After meeting with Martian at his front door Tom stirred his effeminate male friend from the bed and both went to the ski kiosk where Jenny stood with a most vacant expression.
“Good night?” he asked.
“I was up all night,” she replied, “Because Brett someone wouldn’t get to sleep.”
“Why?” he laughed.
“He was being arsey, I think he just wanted sex.” She groaned.
“Where is Brett?”
“Out with a class. Did you find that git from last night?”
“Yeah, the Martian man?” he asked, turning to one of the women at the kiosk as she issued him a walky-talky.
“Did he apologise?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Tom laughed, “Did you force it out of him?”
“He seemed perfectly fine before hand,” she grunted, “Some guys are just anal like that.”
Tom laughed and turned back to the woman.
“Go to the top of chantel,” she said, “There are three guys up there who’re waiting for lessons.”
“Righto Naomi.” He nodded, “Will catch you two later.”
“Fancy a drink before tonight?”
“Sure,” he agreed, “A nice little catch up before the festive?”
“Indeed,” she said, “I’m going to go find Val, see what happened with her and that guy last night. He was a freak too, they were all out.”
With such sweet words Jenny left Tom to make his way up the hillside where he found the skiers he was to tutor for the hour. With little worry they followed him through the snow along a much quieter route towards the forest, the ground smoothed off and became a shallow slope that they crossed in leisure. One man skied alongside Tom while they made their way in a slower pace.
“Is your name T.J?” he asked.
“A few people are known to call me that,” he said with a smile, “Why?”
“I think we met you the other night.” He said, “With those two guys and girls?”
“Yeah,” he nodded, “Probably me,”
“You survive your hangover then?”
“Always do,” he sniggered, “What’s your name?”
“Clay,” he replied, “Here on a break from collage at Ohio.”
“Ohio aye?” asked Tom, “Exotic.”
“To you,” he laughed, “Where about’s are you from?”
“The U.K.” he smiled, “Just down south.”
“Arh, you can tell in your accent, sounding quite noble.”
“Noble?” he laughed, “I thought I just sounded boring.”
“Nah, it sounds good, suits you, you know?”
“Cheers,” he nodded.
“Are you out at the restaurant tonight?”
“That wine thing?” he asked, “Yeah, without doubt.” He laughed, with complete confidence.
“Good, you know where it is?”
“We’re leading a big group of people there later. You just need to be at the end of the lifts and we’ll guide you lot up no worries.”
“Awesome,” thought clay with a tweaking of the brow, “I’ll see you there right?”
“Yeah,” he nodded, “Definitely.”
“Cool, well I’ll buy you a drink for this lesson.”
“I am getting paid,” he thought, “There’s no need for it.”
“Well, no worries. I’ll get you one anyway,” he said, Tom was now assured this man was flirting and had been the other night when they’d met, “Right,” he nodded with a nervous smile, “Sure.”
The lesson flew by without a hitch as he taught them to pick up speed and take wide and sharp turns in their grace. As the hour came to the end they reached the end of the long track that made a sharp turn down a very deep slope. Several people stood at the top, sitting on the brow of the hill staring down at the snow while a few skidoo’s had parked at the top and a piste basher was at ready with chains.
“What’s happened here I wonder?” thought Tom as their group came to a halt.
One large pine tree, of good health with luscious green leaves can slid down the hillside, blocking the slope. The massive tree was wide enough to have blocked the whole slope and take out saplings growing at the side. The snow behind had been flattened out and impressions of the bark were left between open patches of dead grass beneath. At the end of the hill a large amount of snow had gathered up as a result of a small scale avalanche caused by the tree.
With a concerned but confused look Tom left his pupils to his friend Brett, the more debonair of the three men he stood at the side with a snowboard posing gallantly as he preferred, with the glare of the sun in his eyes.
“You ok?” Tom asked.
“Hey,” he cheered, welcoming his friend, his accent quite broadly French, “Are you alright my man?”
“I’m fine,” Tom replied, glancing down the hill at the fallen tree, “What’s gone on here?”
“What do you think, this tree fell overnight and slid down blocking the slope. Bit of a bitch to move too considering its size.”
