The Girl from Earth

The Girl from Earth

This is the last of the stories I will post. I wrote this somewhere around 1967-68. I wrote one more after this around this time period, but it was lost. Too bad because it was a good one. It was called “A Matter of Luck.” It was about a guy whose luck suddenly changed to the worse and became unbelievably bad – way beyond anything that could be explained by the law of averages.

After this time period I went through quite a long season without writing anything. My problem after this was finding the time to write. I was so busy trying to make a living that I just didn’t have time to do much creatively. Even when I started writing The Immortal, I didn’t have much time but I had to make the time writing after 2 AM, so thankfully I had the discipline to get the job done.

This story has some interesting spiritual overtones.



The Girl from Earth

By J J Dewey

Laura Pursely was a pretty name, but she was not a pretty girl. More than four years in the dead silence of space had greatly roughened her features. She glanced at her reflection in the dark glass of the scanner, which was turned off. Her image was vague in the glass, and it was all she had seen of herself since she had left Earth. It was enough! She had hated herself since she could remember.

She turned the scanner on and immediately her dim image was replaced with a great variety of stars. When she had first left Earth they were beautiful to her. Now she realized they really were not. They were just – different. They do not dance and twinkle in space as they do under a thick atmosphere. Yes, their real beauty was to be seen from earth. And the silence! She hated that too. When she was a little girl, she had always asked her uncle questions about space for he was one of the pioneers. He was an astronaut before the nine planets were conquered.

Uncle Zat, so she called him, said he liked the silence best. Up there it was peaceful – quiet. You could have peace of mind he said. Of course, there were dangers up there, but they never bothered Uncle Zat. He could always relax, read a good book, play chess.. life was too tense for him to do these things on earth.

Uncle Zat was the only man for which she ever had any feeling. She guessed that feeling was love, but she was not sure. Everyone but Zat had hated her, and she hated them all the more. As she reflected upon him and tried to revive the feeling of warmth she once had when around him she felt an emotion as alien as the stars her eyes were viewing out of focus.

When Laura was small, the boys in school would tease her about her straight hair, long pointed nose, her freckles, and overlarge black eyes. Sometimes they called her a witch and sometimes the monster from outer space. Finally, they nicknamed her Monster. Every time she heard the name directed towards her she hated her schoolmates more as well as the parents who raised them.

Her relationship with people grew no better as she matured, thus she began to make an effort to avoid people and the noises and sounds they caused; her mother and father were no exception.

Her father was a businessman who was gone most of the time, something for which she was glad. When he was home he ignored her unless he wanted something then he would command her to do what he desired or else. He was always talking, and if he was not talking, he was yelling and fighting with her mother. No wonder her mother had turned into such a tramp. She lost count of the number of times she was disturbed from her sleep or reading because of some drunken bum scratching at the door whining for the woman who should be taking care of her.

Then came the day she told her father what was going on, to get even with her mother for stealing some money she had saved, they mutually agreed that she should leave and “never come back.” She could not count the number of times those three words had echoed in her mind. She tried to blot them out and keep them from coming back, but they always did. Those who should have loved her the most showed her the most malice and had forced her to leave when she was but fifteen. And, of course, she turned to Uncle Zat.

Zat had never married for he did not like to be disturbed by people and loved his own company the best. However, Laura was quiet and spent a lot of time alone, usually reading, so he was quite satisfied with her company. Besides, she cooked all his meals and only talked when he wanted to. He liked to tell her about his experiences and close calls he had. He was the only man in the world she loved to listen to and she began to yearn for the same experiences he had had.

Then when the space academy said they needed a young female for the first inter-stellar flight Zat did not hesitate to suggest Laura. And, of course, she readily accepted the challenge.

There were only sixteen other girls for her to compete against for the first inter-stellar spacewoman – only one of them would go.

They were given numerous tests, but the most important was that of spending long periods of time alone without cracking up. Laura was way ahead in this area for if anything would cause her to crack up it would be not being alone. The other tests were hard, but she did well, and within a year she was selected for the trip. She remembered how proud Uncle Zat was of her that day. Right after Laura was selected Uncle Zat had to leave to see about some mines on one of the moons of Saturn. She remembered clearly when he said goodbye. He took her hand, gave it a little squeeze, and kissed her gently on the forehead. Then he looked at her and she felt that alien feeling which must have been love. It was so unusual for her to feel sad about someone leaving; she had never felt that way before.

Uncle Zat turned and walked toward the spaceship, not saying anything after he kissed her. All he left was the thoughts he gave her with his eyes. It was the last time she saw him. For some reason unknown his ship exploded half way to Saturn.

After that she turned into herself and against people more than ever. She figured that Zat was the only benevolent soul in existence and so she despised those she had to work around because they could not match up to her uncle.

Laura spent the next three years in rigorous training, a period during which she had to do a certain amount of socializing. She hated being around people even if it was during formal tests for she always felt they were talking behind her back and pulling jokes. Being scientists, they were not quite as open in their ill humor, but she knew.

When the time had come, they said she had done marvelously. At least that was the way the little old man with white hair put it – he was the head. She was made for the job. She showed no side effects with long periods of isolation. She was skinny, just 92 pounds, and the right height – five foot four. Because of her light weight she was told she could bring back a whole two hundred pounds of the most interesting materials from a planet with the same gravitational pull as earth. That planet had already been selected. By advanced techniques in astronomy, using light lenses astronomers discovered that Alpha Centauri possessed a planet similar to earth which they believed to be inhabited by an oxygen-breathing people. It was Laura’s job to find all she could about them and to bring back as much of their knowledge as possible which may aid mankind. In return she was to give them much of Earth’s knowledge which was to be stored on the ship’s computer.

