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The Cube: Ch. 7, Taking a Ride

Rolph pressed a button on the counter and a cup with a liquid in it rose up on a platform even to the counter. “Care for a drink?” Rolph asked me, with a smile. “What is it?” I said. “Coffee,” he said. “Okay, I’ll try it,” I said, smiling. The drink tasted like normal coffee. “Hmm,” I said. “Pretty good.”

Johnny seemed bored. “Well, I’m goin’ fishin’. Anyone want to come?” “I’ve gotta get back to my chores,” said Wayne, with a shrug. “Have a nice day, Wayne and Johnny,” I said. Both of them walked out the side door. “Whatcha say, we take this thing for a spin?” I said, smiling.

“Billah doesn’t prefer to be referred to as a thing,” Rolph said. “Billah, take us for a ride around the forest.” The walls took on a warm pink tone, and then we lifted up into the air. “I can’t figure out what makes her go,” I said. Rolph smiled, then said, “it’s air displacement, like a jet engine.” “No noise, though,” I said. “Correct,” Rolph said. “It’s a little more advanced. No propellers. Just a vacuum.” “But a vacuum makes noise,” I said. “Yes. It uses the physics of a black hole,” said Rolph. “We haven’t totally figured them out yet,” I said. “Indeed,” said Rolph.

An Afternoon at the Beach

I wandered out of a cave next to the ocean. I bent down and picked up a sea shell, looked at it for a few seconds, then skipped it across the water. I looked down the beach, and saw a boy on a skim board, riding the waves in to the beach. He looked like he was having a great time.

I looked out at the ocean and saw a cruise ship sailing by. Then I saw a killer whale break the surface of the water and crash back down into the waves. Down the beach, there was a pier extending out into the water. A man on the pier who was fishing saw the whale and shouted to the boy to get into the beach.

The man fishing gave me an idea. I decided I’d get out my fishing pole and see if I could catch me some dinner. I attached a hook to my line and got out a bucket with some shrimp that I had caught earlier with a net. I put one of the shrimp on the hook and tossed the line out into the water.

Balance Beams

A boat sails by, tossed by the waves and the wind of the storm. Cracker Jack is a favorite snack of kings and queens in England and Austria. Garbage cans bring Esophageal cancer to Native American beer drinkers in summertime at the supermarket. Soliloquy singed album walkers flow silly mopeds in geranium cookie jars. Bouncing balance beams commiserate slyly on inebriated cauliflower pizza crackers.

The Cube: Ch. 6, Billah

I lifted my hand up and stroked the wall. The wall rippled and a warm glow emanated on the walls. “That’s more like it,” Rolph said. “Billah is happy you have chosen to get along.” “I haven’t. I just wanted to see what she would do,” I said.

The Cube rocked back and forth. I looked outside and saw that the man on the tractor was pushing against the cube with the tractor. “I guess I need to let him know we’re okay,” I said. “I’ll tell him,” said Johnny. Johnny ran up the stairs and popped his head out of the hatch. “Wayne!” he said. “We’re okay! Don’t hurt the cube.” “Okay,” said Wayne, the man on the tractor. “Glad you are alright.”

“Would you like to come inside?” Johnny asked. At that, a door appeared on the side of the cube. “Sure I would,” said Wayne. “I’d like to know what makes this thing tick!” The door opened and Wayne walked right in. “Wow!” he said. “This thing is weird!” “It’s a living thing, Mr. Wayne,” I said.

The Cube: Ch. 5, Rolph

“I am a cyborg, as well,” the man in the lab coat said. “I identify with the name, Rolph.” “Okay, Rolph, why don’t you and your cube head back to wherever you came from and leave us alone?” “I’m not sure the boy shares your sentiment,” Rolph said. “He seems to enjoy us.” “He’s too young to understand,” I said. “I don’t comprehend your animosity,” Rolph said. “We mean you no harm. We’re simply studying plants, animals and humans on this planet.”

“So you’re from another planet?” I said. “Yes, but in a different, what you would call, galaxy. Too distant to explain. We traveled here to study life and organisms that exist separate from machines. That’s why we landed in this meadow. This forest is full of life. Johnny understood us immediately. I think it is because he is so young. He does not have such a judging mind.”

“What about your head-sucking cube? What was it trying to do to Johnny?” I said. “It was just feeling him. The cube would have put him back,” Rolph said. “Does the cube have a name like you do?” I asked. “Yes, actually. Her name is Billah. She speaks through the computer, but prefers to communicate with light and touch.”

The Cube: Ch. 4, Inside

I scurried over to the door and ran down the steps before it closed. Once I reached the floor, I looked up and around me. The interior walls were a translucent white, with buttons like number pads and other areas sensitive to the touch. The buttons were not keys, but rather just slight indentations on the wall.

In a chair beside the staircase sat the little boy. He looked fine. No harm had come to him in the strange evaporating he had done when the man in the lab coat shined the light on him. I could see through the outer wall to the meadow outside. The man on the tractor still sat on it and seemed not to be bothered at what had taken place before him.

There was a lab table along the wall. I put my hand on it and a light flashed inside it and it glowed at my touch. The man in the lab coat appeared and held a chair in his hands. “Would you care to have a seat?” he asked, in a friendly tone. “No, thanks,” I said. “Who are you and why are you here?” I asked. “I should ask the same of you, considering you’re in my cube,” he said with a smile.

“What do you intend to do with the boy?” I asked. “Why, nothing at all. I was simply saving him from you.” “What do you mean?” I said. “That’s what I was trying to do,” I said. “He could have been injured if the wall had broken,” he said. “He was not in any danger until you started attacking the cube.” “What is this thing? Is it alive?” I said. “It is a cyborg, half animal, half machine. The living tissue is able to change itself into any form necessary.”