Author : Clint Wilson

After eight long years in his lush prison Martin finally woke up one day to something new.

A woman for god sake, the bugheads had actually brought him a woman! She wasn’t exactly sexy by his old standards, short cropped hair and quite plain looking, but after this long without setting eyes on another human being she was the best damn thing he had ever seen.

She cowered on the floor beside one of the sofas near the outer window, hugging a cushion to her body. He hopped down off the bed and moved toward her, “Hello,” he said.

She made a startled sound and looked at him as if she had just noticed him there for the first time. Her voice came out weak and shaky, “Who… who are you? What is this place?”

“You don’t remember much do you hon? It’s okay; I remember when the bugheads first grabbed me. It was, and still is the most traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced. And the sad thing is, we aint ever getting out of here.” Martin ventured a little closer to her but she instinctively pulled back as close to the wall as she could. “It’s not all that horrible you know. We’re pretty well cared for.”

She continued to peer at him from behind the cushion, eyes wide and darting. He held out a reassuring hand. “Stand up, look out the window behind you.”

She hesitated for nearly a minute but he waited patiently, his outstretched hand never wavering. And then finally she tentatively got to her feet, refusing his hand, and turned around.

Together they looked out at the bughead home world. They were over a hundred stories in the air and had a fantastic view of lush green swamps stretching to the horizon where an orange sun was creeping up into an early morning sky.

After a time she finally allowed him to show her around the posh accommodations their alien captors had provided. “The best I can figure is we have about ten thousand square feet of living space here, including the gymnasium and swimming pool upstairs. The bugheads haven’t forgotten anything as far as comforts go.”

“But why? Why have they brought us here?”

“Come on,” he said as he led her to the inner window.

There they looked out into the shaft and it was evident to the frightened, bewildered woman that this massive building was a circular tower with a hollow center. And the inside was lined, as far up and down as could be seen, with windows like the one they were now looking through. Then she gasped as she realized what was behind all those other windows.

Martin pointed at a group of green slouching bipeds a couple stories up, “I call those guys the lizard gang.” Then referring to a pair of large, horned, red quadrupeds directly across from them he said, “Morning Mr. and Mrs. Buffalo.” Then he continued for some time to tell her his own pet names for creatures and beasts of nearly unlimited design and description. And as he said, “That fellow down there? I just call him Mr. Ugly,” She suddenly grabbed him and spun him toward her. “We’re part of a fucking zoo?”

“Zoo, collection, call it what you want. At any rate,” he hesitated, sizing her up for a second, “I guess they thought I needed a mate.”

“Sorry,” she said pulling back firmly. “They should have done their research a little better.”

And he suddenly knew exactly what she was going to say next.

“I’m gay.”

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