Alpha Centauri was a star system about four and one half light years away. She would spend the first half of her trip accelerating and the second half decelerating. During her trip, Earth would pass through eighteen years of time while according to Einstein’s theory she would pass through only nine years.

Accordingly then, she would age four and one half years one way and be nearly twenty-four upon reaching the planet which earth had called Osiris.

She adjusted the view screen and looked at the planet below her. All her training and the funny scientists were a long way behind her now, and in a few hours she would land. In a way, she dreaded the end of her journey for she feared Osiris would have a mocking people like earth. Perhaps she would be so different from them they would think she was a real monster.

If people really thought that it would hurt her worse than the joking earthlings. It’s worth a chance, she thought. “After four and a half years of silence I’m almost willing to talk to someone.”

The ship lit in a wheat field in a farm area. It rather surprised her that the wheat was similar to that of earth. It was the first thing she examined. The dirt was also similar. It made her wonder about the people. She walked away from the ship and started searching. She came to some tracks similar to those used by the railroad forty years ago, excepting they were silver color and made for a different kind of wheel.

Then she saw a man in the distance cooking something over a fire. She thought perhaps he was a hobo like the earth used to have. That was the only type of earthman she ever yearned to meet for they were outcasts like she was, but because of advances in civilization they had been extinct on earth since she was born.

She walked up to the man and stood beside him. He said nothing but continued concentrating on the can of food resting over the fire. He seemed unaware of her existence. Exactly as I would react under the circumstances, she thought. Then she nervously put her hand on his shoulder to get his attention. He turned slowly to look at her, and she nearly fainted. He was the most handsome man she had ever seen.

The man, however, jerked back startled when he saw her and upset his can of food.

“Oh, no,” she said out loud. “You think I’m a monster too. You’re like the rest. The whole universe is the same!” She sat down and started to cry for the first time since she could remember. The man, who had moved back a few steps, looked at her with bewildered eyes. He did nothing but stare at her for a number of minutes and she did nothing but cry She did not know why, but she could not stop. Finally, she felt a hand on her shoulder and heard words spoken over her head in a soothing tone of voice. Then she felt a warm feeling in her heart like she felt for Uncle Zat when he left on his last journey. She lifted her head and his eyes pierced into her like a warm healing ray. That is what made her wonder why she ran from him.

She ran long and as hard she could until she tripped and fell in the grass and lay there for some time thinking about the man. He was such a lovely man, she thought. He had such fine chiseled features, dark deep set eyes and dark wavy hair. He resembled some of the best looking idols young people have had on Earth in the past. She almost thought she could read his mind when he looked in her eyes, and she felt so good inside. Why did she run? Why? He must be a good man – like Uncle Zat.

She shouldn’t have run, she knew it.

She stood up and looked into the distance and saw only fields. She walked back to where she met the man, but he was not there. The fire was out and she looked at the can of food wasted on the ground. Perhaps he will go hungry now, she thought, and she felt sorry for him. The only other time she felt pity was when Uncle Zat died. Her feelings made her wonder about the man. Perhaps she loved him. But how could that be? Love is supposed to take time; all she did was look at him – and he at her. She thought a minute. “Yes, I love him and must find him!” She did not know why, but she knew it was true. He may think she is a monster, but she was willing to take the chance.

After walking a few hours she came to a farmhouse. The style resembled that of the last century on earth. As she came near it she heard the squawking of birds from what appeared to be a chicken coup. The man ran out the door with a bird under his arm, tripped over a box, and the bird ran away screeching. The farmer came out of the house and aimed a weapon at the man. Laura felt frightened for the man, screamed, and ran up to the farmer. The farmer looked at her and lowered his weapon. Laura stood still as eternity, looked at him in fear, and this time wanted to run but couldn’t. It was like a bad dream.

The farmer had a long pointed nose, big black eyes, and was as skinny as she was. He smiled and gave her a look which she had never received before She thought perhaps the farmer was feeling the emotion of lust, but she was not sure for the feeling she received from the man was entirely new to her.

Then, the farmer whistled. It was a slightly different sound than she had ever heard before, but unmistakably it was a wolf whistle. It would be recognized anywhere in the universe.

While the farmer was giving Laura his eyes the hobo started to run. The farmer turned and fired his gun. Laura screamed as the man she felt love for fell limply to the earth. She ran to him and felt for his pulse. It was there but weak. She hoped the shot caused only temporary paralysis. She hoped. It seemed strange for her to care for someone.

She felt an arm tight around her waist. The farmer! His face! He laughed in a hideous and awful way a she felt horrible and tight inside. She struggled but could not get away. He tried to kiss her, and she was forced to look in his eyes. They were large, black and awful like hers. His features were like hers. Terrible! She fought harder.

A sleek black vehicle pulled up beside them and the farmer released her. Two men in shiny black uniforms stepped out. Their facial features were like the farmer – like hers. They walked up to them curiously fanned Laura with their eyes, smiled, and said something to the farmer. He pointed to the man lying on the ground. The two men picked him up with some effort and threw him in the back of the vehicle. Laura said a few words of protest which bewildered them. They merely gave her a strange look of desire and started to get in the vehicle.

She tried to stop them and explain, but the one on her side gave her a smile which said: “Like to stay baby, but we got orders.” She was gently pushed aside and in a few seconds, she could barely see the black of the noiseless vehicle in the distance.

A skinny arm was around her again like a snake. The farmer started where he left off. He pulled her close and she fought all the harder. He smelled like a cesspool. In desperation she bit him on the neck. Within three seconds he dropped to the ground. There was no pulse for he was dead. She deducted that her saliva was poisonous to the alien’s system. She walked away and left his body lying on the ground.

