not if I cut my own throat first thought Klaatu.
"You mentioned guys from Uranus?"
"Well, yes but like I said before, I don't care for them at all. I love talking about Klaatu's father and about how he's from Mars? Well, more than a few men I've met have announced they're from Uranus. Then the next thing out their mouths is a complaint of how bad it smells there. Then they start laughing. Well, I find it pretty difficult to understand how anyone could find that funny. It's kind of sad, don't you think, that they'd rather leave their own planet rather than help to clean it up? But I always try to be friendly and say something about how sorry I am about their planet being so smelly and then I welcome them to Earth."
"What do they say to that?"
"Absolutely nothing," Betsy replied. "They just kind of shake their heads and walk away. It's like they're not used to be spoken to in a polite manner."
"That's amazing," Maya said. Klaatu decided that exchange had given Maya a nice introduction to life with Betsy Smith. It was time to go talk to his dad.
"Hi, Dad," said Klaatu. The transitions were almost seamless now.
"You're back from your road trip already?"
"I went looking for something and I found it pretty quick."
"What was that?"
"I was looking for someone just like me, a half Martian."
"Are you serious?"
"I'm completely serious." Klaatu told him how he heard about the girl who turned green and how he decided to try and find her along with the quick departure soon after meeting Maya.
"I still can't believe it," said Klaatu's father. "Elvis was the straight arrow in our group, always stressing the rules. It's pretty rotten what they did to Maya and her mother."
"I want to let her use my helmet."
"Your helmet is programmed uniquely for you so it won't work for Maya. You'd have to locate Maya's original helmet or another one would have to be programmed for her."
"Can we get her a new one?"
"I'm not in a position to get another one or have one programmed and sent."
"If you just explain what happened they'd be sure to get one for Maya."
"Just so you know, I'm not supposed to have the equipment I'm using to communicate with you and your mother. I was able to smuggle it in with me when I was sent here. If I make my superiors suspicious, I'll be searched and they'll be sure to find and confiscate it." That sucked big time.
"I guess I'll have to figure out something else. Sarah warned her daughter to go into hiding; that they were going to try to bring her back and force her to marry the reverend's son and get her money. Actually, I'm kind of surprised I made it home without running into them."
"One of the powers you're developing is an enhanced sixth sense. With it you'll be able to trust your instincts more."
"I have been feeling a little paranoid lately. I feel like I'm being watched."
"Then you probably are being watched, son."
"That doesn't make me feel any better," said Klaatu. "I hope my feelings are wrong."
"The targets are in position, Reverend," said a man talking on a cell phone outside of the Smith residence. "We'll expect you here tomorrow night."
After wishing his father a good night Klaatu returned to the living room. Maya and his mom were still gabbing and that held no interest for the young man. He was tired anyway from the long drive. He turned around and went to bed. He woke up later that night with someone crawling into bed with him.
"It's only me, incest boy," said Maya. Klaatu sighed in response and kept silent.
"I'm sorry, Klaatu." Maya hugged him and caressed his arm. "I've been teased all my life just like you. Thanks to you I escaped some horrible people and I'm already acting like a total bitch. Please forgive me. I'll try really hard to behave better."
"There's nothing to forgive."
"Thanks for saying that," replied the young woman and kissed him. "You know, you have the neatest mom in the whole world."
"It's nice to know someone in this world appreciates her besides me. That excludes all the times I wanted to scream at her to shut up." Maya giggled.
"I find Betsy fascinating. She's been telling me stories about your father and the other band members. I can see why my mother fell in love with my father."
"I wonder why I never heard those stories."
"They're stories that wouldn't interest a guy."
"Oh. Uh, why don't we get some sleep? I'm still pretty tired. Are you going to sleep here?"
"I will if you don't mind. Are you sure you don't want to do anything else besides sleep?" The young woman gently caressed his prick through the fly of his pajamas.
"I'm pretty sure." He could feel his prick stirring to life.
"Are you super sure?" The only thing Klaatu knew for sure right then was if he didn't screw Maya he wasn't going to get much sleep at all.
"Do you want to?"
"I thought you'd never ask." Maya positioned herself so Klaatu could take her from behind. She was plenty wet so his prick slid in easily.
"All of a sudden I'm feeling famished. I'm going to get myself a snack. May I fix you anything?"
"No thanks, Maya. Thanks for asking."
"Can't you take a hint?"
"Whaddya mean?" Maya wiggled her butt and pulled away causing Klaatu's prick to slide out of her cunt. She got up immediately and straightened her night gown.