“I can see, how’d it fall?”
“I dunno, doesn’t look like it fell naturally. Like the trunks and roots have been dislodged; like something pulled it up.”
“Not this again.” Thought Tom, “Yeti?”
“Oh yeah, our own alpine yeti.” Brett laughed, “Probably the second stunt those environmentalists pulled.”
“Looks like a job for Scooby-doo.” Thought Tom,
“And that Daphne,” Brett thought, “Any day.”
“That reminds me, Jen’s looking for you. Apparently you were feeling too frisky last night.”
“On your way boy,” he laughed, “My sex life’s nothing for you to know.”
“No worries,” he said shuffling to the top of the slope, “Jen tells me all,” he winked.
Tom skied down the slope to the end of the tree where several large gashes had been cut into the sides and a white wool was left on what bark hadn’t been stripped away. Tom knelt down and looked close at the wool, he plucked a small amount from the tree and watched it break away like snow crystals in his hand. Clay and his two friends skied down after him.
“What do we do now then?” he asked.
“Well,” he said, “Your hours up. So go ski the snow.”
“What about this tree?”
They turned their attention to Brett and another two guys who came carving down the hill with speed. Making use of what snow had piled up against the trunk they flew over the tree into the high sky screaming out with joy and laughter as the open air rushed by and they could see the whole valley as if from the wings of a bird.
“There’s your answer,” he smiled, “It looks pretty settled in.”
Clay laughed, “Right, well I’ll see you later then?”
“That you will Mr. Clay.” He smiled, “glancing at the bark again – the white wool had disappeared completely, carried off by a sharp wind.
Later at the resort, Tom stood in his apartment waiting for his food to cook, cleaning what he could and making the place look more presentable. A knock came at the door and without need for answer Valery and Tom’s very effeminate friend walked in. Tom leaned around the corner, only with a towel wrapped around his waist still covered in beads warm water.
“There’s my Hercules,” said the guy as he ran in and kissed Toms lips, “Had a good day baby?”
“It’s been alright,” he smiled, kissing him back with some reserved passion.
“Alright you two,” sighed Valery, “Save it for another time, I’m not in the mood for watching having couples.”
With a wide smile Tom turned to the kitchen while the two walked in and made themselves at home, “How’re you Val?”
“I’m good cheers lovey, had Jen talking to me about her sex life again earlier though. So naturally I’m a little peeved.”
“Jealous you mean?” laughed Tom.
“Oh Jen?” she thought, “Brett scares me, he’s got those eyes that wander.” She shuddered.
They turned the Television on to the news, the reporter just leaving an article covering some medical break through in America by a company called surreal technology.
“What’s the bet they’ll patent it?” sighed Valery.
“I don’t know, I heard the new woman in charge is a great deal nicer than the man before.”
“Still, money drives people. You can’t deny it,” she sighed.
“Money is the root of all evil.” said the man.
“That’s wrong, it’s the want of money. Money itself is neutral.” said Tom taking up a plate of steaming chicken and resting beside his man.
As they cuddled up Valery did her best to stare in the other direction, the mans hand wandered onto the plate and pinched at a piece of chicken,
“Lee if you wanted food you should have said before you came over.” cried Tom lifting the plate out of reach.
“Dam it!” he cried, trying to tickle the naked sides of Tom to make him lower his food, “You’ve still not found my ticklish spot.” He commented.
With a devious look in his eyes Lee whispered, “I’m sure I could if I tried.”
“Please!” cried Valery, “I cannot hear any more of you lot flirting!”
“She just needs some TLC.” commented Lee, “The hormones are everywhere.”
“Shush,” she growled.
Tom stared up at the television as an image of the fallen tree on the slopes appeared. The piste basher was at work slowly lowering it to the end of the slope while officials stood around clearing the area and checking the forest behind it.
“That happened earlier,” he commented, “I saw it.”
“Apparently those alpine eco-warriors denied doing anything.” Said Val, translating what the reporter was saying, “The evidence suggests the tree was moved with force, an no tools were used to cut it down putting it in league with the mysterious footage taken yesterday.”