After she had walked for a period of time in the direction the car had taken the man – her man — she began to think- she wondered why her thoughts were so devoutly concentrated on him. Why did he cause such a burning within her ever since he looked at her? She wondered. She wondered if he was still alive. She knew he must be; he had to be, and within her she knew she would find him.

Within three hours on her watch, she reached the city. She rested a minute looking at it. Lovely buildings, she thought. The people here must think I’m beautiful too. Here things are reversed. I’m in and the good looking are out, and with the different style in my clothing perhaps I’ll be a knockout. She walked into the city.

She was in a panic. Men followed her from the first. First of all a little group, then a crowd, and lastly a mob. She had never gotten out of breath from running in her life. There was just something about her. She knew she was beautiful to these men, but there was something more. Perhaps it was her smell, she thought, for men seemed to take notice even before they saw her with their eyes. Within a short period of time all the policemen in the city were called to stop an all-out riot. Before the mob was dispersed her clothes were indecently ripped and three aliens were dead, bitten self-defensively by Laura. She felt no pity for them for she had a great inward hate for their faces. All ugly! There were none like the handsome hobo.

It turned out that she did not have to ask for the leader of the planet. He asked for her. Everyone on Osiris knew of her even before it was known that she came from earth. Some of the men thought she was a goddess and bowed as she walked passed some of the women thought she was a demon from hell sent to deceive the world, and the others just wondered in awe. Never to them had such a beautiful women walked upon the face of Osiris. Never.

All the men on the planet drooled after her and she could have had her choice of the rich, the famous, and so on, but she wanted but one: The hobo with the warm eyes and handsome face. She found it difficult to point out to the leader, whose name was Kluv, who it was she really wanted, or that she wanted to be taught the language. After seeing that her bite was poisonous most were afraid to come near her. They were satisfied to look at her with awe as some supernatural being, the men that is. The women on the other hand, wanted her put to death for the lives she had taken. However, the men being more superstitious feared that a curse would come upon them for harming a being of such marvelous beauty. Outside of the women and a few relatives of the “sacrifices” she later learned those killed from her saliva were called, the men were more than happy to let their idol live without punishment.

Laura hated every minute of it. Ugly men coming in regularly bringing her food and presents, bowing to her, keeping her caged up. She hated it!

But she endured it and put up with them. She knew she must if she were to see her hobo again. This strange ironical feeling she thought may be love would not go away.

Finally, after a few weeks, with the aid of a lot of memory pills to open the subconscious mind she was able to learn the language. She decided to have a heart to heart talk with the king. She jumped off her large silk-like bed and started walking out the door.

“You can’t leave,” said a servant. “The king said…”

“I say I’ll leave or you die first,” she said in a voice that was so loud it surprised her. Something about the air on Osiris caused her voice to be extra vibrant. She motioned her hand at the rest of them: “Shall I make the great red beast of your religion take you to hell tonight?” She had never seen anyone look so frightened. “Well, move! Let me by!” she yelled in as good of Osirese as she could muster.

The king was rather surprised to see her, nonetheless he was delighted. “Sit down,” he said calmly, but his eyes were wild.

She sat extremely informally. “Listen it’s about time you learned where I came from.”

“Where else could you come from but heaven?” said the skinny king. “Nowhere in all Osiris is found one with such splendid features as yours. For example your lovely nose and slender body.”

“I’m the ugliest person on this planet. Even uglier than you!”

“You’re not only modest, but you speak good Osirese. Indeed you must be a goddess.”

“I’m not a goddess. I came from earth.”

“We have found the silver vehicle you came in. Our scientists marvel for they say it can pierce the heavens. We have never dreamed of doing such for it is forbidden. The heavens were made for the gods; therefore, earth must be their home. Now because your beauty is of such magnitude, I will offer you the greatest honor in all Osiris. You may be my wife.”

She spat on him. “You’re a stupid old man! There’s only one man I would marry.”

There was silence for a moment. It was frightening to Laura. She could not tell what the king was thinking. He wiped the saliva off his face. “It seems your venom must enter the bloodstream to take effect. Fortunately. Tell me now. Who is this man? Surely, he must be great for that position I offered you is the greatest desire of the women of Osiris.”

“The man I love is what you would call a bum. A fat ugly bum. Probably the ugliest on the planet. Two policemen took him in fifteen days ago.”

“You realize this is a grave insult to the king. That is if you are telling the truth.”

Laura decided she had better not further irritate the king. “No offense, Mr. Kluv, but on earth he would be a handsome man, and I felt something special when he looked at me.”

The king showed emotion for the first time. He stood up. “Earth must be the abode of demons! I must see the truth of this myself. We will go find the man.”

With the information Laura gave the king they were able establish his position as being on the island of Zil. He was one of more than a thousand prisoners in confinement there.

“It is indeed an honor to receive a visit from King Kluv, and possibly one of his new wives” said a guard. He looked at Laura a few seconds. “A beauty indeed.”

“We’re looking for a man,” interrupted the king. “A fat ugly man.”

“There’s a lot of men here. Can you give me a better idea of what he looks like.”

Laura pulled out a picture of Uncle Zat. “He has features similar to this man.”

A look of disgust grew on the officer’s face. “I can’t guess why you would want to be anywhere near something like that. Poor fellow.”

“I love him,” said Laura.

The king pinched her and she looked extremely annoyed “A kind sympathetic girl.” the king said. “She pities those less fortunate than herself. A protective urge you know.”

“A funny thing,” said the officer, his curiosity not entirely satisfied. “All men who are that fat are kept in the starvation dungeon below. A couple were brought in a few weeks ago. One of them I recollect was extremely horrid.”

They went down a few flights of concrete stairs to a dimly lit prison. “He would be in one of these three cells,” said the officer.

