The Abduction: A Novelization Based on an Idea

The following events took place on April 15th, 2004

Lance Ackbey awoke on a wonderful April morning. He could sense this would be a good day. His day sensing had been off for a while, but he was sure it was back in working order. This was definitely a day for his socks of glee, in all their yellow glory. He went into the next room to check on Geofrey, his gerbil, in his masterful metropolis of cages and tubes. “It‘s almost time for your 10:28 walk, Geofrey!” said Lance with much joy. Today he was going to reveal his new plans to Geofrey and was hoping for a positive response. He went downstairs and chose his outfit for the day, sticking with his patented tilted shades.

Lance left his house with Geofrey in one hand and his three slices of toast – one buttered, two dry – in the other. “Geofrey!” said Lance enthusiastically, “I have a plan that will change the world. A new vision and you Geofrey, you will help me built it.” Lance folded the first piece of dry toast into quarters and shoved it in his mouth. He attempted to keep talking but his mouth was jammed with carbohydrates. He continued twenty-six seconds later. “I plan to start a pet detective agency. A place where I shall help the helpless – pets. You were my inspiration Geofrey, and for that we shall be partners in, eh – anti-crime!” Lance folded his buttered slice of toast in half, buttered side out, and began to ingest it.

Lance continued explaining his elaborate plan to his prized pet. As they rounded the corner of Willowbank Drive, colloquially known as Dutch Street, he spotted a suspicious black van parked on the side of the road. He passed by, not thinking much of it. Just as he and Geofrey were by it the van started its engine and began driving slowly down the road. Lance noticed this as he took the final bite of his last piece of toast. He began to walk faster and the van matched his pace. It pulled up right beside him and Geofrey. The window rolled down and the driver looked at Lance. Lance glared back at him. Their eyes made contact. The driver panicked and drove away with great haste.

The driver turned to his passenger. “That wasn‘t the guy we‘re looking for.” “Are you sure?” asked the passenger. Both men were in suits, the passenger wearing sunglasses. The driver obviously couldn’t afford such luxurious accessories. “Well, the report said we were looking for a Frisbee player. This guy‘s even worse than I am,” said the driver. “We must have been given the wrong address by command. We definitely need a professional Frisbee player for this,” replied his passenger. The passenger pulled back the panel between the cabin and back of the van. “We wouldn‘t want an inferior specimen for you, would we Mr. Bakula!” said the well dressed man. The two cabin dwellers erupted with somewhat evil laughter after the comment.

Marty Nixon awoke on a dull April morning. It was a Thursday. Marty didn’t like Thursdays. Every Thursday since he was 7 years old he feared that Douglas Adams and his hired goons would abscond with him to their Caribbean base on a Thursday morning. He saw the entire Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series as a means for Adams to communicate with him, biding his time until the day he would come for Marty. These thoughts went through the mind of Marty every Thursday morning. Every Thursday. Suffice to say Marty was never the most stable of people.

Marty got ready for the day and had his breakfast: a bowl of cereal, half Ricicles, half Frosted Wheats. He grabbed his equipment and left the house via the only safe passage: the chimney. Once freed from the sooty enclosure Marty scaled down the fir tree that grew beside his home. He entered the pen in his back garden, as he does every morning. In this fenced compound Marty practised his Frisbee skills. In the March 2002 edition of Irish Theory magazine Marty read an article about the importance of one’s Frisbee skills in defence from aliens. He did not remember anything else about the article due to an accident later that day involving a large block of ice. From that day forth he practised Frisbee every morning, hoping that the aliens would come before Douglas Adams.

After his half hour Frisbee practice Marty was off. He didn’t have a job. He got by with odd jobs relating to aliens and anything else paranormal, or ‘creepy’ as his mother used to call it. It wasn’t much but it was what he liked. That’s what he was doing this day. His equipment would help him detect any abnormal activity. Unfortunately he was currently having a dry spell. In the last month he detected something only once and it turned out to be just a mongoose in a pet shop. After an hour Marty was about to break for a Dr Pepper but suddenly his hyperbiological detector started to beep loudly and painfully to nearby pedestrians.

