Logan Seals – A Trip to Earth

Luke reached for the small crowbar in his pack, struggling with the zipper against the caked sand that lined the edges of the opening. It took him an abnormal amount of time to find it with all of the other supplies he had brought hooking on the curve of the crowbar every time he pulled. Not to mention the new gravity he still was having trouble adjusting to. He finally was able to get it free from his pack, nearly knocking himself over in the process. The goggles over his eyes started to fog, and the bearing heat from the sun beat down on him like falling rocks. The sand whipped up into his face as he reached under his goggles to wipe the fog away. Annoyed, Luke complained to his companion Leon, who had made him come all this way for something he had no interest in. Leon was pretty much the head honcho in the trading business back on Mars. He had quite a reputation for getting his way with people, whether it be through force or through his quick wit. Either way he was considered to be the guy in charge. And Luke was lucky enough to be his best friend.

“Ya know we left this planet for a reason, right?” Luke complained. 

“Shut up and help me open this. This could be a huge find and it would be worth a lot.”

“Let’s just go back! It will only take a second. Besides we aren’t going to find anything.” He pleaded, pointing back at the ship.

“Yes we will. I got these coordinates from a reliable source, now come on.”

Earth had been abandoned by humans many years ago. The only thing left on the barren planet now was old relics, dust, and sand dunes. Occasionally, people had encountered the natives. That is who you don’t want to see on a trip to Earth. They are cannibals, wild and deformed, they weren’t allowed on the last transport out to Mars. They have been known to go so far as to raise humans like livestock just to eat, or they will just eat the occasional traveler. Other than that, Earth was nothing but an empty wasteland. Even on the way in Luke was able to spot what he thought looked like remains of New York City. The only other people you would find on earth were scavengers and black market traders. Which, is who they happened to be. Luke looked down at what they had stumbled upon. A small metal square lay on the ground at the bottom of the large dune they had come to investigate in the first place. Leon eagerly used his brush to wipe away the sand that was covering the top, mumbling to himself about how many units he was going to make from whatever was in this hole. After brushing it all off, the two could now see that it had a handle over the top, and could barely make out the wording that crossed the top: ‘THE MUSIC HOLE,’ in extravagant letters, which didn’t really seem to fit on what looked like some sort of bunker.  Luke had absolutely no clue who‘s bunker it might have been, but Leon sure was in quite a hurry to get the small door open. 

“This is it! This is what we’ve been looking for! Hurry lets get this open!”

Leon pulled vigorously at the handle, but to no avail. After trying to pull the door open for some time, reluctantly, Luke jammed the crowbar underneath the crack in the metal door, and pried until it was launched off nearly taking a chunk out of Luke’s head. The two then cautiously peered down the hole into a dark and cobwebbed corridor. A rusty ladder hung down from the edge of the hole upon which they were standing. Leon immediately began his decent into the dark room, motioning for Luke to follow him. Luke again struggled with the zipper on his pack trying to find his flashlight, then he climbed down the ladder after his boss. Once he was inside, he pointed the flashlight around. They seemed to be in some kind of hallway, though it didn’t seem like a hallway that a shelter or a bunker would have. There was a musty smell, as if no one had been inside for a long time. There was a door at each end of the hallwayThe walls were lined with pictures of various musicians, from which time period Luke didn’t know. Each picture had something under it, some kind of disc. They were each labeled with a name. One of them said:  ‘Back in Black,’ and another was labeled: ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’ Luke shined his light around until he found a lever with an electrical label next to the ladder they had climbed in on. He pulled down on it, and with a mechanical whirr, lights flickered on along the corridor.

“This is nuts” Leon exclaimed. He had a bigger smile on his face than Luke had ever seen. “Let’s split up. You go through that door, ill go through this one.”

Luke nodded, they split and proceeded down their separate hallways. The door at the end of it was large and made of metal, but it was cracked open slightly, which worried Luke that someone had already looted this place. He grabbed the door and pulled, throwing his weight into it. It slowly squeaked open, just enough for Luke to squeeze through. Once he entered the room, more lights came on, illuminating where he was, and he realized that no one had been here in a long time. It was a square room, probably 15 feet across. There were a few old couches, a really old refrigerator, and a dinner table in the middle. The wall to his right had a fake painting that covered the whole of the wall, it seemed to portray a concert, a man was singing, with long dark hair and a spangly outfit. However, the thing that caught Luke’s eye was what was sitting in the far corner of the room. He couldn’t tell what it was, but it was what the man in the painting was holding. It was bright red, in an odd shape. It had what looked like electrical wires that moved up a long shaft, which ended with another odd shape with knobs that were connected to the wires. Just the shine that it was giving off told Luke that he should bring it back with them to Mars.