He opened the first cell. Laura felt her heart beat quickly and hard.

“You!” said the officer. “Come here where we can see you.”

The prisoner came into the light, as someone coming back from the dead. “He is nice-looking… I mean close to what I want,” said Laura. “But he’s not the one. Do all your prisoners look so sad and lonely?”

“Fat ugly people are always lonely,” said the officer. “No one associates with them. Lack of self control in eating is punishable to starvation confinement until the person becomes normal.’ This type seems to take an extremely long time.”

“You’re horrible!”

“It’s for their own good.”

“The next door,” said Laura. Another man stepped into the light. His eyes showed greater despair than the one before. Laura felt a strange pity for these men she never thought possible. “Its not him. Open the next door.”

The officer opened it. “You! Come out here!” He yelled. There was no answer.

“I said…”

“Go to hell,” said a voice from the darkness.

“This is the one I told you about,” said the officer to the king. “An extremely frightening devil.”

“Shine your light on him,” said the king.

“No. Let me do it,” said Laura. He’s acting just like I would, she thought. Laura took the light and moved behind the bars. “This is the one. Now leave us alone a few minutes.”

“But you haven’t seen him in the light yet.”

“It’s him. It’s his voice. Now go.”

“Is it all right?” the officer asked the king.

“I’m not so sure. I haven’t seen him yet.”

“Go now, or I’ll bite both of you.” She raised her voice: “Go away – go away!” Her voice was so commanding in the Osirian air that the two thoughtlessly obeyed.

She turned off the light and walked into the darkness. When she was sure she was within his reach she spoke. “I have wanted very much to see you. You have been on my mind.”

“You are the one I met by the fields, aren’t you?”

“Yes. I made you spill your food… I’m sorry.”

“It’s rather astounding that you came here. You seemed horrified of me like the rest. The way you ran. I’ve thought a lot of you since though. I know you tried to save me from being hit with the paralysis ray. You are the first person to ever show any care for me.”

“What’s your name?” she asked.


“Cels, did you feel anything when you looked in my eyes?”

“I probably felt the same thing everyone who looks at you feels. I believe it was love. Maybe it’s because you’re so beautiful. I never felt that way before.”

Laura laughed. “How ironical. Someone as handsome as you calling a scarecrow like me beautiful.”

Cels laughed. “Me handsome? I don’t understand. I’ve always been hated because I’m ugly and fat. I’ve tried to slim, but it’s just the way I was born. Perhaps I’m a mutant. I’ll starve before I get out of here.”

“Where I come from, Cels, you would be the most handsome man alive.”

“It must be an odd place.”

“It’s called Earth. It circles another star.”

“Then you’re from the heavens? I’ve never believed in Goddesses until now.”

“I am just a woman from another place.”

“It takes more than a woman to show kindness to someone like me. For the first time in my life I feel like smiling. What do they call you.”

“My name is Laura.”

“Laura. I’ve never heard that name before. It’s beautiful. Laura…Laura. Am I pronouncing it right?”

“Perfect. Your voice seems to give it meaning. Come out in the light where I can see you.” Laura took the initiative and walked into the dim light where Cels could see her. She waited a few seconds. “Are you coming?”

“I’m afraid, Laura. I’ve never been afraid before, but I don’t want you to run again. You may think I’m horrible like the others. I’ve never cared what anyone thought, but I care what you think.”

“I love you, Cels, for what I saw in your eyes when we first met. Now I want to see them again.”

“Laura, come take my hand first.”

She hesitated a few seconds and stepped forward into and the darkness. She felt Cels take her hand/at first gently squeeze it, then he tightened his grip which caused Laura slight pain. “Are you ready now, Cels?”

“I’m ready.”

She backed toward the light, and he followed. The light revealed his handsome face, and she saw the loneliness in his eyes, that same loneliness she had had all her life. She had been missing something, now she realized that. “I could look at you forever, Cels.”

Cels loosened his grip. He had a hard time speaking. “I’ve always hated everyone I met. That’s all I ever felt was hate, but I don’t feel that anymore, Laura. His eyes penetrated hers. “Now I can’t remember what it felt like. I feel something different now. Something good.”

“I feel it too.” Her eyes did not move from his.

“It’s wonderful that one so beautiful as you can bear to look at me with delight. I’ve never felt so good. I’ve never even felt good before. I know I can trust you.”

“Yes, you can trust me.”

Lost in a world of their own they did not notice the king and the officer watching them. “Here we have it, said the king. “The beauty and the beast. It’s time for the demon to retreat to his darkness.”

“I hate you,” said Laura.

“That will change,” said the king. “Are you coming with us on your own will or do we have to assist?”

“I would rather stay here with Cels.”

Under the king’s order the officer pulled Laura from the cell. She wiped his fingerprints from her arm and said: “I am going to take Cels with me.”

“That’s an interesting statement, but untrue,” said the king. “Now let’s be off.” He took her arm. She threw it off bitterly.

“Cels!” she said, her fingers tight on the bars. “Look at me again.”

Cels looked at her eyes. “Please don’t do any more. You’ll be in more trouble than I am. The law will not let me out until I reduce. I’ll be thinking of you.”

The king and the officer grabbed her, pulling her up the stairs. The last thing Gels heard was Laura calling his name.

It was lighter outside, but Laura did not notice. Her eyes were dimly staring at nothingness. “She loves him. She really loves him!” said the officer.

“I’m beginning to believe it myself,” said the king.

“But he’s so ugly.”

“Yes. She is mixed up and I must straighten her out. Come my dear let us go home. You must prepare for your marriage to me.” Laura was nearly white upon hearing that.