Vernon Day awoke. He was pretty sure it was morning. He could smell rashers. It must be morning. Nobody would ever cook rashers at a time that isn’t morning. At least in Vernon’s mind anyway. Udora, his sister, must have been cooking a fry. As he lay in bed trying to get up he could taste the fried egg he was about to enjoy. Half an hour later he finally managed to get up only to be shocked: Udora wasn’t there. The fry was long cooked and eaten. All that remained was the lingering smell of fatty foods to tease Vernon. This angered him deeply. He grabbed his hat, jacket and mobile phone and headed out the door while beginning a text message in an incomprehensible shorthand form.

Lance was walking down the Ballyroan Road with Geofrey, preparing to turn back around once he reached the third last tree from Ballyroan Cresent. However, Lance began to think. Well, first he had to start playing a song in his head, so he chose Rocket Man by Elton John. Then he began to think. He was about to start a new business. Things were going to change. The 10:28 walk always ended up at the third last tree. Lance decided to shake things up, so he turned into Pinewood Park.

As Lance was entering the square Vernon was walking from his sister’s house across the green at the centre. “Where the hell are ya?” screamed Vernon into his mobile phone. “I‘m with Murray!” said Udora angrily on the other end. “Who the feck is this Murray fella anyway?” “Look, I‘ll talk to you later. I‘ll be home around four,” she told him, trying to calm the beast. “But I‘m hungry! I want some rashers!” he insisted. “Why don‘t you just go to Londis for some then? Goodbye!” she shouted, cutting the conversation before Vernon could reply.

Meanwhile Marty rounded the corner of the square by the Expression Bum’s alley. He moved his various devices around as, for some reason, this made them get better readings. At least that’s what happens in those episodes of Star Trek that Marty watches anyway. All three parties were moving through the normally desolate square. Lance was starting to regret his decision to change his route. Geofrey seemed nervous. Lance remembered that the last time he was in the square he was shouted at by a very mean person. He was trying to concentrate on his footing and wasn’t paying attention to the other people in the square.

The sky grew darker. A sudden wind developed in the square. It was spooky to say the least. One of Marty’s instruments started to wail like an injured dolphin. It was his Neutrino detector. Something was giving out a lot of Neutrinos in the square. Marty started to panic. Vernon was sending another text message to Udora on his phone and thus not looking where he was going. The phone was not emitting the Neutrinos, just delicious microwaves. He bumped right into Lance.

Vernon looked up in anger and started screaming at Lance. “What the bloody hell d’ya think you‘re doing? Don‘t ya see me here ya feckin‘ bastard!” Lance ran away in fear towards the corner of the square where Marty was. Vernon pursued, making primitive grunting noises. The entire square started rumbling. Lance ran straight by Marty as he rounded the corner, holding tightly onto Geofrey. Before Vernon could get around the corner Lance disappeared in a flash of slightly blue tinted light.

Marty was shocked. Matter transportation. In front of his very eyes. He couldn’t move and simply stared on in awe as the sky cleared up and the rumbling subsided. Vernon came around the corner to find a lack of Lance. He assumed that his new enemy had entered the Expression Bum’s alley and so took off through the laneway to capture him.

Lance was confused. He remembered running away from the angry man in the square. He remembered grasping tightly onto Geofrey’s fur. “Geofrey!” thought Lance, wondering where his best friend had gone. Lance’s arms were strapped to the wall, as were his legs. The wall was at a slight angle, Lance’s legs sticking more outward than his head. The room was dark, Lance couldn’t see a thing. The blinding light of the matter transporter didn’t help his eyes either, not that Lance knew his matter had just been transported. Lance was afraid. The Imperial March played in his head as he picked up a familiar odour. It was definitely the smell of Geofrey, unmistakable – except for that time Lance was mistaken.

Suddenly a spot light came on over Lance and a similar one over Geofrey. Lance could now see that he was strapped to some sort of metallic table, propped up. Geofrey was strapped to a similar, gerbil-sized table made from lesser materials. Lance was very confused, but decided to go with the flow. He began to struggle, just like in all those James Bond parodies he’d seen. “You‘ll never get me to talk!” shouted Lance in a loud manner, as shouts tend to be. He heard his attractive voice echo throughout what sounded like an empty room.

“Silence!” a voice shouted from the darkness in a far less attractive voice than Lance’s. “Hey, who‘s there?” inquired Lance. “We are your captors, human,” replied a second voice, slightly to the left side of the other voice from Lance’s perspective. “Hey, I am human!” said Lance, seemingly shocked by the knowledge of the mystery voices. “That‘s what I said, human!” the voice was not impressed. The first, slightly deeper voice took over. “You have been chosen by us to become our test subject. With amounts of luck you may survive, in which case we shall all be happy.”