"I'd like to think you'd have more consideration for me. I am carrying your child after all."
"But I thought you wanted to."
"That was before."
"Before I got hungry. Weren't you listening? Sheesh! You only think about yourself. I'll try not to wake you when I come back to bed." The dumbfounded young man watched Maya leave his room. He fell back on his bed and stared at the ceiling as if it would provide an explanation to what had just occurred.
"What was that all about," he asked aloud. His mother on her worst days made more sense than Maya did just then. No answer was forthcoming and he continued to stare at the ceiling until sleep once again claimed him. It seemed like he was asleep for just a few moments when he felt his shoulders being shaken.
"The answer's no," Klaatu grumbled. There was no way he was going to fuck anyone without his sleep.
"How do you know what the answer is going to be if I haven't even asked you the question yet, Klaatu? Besides, it's not a question," said his mother.
"Mom? What's the matter? Has something happened?" Klaatu was wide awake now with a sudden adrenaline rush.
"I need you to go to the grocery store. Here's the list."
"Now? Mom, it's still dark out. What's so important about going to the grocery now?"
"Maya is hungry. Go to the 24 hour store."
"There's plenty to eat."
"Not any more there isn't.
"What happened to it?"
"She ate it all."
"Well, the shelves aren't completely bare yet but it's getting there. Go see for yourself. But not before you're dressed and ready to go to the store."
"I don't understand any of this," Klaatu mumbled as he hauled himself out of bed. "She hardly ate anything on our way here."
"I already talked to your father."
"I did and he was very surprised to hear that you knocked up Maya because he didn't hear it from you."
"I ... uh ... didn't want him to know yet."
"I guess not. Well, he knows now but don't worry about him lecturing you about unprotected sex. I already set him straight."
"Yes, I told him like father like son and he shut right up."
"Anyway, your father explained that Maya's metabolism is the problem but it shouldn't be a problem as long as she gets plenty to eat. That's our job. I asked him if this metabolism thing was contagious and he said not to worry."
"I guess Dad would know. Was there anything else?"
"He did ask to talk to you after you returned from the grocers. Speaking of that, add cat food to the list. Gort is out."
"I bought a bag before I left for New Mexico. There should be plenty."
"Maya ate that too."
Klaatu walked into the kitchen and surveyed the damage. It looked like every pot, pan, bowl, plate and utensil in the house had been used or was in use. The stove's four burners were going as well as the oven. Empty cans, bottles, cartons and other recyclables were stacked at one end of the counter. Maya was sitting at the table eating a huge of bowl of hot steaming rice. She looked up and saw Klaatu staring at her. He expected to see a bloated belly with all the food she was eating but she looked unchanged.
"You're scum," she said.
"What? What did I do?"
"This is all your fault."
"Well, I'm sorry. What do you want me to do?"
"I have a couple of suggestions," Maya replied. Her tone of voice told Klaatu he didn't want to hear the details. She was just being a bitch.
"Meow," he muttered. Klaatu wondered if he should ask her how cat food tasted.
"I heard that, mother fucker." Maya looked sheepish when she saw Betsy walk in at that moment and started shoveling more rice into her mouth.
"Why aren't you on your way, Klaatu?"
"I'm going. I'm going." The young man put on his jacket and headed out to the car. "How do you like that," he muttered as he got into the car. "It shows you what happens when you confide in a girl. She uses it against you at the first opportunity. And what about Mom? She heard what Maya called me. A mother fucker! Yet Mom chose to ignore it. Women sure like to stick together."
Klaatu's complaining to himself was interrupted by a strange feeling he got as drove past two SUVs parked down the block. The windows were tinted but he knew the vehicles were occupied. He also knew the occupants were Rev. Bryce's people or maybe even the reverend himself. As if to confirm his suspicion Klaatu noticed the headlights of one the vehicles illuminate. They were going to follow him. Well, they wouldn't have to follow him for long. The supermarket was only a ten minute drive.
Klaatu parked his car near the market entrance and watched the SUV park about 20 yards away in the almost empty lot. He started slowly walking toward the vehicle. His idea was to put the occupants in a trance and instruct them to drive back to New Mexico. Klaatu walked only a few yards before he heard the engine start. The SUV started to move away. The young man realized they must be aware of his ability and were going to keep a safe distance from him until what? That, he didn't know. Darn it! That woman who was with Maya must have told them how it was done. He should have blocked her memory.