She tried to run away, but the king and the guard caught hold of her until she calmed down. When she realized that the only way of helping Cels was temporary cooperation she willingly went back to the King’s mansion and King Kluv had her locked in her room.

She was pacing back and forth when a servant girl brought her a meal. “This is for you, Lau-ra,” not quite pronouncing her name right.

She stopped to study the young woman who appeared to be rather simple. “And what is your name?” she said.

“My name is Keilla.”

“And what is your position here?”

“I am a servant to the king.”

“Tell me a few things about his wives.”

“King Kluv has many wives. Hundreds in all. There are servant wives and royal wives. Only a few of the most beautiful are selected for the royal wives. They are the ones to have children, one of which is always selected for the crown. I overheard that you have been selected as a royal wife. It is an honor and I envy you. King Kluv feels that because you came from the sky you were given to him for the purpose of bearing a son who will rule the world carrying on the King’s honorable name.”

Laura shuddered. She reflected upon Keilla’s words. “You said ‘given’. What did you mean by that?”

“Obviously the Gods sent you here.”

“Tell me about your Gods.”

Keilla stared reverently at nothingness for a few seconds and spoke: “Since the memory of man Osiris has been completely covered with clouds which hide the Gods from our eyes. They are beyond the clouds watching over us and governing our seasons and crops, Since you came from beyond the clouds the Gods must have sent you.”

Laura’s eyes lit up. “Yes… yes, perhaps they did.’ She was beginning to see how this may turn to her advantage. “How many Gods do you have and what are their names.”

“Oh, there are many gods and goddesses. There is a god of the air, a god of the land, a god of the seas…”

“Who is the highest?”

Keilla stared with another second of reverence. “There is a God beyond the clouds who rules all there is to rule. Surely you coming from above the clouds would know of the great Aum?”

“You bet. I’m his wife,” she said half joking, not in any way considering that their gods may have wives.

Keilla’s face grew a sudden white. She backed away several steps apparently in fear and threw herself prostrate before Laura. It sounded as if she were mumbling prayers. “Get up and be at ease.” Laura thought it wise not to pursue her questioning any farther lest she arose suspicion. She knew she had hit on something and wanted to find out more. Keilla was standing reverently before her with her eyes looking towards the floor.

“Do you have a Bible,” she asked.

“A Bi-ble?” Apparently Keilla did not understand.

“I want to see your record which contains the words of Aum.”

“You mean the Klopx. I shall get you one.” Keilla was gone only a few minutes and returned with a large black book. “Here is the Klopx,” Keilla said. “The most sacred book on Osiris.”

“You may leave it and go.”

“Is there nothing else I can do for you my great goddess?” Laura studied her marveling at how easy she believed in her as a goddess. “Tell no one of our talk and the gods will smile upon you.” Her words brought a radiant smile on Keilla’s face. She bowed respectfully and was gone.

In learning the language of Osiris Laura had become at least as proficient at translating the written word as well as the spoken. She opened the Klopx and read the first line. As near as she could translate correctly it read: “In the beginning Aum created the clouds and Osiris.” She read on and was impressed by a number of similarities between this account of a creation and her own book of Genesis. However she did note a number of marked differences, one of the main ones being the mentioning of female deities and their being nearly on an equal plane with the male. Since she was supposed to be Aum’s wife she searched the book for her. After hours of intensive study she could find references to nearly every goddess except for Aum’s wife. She was beginning to wonder if Aum had a wife until she came across a passage near the end which read: “In that great day when Aum shall send his goddess with a message which shall lead all people to peace and happiness…” She read on but that was the only reference she could find to Aum’s wife.

Nowhere could she find any mention of her name. She then concluded that if the people of Osiris did not know the name of the goddess she could use the passage to a great advantage.

She continued studying the book and found a thread that ran through this religion that was apparent in all the religions on the earth. That was the great struggle between good and evil. As Aum represented good she found there was one called Prau who was evil and eternally sought to overthrow Aum. She noted that the total of the Klopx was similar to the Old Testament and that Aum was a jealous and a vengeful god and whoever was found to desert Him for Prau was put to death. She read on until she became tired and fell asleep in ideas that brought her hope of seeing Cels again.

The next morning she was awakened by a male servant. “King Kluv wishes to see you. I will return in a few minutes and escort you to him.” After dressing she was taken to his room. She sat down as calmly as she could in a chair facing him. She glanced around and noticed a copy of the Klopx on a table next to him. It appeared to be somewhat worn with reading and she assumed that Kluv was familiar with its contents. Kluv had been silent for the moment that Laura was in the room. Now she noticed he was about to speak and turned his direction.

“Our wedding will be tomorrow. You will have many children. Our Children.”

The thought was repulsive to Laura, and it made her shudder. She forced herself to remain calm and said, “What do you think Aum would say about that?”

King Kluv who usually showed very little emotion appeared unusually startled almost horrified. His face was nearly white and in a frightening whisper all he said was “Aum?”

“Yes, Aum,” she said firmly. “What do you suppose he thinks of the way I’m being treated. He has turned souls over to Prau for less than what you have done.”

Kluv was even whiter than before. He interlocked his fingers and as he did so Laura noticed a tremor in his hands. She became more confident. “Hell is a terrible place,” she said.

Kluv arose and paced the floor. After a moment he turned and said: “Who are you?”

Laura was silent for a few seconds considering how to best answer his question. Then she picked up the Klopx and turned near the end and read: “In that great day when Aum shall send his goddess with a message which shall lead all people to peace and happiness…” She closed the book and laid it down. “I have come in fulfillment of that statement,” she boldly declared.

Again Kluv looked somewhat taken back and he went to the window and stared in silence at the cloudy sky. He was a long time in speaking, but Laura felt it was best that he speak next. He abruptly turned and looked at her, much of the fear being gone from his eyes. “You said you were from Earth.” His voice had an accusing intonation.