“Definitely,” Tom agreed.
“Well, nothing to worry about, probably a bear.”
“It’s got to have been a bloody big bear to do that.” thought Tom, “That tree was massive.”
“Ah don’t think on it too much, just go get ready for dinner.” said Val, curling up with some crisps that were left in an empty packet at the side.
“Best clothes!” cried Lee as Tom left his food for the two to scavenge.
Within the hour Jenny and Brett had arrived dressed up and carrying their best snowboards. Valery left ahead of the others to go find her own equipment while Tom and Lee prepared with their skis. They left the resort amongst numerous others who were all heading in the same direction, the men dressed in shirts and ties, and the women carrying bags to protect their finer clothes all with their skies and snowboards.
At the ski lifts The five gathered with the other reps and instructors for a minor briefing. Amongst the crowds were Crystal and her friends, and also Clay and his, in a sea of others all ready and raring to ski to this resort and then back under a canopy of starlight.
“Right,” said their supervisor with them all crowded around, “Everyone’s got to be extra vigilant tonight; we’ve had warning from the park that there may be a few bears loose.”
“Bears?” asked Brett.
“They’ve been going around leaving prints and all sorts, messing up the piste; just making hell for the guys maintaining it. Like that tree earlier on; so if anyone sees one radio me and I’ll get one of the rangers up here if it causes bother.”
“Righto,” thought Jen, “But if I see a bear I’m the first one down the hill, forget the others.”
“How cavalier,” laughed Valery.
“That’s for men, always was and always will be.” She smirked.
“Sexist,” thought Tom with a nudge to her shoulder.
“Don’t make me sent my French man on you,” she laughed, bopping her gloved fist against his nose, “Don’t make me set my little queen on you.”
With a click of the fingers Lee darted in.
“Ok,” Jen cried, backing of quickly in feigned fear.
“Skiing over together?” he asked Tom, whom just caught sight of Clay in the crowds
“I was going to make sure everyone got there safe, you know?”
“Are you eyeing up that big guy?” he asked, “Jeeze he is not your type.”
“Nah,” Tom shrugged, “No worries I’m not.”
“Good,” he sneered, “You know you’re mine.”
“Aye,” he nodded, watching Lee ski off, he glanced back at Clay who was making his way over then quickly thought it best to ski off with the others and start the ascent up the ski lift.
Through the dusk they followed the track he’d explored earlier in the day. The skiers and snowboarders making their way along at their own pace over the shallow slope towards the steep drop and then the chair lift that would take them to the restaurant. Jen and Brett kept on their snowboards making sure everyone kept together, using their radio’s to commune to one another.
“Brett, Brett!” cried Jen down the radio on all frequencies.
Tom listened close, “Look at that blonde girl whose on her way towards you. Steal her board for me.”
“Jen that’s illegal,” replied Brett while Tom just laughed at them both.
“If you loved me you’d do it.”
“It’s alright Brett, we’ll cover your back.”
“I can’t steal her board, she looks like she’d pop my head off.” He replied.
“Scared of a little girl?” asked Val, “Oh god no wait, she’s like Godzilla on ice!”
Tom bit his lip, “Valery, there’s no need to broadcast your aggression to others.” Said another female voice.
“Says you Becca.” She replied, “Just wait for her to come past you.”
There was momentary silence, Tom looked over his shoulder at the end of one long slope and saw Clay ski past at high speed.
“My god!” cried Becca.
“SEE I told you!” screamed Val.
“Ok, all three of you get her, I’ll get the board!” said Jen.
“She might eat me,” Becca said.
“Now whose being a bitch?” asked Brett.
“Silence you.” She sneered.
“You ok?” asked Clay as he stopped by Tom’s side.
“Very cold,” he laughed, “Yourself?”
“Alright, making my way their slowly.”
“You’re doing fine, no worries.” Tom laughed patting his back and moving him on slowly just when Lee caught sight of them.
“Was that the same guy?” he asked, with a glare to Clay who moved on and bounced against Crystal accidentally, with little to no effort she struck the ground and lay back, “I’m not in the best state to do this,” she moaned as Jamie lifted her up and Clay apologised profusely.