Klaatu entered the store and got a cart. He took a quick look at the list his mother had given him. It looked like he'd need three carts at least. Most of the foods were high energy high calorie items that a runner might need if he were training for a marathon. He spotted a cake that said 'Happy Birthday' on it. The cake was discounted because it was a little smooshed on one side. He decided to get it as a peace offering to Maya. Besides, there weren't any other birthday cakes out yet.
Once he got the car loaded, Klaatu went next door to the donut shop and purchased a couple of maple bars for himself. He'd snack on them with his morning coffee. His escort trailed him back to the house. The young man imagined they were burning with curiosity about all the groceries he'd purchased. He hauled the groceries into the kitchen while Betsy put them away. Maya continued eating.
"What's in the bag," Maya asked.
"Donuts," Klaatu replied.
"I like donuts."
"I just got a few for my breakfast."
"What kind are they?"
"They're uh ... maple bars."
"I love maple bars. I can't believe you got maple bars for yourself and nothing for me." Klaatu wanted to point out that virtually all the groceries were for her but it seemed the wrong thing to say.
"Would you like a maple bar?"
"Never mind," Maya exclaimed and burst into tears. She started sobbing. "For all the consideration I get from you I might as well be back in New Mexico."
"Your ride is waiting for you just down the block if that's what you want to do."
"Rev. Bryce's men are sitting in two SUVs just down the block. If you want a ride back to New Mexico I'm sure they'll be glad to accommodate you."
"Betsy, Klaatu wants to turn me over to some bad men." She sobbed even harder.
"He better not," Betsy replied. She had just finished putting away the groceries and was now paying attention. "Why would you want to say much less do such a hurtful thing, Klaatu?"
"I didn't say that."
"You did too say that, didn't he, Betsy."
"I heard it too ... I think."
"Look you two," said Klaatu. "I was just trying to point out that Rev. Bryce has found us and we have to be careful."
"Well, why didn't you say that in the first place?" Betsy replied. "You'll have to excuse Klaatu, Maya. He has trouble understanding things sometimes. Why, I have to repeat something two or three times quite often before he understands me. A lot of the time he has trouble explaining things so that normal people like me can understand him."
"I understand you perfectly, Betsy. Maybe your son is retarded."
"I never thought of that. I hope not."
"I think I'm going insane," said Klaatu.
"That would explain a lot. Why don't you hypnotize them like you did Tammy Bryce?"
"That was his wife?"
"His second wife."
"Uh, I guess they figured out what I did from his wife. Right now they're keeping a safe distance from me."
"Don't worry, Maya," said Betsy. "They'll have to go through me to get to you."
"I don't want either of you hurt," said Klaatu. "Maybe I should go talk to Dad right now." He turned to go.
"Aren't you going to have your maple bars?"
"You can have them."
"Hello again, Dad."
"Hello again, Klaatu."
"Uh, I apologize for not telling you about Maya's pregnancy. I guess I was too embarrassed to mention it after the talk we had about Wanda and the consequences of unprotected sex."
"That's not important now, son. Right now I have to tell you some things about Maya."
"I think everything's under control. I just returned from the grocery store with enough food to feed an army."
"That won't help for long."
"But you told Mom--"
"I don't tell your mother everything. You must know how she tends to get confused about some things."
"I definitely know about that. So tell me what you didn't tell Mom."
"For a reason or reasons I don't understand, Maya is exhibiting typical pregnancy symptoms of a full blooded Martian female. It should have been a virtual impossibility with a half Martian."
"Is that bad? Can it be treated?"
"It's bad. It's treated with a simple native herb ... on Mars."
"What happens if she's not treated?"
"Maya won't be able eat enough to sustain her calorie requirements. She'll eventually starve to death."
"But ... that means I've killed my friend. She wouldn't be in this fix if I hadn't--"
"Calm down, Klaatu. If we're going to save Maya I need you thinking clearly."
"I'll do anything to save Maya, Dad. But how?"
"Perhaps her helmet might help protect her."
"But that's in New Mexico. Who knows if it still exists? On top of that I can't use my hypnotic powers on them." He related what happened when he tried to approach the SUV in the super market parking lot.
"I was afraid of that," Klaatu's father replied. "Well, there's only one thing I can do. That's for me to contact the powers that be and explain the situation to them. Maybe they'll help and maybe they won't. As soon as they hear what I have to say they'll be sure to disable my ability to talk to you and your mother."
"Oh my gosh! Don't do that, Dad. Mom will be devastated if she can't talk to you. And I've just met you. This is so unfair."