“Why did you choose me? Why me? Out of all the people in this world why was I picked out by you strange voices to be a subject? Why?” asked Lance dramatically, as he tends to do. “Purely random,” replied one of the voices. “Our computer merely picked a suitable candidate at random from your human population. It took quite a while for us to get to your world from our territories.” “Wait a minute. Territories? Are you from Canada?” inquired Lance. “Silence human! We are superior beings to your kind! Your fragile mind cannot fathom our true form so we have taken one that your brain might be able to deal with, from your memories.”

As the voice finished speaking he and his co-voice walked out of the shadows and Lance was able to glance upon their non-human form. “Alf!” shouted Lance in glee as he saw the two aliens. “Yes, we have taken on the appearance of a popular alien from a time known as the eighties,” said the alien. “There can‘t be two Alfs though,” said Lance, “and it just wouldn‘t be fair to call only one of you Alf so you can be called Alfonz and you shall be called Sir Gooseberry!” Lance nodded his head to the alien on his right first, then the other one – on his left.

“Silence!” shouted Alfonz, “the Espaird race do not tolerate lower beings speaking their names, especially such ridiculous labels you have attached. You will help us defeat our enemies or die trying. Most likely both.” Alfonz and Sir Gooseberry both turned and walked their little puppet feet out one of those cool sliding doors from those episodes of Star Trek that Marty watches. Lance thought they were really cute.

After the shock wore off Marty he began grasping for the instruments in his bag. He needed proof of what just happened. It did happen. He was sure of it. He wasn’t going crazy. He knew that. Of course, only crazy people think they’re not going crazy, so maybe he was going crazy. But then he would have to be sane because crazy people don’t think they’re crazy. Marty got stuck in a loop of thought and the dark sky started to brighten again, the thundering sounds disappearing. Marty snapped out of his pseudo-coma and continued to root through his bag.

Marty started to think about all the money he could get if he had proof of what happened. He would win respect from fellow paranormalists. He could be invited to dinner with the editor of Irish Theory magazine, in his lead-cobalt lined basement. However, what if it was just the start of something bigger? What if people were disappearing all over the world as he was looking for his hologram detector? Could this be the day they came? What if it was Douglas Adams, back from the dead? Again, Marty trailed off and started staring into the distance. Eventually he was able to get his equipment out and started to pick up some very interesting readings.

Marty was able to pick up a trail of where the – whatever it was that took that man was going. It seemed to be heading for the nearby park. Marty took off after it, waving his meters and detectors in the air. At least his Frisbee training had built up some fitness in him. Eventually Marty reached the park, nearly falling into the river trying to get across a fallen tree. He tracked the object, or UFO if you will, to its resting place: Mere decametres above the playground.

Lance was sitting about in the alien ship thinking to himself. There wasn’t much else to do really. Geofrey was in a state of shock and thus wasn’t being his usual talkative self. Lance wondered what the unusually comfortable material his restraints were made out of was. It had the feel of silk and cotton but with the strength of a hunk of tungsten. Lance giggled quietly to himself at the slight rhyme of hunk and tungsten. He wondered when his adorable captors would return.

Lance closed his eyes and thought about his abduction again. He remembered the square. The angry man. The quiet man. Geofrey. The bright, slightly blue light. Then he remembered something new. A room, different to his current accommodation. There were lights and what looked like a window of some sort. It was all blurry due to the bright light. He remembered looking around and seeing he was trapped in a glass tube. Then the glass descended into the floor, freeing him. Lance remembered the emotion of happiness at that moment, followed swiftly by that known as terror along with the sensation of pain. The pain being mostly to the back of his head from what felt like a leather sap of some kind. Then he woke up in his current, slightly off right angle state.

As Lance opened his eyes the sliding doors opened and the two fuzzy aliens walked in. Lance thought it was cool that the doors had opened just after he had opened his eyes, but unfortunately the sound of the doors opening made Lance open his eyes and he had simply misremembered the order of events. “You will come with us!” said Alfonz. Lance didn’t like the tone of his voice but was still willing to comply. “Okay!” replied Lance cheerfully. “Not you, the infant human!” said Sir Gooseberry. Lance disliked this tone even more so and he wondered where this kid was.