Laura was rather startled at the King’s tone of voice, but tried to show no emotion and replied. “You were right when you said it is the home of the gods.”

“At first I thought it were true, but how could anyone sent from the great Aum possibly show any love toward one of the fat men. Our tradition has it that they are cursed by Aum.”

“Aum loves all men and is no respecter of persons,” said Laura hoping that was acceptable doctrine.

Kluv considered the statement. “Perhaps,’ he said, “but some of the things you have done are not representative of a goddess.”

“Have you met a goddess before?”

“I know only what I have read and what has been passed down.”

“As you see books give false impressions.”

“Not that false.”

“If you do not believe that I art a goddess why have you announced that you are marrying one?”

Kluv studied her. “Indeed you have the beauty of a goddess and it would greatly increase unity and faith in me as a king if the people believed the gods sent a daughter to me. With your beauty they will believe it.”

“But it would be your downfall if they found out you took the wife of Aum for your own. History would judge you as a wicked man.”

Kluv looked at her with more disbelief than belief, yet Laura knew that Kluv would be fearful of even taking a slight risk that the things she said were true. A seed was planted and she wanted to nourish it. “Would not the wife of Aum be the most beautiful in the universe?” she said.

Kluv saw the logic in that statement and said “If you are the goddess of Aum what is your message which will bring us peace and happiness?”

The question did not take Laura by surprise. She had considered it last night and had an answer prepared. “I will give it to the people of Osiris, not to any one man.”

“Very well,” said the king. ‘You shall give your message tomorrow and all the people of Osiris shall see and hear you on their viewers.”

“I would like to give my message on a hill before as many people as wish to come and hear.”

“That will be arranged;” said the king. He paused. “And it better be good!”

There was a slight breeze that felt warm on Laura’s cheeks as she was watching the congregation gather. Thousands we gathering before her and she did not know how many millions would be watching through their viewers. She wished she had more time to prepare her speech, but she felt as if she could give them quite a few words of wisdom from the New Testament from Earth. In her life of solitude she had read nearly every book of literary acclaim in history and she had read the Bible several times. She noted that the Klopx was similar to the Old Testament and did not seem to contain any New Testament doctrine so she decided to preach her first sermon from that.

She waited for a signal to go ahead. She expected some preliminary music or singing, but there was none. In fact she had heard no music at all since she had been on Osiris.

Finally, King Kluv arose to introduce Laura. “People of Osiris I have called you together to listen to one who claims to fulfill this prophecy.” Then he read the scripture. ‘You will listen to her words.

An awesome silence spread over the audience as Laura arose to speak. The people all wondered. Could this at last be the goddess they had waited for? Laura studied her audience momentarily before speaking. She wished she had her Bible with her, as it was she would just have to give them bits and pieces of New Testament doctrine as she remembered it. “People of Osiris.” She again noted how vibrant her voice was in this alien atmosphere. “I bring you good tidings of great joy. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for the Kingdom of Aum will soon come unto you.” It appeared as if Laura had struck a right chord for another great hush went over the audience and all eyes were unmoving, staring at her.

After pausing she spoke again. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see Aum. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of Aum. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit Osiris. Ye are the salt of Osiris… Ye are the light of Osiris… Let your light so shine before men that you may glorify Aum. I have not come to destroy the laws in the Klopx, but to fulfill. A new commandment I give to you, that ye love one another. From now on it is no longer an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but if one will strike thee on the right cheek turn him the other also… Seek first the Kingdom of Aum and all the other good things you seek for will be added to you.” With that she finished her address.

Again King Kluv arose. Laura was sure the message affected him more than he had anticipated. “This person named Laura who we know came from the skies and is perfect in beauty has indeed given us a profound message. But we should never blindly accept as I see that many of you seem to. She must be tested. First, are there any questions?”

An old man with a long white beard and a copy of the Klopx on his hand stood up. Laura’s first impression of him was he was like an old stalwart Jew who had memorized all the books of Moses. “Evidently,” he said,” she is sent from Prau to deceive us for she speaks contrary to the word of Aum. We are told Aum does not change; therefore his word does not change. To those who oppose Aum the sentence is death by hanging!” The man had a firmness in his words that no young man would have ever had, for Laura could feel the physical attraction she caused among most of them. She was probing her mind for an answer when Kluv asked her if she had a statement in defense.

Laura arose and said: “The old laws of the Klopx are lower laws to teach you to live higher ones. They are a schoolmaster to bring you to the high laws of Aum. It is time for you to learn to live by faith.” She noticed a number of the young men were especially attentive and turned to a group of them arid said; “What do you say to that?”

One man stood up and said, “Praise and honor be to the Goddess of Aum The rest of the young men and a number of the older ones cheered wildly.

The old man with the beard stood up again. “Our young people are too easily misled by the whims of Prau. I say she speaks heresy!” The women and many of the older scholarly men nodded and mumbled in agreement. When the old man saw that many were behind him he said in a near shout: “She must be put to death!” The statement caused many murmurings of approval and disapproval in the audience. The king again arose.

“People of Osiris,” said Kluv, “You must be much more unanimous in opinion before any judgment is passed or it will divide the people. I have someone here who may clarify our minds as to whether Laura comes from Aum or Prau. Guards, bring the prisoner!” In a few seconds they appeared with Cels. His effect caused her to momentarily lose her reason and self-control.

“Cels!” She pushed a guard away from him. “Cels, are you all right?” She noticed his wrists were burned with ropes and she kissed them. Cels said nothing for he realized the peril of the moment more than she. Finally, Laura looked up and noticed the young men who, just a few minutes ago were cheering her. They had a look of horror and distaste in their eyes which caused Laura to again awake to reason. She stood and stared at the crowd. Their eyes were burning toward her as if she were a demon. King Kluv arose.

