Often Mystic

The Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig this week was to write a horror story of 500 words or so framed as a spam email. I went over 500 and I would not say this is a horror story, although some might call it that. I call it …

Often Mystic


An ordinary day.

I’m at my ordinary desk in my ordinary home in front of my old computer.

I am bored.

My wife says that if a person is bored it’s because they are boring. I don’t think she likes me anymore.

I tell her I get bored because I know I am smarter than everyone else is, except maybe my oldest son, Isaac. He can run rings around me logically and intellectually. I don’t think Isaac likes me much either, come to think of it.

He’s all philosophical and atheistic and such, while I tend to the mystic. In fact, I am often mystic. I always say that instead of saying ‘optimistic’; I say, “Well, I am often mystic about that.”

People don’t get it. They don’t understand. That’s how I know I am smarter than they are.

Anyway, I digress, because this next thing was something exciting on an ordinary day.

I hear the Beep da-da boo-beep that means I have a new email. Most people don’t use the sound feature for their email alert anymore, but I like it. I like being informed before anyone else. I like being alerted.

I bring up the message and read:

Gracious felicitations Mr. Smith,
Pardon this intrusion into your busy life, but I am hoping you will be happy to receive this message, once understood.
First I must warn you that on what you would call Sunday, December 25th, 2024 at about 9:00 am, the world will witness an enormous bright light blossom in the sky, just a few degrees to the east of the star you call Polaris.
This magnificent light is actually the death of a billion suns in a distant galaxy.
Of course, this event happened long, long ago (from my perspective), however its repercussions have lingered and grown for thousands of years and are now coming to roost (I believe this is the correct expression) on your planet.
Not to worry. In advance of this awesome event unfolding before your eyes, our warp ships will arrive sometime next year. Naturally, I cannot give you the exact date. These ships merely serve as the advance scouts for the armada that will follow closely behind. I am proud to say that I am communicating with you from the flagship of the advance party.
It may seem strange to you that we have decided to focus on your little planet, especially when you have had no prior indication that there actually is anyone or anything else living ‘out there’ (or from my perspective, ‘out here’), but rest assured, your world has some—shall we say—bountiful attributes that are highly attractive.
It may be even harder still to believe that I have chosen you (yes you!) amongst all 7 billion souls on your planet for this one-time and very generous offer. Once more, you can be certain we have done our research and yes, you are indeed the right candidate.
Prepare yourself; the following is your fantastic opportunity:
We would like to bestow upon you the title of ‘People’s Representative Of The Primary Hump-Enzer Terraformers’. We, of course, being the aforementioned Primary Hump-Enzer Terraformers. With this lofty title come riches, power, land and whatever else you so desire.
Your duties will be simple: you will be the bearer of all communications between us—the looming armada—and the rest of humankind.
Oh, and you will also do everything we ask.
All that is needed for you to claim your prize is to sacrifice your first-born and transmit the resultant blood DNA to us for our study and … manipulation. You may easily accomplish this via your primitive microwave transmissions. Please do not worry; we will retrieve it in good time.
Once we arrive, we will make it known to mankind that you are the P.R.O.P.H-E.T and everything should proceed nicely from that point on … for you, especially.
Mr Smith, we look forward to working with you and eagerly anticipate your reply and subsequent … sacrificial donation.
Gologon Orp Deru,
Captain, Advance Flag Ship
Primary Hump-Enzer Terraformers Fleet
Approaching Milky Way Galaxy (courtesy local terms of reference)
Should you not wish to receive this blessing and make the required sacrifice, you and all of your family and descendants will be passed over for any … well, for anything. And we will choose that nice-looking Asian gentleman down the street instead.

Hey, I know the Asian guy that Captain Deru is talking about.   I think his name is Gotma or something like that. Well, no way I’m letting him be the PR guy.

So … this is exciting, right? Well, I think so. In fact, I gotta say I am often mystic about this.

I don’t care if Cap got my name wrong, he can call me by my real name Abraham or Smith or any name he likes. I don’t care, especially from now on.

I call my wife, “Hey Sara, where’s that smarty-pants Isaac?”


9 thoughts on “Often Mystic

  1. Lisa

    Kinda made me giggle, wondering how your real eldest will interpret this. I am thoroughly enjoying all your writings!

  2. wildbilbo

    Ok, this had some great spots in it – sacrificial donation/where’s Issac – was my particular favourite.

    I think the thing I find most horrible is that there are people silly enough to fall for this.


    1. colinjkeats Post author

      Thanks for your kind comments. It is sad that people believe sometimes just what they want to believe and often it is the ones who think they are too smart to fall for things that do in the end, which is sort of where I was going with the character. I mean, it is entirely reasonable that *I* would be chosen out of all the millions of people to win a sweepstakes that I never even entered … yet we want to be special and we want so desparately to win and get ahead.

      1. wildbilbo

        Oh yeah, Im sure that one day I will click on something I really shouldn’t, safe in the belief I am much too clever to be suckered into any scam 🙂

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