"I don't think there's any choice when the life of someone we care about is at stake."
"Let me try, Dad. Give me some time to work something out."
"I don't know how much time we have, Klaatu. It's a gamble."
"She stopped feeling hungry for a while. Those donuts and the birthday cake seemed to hit the spot with her. That was nice of you to give her your maple bars. I know those are your favorites. Anyway, she went back to bed. She's been eating for hours and she's very tired. I'm going to do some cleanup and start cooking again. Would you like to help?"
"I just want you to hold me for a while." Klaatu burst into tears when his mother embraced him. It was just like when he was a young boy and the teasing got too much for him. As usual, he felt like a hopeless screw-up even with these extra powers he acquired. The young man didn't know how to handle power. Klaatu began to wish he never knew about the spaghetti strainer.
"Don't cry, Klaatu," said Betsy. "A woman gets all emotional when she's pregnant. I'm sure Maya didn't mean any of those mean things she told you. I remember I once called your father a poop head when I was pregnant with you and I've been feeling guilty about it ever since."
"I'm not crying about that, Mom. It's just that—
"Another time I called your father a—
"Shut up, Mother!" The silence was deafening. Klaatu immediately knew he'd put his mother in a trance. It was another thing to feel guilty about. Well, perhaps Klaatu would put his mother's trance to use. He knew what he had to do.
It was fast becoming daylight and Klaatu didn't want to waste a moment. He didn't know if what he had in mind would work but it was better to try something than do nothing and watch Maya slowly die. He wrote a note and stuck it in an envelope. He turned to his mother who was still in a trance.
"Mom, I want you take this envelope. Walk outside. You'll see a couple of black SUVs down the street a bit. Walk toward the vehicles while holding the envelope high above your head. If they start to drive away just drop the envelope and walk back here. If someone gets out of either one of the vehicles drop the envelope and run back to me. If you get as close as Mr. Beckman's driveway, drop the envelope and walk back to me. Do you understand?"
"I understand," said Betsy. His mother's answer gave Klaatu a creepy feeling. It was totally devoid of personality. He didn't like it at all but the young man knew it would be a time saver since he didn't have to go through a detailed explanation his mother would insist on and then mess things up anyway. Betsy carried out her instructions without a hitch and was back inside within two minutes. Klaatu sat her down immediately and took her out of her trance. He swore never to put his mother in a trance again.
"Now what was I saying?"
"You were saying that I needed to help clean up the kitchen so you could get started cooking again."
"I'm sure you're right," his mother replied. "I'm glad you were paying attention because I guess I wasn't." Klaatu breathed a sigh of relief. He often wished his mother could somehow be changed and be what most people regarded as normal. Now he realized he loved his mom just as she was and didn't want her to change. On the way out to the trash his cell phone rang.
"This is Klaatu Smith."
"This is Reverend Bryce. Before you say another word I'm going to warn you not try any of that hocus pocus on me like you did with my wife."
"It won't work over the phone." Klaatu didn't know that for sure but he didn't want to try it and fail.
"What do you have on your mind, Mr. Smith?"
"I'd like to have a talk with you personally and see if we can work things out to our mutual advantage."
"Why should I bother," replied the minister. "A kidnapping complaint has been sworn out against you. Since you crossed state lines with the victim the FBI has become involved. You're in over your head, Mr. Smith."
"Maya came with me willingly and she'll testify to that effect. Besides, she's of age now anyway." Darn! This guy is playing for keeps thought Klaatu. Kidnapping?
"Maya's mother was declared incompetent by a court of law. Her parents were appointed guardians of Sarah and Maya. When the Lord called them to join Him in His kingdom, I was given the task of taking care of them. Both of them have been under my legal guardianship ever since and will continue to be until a court says otherwise. In any event you took Maya by force. That's kidnapping."
"I didn't use force."
"My wife said you used force and she'll testify to that effect."
"But Maya will testify otherwise."
"I'm sure you're polluting Maya's mind even as we speak. I've treated that girl like my own daughter and dedicated my life to saving her and her mother's souls from you Satan worshipers."
"How about we cut the bull, sir," said an exasperated young man. "You want Maya back so you can marry her off to your son and gain access to her money. I guess her mother's money wasn't enough for you, huh? How about I get Maya to sign over the loot and spare your son having to marry a girl who hates him?" There was silence on the line and Klaatu was beginning to wonder if he had lost the connection.
"I don't who you've been listening to but it's all a pack of lies. Maya and my son are very much in love with each other. Having said that, I want to know what you want in return for that signature."