“You can see this woman pays respect to one of the fat people, something that no respectable Osirian would do. She says your king is ugly and this man beautiful. She says this fat man is more handsome than you all.” Laura could see indignation growing in the eyes of all, especially the young men who had cheered her. Kluv turned to her. “Do you deny these things?”

The silence roared loudly in Laura’s ears. She broke it stating: “Whatsoever you do unto the least of your brethren, you do to Aum!” Her voice was loud and it resounded in the air greater than any ever heard on Osiris. Not only the voice but the words and the profound meaning behind the ancient thought seemed to visibly penetrate the hearts and minds of all who were present. However, in seconds the effect wore off many and there were murmuring again.

Kluv again took command. He turned to the young men. “What about it; do you still accept her?” They merely mumbled in confusion for they could not accept someone who put the fat people above them, nor could they condemn her because of the power of her last statement. ‘I see we are indecisive,’ he said, “But there is one way we can know for sure, one final test.” He opened a Klopx and read: “In that great day when Aum shall send his goddess with a message which shall lead all people to peace and happiness the power of Aum shall cause a miracle to spread among the people. He closed the book with an evil look of satisfaction. “Now my dear goddess, where is the miracle?”

Laura was shocked. She had not had time to study all the passages in context, and apparently, she had skimmed over this most important part. She was silent for she could think of nothing to say. Her silence convinced many of her guilt. Then a jealous woman arose. ‘She must be put to death!’ Many of the crowd yelled in agreement while many others were yet silently considering the presumed goddess. Finally, she arose and spoke with all her might.

“Silence and let me speak!” Her voice was so commanding that the crowd was forced to quiet. She savored the stillness a few seconds and boldly stated: “Tomorrow you shall have your miracle!” The audience appeared astounded that she would ever make such a statement and King Kluv again spoke.

“Tomorrow will be the time of the test. We will meet at the same time to witness this… miracle.”

In her room that evening Laura was glad that she had promised them a miracle for it had given her a little time, but she regretted that she had promised it so soon. She reasoned that Osiris was developed nearly equal with the twentieth century Earth. A few things were more advanced, some less. With her present Earth science being much beyond that of Osiris she reasoned that she could produce something which they would consider a miracle. Earth science had succeeded in teleporting objects short distances. That would be considered a miracle here. Unfortunately, she did not have the necessary equipment here. The only object which that she had with her that earth science had produced which their science did not have, was her spaceship. They did not even seem to have a primitive airplane. Perhaps flight was forbidden by their religion. If she could blast off in the ship that would be considered miraculous. She would then be able to escape. But she would also be without Cels. She couldn’t leave him. Also that miracle would not fulfill the prophecy of the miracle spreading among the people. Nevertheless, she may be able to use it as a last resort.

“Lunch is served,” said Keilla, the servant-wife. Laura turned towards her. She remembered how she had helped in their last talk. Perhaps she would now offer her some inspiration.

“Keilla, did you see me this morning on your viewer?”

“Yes,” She glanced at the floor.

“Do you still believe I am a goddess?”

“Sometimes it is hard to believe, but I would like to. Many are against you, but there are also many who will be for you if you will produce a miracle. Can you really perform one?”

“I hope so.”

“Whatever the case, I thought your words this morning were miraculous.”

“Yes, they came from a real man of miracles. On earth we have what is called singing and music at most religious meetings. I wonder why you have none here.”

“Singing. Music, I do not understand.”

“I am sorry I cannot give you their equivalent in Osirese for I have not found them yet.”

“Then you tell me what singing and music is and I will give you our words for them.”

“I will sing you the Space Cadet Hymn my uncle used to sing to me.” She proceeded to sing in a voice that was not bad by earthly standards.

When she had finished Keilla was in a trance. She shook herself out of it. “That was wonderful! I felt as if I were drifting away in exhilaration. Was that music?”

“Yes. You mean you have none here?”

“We have no name for such a wonderful manner of speaking.”

Laura’s face grew bright. “Would you say that music is a miracle?”

“A miracle?” said Keilla. “Yes, it really is.”

“Then tell King Kluv I want to see him. I believe I have the miracle.”

The king invited her to take a seat. “Are you ready then to perform your miracle tomorrow morning?”

“Yes,” she said confidently.

“Personally, I have my doubts. It would not bother me to have you put to death after taking your insults.”

“I thought you wanted me as your wife.”

“Unfortunately, I must now forfeit that pleasure. Either you are the goddess of Aum or you die. I could never take you as a wife if you were sent from Prau.

“If I perform a satisfactory miracle will I be free?”

“A goddess is always free on Osiris.”

“Would Cels also be freed?”

“If you prove to be a goddess your wish is our command.”

“Before I perform the miracle I would like to visit my space ship and get a few things from it.”

“You are not allowed near it. We do not want you to escape.”

“I would not leave without Cels.”

“Why do you want Cels! You say you belong to Aum.” Laura saw she must correct this contradiction. “Aum wants him for a servant. He respects fat people.”

Kluv’s face turned a blood red. He overthrew the table in front of him and screamed. “Blasphemy! He hates them as much as I do! How could you claim to be a goddess! You must perform more than a miracle tomorrow to convince me.”

“I need to go to my ship,” she wanted to get some tapes of music she had there by the masters of the past. She was sure that would impress them.

“You will not go to your ship,” said Kluv emphatically.

“Then let me send someone.”

“No!” he yelled. “A real goddess needs no gimmicks to perform a miracle. You shall present the miracle as you are with no help tomorrow morning.”