“Be careful, you don’t want to poison anyone else do you,” he said to Tom whose eyes opened wider.
“Fuck off.” He said dismissively.
“Whatever lover,” Lee said, skiing on ahead leaving Tom in an awkward silence.
“You two having a lovers tiff?” asked Jen from afar, watching Lee ski away from Tomas.
“Its fine,” replied Tom.
“Yeah, everything’s under control Jen you nosey bitch.” Said Lee, turning back to Tom with a sly look and smile.
A high pitched scream from a group far ahead echoed suddenly, “God guys move down here!” Becca frantically cried down the radio, “Hurry!”
Tom skied along the track with Lee who both looked curiously down the track, “Hurry please!” she cried, “Medical assistance needed guys! Send a copter up, or the skidoo’s!”
“Becca what’s up?” cried another voice.
“Something just leaped out of the trees. Some guys are seriously hurt!” she huffed, making her way over to them.
Jen joined the other two while people ahead could be seen staring, all startled and confused as to what they saw leaping overhead. Valery and Brett moved in radioing for help from the others.
“What happened?” asked Tom, turning the side where two large trees had collapsed. Crystal was amongst the injured while Clay was found climbing up the hillside after falling down. Jen and Valery rushed in to help the others while Lee radioed for help. Becca, a stout young girl with rosy cheeks and dark blonde hair tucked back in a small cap rushed over to them with a snowboard underarm, “You didn’t see it?” she cried, “It jumped!”
“Jumped here?” Brett asked, trying to calm her, “Right over the road, it was massive. Covered in fur, flew down to the trees there.” She pointed down the hillside into the scrub where a few snow goers had dived to avoid the trees.
“What was it?” asked Tom, “A bear?”
“Bears don’t jump clear over the track.” She gasped, “I don’t know what it was, it sort of roared when it flew and everyone jumped back scared.”
Tom skied to the edge of the road and stared down into the dusk, dim lit trees.
“Can someone help!” yelled Jen, trying to move a branch to free a mans twisted leg.
In the darkness he saw two eyes peering up at him, so intense and strong they felt as though they were burning through him. A crunch of snow and suddenly the roads edge collapsed, Tom graced across the snow into the undergrowth at high speeds. Tom flew through the trees, branches and needles slapped and cut his face and clothes. The sound of wind rushing past was replaced by the sound of trees; the soft caress of air became the scratches and claws of the branches and needles. He struck a large branch and toppled over, hitting the ground and rolling further into the darkness. A groan and twist later, his body ached all over, the sounds of the branches swinging and snow falling from above didn’t comfort him now he knew he was not making the noise. Tom lifted himself up and stared at the trees, everything went quiet and calm as soon as he looked into the forest.
“Tom!” screamed Brett, Jenny and Becca appeared by his side.
“I’m ok!” he shouted, though his head was spinning and stomach twisted after his fall.
“I’m going to go after him,” said Brett, jumping down.
“Wait,” cried Jen, “I’ll come too.”
“No, stay here with the others. Help these guys first right?”
“What if there’s something in there?”
“Me and Tom can handle it, no worries.”
“Fine,” she groaned.
“I’ll go too,” said Becca, “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure he doesn’t get himself hurt again”
“Thanks Bec.” Jen said, “We’ll keep these guys safe.”
Tom looked around, the snow fell from above and form bushes that rattled as something moved by behind him. He looked over his shoulder but there was nothing there, then he looked back at another source of noise and again nothing was there.
“Tom!” Becca cried, running through the snow with her board under arm.
“Wait there!” he cried, “There’s something here.”
“Are you sure?” Brett asked, leaning against a tree and looking round.
Lee helped Crystal at the side while Valery and Jen helped those scattered across the hill another instructor stopped everyone from coming, though some others continued on ahead having not seen what leaped clear over the path.
“Tom hang on,” said Becca, breaking the silence when they realised there was nothing around them, “I’m going to come and get you.”
“I’m fine,” he said, “Just a bit scratched.”