"I don't want to negotiate everything over the phone. Are you in one of those cars outside my house or are you still in New Mexico?"
"I'm still in Alamogordokirky."
"That's fine. When you get here I'd like you to have Sarah Gilbert with you and a certain item of sentimental value."
Klaatu figured he'd have trouble convincing the reverend he wasn't joking when he said he wanted a spaghetti strainer that Sarah once had in her possession. He wasn't wrong. Still, the young man persisted and kept telling the corrupt minister that it was an item of sentimental value. Klaatu was afraid he was giving Bryce leverage by making the item seem extremely important but it couldn't be helped. He wanted that helmet in the hopes that it might save Maya's life.
Reverend Bryce said all of Sarah's possessions were placed in storage and it might take a couple of hours to find the item in question but he wasn't planning to leave by a private aircraft until that afternoon. They would meet in the early evening. Sarah Gilbert was a simpler matter. The man would be glad to get the crazy woman off his hands. After that he broke the connection. Now it was a matter of waiting until evening.
Maya was up and eating a couple of hours later. While she ate Klaatu briefed her on what his father told him and his conversation with Rev. Bryce. She took it surprisingly well.
"I'll go along with whatever you think is best, Klaatu," said Maya.
"You're certainly braver than I'd be." Maya shrugged her shoulders.
"It's not bravery. I just don't have any choice. If it wasn't for this life growing inside me I think I'd stop eating right now because this is no way to live. I just pray your father is right about this."
"I do too. Uh, there's one possibility you haven't considered to save your life."
"I know what you're going to suggest, Klaatu and the answer is no. I'm not going to have any abortion even if it might save my life."
"I just have this feeling it's the wrong thing to do. End of discussion. Leastways, if I die, it'll be as a free woman. I'll also know that my mother will be free from that monster."
"Let's think positive, okay? Nobody is going to die."
"Okay," Maya replied. "Does Betsy know?"
"I thought it best not to tell her." Maya nodded her head in agreement.
"She's so excited about her grandchild." The young woman burst into tears and Klaatu felt a lump growing in his throat.
"Did I make something too spicy," Betsy asked as she put another platter on the table. "I'm sorry."
"Everything's fine, Betsy," Maya replied. "You're a wonderful cook. I think it's just my hormones acting up."
"I had those too when I was pregnant with Klaatu only a lot later. It hurt to sit, stand up or walk. I was miserable. I'll have Klaatu pick up some ointment the next time he goes to the grocers. Or would you prefer a suppository?"
"An ointment sounds fine, Betsy."
"Anyway, I hope the grandchildren think I'm a good cook. I plan on having them over for dinner every chance I get. You know, the strangest thing just happened. I was trying to talk to your father but all I got was static. That's never happened before. I hope everything's all right. Klaatu, could you talk to your father with your helmet and tell him he needs to get his batteries changed?"
"Right away, Mom." Klaatu rushed to his room. He slipped on the helmet. Nothing happened.
Klaatu was frantic. Who else could he go to for advice except his father? His father must have asked the Martian authorities for help. In response, they caught off his ability to communicate with Earth. Couldn't Dad have waited until I had something to report? Klaatu wasn't sure of what else could go wrong but it probably would just at the most inconvenient time.
"What's the matter," asked Maya. She and his mother were standing at his bedroom door.
"We've lost contact with my dad." He choked back a sob. "What'll I do now?"
"You'll do the best you can," the young woman replied.
"I always knew there was a possibility of losing your father," Betsy said. "He was on a very dangerous mission. I don't know if I'll ever hear from him again. I don't know if he's even alive. I do know that I was very lucky to have known him and to have given him a son. I know you'll do the right thing, Klaatu and make your father proud of you just like I am."
Klaatu nodded his head and remained silent. He was afraid of speaking because he might start babbling or crying again although he felt all cried out. The young man's mother suddenly looked ten years older with that quick little speech. It was as if she lost some of the joy of living like it had been just stripped away from her.
The only thing Klaatu could do now was to wait until Bryce's arrival. Well, he could also hope and pray that the Reverend Bryce was a man of his word. And that Maya's helmet made the changes necessary to survive her pregnancy. And that they could reestablish communications with his father. It was a lot to hope and pray for and Klaatu couldn't help feeling pessimistic.
The rest of the day dragged on. Betsy cooked. Maya ate. Klaatu washed the dishes and did other clean up. The high calorie foods purchased earlier that morning seemed to help sate Maya's appetite and she was able to take more frequent breaks from eating. It was late afternoon when Klaatu's cell phone rang. The young man's stomach was churning with anxiety when he answered it.
