Maria the Savior

In which Maria is the only person who can save the ancient planet of Rothk.

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

A flash of green light filled the room. And then it was gone. In its place stood a man.

"It's you!"

Maria wasn't fazed. It was herself indeed, sitting in her bed, drinking some tea and catching up on her celebrity gossip on the computer. "Yes, I'm me. What about it?" 

The fact that a man weirdly dressed had just materialized in the middle of her bedroom was uninteresting. Anything that wasn't directly related to herself was extremely uninteresting to Maria.

"I've been looking for you, for decades, through time and space. I'm Thorsten, the Guardian." He had silvery hair and a very formal demeanor about him. His clothes could be from another planet or from last season of New York Fashion Week. He also carried what appeared to be a small green bazooka on his waist.

"Still, what about me? Have I won anything?" The one thing Maria dreamed about was that: winning something. The lottery, a contest, a bingo prize even. She started to get excited, even putting her tea cup down on the bedside table.

"You are the only one who can save us. Save my people, I ask you," he kneeled in front of her and lowered his head, as if she was the Queen. Compliments worked on her really well.

"Oh, really? Thanks then, I'm glad to know I'm appreciated."

"You must come now. We're in terrible danger, and our prophets have calculated that your power is the only one able to bring an end to this disastrous calamity that has befallen us."

"Go where now? What are you blabbing about?"

"To our planet, Rothk. I know it's a lot to take in, but you must hurry. Come, there'll be time to explain during our journey. The ancient prophets await our presence in the sacred city of Arkhania." 

He motioned her to stand beside him. He stood in a pool of divine light that wasn't coming from the eco-efficient lamp on the ceiling.

"Seriously, where is it? Never heard of this place. Is it near Covent Garden? I heard they were opening a new club that's supposed to be really classy. I can't just commit to something without knowing what's it like. Give me the deets, come on. Who's gonna be there? Celebrities, the paparazzi? Will Beyoncé be there?"

"I do not know who are these you speak of. We spent all our resources to find you, there was no time to learn about your culture, but we'll be honoured to listen to your tales, once the catastrophe is under control. And I can assure you, for now, that no other earthling will be present or has ever been to Rothk. You're the only hope we have, no one else can save our planet."

"Oh, how come you don't know Beyoncé? She's a queen. She's marvelous. You'd love her."

"Is it a requirement that we request permission from your queen for your departure? We have a very brief time window for the transportation."

"What's the drinks situation? Is it an open bar?"

"I'm not sure I follow."

"Open bar, man, free booze, you know? What sort of party is this?"

"I can assure you it's no such thing. We're facing the deadliest war of our time, it's no party. Now, will you stand beside me?"

"Is there a limo to take me? If this is such a big thing, I won't take a taxi."

"We'll take the transportation device, it will be a short journey of a couple of your Earth days to my planet. Our molecules will be displaced and you won't feel anything."

"I see. I need to pack some things then. Is there a jacuzzi in the hotel? I think I'll take my bathing suit. And is it a king size bed? I love the extra space."

"I'm afraid matters of survival take precedence on luxuries such as sleep."

"I see, this thing will be wild." Maria stopped paying attention at all. She was looking at herself in the mirror, wondering if she had time to blow out her hair and do her nails before going to this shindig. And her red dress was at the cleaners. She'd have to find something else.

"My dear, I still don't get it. What is this thing? Is it promotional? Am I being paid to show up? What's the product?"

The man was starting to lose his patience. His face was becoming extremely red and the divine light was beginning to flicker. Probably the result of him losing his faith on the whole endeavor.

"Maria, we need you, you must travel to my planet and help us save it. We are an ancient race from a distant galaxy. I need to take you there using a beam of energy. Did you not understand that, so far?"

She came out of her mirror trance and faced the man with a look of mild bewilderment. "You're telling me you're not from Earth then."

"Exactly, that's what I've been saying!" his face started to show signs of relief.

"And I need to save your planet, wherever it is. It's not a night club."

"Exactly, great! You see, you're the only one. Our prophets have reviewed their calculations a hundred times, your name came up in every single one of them. Now, would you please come and stand beside me so the transportation device can get a hold on our molecules?"

Maria was silent. She was thinking. When she finally said something, it made his face red again.

"Will I have access to a bathroom?"

"What?"

"A bathroom."

"Why would you even think of that when the fate of my people lies in your hands?"

"You see, I watch lots of movies. Whenever an envoy from another planet comes to request help, you never see the savior going to a bathroom. The poor fella is always too busy blowing stuff up and saving people to even take a leak. I have a very small bladder, it's a real medical condition. I cannot be too far from a bathroom at any given time. Can you guarantee I'll be able to access a bathroom whenever necessary?"

He sighed in despair. "Yes! There are bathrooms. You will be able to use them, should the planet not be blown up before that, of course." The relief of finally finding Maria was gone. His contempt for the so-called savior of his planet was now stamped all over his face. He hadn't liked the fact that an earthling was meant to save his planet when he was first told about it, and he certainly didn't like it now.

"Is it a nice bathroom?"

"Pardon?"

"What sort of tiles do you people use? Marble? Granite? Ceramics? And what about the metals? Are they well kept? Is there a cleaning schedule? I can't suffer a dirty loo. I once had to pee on a public toilet. You have no idea how stressful that was for me."

He cracked his knuckles and even the next door neighbor could hear his teeth grinding. She was now brushing her dark hair, counting the strokes as her hand made the downward motion. The man reached for the green bazooka.

"I'm hoping it's Carrara. I always loved Carrara. I hear that's what Beyoncé has in her own bathroom. If it's good enough for her, it's good enough for me."

He shot her and there was no more Maria in the room. He looked at himself in her mirror. A tear fell from his left eye, the red one. He murmured a few words "maybe our race should be extinct." 

He turned the bazooka onto himself and shot his chest. The bazooka fell heavily on the floor, surrounded by nothing but Maria's old carpet and her black pumps from Primark. 

Now Reading
Maria the Savior