Tom stood up by himself and held onto a branch for support. “Hang on,”
Becca stepped into a small clearing between Brett and Tom. She turned to the shadows and something ran out at her, with a swing of its lumbering forearm it threw her back into a tree behind Brett. She him the ground and found herself completely winded.
“Becca!” they both cried.
The creatures loafing feet could be heard thumping the ground as it ran by, but when it entered shadows again it fell silent, other than a few movements and rustles of the trees.
“What was that Tom?” Brett asked.
“Just get Becca.” He said, while she lay back and tried to regain her breathing.
A loud roar started the rhythmic beating of the ground. Tom looked over his shoulder and saw a hunched humanoid of thick white pelts. It lay on all fours at first like a large ape and beat the ground with heavy hands. Tom stared at the creature for a moment while it glared back at him with bright eyes that almost glowed with shades of red and yellow.
“Get Becca back up the hill,” he said, slowly making his way towards a tree.
The creature watched from the shadows while Tom moved aside. Brett climbed back to Becca’s side and lifted her up as she groaned and held her hand over her stomach.
“Tom, get back.”
“I’m going to try to lead it away.”
“Aww, don’t be a hero you idiot. Leave it for the rangers to tranq.”
“They can’t get a shot of it under the trees,” he whispered back, “Just get Becca to one side.”
“Right, radio us when you’re clear. We’ll get the chopper backing you.” Brett whispered as he helped Becca through the trees.
Tom watched them climb through the trees he turned back and the creature was gone. Rustling in the trees called his attention back. The shadowed beast charged at him with speed, he jumped aside when it rammed a tree, breaking the bark and bending the branch. He started skiing down the hillside, weaving between trees and branches with the hard drumming of the creatures four limbs following close behind. Brett pulled Becca into the light of torches, he stared up at several rangers who were there to help airlift the injured or carry some off on skidoos.
“We need a tranquilizer!” he cried, “Tomas’ is leading the creature down the hillside. You must track him!” he yelled over the roar of the choppers.
“Is Becca ok?” Jen screamed, jumping down the hillside to help him carry her back to the medics.
“Get a ranger, go to the other end of the forest. Tom needs your help!” he yelled to the rangers.
One of two helicopters in the air pulled in the guide ropes and started over the forest.
“What was that thing? Did you see it?” Val asked, resting Becca against her leg.
“I don’t know, it was dark, I didn’t see it properly.” Jen held him close, revelling over the fact that he was in her arms and uninjured unlike Becca.
“What did it look like?” asked one of the rangers.
“It looked…” he paused to think, “Kind of like a big man. Like a monkey, a mix of both.”
Tom continued down the hill feeling as though the beating of the ground was coming to an end he looked over his shoulder and saw nothing. In than second he felt something hard strike his back and throw him into the air. He cut through branches and somersaulted, landing on his back and loosing breath as he hit the ground.
He opened his eyes and stared up at a creature in the branches, “Fuck!” he gasped, rolling aside when the beast free fell with a closed fist and buried it in the snow where Tom’s chest was.
With a sharp kick of the ski to the head the beast backed away and tried to swat at Tom. He rolled onto his feet and with one pole pushed himself down the hill. The creature was quick to follow in a haze of ice and snow crystals. The rhythmic beating of the chopper blades followed overhead, along with a search light that peered through the forest. Tom broke between trees and saw a sudden drop. He leaned back, his hip striking ice and his body stretching out when he lost the ski pole. The creature leaped out of the trees and into mid air. The chopper hovered high and a ranger took aim with tranquilizers. Skidding to a stop Tom dug his nails into the ice patch, the dart shot from the gun and towards the creature striking its back. Tom covered his face when it flew overhead; he stared up at its face, a sort of grimace from an ape man. The beast flew off the precipice despite scrambling to take hold of a rock which instead it struck hard and bounced off of. Tom twisted around quickly and watched the creature bounce from rock to rock, it seemed like each strike broke it down smaller and smaller, shedding snow and ice to the air. By the time it reached the ground it had disappeared all together.