"This is Klaatu Smith."
"This is Rev. Bryce. We're here."
"Did you bring what I asked you to bring?"
"Then come on over and let's get this over with."
"Not so fast," Rev. Bryce replied. "There's an important condition you have to meet or this meeting ain't going to happen."
It was apparent Rev. Bryce had a healthy respect for Klaatu's hypnotic abilities. The young man would be required to wear a ball gag that could be fastened and then locked in the back. All of the important stuff had already been agreed to and Klaatu didn't see any point in protesting. He could still communicate with pen and paper if a detail had to be worked out. Klaatu wasn't to utter another word once one of the minister's men arrived at the front door to fasten the device. Bryce rang off and Klaatu quickly explained the situation to Betsy and Maya.
"I don't think I understand," said Betsy. "Can you explain that again?"
"Just trust me, Mom ... or ... ask Maya."
"This guy's a minister, Betsy," said Maya. "Ministers like to do all the talking with no interruptions."
"Oh, now I understand," Betsy replied. "See how easy it is when you explain things right the first time, Klaatu? Still, I think that's kind of drastic don't you think? I mean, I wouldn't want to be gagged or anything like that even if I needed to be which I don't." Klaatu only grunted. There was a knock on the door and he went to open it.
"Just turn around and open your mouth without saying a word, pal," said the man at the door. Klaatu did as he was ordered and a red ball was shoved into his mouth. He was essentially mute. The man signaled another. A minute later Klaatu saw some people coming up the walk. He recognized Sarah Gilbert and the other woman from the house Sarah identified as Mrs. Bryce. Three men accompanied them. The older one had to be Rev. Bryce. Another one was carrying a package which looked the right size for a spaghetti strainer.
"The younger guys are Bryce's goons," said Maya, "just like this guy." The man glared at Maya but kept silent.
"Good evening, folks," said Betsy as the group entered. "Welcome to my home. My name is Betsy Smith. Call me Betsy. This is my son, Klaatu. You can call him Klaatu. I'm sorry he can't speak right now. And this young lady is Miss Maya Gilbert. Oh, that's right. You know her, don't you. Would you care to sit down? May I get you something to drink? I hope you can stay for dinner. We have plenty to eat although Klaatu won't be able to eat or drink much with that thing in his mouth. I don't believe I caught your names." The older man appeared confused and then amused by Betsy's greeting.
"I'm the Reverend Russell C. Bryce of the First Church of Alamogordokirky in Alamogordokirky, New Mexico. This is my wife Norma, Maya's mother Sarah and these gentlemen are my associates George, John and Thomas."
"More like Larry, Moe and Curly," Maya replied. "Hello, Mother."
"Whore," Sarah muttered. She sat down and opened up her Bible. Maya blushed green and took a bite out of a Hostess Zinger.
"Tell me, Betsy," said Rev. Bryce. "Are you saved?"
"Oh, yes! I'm pretty frugal, you know."
"I mean ... have you given yourself to the Lord? Uh, what church do you attend?"
"Well, I must admit I haven't attended church in a long while. But I do belong to Ispu. That sounds kind of naughty doesn't it but it stands for the Interplanetary Society for Peace and Understanding. We promote peace and understanding between people of all the planets. Isn't that wonderful?"
"Just as I thought," said Mrs. Bryce. "They're heathens."
"What did you say?"
"Well, I'm not a Martian. But Klaatu's father was a Martian and so was Maya's so that makes Klaatu and Maya half Martian. Isn't that right, Sarah?"
"Slut," Sarah murmured.
"Well, if I was a slut then what does that make you?" Betsy's retort surprised Klaatu. He never recalled hearing anger in his mother's voice.
"Thank you for your kind offer, Betsy, but we won't be partaking of any refreshments and we won't be staying for dinner," said Rev. Bryce. "We have some business to take care of here and then we'll be on our way." George handed Bryce a folder.
"We do have some papers for you to sign, Maya."
"Let me see." She started skimming through the pages. "I dunno. I wish I had a lawyer to look these over."
"Mr. Smith here sounded like he was in a hurry. This document gives you custody of your mother plus one spaghetti strainer that belongs to your mother. I hope you explain that to me before we leave. In return, you give up all rights to a trust set up in your name and assign it to the First Church of Alamogordokirky. It's very simple."