“Leon! Come here!” Luke yelled.

Leon came running into the other room.

“I didn’t find what I was- That’s it! That’s what I came for! We’re gonna be rich man! This is going to make us famous, trust me.”

“Well what is it?”

“It’s a guitar!” Leon exclaimed, as if Luke was supposed to know what that was.

“Oh…Ok.”

Confused, Luke just went along with what he was saying. If Leon said it would make money, it probably would, so he grabbed the guitar, and a couple of old action figures he found on a shelf, along with a small pocket knife, and set out back to the ship. At this point it had become dark, and the lights from the ship were distant in the desert landscape. As the two of them walked along in the night, Leon started to play a song on this ‘guitar.’ Luke was amazed. He would never had guessed that to be an instrument of music. Leon strummed the chords and plucked the wires and made a sound so wholesome, one that Luke had never heard before.

“Where did you learn to do that?” Luke asked.

“I learned when I was-“

Just then he was cut off by a loud squeal, and the two of them were out cold without warning. When Luke awoke, he had a massive headache. He looked around through blurry vision, and saw that he was in some sort of tent, laying on the sand, with his hands and feet tied up. He squirmed around as he came more to his senses, and saw that Leon was next to him, still not conscious. Luke looked around the tent for anything that might help him escape the situation, but to no avail. Suddenly, the tent opened, and there stood a very large man, at least 7 feet tall. His face was covered and he was wearing clothes that were torn and dirty, and sandals with rope. He was holding a large wooded staff in one hand, and the guitar that they had found in the other. Luke thought for a moment he saw six fingers gripping the staff. He saw Luke squirming around and screeched.

“OOH BABA BOSO”

He hit Luke square in the chest with the staff, knocking the wind out of him. The large man closed the door with another yell and Luke could hear others yelling the same outside of the tent. It was at this point that Luke realized he was in a native camp. Of course the one time he came to earth with Leon this would happen. He rolled over to Leon.

“Hey…Hey” he said in an urgent whisper

Leon rolled over, revealing the large bump on his head. He only managed to get out a grunt before he rolled back over and passed out. Luke sat there for a moment trying to figure out what to do. Just then near his head he saw the small pocket knife he had grabbed from the bunker. It was half buried in the sand, which he could only guess was why the natives hadn’t seen it. He shimmied his way up to the knife, and grabbed it with his hands which were tied behind his back. After a couple of minutes, he got it open and cut the rope around his wrists. His ankles were tied up as well, so he bent down and cut that rope too. Luke now had to decide his next plan of action. He decided he was going to cut Leon out of his bonds, then try to escape without anyone noticing. He waited until it sounded like every resident of the camp was far from their tent, then he quietly opened the tent door, dragging Leon behind him. Once he was out in the open, he looked to his right and saw rows of tents. At the end of his row, probably 100 yards away from where they were, was a large gathering of people around a fire. They were dancing, and eating, what they were eating Luke preferred not to think about. Off to his left, he could still see the lights from his ship, though they were considerably farther away this time. Just as he was about to sneak away, he saw the guitar. 

It was leaned up against the tent across from them. Entranced by the shine of the paint, he gently set Leon down and walked over to it, paying no attention to the natives who at this point had seen him. He grabbed the guitar, sat down, and began to play. To his surprise, he wasn’t that bad. Actually he was quite good. The music seemed to flow through him, as if he had been playing the guitar his whole life. He closed his eyes and allowed the music to do the work for him. He played a beautiful melody, one that he had heard back on Mars when he was a child. He could hear every note and see where to put his fingers before he even played. Then he finished, and opened his eyes. He nearly jumped out of his body when he saw a crowd of natives standing around him. His fear creeped up his spine like spiders on a tree limb. Tensing up, he prepared to make a last mad dash for his life. Suddenly, they began to bow down. They began to worship him as some sort of god!

“OOH AHHH OOH AHHH”

Even Leon had woken up and was in awe, sitting down behind the group of natives. 

They let Luke and Leon go after this amazing display of natural talent, as long as they left the guitar. On the way back to the ship Leon asked,

“Where did you learn how to do that?”

To which Luke replied,

“From you I guess.”

After this strange experience, Luke left Earth and never returned again.

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