The helicopter lowered down and shone a powerful search light over the mound that was left, nothing but snow and one tranquilizer dart balanced perfectly on top. Tomas sighed a breath of relief and looked up at the chopper. It rose higher and turned back for the survivors, leaving him with Lee, Val and Jen, who came in search for him after Becca and Brett returned.
That night Tom returned to the resort with a few wounds and cuts, not quite feeling as though he should be in the hills at the restaurant at this very point in time. With what strength he had left he knocked on Martian Rockwells door to which came a quick answer.
“…” Martian was stunned by the current state of Tom, covered in bruises and cuts, “Man you’re tougher than any gay I’ve met before.”
“er, cheers.” Replied Tom “…what exactly does your employer want with me?” he asked.
“Why?” asked Rockwell.
“Well, I’ve just been chased by some big mountain man thing, I was wondering if they’re connected.”
“They could be,” he thought, “To tell you the truth I know as much as you do.”
“Right,” he thought, “So you don’t know anything?”
“Not a clue,” he shrugged, “Try Morgan?”
“I think I’ll give that a go tomorrow.”
“You ok mate? You look – part dead.” commented Martian, leaning against the door.
“The trees savaged me,” he replied, “You don’t have a gun or anything do you?”
“I’m glad you asked,” he smirked, “I do happen to have one, but I’m not parting with it.”
“Ok,” he thought, “Without sounding too forwards, can I stay here tonight?”
“In my room?” he asked, “I don’t know…”
“Please, that thing almost killed me and my friends,”
“So you want to bring it to me?” he asked.
“You said you have a gun!”
“Right,” sighed Martian, “Ok, I guess it’s the closest to an adventure I’ll get. Guarding some dude who can’t take on a big hairy man.”
“You didn’t see the size of this thing.” He said, stumbling into Martians room.
“You know what bed you want?” he asked, keeping a distance from Tom as he limped in and wiped blood from his face.
“I’ll sleep of the couch,” he laughed, “Don’t stress.”
“Right ok then, well the guns on the table.”
Tom nodded and hobbled in, “Can I use your bathroom?”
“Go right for it,” Martian closed the door and gave him long hard look, unsure how to deal with this stranger in his flat and whether or not he’d just made the story up to get some ‘alone time’.
“So…” said Rockwell at one end of the room in the darkness of the night, “How did you know you were gay?”
“…er.” Tomas paused, “I guess, when I started to find men attractive?” he suggested.
“Yeah, but how can you tell you’re gay through that?” asked Martian to Tom, at opposite ends of the room.
“…man you’re clueless.” laughed Tom, rolling over and curling up in the blankets.
“and you’re gay,” he laughed to himself, before climbing out of bed to wander to the kitchen.
Tom stretched out and looked up at the haze of the man as he stopped next to the breakfast counter, staring out the window.
“Tom…” he asked, staring at the darkened hillside.
“What?” he asked.
“How tall was that thing you saw?”
“A good nine, ten feet.” He thought, “Big, and it was hunched over.”
“Right,” he said, slowly edging towards the table.
“No reason.” Said Martian, with a nervous smile, he reached for the gun and slowly lifted it to the glass, “Just don’t turn around.”
Unable to fight the curiosity, Tomas looked over his shoulder at what appeared to be a large silhouette of the creature at the glass. Its hand lifted and pressed against the pane behind the curtains.
“Wait,” said Tom, keeping Martian from firing at the glass.
He peered between through the gap with a curious look. Then stood up slowly with both hands firmly grasping the curtains and opened them up. Martian jumped back and almost squeezed the trigger, but there was nothing there other than some night lights.
Tom slowly backed away from the glass, hearing the same sounds of rhythmic thumping against the ground. He looked over his shoulder towards the door and Martians bed where he saw a shadow move. Martian looked back, and instantly swung around with the gun, both walked down the short hall past the kitchen and bathroom towards the bedrooms, having been eluded by the beasts tricks, it was standing at the window watching them move on.
Martian jumped into the small cutch where the bunk bed stood but again, there was nothing.
“Ok,” he thought, looking back to the clear windows with a view of the valleys in darkness, “You mind sharing a bed?”
“What?” Tom asked.
