Author: Marcel Neumann

After years of living in an unjust world, being disillusioned by an ideology I once thought held promise and having lost faith in humanity’s collective desire to live in harmony, I decided to live off the grid in a remote Alaskan village. Any needed or desired supplies were flown in by a bush pilot who became my only contact with the outside world. Which was fine with me. The man had offered several times to fly me down to Juneau to catch up on world news, but I had gained an aversion towards people in general, so I declined.

As time passed, I noticed my heart was not keeping me going as it once had. I brushed it off as simple fatigue. When the heart attack happened, I had the pilot fly me to Juneau International Airport, where an ambulance took me to the hospital. It took nearly a week for me to recover from heart surgery. I felt I was strong enough to venture out into the hallway outside my hospital room. Surprisingly, no one came after me as I made my way to the elevators. I had managed to dress myself, so anyone who passed by me had no reason to assume I was a patient. I pressed the button to open the elevator door and waited, keeping an eye out for any large, duty-bound orderly coming to take me back to my room. I noticed people acknowledging one another with a gesture I had never seen before. They would tap two fingers over their chests. There were subtle nuances in their facial expressions and body language as well. A peacefulness exuded from them, which seemed foreign to me. People greeted one another with what appeared to be a genuine desire for the other’s well-being. I sensed a jovial, positive vibration coming from the people around me. I pressed the button for the elevator door once again, anxious to leave this eerily alien world in which I found myself.

When the elevator door opened, I realized I had accidentally pressed the button for the maternity floor. A young girl stood peering into the viewing window. I cautiously approached. Her smile was infectious, her aura bright and inviting. I asked her which baby was hers.

“They all are.” She looked at me with twinkling blue eyes. When she laughed, I felt stupid for believing all ten babies belonged to her.

“I’m sorry,” she said as she touched my shoulder, sending a warm feeling of acceptance through my whole being.

“Actually, I am just window shopping.” The statement brought another resounding laugh. She shook her head indicating again she was only joking. The girl seemed to enjoy causing my dazed look of bewilderment with her witty comments. When a nurse came to the window holding a baby wrapped in a white cotton blanket up to the glass the new mother took a deep breath. Her following words this time caused me to let out a raucous laugh.

“The green one is mine.” She smiled at me as her eyes began to flood with tears. I felt my face flush. Thirty years is a long time to be away from civilization. What I saw beneath that blanket defied all reasoning. The nurse touched the baby near its torso and tapped it twice. “Two hearts.” The girl whispered. She then turned towards me and tapped me once.

When the tall reptilian man approached, I did not fear him. The harmony I wanted to see in the world was not of a terrestrial nature. It took something a little extra.