This first picture has nothing to do with the story. It’s just a tiny little door.
Now the story, inspired by a photo from RetirementallyChallenged and part of Dan Anton’s Thursday Doors Writing Challenge. The story was getting over-long, so I’m posting it in two parts. Next installment next Thursday.
Steffie Makes The Sale — Part 1
Steffie was not unaccustomed to being picked up at a random spot on a random street by a black car with tinted windows. If the driver was her handler, Pete, she would discuss whatever he wanted to discuss or take whatever orders he gave her. If it was someone else, she would get back out of the car. The someone else never would.
This time, it was Pete.
As seldom happened, she objected to her orders.
“You’re very persuasive. We need this person persuaded. This person really needs to be sold on our product. You know: Freedom and stuff.”
She nodded. She was very persuasive. But. “I know a lot of very persuasive people. People who persuade for a living.”
“Upstairs wants you. They say you’re flexible. Quick. Reliable.”
The curse of being good at your job.
“I don’t have time to argue,” Pete said. “In fact, I’m taking you to the rendezvous point now.”
Steffie was always going to take the order, so she didn’t object. “What do we know about the target?”
“Not much. Not even their gender, supposing they have one. They just showed up at the Gas Stop right at the edge of town, where that land was leveled for the construction that never happened. Asked for a bag of potato chips. The clerk figured he was being pranked, so he went along with it. But they were out of chips. So this person levitated a potato, a shaker of salt, and a mylar balloon, smashed them together in mid-air, and a bag of potato chips fell into their hands. Laid a diamond on the counter and walked out.”
“So the person doesn’t quite look like a … person?”
“Not so much. Looks like one of those Roswell aliens, pure white, but the clerk figured it was a costume. Until the DIY potato chips and the diamond.”
“So this person is an alien?”
Pete shook his head. “Aliens don’t look like that.”
“Upstairs says not an alien. That’s all I know. Whoever and whatever this is and wherever this came from, we need exclusive access. They’ll open the door, but they don’t listen to anything. They say, ‘Don’t want,’ and slam the door.”
“You’ll see. Upstairs wants you to get in, start communications, and get us a lock on whatever technology this person has. They have to give us that. It’s imperative.”
“What’s their alternative?”
Pete shifted his shoulders. “We don’t know what would appeal to this person, or what would threaten.”
“Or what would kill?”
“Pretty sure a flame-thrower would.”
“Got one in the trunk?”
Tune in next week for the thrilling finale to “Steffie Makes The Sale”.
Thursday doors is under the direction of Dan Antion, photographer extraordinaire and critter daddy. Visit his site, enjoy his wonderful photographs, follow his directions, and enter a world of doors.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about a salesman who won’t take no for an answer.