The Briefcase

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‘Beyond the veil of our human reaches lies an entire undiscovered and undisturbed galaxy. There are new planets, and suns, and moons, and systems just waiting to be explored. New elements and, who knows, there might even be a cure for the common cold out there...excuse me,’ Professor Smith turned away from the podium to sneeze into his clean, but used, handkerchief. He returned to the vast and full room, ‘And so to conclude. Life. Where would we be without it? The answer...somewhere else. Thank-you.’ The Professor bowed as there came an explosion of applause after the ripples of laughter.

He collected his papers and his other belongings as the lights of the lecture hall rose. The room was massive, holding up to ten-thousand people. A group of the Professor’s more concerned students gathered at the foot of the stage waiting to be seen. He packed his briefcase and went to meet with them, a cheery smile on his face.

‘Bleep, bleep’, signalling that the Prof had just received a text. ‘One second guys,’ he notified the crowd, which seemed to be growing.

‘They’re coming. Get out of there.’ Smith closed the message, thinking nothing of it. He joined the crowd as it consumed him. ‘Bleep, bleep.’ He read again. ‘What are you doing? Get the hell out of there Professor!’ This time the Professor looked around, but was only met with questions.

‘Bleep, bleep,’ ‘Quick. Fire exit, then run. A car will meet you.’ Smith was bemused by his text stalker. He replied:

‘Who are you?’ He closed his phone, expecting a response instantly. But nothing came. He spent two-minutes more with his group of students, but then feigned fatigue and left the lecture hall. The corridor he found himself in was quiet and dark. It was after hours and the cleaners had already locked up. His footsteps echoed on the marble floor.

‘Bleep, bleep,’ he stopped in his tracks. Taking out his phone he read: ‘Who I am is not important. But the designs in your briefcase are. We need to meet. Hurry, or you’ll be picked up, and the future will be lost. Fire exit. Now!’

‘Picked up by who?’

‘You don’t need to know who they are; just know that they’re wearing dark suits and glasses. Now run, before they find you.’ The Professor looked around. The school was deserted. He ignored the text, and continued his way to the exit.

Upon leaving the building he was confronted with a beautiful night’s sky. He stared up and pondered a while, until his pondering was disturbed by a rusted old banger of a car pulling up beside him. It stopped with a smoky pop of the exhaust. The shadowed window wound itself down.

‘Excuse me?’ said a feminine voice from inside the vehicle. The Professor didn’t recognise the accent, but peered through the window to see if the driver needed some directions. What he was met with however, was beyond his maddest thoughts. As he stared through the open window an outlandish pistol attached its dangerous-end to his forehead. And its owner commanded him to get in the car.

The Professor complied. The car trundled away from the school at a high speed and with a woof of exhaust fumes. The driver lowered the pistol. ‘Why didn’t you listen to me Professor?’ said the sweet voice of the driver.

‘Erm, er...ah. Well.’

‘Spit it out Professor.’

‘ tell you the truth, this is why I didn’t respond.’

‘Because of little old me? How silly Prof. You don’t mind if I call you Prof, do you?

‘, not at all.’ The Professor’s voice quivered with fright.

‘Good, so Prof? Nice lecture you gave tonight.’ She paused. ‘Say thank-you.’


‘That’s better. Well as we both know, you would have soon been snatched away from your quaint little job and your quaint little family, all because of what your quaint little mind came up with. Isn’t that right? ...say yes.’

‘Yes?...I-I don’t know what you mean.’

‘You know. I know you know, because I know, so why wouldn’t you know, you know?’ The Professor didn’t answer. ‘Exactly. So, just go through with your plans and don’t let anyone get in your way. Got it?’


‘Say, got it.’

‘Got it.’

‘Good,’ she laughed. ‘You didn’t think this abduction would be that easy would you?’


‘Yeah, yeah. Perhaps I got the word wrong. I’m always doing that. Why don’t you humans have an international language yet? It’s soo much easier. Just wait until you reach that veil.’


‘Yes veil, keep up. Your words after all. Veil, veil, veil. That veil that you struggle with. You know, beyond your reach or something. A veil.’

‘I see.’

‘You need to give me your plans, and then you can go.’

‘My plans?’

‘Yes, yes, the plans. Haven’t I been talking about them for like forever? The plans for the veil. You know the plans. The plans you and I know, but no one else knows. Those plans.’ The Professor gave her a blank look, focusing on a blue glowing bracelet she had on her wrist. ‘Listen. You can give me your briefcase, or I can take your briefcase, or I can kill you and take your briefcase, or, and this is my favourite one, I can kill you, your family, all your human spawn, and then take your briefcase. What do you think?’ The Professor didn’t have to think about the answer. He just gave up his briefcase. ‘Ah good. You can get out now.’ She pulled over and the Professor scrapped with the door until it opened. He jumped out onto the side of the road and watched as the old car, its driver, and his briefcase speed away in a puff of fumes.

He stood by the road side a while and stared up at the stars, thanking the Lord that he’d not died that evening. He even breathed a few sighs of relief. Turning to walk the way they had come. He noticed headlights coming down the road towards him. He flagged them down, hoping they’d help him.

As the lights got closer and closer he realised he recognised the noise of the engine. ‘How could that be?’ He thought. And before he could turn around and run, the old banger had pulled up beside him again. This time the driver’s window was wound down. ‘Professor Smith?’

‘Yes?’ He answered, hoping that she hadn’t returned to shoot him.

‘Professor John Smith?’


‘Professor John Edward Smith, Inventor of the New-Age Human Alliance Space Travel?’

‘ Professor John Edmund Smith, travelling Lecturer of Physics. What was that about Human Alliance and Space Travel?’

‘Ah shit, it was nothing, just a bit of a misunderstanding. Sorry about that. And the, have it back.’ She handed him a jar of blackened dust. ‘It might re-assemble itself soon, but I think that’s a slim possibility. Sorry Prof.’ The woman and her banger drove off into the smoky distance never to be seen again by Professor John E. Smith. 

Created: Aug 23, 2012

Tags: comedy, prose, glimpse, story, sci fi, fiction, accident, dialogue, sci-fi, funny, science fiction

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