TELL A FRIEND
by Colin Gallagher
While walking up Sunset Street in Seattle, Washington, I pass office buildings, parking lots, restaurants and other businesses. I believe I had seen it all, yet to my surprise, I come across an outdoor flying saucer sales and lease service center. I know that technology is advancing in the USA but this is truly amazing.
It is 2035 and I will be retiring from ownership of a CPA firm where I spent the last thirty years consulting and hunching over my desk juggling figures and accounts on income statements, balance sheets, inventory sales and profit margins from my company’s customer base. I am done with the stress.
Standing outside on the sidewalk in front of the saucer dealership before heading back to my hotel, a salesman is approaching me. “Hi, how ya doin’ today! Can I interest you in this little run-about? It is the perfect vehicle for a hop, skip and jump to anyplace in the solar system?” he said, pointing to one of his smaller saucers. “The X87 turbo cruiser gets up to Mach 5 in the earth’s atmosphere and has an automated re-entry system second to none. Four travelers fit comfortably and everyone gets his own window to observe the show out in the realm of the sun. Just perfect for that solar system cruise. Take the family out to Jupiter, look at that big red spot then come back for the grandkid’s birthday party. What do ya say?”
I was dumbfounded. Could this really be happening? After catching my breath, “An X87 Turbo cruiser huh. Well, sure. I’ll check it out!”
“Great! This little model is fresh off the production line. Came in first place at the inter-planetary race earlier this month. It kicked the crap out of the Chinese Dong-Fu model. This little baby was built to last and will keep you traveling for years and years to come.”
“What’s next? A test flight?” I ask.
“Sure, we can do that. Follow me!”
“We’ll just need to run a quick credit check.” he said as we walked toward his office. “It’s company policy before we take a test flight. What’s your social security number?”
He left the office and came back in about two minutes with a big smile.
“Great number you have a credit score of 789. Let’s do that test flight!”
Walking to the sporty little model that he was promoting, the salesman put a key card into the anti-radiance security sleeve.
“This is just a formality as your card will open the sleeve as you approach.”
“This sounds so fantastic. Is it very complicated?”
“I have this model and my little grandson does a lot of these preliminary chores. It is so easy a monkey could do it. You’ll see!”
LED bulbs light-up all over the fuselage, a titanium drawer slides to one side revealing a set of steps. With a welcoming gesture, he leads me on board the model X87 turbo cruiser.
“Wow! This is spectacular! We could actually travel to the moon in this baby?”
“Sure, buckle yourself into the seat by the left window and we’ll start. It operates by voice command to the control panel. Start X87 turbo.”
I could hear the engine humming while a cloud of dust breezes past the window.
“Okay, you comfortable? Ready to take it for a little spin?”
“Sure! Let’s go!”
“Rise to fifty-thousand feet X87!” he commanded.
The saucer rose like a fast elevator above the sales lot; higher than the office buildings; the space needle; higher than the clouds. As I look out the window, I can see the ocean, forest and the city of Seattle.
“Hang on to the handles on your seat, we’re heading to hyper-drive.”
Feeling the g-forces push me back into my seat and looking through the window as we continue, I see all of North America then the earth and beyond. We pass into vacant stellar space.
“We are reaching cruising speed. The g-forces will be less apparent and we’ll have a smooth ride.”
After twenty seconds, “You can unfasten your seat belt now and relax. Would you like a cocktail?”
“What’s your pleasure?”
“Bourbon, please. On the rocks.”
“Two bourbon on the rocks X87.”
Immediately, two glasses with alcohol and ice rise out of the center console. The salesman gives me one and I sip it, “Very good.”
“So, what do you think about this little doozey? The transporter engine is guaranteed for thirty million miles. The body is made by Boeing and the hyper-link engine is made by Northrop. I’ve sold dozens of these to happy travel-oriented customers. Have a large backyard? Land one of these next to the bar-b-que or jacuzzi!”
“Yeah! Sounds great.”
“What would it take to get you into one of these little gems today?”
“How much does this model’s cost?”
“This clean new model starts at two million, I mention a thirty-million-mile guarantee on the transporter will last years and years. Just fly it to the service lot and we’ll take care of everything and shine it up. Got to have a good wax job – impress the neighbors.”
“Would you want financing or prefer a cash payment?”
“I would take advantage of financing. But is there a manual or something where I would learn to fly one of these?”
“We have a three DVD set that explains everything you need to know so you can travel in style. Also, included with the leasing is four flight lessons. You’ll be cruising to Mars in no time!”
“After the test flight we’ll get your info and set you up in this baby!”
“Hey, there’s the moon!” I said, looking out the window.
“Yeah, we’ll just circle around it.”
“Oh, there’s a base right there.”
“Yes, take the wife out for a flight to the lunar base. Experience the latest in comfort and speed. Spend the night in the Lunar hotel. Then travel to Mars in the morning.”
“That sounds fantastic!”
“Put your seatbelt back on and hold onto that drink were headed back at hyper-speed. ‘Return to Seattle launch base X87!”’
“We will be back shortly. I can start on the paperwork so when we get back, you’ll be ready to sign the lease.”
“We have your SSN. What about your work?”
“I’m am retiring. I own a chain of accounting offices with fifteen CPA’s.”
“Good, a solid steady profession there won’t be any delay when we run the paperwork.”
“Oh, there’s earth again.”
“Yes, we can travel extremely fast in this turbo-charged number. You’ll love it.”
I could see the North American Continent and a few seconds later I see the city of Seattle and the Space Needle.
“There’s the sales lot!”
Touch down is very smooth and the seatbelts automatically unbuckle. The door opens and we walk the steps to a service attendant waiting outside.
“How was it?”
“Clean it up Johnny this one is a lease.”
Walking into the sales office, he confirmed the final paperwork.
“Okay. Ready for your signature.”
“Great! Got a pen?”
“It’s all done.” He said after signing. “Here is your key card with access’ to voice command. We’re signing you up for our flight class’ and here is your three DVD set to understand the advanced voice control system. Classes start tomorrow well see you then.”
“Great! I hope my wife likes it!”
“Perhaps she would like one of her own?”
“Yeah maybe. Thanks for all your help. I can’t wait to see Saturn’s rings close up.”
“As a token of our appreciation here is a gift certificate for a five-star weekend at the lunar base. You and your wife will love it. See you tomorrow at three o’clock.”
“Wait! Where ya headed too?”
“Oh, the Somerset Regency Hotel.”
“They have a saucer pad. Would you like a lift?”
Walking onto the lot, “This is my saucer lets go in it.”
The salesman took out his key card to open the door. Walking up the steps, we sit inside.
“Would you like to fly this time?”
“Just tell it where you want to go.”
“Somerset Regency Hotel X87”
I felt the smooth start of the engine and the rise of the saucer.
“This craft will get us there quick.”
“It is so unbelievable what I’ve experienced today. I feel like I’m living five hundred years in the future.”
“We’re touching down.”
With door opening, I walk down the steps.
“Thank you and you will see me tomorrow.”
I turned to walk away. But then I stumble though I quickly catch myself at the overlook wall.
“You know I went to the moon today and here I nearly lost it all by tripping over my own shoelace.”
“You’re doing fine.”
“Okay! See you tomorrow.”
“Tell a friend.”
About the Author:
Colin Gallagher has recently retired and has started writing one of his joys in life. He has joined the California Writers Club and has been published twice.