“You know, safety,” Martian thought, taking up another cover, “It’s alright, so long as you stay in your own covers. I mean, that’s not gay at all is it?”
“Nah,” thought Tom, giving him a curious look, “Not at all man, don’t stress.” He took the gun slowly with a short nod.
That morning Tom was already dressed and ready to leave while Martian was just waking up.
“Sleep snug?” asked Tom.
“Yeah,” he thought, “Oddly enough.”
“Good, good,” he thought, “Well I’ve got more lessons to teach. Are you still here tonight?”
“I bet you say that to all the guys,” he laughed, “I think I’d better try to catch up with the others now.”
“Right, well I’ll give you guys a call when I’m free and I’ll drop by to see about the job, right?”
“Sounds good.” he nodded, as Tom walked to the doors, “Watch out for the yeti.”
“I intend to,” he laughed, “Oh, mind if I borrow your gun by the by?”
“On the table,”
“Thanks lover!” he cried, swiping the gun before he left.
“Don’t call me that!” he glared as Tom left.
No sooner had Tom left did a knock at the door come. Martian climbed out of bed with the same modesty as Tom had when they met the morning before. He opened the door and stared at Lee in a sleepy daze.
“What were you doing with Tom?” he asked accusingly.
“Nothing,” he said, “Who’re you?”
“Lee,” he introduced himself, “Little advice guy, you sleep with that man your life is ruined. He’s a biological curse.”
“What?” Martian asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
“You heard.” He said, walking off and leaving Martian in complete confusion, with a groan he turned away and collapsed on the bed just as his phone started to ring. Another groan and he launched it across the room, having had no sleep in the night from fear of this creature haunting his room.
Tom walked into the warmth of the alpine day with his skis under arm. Amongst a large crowd one person stood out. Formally dressed she approached from afar with her hands behind her back and two bodyguards following.
“Mr. Jackson?” she asked, looking up at him, her glasses catching the glare of sunlight.
“Yeah?” he replied, “Do I know you?”
“My name is Amy Pritchard. You won’t have heard of me but we’re interested in talking to you.”
“To me?” he asked, “What’s so special about me?”
“Your, personal curse.” She said under breath, “We know about your medical records Mr. Jackson and you’ve been chosen as liable to trial Serra’s Cure for free, if you’d wish it.”
“Serra’s cure?” he asked.
“I see you’re busy,” she smiled, looking at the skis, “I don’t mind walking and talking if that’s more efficient?”
He laughed and looked around, “Sure, makes me feel like a big important business man mind.”
“Well this little enterprise might make you very wealthy indeed.” She smiled, following him along the path towards the kiosk, “If you’ve not heard Serra’s Cure is a new form of anti-pathogenic cure, specifically targeted for anything non human.”
“What does it do?” he asked.
“It is a medical breakthrough.” She said eagerly, “It’s a form of retro-virus adapted only to inhabit alien cells to the human body. First it must be configured to the specific human body and then it goes about destroying and de-activating bacterial and viral strains within the host.”
“Virus’?” he asked, “You can cure them?”
“Well,” she smiled, “We can try. It’s a trial as I said. Not 100% as of yet, but we’re hoping to use it to redevelop modern medicine. We’ve selected numerous people globally with illness’ similar to yours to trial.”
“Where is it?” he asked, “How do you do it?”
“All questions will be answered in good time. Our medical facility is in North America. We can arrange a free flight there and back and a visa for you without fail.”
“Alright,” he thought, “Well, I’ll have to think this through.”
“Of course,” she smiled, offering him a business card, “Call that number; I’ll be in the area for the next fortnight.”
Amy and the two bodyguards left Tomas standing in awe, starring at this simple yet stylish card with the name Surreal Technology and a sponsoring logo called ‘Cell Star’ with the catch ‘Serra’s cure, let nothing stand in your way’ printed across the card. With an intrigued thought he tucked the card into his pocket.
“Hey slowpoke,” came Jen’s voice over the radio, “Make your way to the kiosk hero, the guys have some gifts for you. Love you lots and lots!” she added with a loud kissing noise as she and the others stood at the kiosk with flowers and gifts for the hero of the day.