"I'll sign it then," said Maya. She did so and handed it back to the corrupt minister. He handed the papers to Klaatu and told him to witness the signature. This is going smoothly so far thought Klaatu. I just hope the helmet works. He handed back the signed and witnessed papers.
"Thank you very much," Rev. Bryce.
"Where's my mother's spaghetti strainer?"
"It's right here." Bryce nodded to George who took it out of the box he was holding and set it on a table. "I think this just about concludes our business."
"No," Sarah exclaimed. "Not ... the ... right one." Everyone was stunned into silence. Rev. Bryce was the first to recover.
"I assure you it's the same one you had in your possession some years ago, Sarah. Your memory is just faulty."
"Lying ... bastard!"
"Prove it, slut!" Klaatu screamed his outrage through his gag and began tearing at the straps but John and Thomas quickly restrained him.
"I believe you, Mother," said Maya. She sounded calm. "You know what? You got what you came for. You have my money. Now please just get out of our lives and leave us in peace."
"I like your attitude, Sarah," Rev. Bryce replied. "Shall we go?"
"We do have one last piece of business, dear," said Mrs. Bryce.
"Ah, yes. I just about forgot about that."
"And just what could that be," asked Maya.
"I intend to punish your friend for raping me."
"What? He never touched you."
"That's not what I remember," Mrs. Bryce replied. "He won't be able to seduce any more innocent women and girls after I've clipped off the tip of his tongue."
"Call the police, Betsy!" A gun appeared in George's hand.
"Oh my goodness," Betsy exclaimed. Klaatu renewed his struggles but it was useless against the two men holding him. The crazy bitch was going to mutilate him. He was so scared he was about to piss in his pants.
"Please don't let her do this, Reverend," Maya begged.
"He should consider himself lucky," Bryce replied. "My suggestion was to just kill him and get it over with." Mrs. Bryce removed a hypodermic needle and syringe from a case and placed a pair of scissors beside it.
"Say good-bye to your silver tongue, rapist," she said.
"If you lay one finger on that boy you're going to have me to deal with me," said Betsy.
"How are you going to stop me, bitch?"
"Do you see my engagement ring?"
"It looks like a cheap piece of junk."
"Well, it's not. It's actually an extremely rare facsimile of a Space Cadets secret decoder ring but cleverly hidden inside is a miniature ray gun which will blast you and your friends into tiny atoms if you don't release my son right this second and get the heck out of her. I've given you fair warning. Don't make me use this."
"You know what? You talk too much. I think I'm going to clip your tongue after I get through with him. Hold him down. I'm going to put him under."
"Then eat gamma rays, evil doer!" Betsy cried and clenched her fist. She looked very puzzled when nothing happened.
Klaatu screamed through his gag when he felt a rubber tourniquet being tied around his arm. He saw a bright flash of light and passed out.
Klaatu felt the gag being taken out of his mouth.
"I'm your friend," he rasped. "D-don't hurt me. Please!"
"No one's going to hurt you, son." Klaatu was having trouble seeing but the voice sounded familiar.
"How did you get here?"
"As quickly as I could."
"But ... your illness. You're in danger, aren't you?"
"I was given the vaccine years ago but I was never told since they still wanted to punish me. So those bastards told me I was still ill. I couldn't go home to Mars and I couldn't return to Earth. However they can act quickly when the circumstances call for it." Klaatu's eyesight was clearing up and he was able to see his father.
"Everybody else is still unconscious. Apparently your mother blasted everyone with her ray gun including herself."
"Is she going to be all right? What about Maya?"
"Everyone will recover. That ray gun blast isn't fatal. I would never put that kind of power in your mother's hands. But I did warn her to never use it except in an extreme emergency."
"It was an emergency. That crazy woman there was going to cut out my tongue."
The Martian's face clouded with anger. "Suppose you tell me exactly what happened here." After a quick summary of the day's events, Klaatu's father confiscated the document Maya signed and put the Bryces and their associates in a collective trance. He ordered them to return to New Mexico with the instructions to confess their crimes to the local authorities and to provide the evidence to prosecute them.
He next revived Maya and gave her an injection to stabilize her condition. He revived Betsy and Sarah last.
"Darling, is that you?"
"It's me, Betsy."
"Well, then I know this is just a dream but I'm going to say it anyway. I'm never going to let you leave my side ever again. I don't care if the whole galaxy explodes because of it. Do you understand that, mister?"
"Well, then it looks like you're coming to Mars with me."
"That sounds like fun. Can we all come?"
"I don't see why not. I have to deliver the next queen of Mars to her people."