“What kid?” asked Lance. Before he could pronounce the final word of his sentence Geofrey’s table moved towards the extraterrestrial duo. It had wheels – six to be exact. Sir Gooseberry sauntered up to Lance. “You are to cease asking us questions, human.” Lance was upset. They had taken his Geofrey away. “I – I will destroy you!” said Lance in great anger, trying not to let his immense fear slip through. “Laughable human. Your child is ours and you shall be next,” said Sir Gooseberry. “No I won‘t. And I like Alfonz better than you!” replied Lance menacingly, trying to strike a nerve, hoping that being disliked would upset the puppet.

Sir Gooseberry turned and rejoined his counterpart. Geofrey’s table wheeled itself out the door and the two followed. The door closed with a slight whooshing noise. Lance couldn’t control himself. The only thing in his life that mattered was gone. The aliens were right, Geofrey was his child. He cared for him more than any mother could care for her spawn. They were soul mates. Lance took breath heavily as his rage grew within his chest. He needed to release it. “Geofrey!” screamed Lance at the top of his lungs. “Geof-rey!” he screamed again even louder with a pause between the syllables. “Geof-reeey!” he bellowed one final time, shaking the room with his elongated second syllable. Lance’s head dropped. His eyes closed. He was done.

“Where the feck did he go!” shouted an agitated Vernon Day. He was still searching for the bastard that walked right into him. Vernon wasn’t one for letting things go, especially when he knew he could give the guy a right beating. The Expression Bum’s alley was empty. The Expression Bum himself was off buying the deed to the alley from the county council. Vernon ran up and down Butterfield trying to find the bastard, but was having no luck. Vernon was normally very lucky, especially that time at the greyhound track that he paid a guy to drug all the dogs but number 4. The guy he paid got busted but Vernon was very lucky to escape prosecution.

Vernon took a left, then another left, then five rights followed by a familiar left, a less familiar left and an unattractive right. Finishing up with a final left he spotted a Statoil and went in for a refreshing beverage. Vernon was in the mood for a frozen Coke. He was aware of their similarity to Slush Puppies, but like all those well versed in iced soft drinks he knew it was superior. Further trauma hit Vernon when he realised that the frozen Coke machine wasn’t working. He picked up a donut and used it like one of those pink stress relievers that people have in offices. As the chocolate centre of the donut dripped down his hand and the Russian manager shouted at him he decided there was only one place he could go to be happy: his favourite drinking spot – the playground.

Lance was in shock. His Geofrey was gone. He stayed in the dimly lit room for what seemed like hours with his head hanging lower than some sort of analogy. Only minutes had passed but the feelings of loss were eating away at Lance’s innards. The door to the room opened again. Lance raised his head hoping to see Geofrey safe and well but was instead greeted by the cute aliens he had come to loathe. “You will now come with us, human,” said Alfonz. Lance dropped his head again and his table began to move towards the door. He didn’t care anymore.

As Lance was rolled through the corridors of the alien vessel at speeds not greater than two metres per second he wondered what they were going to do to him. He figured it was going to be a simple rectal probing: in and out in five minutes, then kill him. Of course, the puppet’s earlier comments seemed to suggest more than a mere, pleasurable probing. Experimentation was on the cards. Maybe they’d give him a pair of wings so he could fly or perhaps simply waddle and flail the wings much like a penguin or overweight woman in a fairy outfit.

Then he wondered what they were doing to Geofrey, but before he could even come up with any horrors they could do to his friend he realised that this was a chance to escape. He raised his head slightly in hope. If he was being brought to Geofrey he could use his new wings to confuse his captors, snatch Geofrey and escape wherever he was being held. Lance’s plan depended on being brought to Geofrey. He wasn’t going to try to escape otherwise. “Stupid aliens,” thought Lance, carefully making sure he wasn’t speaking aloud, “I can‘t believe they‘re going to give me wings so I can escape.”

Eventually Lance’s wheeled table came to a stop and Sir Gooseberry turned to look at Lance. “Your child has been altered.” Lance’s heart dropped, if that‘s possible. What had they done to Geofrey? Surely they didn’t give him wings too? That wouldn’t make any sense. “Our modifications to his physiology had some unexpected results.” With that the doors in front of Lance slid open to reveal a copper mask. “Geofrey!” shouted Lance, “what have they done to you!?” Lance was wheeled into the laboratory and placed next to the new Geofrey.

