The Human Touch

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 8

“A heated rock in every home!”

The crowd gave a few uncertain claps.

“Free locusts for every school!”

Confused muttering. An aide took this opportunity to step up and whisper something in the Prime Minister’s ear.

The Prime Minister gave a quick nod in response. “Something something hardworking families!”

Enthusiastic cheers.

Doug squinted at the TV. “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something odd about this guy…”

“Seriously?” Eugene put down his copy of UFO Afficionado. “You’ve only just noticed? He’s a reptilian alien in a latex human suit. Everyone knows that.”

“Really?”

“Well,” Eugene shrugged. “Everyone on the internet. The sheeple on the street wouldn’t know a Neptunian impostorbot if it was living in their spare room.”

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” laughed Ian. “What an elegantly constructed hypothetical humour scenario! I will be sure to relate that one to my many biological relatives who definitely exist.”

On screen, the Prime Minister passed his tongue over his eyebrow in preparation for a photo.

“Huh.” Doug squinted some more. “You know, you might be right.”

“Of course I’m right! I’ve been right all along!”

“Hang on…” it was hard to read the Prime Minister’s name on Eugene’s tiny CRT TV, but Doug thought he recognised it. “Isn’t this the guy you said would never get voted in?”

“Okay, yeah. But I’ve still been right most of the way along!”

Nobody said anything for a while. The only sound was a faint mechanical rumble from Eugene’s housemate, Ian.

“Sorry,” said Ian. “I must have eaten a bad food.”

“You know what?” Eugene stood up. “That speech is going on just down the road. I think it’s time people knew the truth.”

“Oh, no.” Doug turned to him. “What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to march right over there and pull off that alien’s latex human mask right in front of everybody. Then they’ll have to believe me!”

“I don’t think he’s going to just let you do that.”

“He won’t know until it’s too late.” Eugene ran into the bathroom. Doug could hear water running. “The reptilians’ vision is heat-based. You’ve seen Predator, right?” Eugene stepped out of the bathroom. He had wrapped himself head to toe in wet towels. “I’ve got it all thought out.”

***

“Look out!” shouted the bodyguard. “That crazy towel guy is going for the Prime Minister!”

“Aw, nuts,” said Eugene, as three police officers with Tasers piled towards him. “I didn’t think this through.”

“Yay!” said Ian. “Free electricity!”

Things were going much as Doug had expected they would, which was why he’d specifically kept his distance from Ian and Eugene as they made their way towards the stage. However, with literally all the security staff trying to overcome Ian’s baffling resistance to being tased, he couldn’t help but notice that there was nothing stopping him from peeling the Prime Minister’s mask off himself.

With a battle cry of “I’m gonna be on TV, yo!” Doug jumped up on stage.

“Wait,” said the Prime Minister. “Stop. I’ll let you be Secretary for the Ants and Humidities if you don’t do what you’re thinking about doing.”

But Doug did it anyway. “Look!” he shouted to the crowd below. “This guy is a lizard or something!”

“I told you!” yelled Eugene, on the floor. “I told all of you.”

“Yes!” shouted Ian, still standing. “Let us all look at that thing that was pretending to be human but is really not! It is surely the only thing to have attempted that in this general area and we should not bother investigating further!”

There was a surprising lack of reaction from the crowd.

“We already knew that!” yelled an old woman from the front row.

“Wait.” Eugene got up. “Really?”

“Yeah,” called someone else. “It’s really obvious.”

“He can lick his own eyebrows,” added a third person. “That was kind of a clue.”

“Also the fact that he represents the Lizard Party.”

“Come to think of it,” the old woman spoke up again, “I’m not actually sure it was ever a secret.”

Eugene stared about in disbelief. “Then why on Earth did you vote for him?”

The people in the crowd exchanged glances.

“Well, he’s different. You’ve got to admit that. All the other politicians are like clones of one another.”

Eugene was flabbergasted. “He was grown in a vat!”

“Yeah, but the others don’t even seem like they’re from this planet.”

“The vat was in the Draco constellation!”

“Yeah, yeah. What I mean is that he’s generally in touch with reality.”

The Prime Minister opened his mouth. “I know all and see all!” he hissed.

“Yeah!” agreed someone nearby. “He knows how much a pint of milk costs.”

“And he’s been outside Westminster. You’ve got to admit that.”

“Plus, he’s promised a referendum on Europe and Europa. So that’s something.”

“Is your only objection that he’s a lizard? Because if so that’s kind of racist.”

The crowd stared at Eugene.

“Alright,” he said, “fine. I’ll let you guys get on with it.”

Doug and Ian followed Eugene back to the house. Nobody said anything for a while.

It was Doug who broke the silence. “I’m sure there are other conspiracies you can expose.”

“No,” said Ian, quickly. “I’m sure there aren’t.”

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.

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