"Maya is the next queen of Mars."
"What are you talking about? I'm no queen."
"There's a thousand year old prophecy that a future queen of Mars will be born on another planet. Also, she won't be a full blooded Martian."
"But I suppose that could be someone else in the future on an entirely different planet."
"The scan I did of your body confirms the prophecy. You're carrying over a thousand viable eggs in your womb; all little Martians."
"That's impossible! I can't carry that many babies."
"You'll have help. But that help can only come on Mars."
"My gosh! Well, it looks like I'm going to Mars."
"I'll help with the bottles and the diaper changing. They are my grandchildren after all. Oh, this is the most fun dream I've had in a long time."
"They're my grandchildren too," said Sarah. "I'm coming along. Besides, I have a lot of time to make up with my daughter ... if that's all right with her."
"I wouldn't have it any other way, Mom," said Maya.
"Are you coming, Klaatu?"
"Can I take a rain check, Dad? There are some things I still want to do here on Earth."
"That's no problem. Or if you want to come just to visit, that's all right too."
"I'd like that fine."
Klaatu accompanied everyone to the hidden landing site and wished them a good trip. Betsy kept fretting about forgetting something but Klaatu assured her he could send anything she still needed at a later time.
"I hope I don't wake up from this dream for a very long time," said Betsy. "I love you, Klaatu Smith."
"I love you, Mom. Don't be too surprised if it's not just a dream."
It was dark when Klaatu got home ... or at least of what was left of his home. Fire had completely destroyed the building and its contents. Betsy had left the stove burners going when she left the house. Oh well thought Klaatu. I just hope Gort is safe.
"Hi ya, Gort. Long time no see." Klaatu had been putting food out for Gort for the past month in the hopes his cat was still alive and well. The food had been disappearing but that could have been any cat or other animal. He was glad Gort looked okay.
"Hi, Klaatu." Klaatu looked up and saw Wanda standing by the fence. A whole fleet of butterflies took flight in his stomach.
"I'm sorry about what happened to your home." Klaatu shrugged his shoulders.
"Accidents happen." Klaatu immediately regretted his choice of words because the young woman blushed and nodded her head.
"How is your mother taking it?"
"She doesn't know yet. She left for an extended trip just before the accident."
"She's in for a surprise when she gets back. Where did she go?"
"Uh, she didn't say. It was kind of sudden."
"You must be wondering why I'm back from Europe so soon. Well, I'm pregnant."
"It's no fun having morning sickness every day and especially no fun in a strange country. I wanted to be home in familiar surroundings. To top it off; I don't even know who the father is." Klaatu was feeling as guilty as he ever had been in his life.
"There's no need to be unless you're really the father."
"I am." Wanda looked surprised and then puzzled.
"I don't appreciate your attempts at humor, Klaatu. We've never had sex."
"I'm not trying to be humorous, Wanda. Don't you remember the day before you left for Europe?" Wanda's face darkened with anger as Klaatu allowed her to remember that fateful afternoon. Klaatu hated fucking with her mind and wanted to get it right the first time.
"You did something to me!"
"No, I didn't. You wanted it. You remember that, certainly."
"I was surprised when you offered. You said you knew you never treated me well but it was only to hide your true feelings for me. Your so-called girl friends kept telling you I was a loser. You listened to them and pleased them instead of yourself. You finally decided that you were the loser for having listened to them and this was the way you wanted to show your love for me."
"But ... I didn't want to get pregnant. Not now."
"I was concerned about that too since I didn't have any condoms but you assured me you were on the pill." Wanda nodded her head.
"I'm sorry I didn't recall any of this before. It must have been the stress of getting ready to leave for Europe."
"No problem." Klaatu embraced his dream girl and they kissed.
"What will we tell my parents? They were so disappointed in me for being careless and I'm sure they'll be furious with you."
"Don't worry, darling. I'll explain everything to them and make them very happy for us."
"I guarantee it."
"Do you feel the same way about me as I do about you?"
"Sure I do."
"Then don't you think we should get married? I don't want to be an unwed mother." Klaatu smiled. Wanda was still able to try and get what she wanted even as her mind was being manipulated.
"Well, since I've loved you since the day we met and never stopped and never will stop, I think I'd better marry you. So, will you be my wife?"
"Yes, Mr. Klaatu Smith. I'll happily be your wife." Klaatu and Wanda sealed their engagement with a kiss. He wondered if he could arrange a honeymoon on Mars. Yes, life was good ... as long as you had mind control powers.