“His DNA was not compatible with our alteration methods. Yours, however, is,” said Alfonz. The two aliens made their way to separate consoles in the room. Strange devices came out of the walls and ceiling and made their way towards Lance. He had never seen anything like them before, with blue flashy things and sharp spinning things. They were, well, alien. Lance looked at Geofrey. He wasn’t moving. He had no limbs anymore. He wasn’t breathing. He was just a copper human-like face, but he was still alive and Lance could sense it. His life sensing was always much better than his day sensing anyway.

As Lance prepared to be winged Alfonz left the lab through a different door to the one he had entered with Lance. Lance was able to catch a glimpse of a window, similar to the one in his memories. From the brief glimpse Lance got he thought the room looked somewhat like the bridge from that one episode of Star Trek he once watched. The one with the energy being that threatened the ship. Lance figured this would be his best chance of escape. Before he could form any proper plan in his head however he was hit from several angles by different types of pain and agony.

Sir Gooseberry observed some sort of alien monitor on the wall while Lance screamed. It felt like a thousand daggers had been shrunk down and made into one normal-sized dagger that was stabbing Lance in places, like his arm and torso. Over twelve minutes passed with Lance shrieking and shaking his head, veins bulging from his neck and arms. Alfonz returned. “Is the procedure complete yet?” he asked. “Almost,” responded his crewmate, “his abilities are at peak strength and must be lowered somewhat so his human body can survive.”

Lance couldn’t take anymore. The pain was starting to bother him. Sure, he was screaming for nearly thirteen minutes but that was mostly just to please the puppets. It was actually starting to hurt him now. Lance gritted his teeth together and started to concentrate, while playing The Verve’s Bitter Sweet Symphony in his head. His feet rose from the ground. As he concentrated more the entire table he was strapped to started to levitate. The aliens looked on in awe.

“What is happening? Did you do this?” asked Alfonz, worried about Lance’s current state. “What? No. We couldn‘t have done this. This is the human‘s own doing!” shouted Sir Gooseberry. Lance stayed hovering for several more seconds then opened his eyes to glare at the two alien life forms. Lance and the table shot up into the ceiling with great velocity. The impact broke Lance’s restraints from the table, which crashed to the ground and destroyed many of the devices that had been working on Lance. Lance himself made a smooth landing next to Geofrey, who he quickly took into his arms.

The aliens shielded their felt faces from the debris of Lance’s display. Lance made a run for the bridge of the ship but the aliens pursued. Lance made it through the door and saw the wide window that looked down upon Bushy Park. He saw the glass tube that he remembered from his memories in the middle of the bridge. There was consoles and displays everywhere with nothing Lance could comprehend on them – though they did look incredibly cool. Lance made a run for the window when the two aliens entered the room. “Wait, human!” shouted Alfonz. Lance stopped, perched on the ledge of the window with Geofrey in one arm and a big hunk of something that was good for smashing in the other, and listened to what Alfonz had to tell him.

The playground was especially full for an April morning, given that the children should all have been in school. Vernon Day entered the playground not via the gate but his preferred way of jumping over the bushes. After crushing a young girl’s toy pram during landing Vernon made a beeline for the tyre swing. There was a little boy swinging in it but he was no match for the angry army nut. One look at Vernon’s knife and the boy went running for his mother, who was hitting on a single father over by the monkey bars. Vernon sat on the swing and took out a spare can of Dutch Gold to drink while contemplating his rasher situation and the arsehole who ran into him.

Marty wandered through the maze, waving his equipment in the air trying to get a good reading of the overhead UFO. As he bumped past all the children Marty wondered if he could get up to the invisible object. The climbing poles had been cut down due to all of the kids falling off and dying and whatnot, so they were out of the question. Marty left the maze, eventually, and went for the monkey bars. He accidentally kicked a little boy running to his mother while he climbed atop the wooden bars. He decided to stay there and play the waiting game, but started to get his camera ready for action.

“You will not survive without us!” claimed Alfonz while Lance considered escape. Lance stood up straight and looked across at the aliens. “I‘m good,” said Lance who then raised his smashing hunk and threw it at the window. As the object bounced back towards the aliens Lance kicked the broken glass out and leapt from the alien vessel, guarding Geofrey. Marty saw the glass fall to the ground from what seemed like thin air. He could see into the bridge of the ship. Before he could even know what was happening Marty was recording the events.

