The Oracle was busy glaring at her brother whom the Jacko's had called "The Alex". In his hand he held a gold wrapped Treat of the chocolate variety. The world had seemed somehow slippery and much brighter, the strange song the Oracle had sung hovered in the air . . . one line echoing over and over " For the pirates keep on rowing" .
He had seen space pirates, they didn't row at all but they had ray cannons and you really tried very hard to avoid them. But a vision swam in front of his eyes, and he saw a tiny basket on top a of long pole with a gathered curtain and a one-eyed entity in front of a large wheel. The entity was wearing odd clothing: an eyepatch and a hood, a cambric shirt, pants that really weren't, and shoes that covered no feet. In the vision, the Tiny Alien was inside the tiny basket looking out and forward surrounded by water and stars and he knew, knew he must find his way into that basket . . . . .
The vision receded. He was once again in the neighborhood. The Alex was next to him with a tray of chocolate covered apples on sticks drizzled with caramel and coconuts.
The Oracle was behind the window mixing things with the strange tubes and nozzles and grinders that created brightly colored drinks. The only music was coming from the radio waves emanating from behind a tiny door that that Tiny Alien had not yet knocked on and it sounded nothing like the song that he had heard so clearly a minute ago. There was no sign of the Jackos or the neighbors that had joined them. A light snow was threatening to fall. the lighting and colors had all returned to the proper ambiance for a planet at this cycle of rotation around it's single sun. Everything seemed perfectly normalish except for the energy readings on the Tiny Alien's ray gun that indicated that the Alex was expending an awful lot of some kind of energy pretending to be mostly there. Then the energy reading gave up, and started flashing "Would you like some chocolate, instead?" in Intergalactic Esperanto.
Reoriented, the Tiny Alien quickly checked his bag, and the rest of the settings on his ray gun. He took a sip of the egg cream the Indie Oracle had made for him. It was delicious and bubbly and milky and chocolaty. There were no eggs. Thus refreshed he asked. "Where did everybody go?"
The Oracle looked up from the electric blue drink she was mixing. "Oh that was just their spirit forms, except for Alex, but including me. They mostly went back to their bodies. It seems like you are officially on a Vision Quest. Did you have any extra visions?"
"Yes, yes I did!" and the Tiny Alien excitedly told her all about the tiny basket and the odd entity and the line from her song . He was quite pleased that he seemed to be ahead of things for a change. "I must get to look from that basket. I know it. The rowing pirates will be able to take me where I need to go." And with great clarity he realized something and then found himself saying it aloud. "I am going to follow this quest and it will take me to the Ultimate Treat, and when I have this treat I will be completely happy to wait until the Time of Trick or Treating." His heart swelled and he began to realize what the Green Gentleman must have felt like when his heart grew three sizes. There was hope and adventure ahead! He knew it right down to the alien equivalent of the mitochondria of his cell-like structures. How wonderful it was to Know Things! How exhilarating it was to Have A Plan!
He turned to the Alex, who was expending a little less energy on Being There. "I think I need to find pirates, how should I do that?"
The Alex shrugged and offered him an apple with chocolate and carmel and pecans. Without saying a word, he stepped off the curb and into the street. He stuck two fingers in his mouth and a piercing noise cut through the hub-bub of the city lunch crowd. From around the corner, a yellow vehicle with black markings and the word "Taxi" pulled up in front of them as the Alex made a flagging symbol with his hand. The driver was a yellow being with black lettering on his gray clothing.
"Where to!" asked the being.
"It's for my friend," said the Alex.
The being looked at the Tiny Alien and what he was carrying. "Oh dear, well let me take the top down if he's going to carry that thing. Better safe than sorry, and I don't want him shooting any holes in the roof!" He got out of the vehicle and started breaking down the top covering and folded it up inside a compartment to the rear. He was whistling softly to himself. It was a tune the Tiny Alien had learned from the Green Amphibian called All Kinds of People In The Neighborhood. The whistling was very pleasant and when he was done he opened the back door for the Tiny Alien. "OK, sir, please remember ray gun or no ray gun, you still have to wear the seat belt, it's the law you know. Now, where to!"
The Tiny Alien arranged himself into the seat in the back and carefully placed his bag next to him, fastened himself into the safety harness, positioned himself for maximum ray gun coverage in case of attack, and declared "Take Me To Your Pirates!"
The Oracle called out from her window, "It's OK , Crash. Alex got him started on a Vision Quest."
The driver sighed, " I suppose it's better than the last time, when he said "Infinity and Beyond"
Alex finally piped up. "It's classic quote you know."
Crash looked Alex straight in the eye. "Yeah, but you meant it."
"I did pay the fare." Alex smiled back. "Do you want some chocolate"
The driver passed, but asked to have some saved for when he got back.He let the Tiny Alien, know that he was starting the meter and that he could relax, because there shouldn't be any Trouble getting to the Pirates, all of the trouble should happen after they got there.
The Tiny Alien took this under advisement, and relaxed a tiny bit until he started thinking about the implications of traveling with a driver apparently named Crash.
Will they reach the Pirates safely? Will the Tiny Alien's Vision Quest lead to the Domination of Trick or Treating? What will happen next and what IS the fare for Infinity and Beyond anyway ? Join us next time for the answer to some, but not all of these questions in the next Episode of Tales of the Tiny Alien.
*The management would politely like to remind The Powers-That-Be that there are rules, and the rules are that you shouldn't go messing around with time and space and color photographs and pretty lighting just to show how all powerful and other worldly you are. Since you are the Powers-That-Be, one would think that it would be far classier to find some way to show such powerfulness by doing something respecting the carefully planned out homage to golden age pulp fiction and and classic 1950's sci fi movies instead of just suddenly colorizing and lighting everything. Not of course that there's anything trite or cliche about it. . . . . we, the management would never conclude that you, the Powers-That-Be were either trite or cliche. Maybe you could just consult us next time or , well no, never mind. Please pay no attention to us at all.
Honestly, we though better of it.
Would you like some chocolate?