Laura realized she had to accept that and she willingly retreated to her room to spend the night, possibly her last.

There was a slight breeze again. The chilliness of it was a good representative of her emotions. Would these people really consider music a miracle as Keilla had! She seemed much more simple than most Osirians.

King Kluv again introduced her. “We are told by this one named Laura that we will have a miracle today. I’m sure we will all be interested in seeing it.” He turned to her. “The time is yours.”

She stepped forward and was about ready to speak when the old bearded man stepped forward and cried, “Wait! If she can really perform miracles and is a true goddess then we should be able to name what it is she is to do.” The crowd seemed to mumble with agreement and the king said that it sounded reasonable to him and asked the old man what it was he wanted her to do.

The old man looked around and said. “Let one of her arms be cut off with a sharp sword. If she can put it back on, we will believe.”

Laura knew an answer for that one. “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” Again she had found words which had power to hush the audience. A long minute passed and the old man finally got courage to speak again. “I say cut off her arm!” he yelled.

“Let it be done,” the king commanded.

“That will not fulfill the prophecy of the miracle spreading among the people,” she said.

“You can’t do it!”

“You can do your miracle after you do our request,” said the king soberly. “Guards! Cut off her right arm just above the elbow with your sword. Hold her well.”

Several men grabbed her, held her tight, and stretched out her arm. A guard drew a sword and raised it and prepared to bring it down on her arm. Then she did the only thing her instincts would allow. She struggled. She weighed nearly as much as these men and she managed to maneuver herself sufficiently to bite one of those holding her on the wrist. He fell dead on the ground as the guard with the sword was lowering it on her arm.

Suddenly, he drew back the swords and backed away in alarm. The crowd was alarmed and those near the front backed away, staring with fear at Laura. The old man again stood up.

“Don’t stop now just because a man fainted. Off with her arm!”

But the man with the sword knew the guard was dead for he noticed the slight change in pigmentation which occurs in an Osirian at death. He did not see Laura bite the man and could see only one cause for his death. “Aum will strike me!” he yelled with horror, and he ran off in the distance as fast as an Osirian has ever ran. This added greatly to the impact that was already made on the people, and Laura stood up.

“Shall I proceed with the miracle?” She asked the king. He could only answer yes. Laura stepped forward and prepared to sing. She had decided to sing “The Lord is My Shepherd”, which she had learned when she was younger, substituting the name of Aum wherever possible. She stated: “This is the miracle of the language of the gods,” and she started singing. She sensed an immediate change in the mood of the people. All fear, doubt, irritation, and anger fled from their mesmerized eyes which were fixed upon her. She began singing with even greater emotion and intent for she could see the influence the singing had upon them. When she finished the people shouted together: “Hail to the Goddess of Aum who speaks for Him!”

Laura replied “This miracle will be spread among you. I will teach it to you!”

Again came the cry: “Hail Goddess of Aum!”

Laura turned to the king. “Do you now accept me?”

“I must. The sound of your speech is indeed from the Gods.”

“Then bring me Cels.”

At first the king opened his mouth as if he were going to oppose her, then he said, “It shall be done.”

When Cels was brought to her, she presented him before the people and said in her vibrant voice: “It is the will of Aum that you love these, the least among you, as you have loved the language of the gods. That language is called music. Music coming from the mouth is singing. I will teach only the fat people how to sing, and after I leave they will teach you. You will learn to respect them. The first shall be last and the last, first.” There was no opposition for they now all had complete faith in her. They accepted her judgment as coming from Aum.

In the next few days all the fat people on Osiris were brought to Laura and she taught them, with Cels being first, the art of singing. She left them instructions of writing music and brought them recordings of the great composers of the past so they would have control of all music on the planet and they would soon be honored. She also left special instructions to the people of Osiris that the fat people were to always possess the music. Perhaps, she thought, if she were to ever return, the fat race would be ruling the planet.

After a dozen revolutions of Osiris she was ready to depart, and now there was nothing to stop her. She knew that she was allowed to take 200 pounds back with her and 180 of it would be the fat man who in no way was fat to her, his height being approximately six feet.

Upon departing she paid tribute to King Kluv. “Thank you for a very interesting stay.”

“And thank you for the music. Already it is bringing our people peace and happiness as prophesied. How foolish it was for me to ever doubt that you are a goddess. Even your beauty proves it.”

“Again you flatter me.”

“I cannot say enough. Even now your words are being prepared to add to the Klopx. They will be called the New Klopx.”

“You’ll never know how little I deserve that honor,” she said speaking seriously. “Well, we must go. Goodbye.” She shook his hand, kissed his forehead, and entered the ship.

“Goodbye your Kingship,” said Cels.

The king studied him for a minute considering whether to speak to him. He smiled and said, “Good luck Cels.”

Cels smiled at a thin man for the first time in his life. “Thanks.., thanks,” he said, and he walked into the spacecraft.

The king and many of his people watched the craft disappear in the clouds. Many of them shed tears for their goddess who had brought them music.

Both Laura and Cels were happy and in love for the first time in their lives. Their common background of rejection caused a deep growing affection which they shared on the long journey to the Earth. Of course, she had to find an antidote for Cels against her saliva before they even dared kiss, but this she was able to do.

Many times during those light years they passed through she thought of Aum and wondered if there really were such a being. It never occurred to her that there may be when she was on Osiris, but during the trip home she thought of it many times. And if there was an Aum she wondered just how much she had interfered with his plans for the Osirians. Or did she interfere at all? Could she have really been the fulfillment of prophecy? She wondered.

Then too, after they returned everyone on Earth could not understand what a handsome man like Cels saw in her.

It is easy to be a moral perfectionist when one is politically unaccountable. Robert D. Kaplan

Oct 23, 2007

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