Lance fell quite a height from the ship and landed in the playground. Luckily the soft woodchips on the ground broke his fall and he quickly stood up to compose himself. Marty recognised Lance and jumped from the monkey bars to help him. None of the parents seemed to notice the amazing events that were taking place in their midst. Lance was very happy to be free and wanted to quickly get home. He knew where he was and made a quick exit from the playground. The little boy’s mother and single father tried to stop Marty as he went after Lance. Something about breaking the boy’s arm.

Sir Gooseberry was able to re-cloak the smashed window quickly so nobody else could see their ship. “We need a new subject,” said Sir Gooseberry. “This one is certain to die without our help?” asked Alfonz. “He has only seconds left. We should depart,” replied Sir Gooseberry. With that the ship moved away from the playground and on to find a new subject for their experiments. Marty didn’t notice the ship leaving as he went after Lance.

Meanwhile Vernon noticed the idiot who bumped into him walking out of the playground. Vernon made a run towards him, knocking the young girl whose pram he destroyed to the ground. “You!” screamed Vernon at Lance, brandishing his knife. Lance started to run but encountered difficulty: He had reached the top of the hill. Lance was too afraid to go down the hill in case he could never come back up. All he could do was curl up into a ball and hope for the best. “I‘ll bloody kill ya!” shouted Vernon as he reached Lance.

Marty saw all the fuss as he headed for Lance and he knew what had to be done. Lance was an abduction survivor. He was now one of the most important members of the human race. His story could save the world from the aliens and maybe even Douglas Adams. He could not be harmed. Marty ran with all his will and tackled Vernon just before he could reach Lance. Vernon’s knife flew out of his hand and back into the playground. The two rolled down the hill, towards the duck pond, punching and kicking each other.

Lance opened his eyes and saw that he was safe. What happened? Somebody must have saved him. He knew who that somebody was: Geofrey. “Wow!” said Lance. “Those cute guys made you super strong Geofrey!” The former gerbil didn’t react, given that he was now an inanimate copper mask. “Thank you so much for saving me! You can be the bodyguard for the new pet detective agency.” Lance picked Geofrey back up in his arms and headed home, oblivious to Marty and Vernon.

The fighting pair reached the bottom of the hill and Vernon managed to pin Marty to the ground. “Who the feck are you!” he shouted in Marty’s face. Marty struggled but couldn’t get up. “Ya feckin‘ bastard!” said Vernon who then head butted Marty in the nose. Marty screamed and passed out. Vernon picked up his camera and threw it in the duck pond, hitting and angering a swan. Vernon looked around but couldn’t see Lance anyway. He kicked Marty in the ribs, gave him the finger and walked away, hoping to find someone feeding the ducks with rashers.

Lance arrived home after a nice fifteen minute walk. He placed Geofrey on the pillar outside his house. “This shall be your new post,” said Lance. As he made sure Geofrey was upright Lance noticed a Frisbee stuck in the bush beside his pillar. Lance was never very good at throwing Frisbees. They always hit right into the ground or somehow came back and hit him in the face, but today was different. Lance picked the Frisbee up and decided to throw it down the road. The Frisbee flew out of Lance’s hand with incredible speed. It smashed right through the windscreen of a parked car and out of the back window. It kept going until it hit a wall and bounced off with a thud, gliding to a stop on the road.

“That was kinda weird,” thought Lance as he walked back into his house, around the side entrance as always. Lance decided it was time to go to bed, even though it wasn’t even 1pm. He took a cold Strawberry Sensation Pop Tart and curled up in Geofrey’s room, looking at the grand gerbil accommodation that would never be used again. Lance needed to get up bright and early the next morning to start his pet detective agency. As Lance dozed off he remembered the Alf aliens and their cute feet.

The Expression Bum left the county council offices with the deed to his alley. He knew the other bums wouldn’t go near it now, not with the kind of money he had earned. He was due back to teach his protégées more about the art of expressing emotions facially. As he adjusted the toga he recently bought the sky began to darken overhead. The Expression Bum looked up and saw a bright blue light coming towards him. “Frightened,” said the Expression Bum, followed by a cowering expression as he disappeared in the blinding light.