Harris Burdick stories are short, fictional stories the author makes up based on only three things: title, picture, and caption. The stories range from scary, funny, to happy, somewhere in the middle, or everything in one story.
“Ugghhh…” I groaned as I woke up. “Where am I?” I asked the empty, pitch black space I was in. “Perhaps a more valuable question would be, how are you?” Some high pitched, robotic voice asked me. “Ack!” I yelled, leaping up to my feet, ready to face a who, or whatever was there. “I mean no harm, sir.” The voice said. “I don’t believe you,” I said. “I am the monitor of installation zero-three.” The voice said. Then I saw it: it was a blue and grey floating orb, about four feet off the ground.”My creators call me three-four-three Guilty Spark.” The robot said.
“Okay, Spark, but why are you so concerned about me?” “You are the monitor of, what my creators called The Ark, a superweapon floating in space.” Ohhkayy… What am I supposed to do?” “I said you are the Monitor. You protect The Ark.” Spark said. Huh? What is this Ark? And most importantly,
“How do I protect this Ark?” I asked. Spark sighed. “Do you have to ask questions about everything? I only know so much.” “So tell me what you do know.” I said. ” I know that The Ark is in close proximity to your planet, Earth. It may even be your moon, but if it is, your kind has never found out. ” Spark said, slowly explaining this to me. “Why would it be our moon?” I asked “Because your kind is the only that can be trusted with The Ark.”
“Wait… My kind?! Does that mean there are other species!?” “Affirmative” was all I heard. Spark started saying something else, but he sounded distorted. All I did hear from Spark was “Save your planet… Save The Ark…” “Spark!” I screamed, but got no answer. Then I started getting nauseous and lightheaded.
“Ugghhh…” I groaned. “Wake up! C’mon, Kyle, wake up!” Henry screamed. I saw that we were back in “The Place” again where the first portal opened. We were back in that amphibious boat we built, going down that same track. The final portal opened up ahead of us, and there wasn’t much we could do.
So we went through and we ended up back home. Back where we built the boat. Back in my basement. So I told them about my dream. I told them about three-four-three Guilty Spark. I told them about The Ark. I told them how Spark said The Ark might be in our moon.
“Wow. That was some dream.” Josh said. “But how do you get to the moon?” He asked. “Honestly, I dunno. Ask NASA, I guess.” I replied. “When would NASA let us go to the moon?!” Henry exclaimed. “Yeah, good point. They probably wouldn’t let us go to the moon.” I replied.
“Uh, Alex?” Alex is my nickname. “Yeah?” I asked. “I think someone followed us through.” Paul said. I turned around. “Ah, dang. Someone did follow us through.” “Something,” Paul corrected. “Hang on, is that Spark?!” I exclaimed. “Affirmative.” Spark said. “I told you I’d be back.”
“No you didn’t.” I told Spark. “You’re right. I didn’t. My mistake. But I must be The Monitor. You do not suffice as The Monitor.” Spark practically screamed the last part. “Fine. I never understood anyway. But if I have to do it myself…” I muttered, rolling up my sleeves. “… I will.” I said louder. “Fine. But I warn you. Everyone who opposed me in the past failed.” Spark said calmly. “I’m not everyone.” I scowled. “I noticed. Nobody has ever gone through all four portals before.” “Yeah… I figured.” I said, anxious to get this over with. “I can sense you are eager to fight me.” Spark said. “So let’s fight.”
We fought. We both fought hard. Spark had some sort of laser he shot at me. Spark pinned me down with his now red-and-gray head for a body. I looked over to my friends and mouthed “now” to them. “Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!” I heard Henry scream like a madman. He hit Spark in a flying tackle, knocking him off of me. I pinned Spark down with my foot.”Henry, go get some water. Please.” “On it.” He said. Paul and Josh asked if there was anything they could do.
“No. Just wait. I’ll tell you if you can help.” I told them. Henry came back with the water bucket.”Can I have the water?” I asked Henry. “Sure.” He handed me the water bucket. I dumped it on Spark.
“That’ll keep him out for a while.” Paul said with a stifled chuckle. “Goodbye, three-four-three Guilty Spark.” He said. Heh. Spark thought he was legend. Not anymore. But the sad thing was, we never found The Ark.
The End! Finally!!
Picture from Boingboing.net
Special thanks to Chris Van Allsburg, for, thirty-three years ago, writing The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, inspiring me to finish up Another Place, Another Time.