Sep. 10, 2014


By Milton Cust

Whisper, whisper, whisper, rustle, rustle, rustle.
13 year old Melissa Harding was woken from her sound sleep by noises in her bedroom. At first she just lay in her bed and tried to peer through the darkness of her room but when she saw no one or heard nothing she thought she was just imagining things and rolled over to go back to sleep.
She was just drifting off when she heard something that made her come instantly awake again and prop herself up in her bed.
Whisper, whisper, whisper, rustle, rustle, rustle. There it was again and this time she knew she wasn’t imagining things. There was definitely somebody or something in her bedroom. Still unable to see anything in the darkness she reached over and turned on her bedside lamp expecting to see her dad or mom or maybe her pesky little brother trying to play some trick on her. If it was him he was certainly going to get because she had told him hundreds of times to stay out of her room, but sometimes he would enter it anyway just to bug her.
But there was nobody there, not her parents, not her little brother, nobody. The lamp illuminated every corner of her bedroom so it was impossible for anybody to be hiding. So then where did the noise come from? Her bathroom, Melissa thought and then got out of bed and looked in it but found nothing. Then she had another idea and went to her window which was opened to keep her room cool. She cautiously peered through it, thinking maybe it was somebody outside that made the noises but again she saw nobody and the night was silent but for some trees that swayed gently in the warm summer breeze. Melissa stood listening for a moment and watching the slight movements of the tree branches. It seemed to her that occasionally they did seem to rub against the eave of the house.
That’s it, she mumbled to herself, tree branches. Mystery solved!
Feeling a little ashamed over being frightened by such a stupid thing, Melissa turned to go back to bed when she heard the noise again.
Whisper, whisper, whisper, rustle, rustle, rustle.
The sound made her jump in surprise. It wasn’t the trees at all. The noise seemed to be coming from her closet.
Was her brother in there, trying to scare her?
She was furious as she threw open the door to the closet, prepared to deal with her brother by grabbing a hold of him and bodily throwing him out of her room. But there was nothing, nobody there. The closet was small so it was easy for Melissa to push aside her clothes to make sure her brother wasn’t hiding in the back of it but he wasn’t.
Now what, Melissa asked herself as she closed the closet door. Ghosts, boogeymen! She laughed at the thought of that idea. She was 13, a teenager and too old to believe in such things, but still, Melissa was forced to consider the possibility as she looked around her room. If there was nobody in it or the closet, then where was the noise coming from?
She remembered when she was younger and used to wake up in the middle of the night, thinking there were ghosts in her room. She recalled how it used to scare her so badly she would run crying into her parent’s room where her dad would hold her to console her and then take her by the hand, lead her back into her room and together they would search every nook and cranny until she was satisfied there were no boogeymen.
As Melissa thought about those memories she realized the only place she hadn’t looked was under the bed. When her dad did it, they always looked under the bed so she quickly bent down to look hoping to use the same logic her dad used to calm her growing fears. But there was nothing under the bed but a few pieces of lint so she was about to tell herself, see all these fears are crazy, there is nobody in your room.
Then Melissa heard the noise again, whisper, whisper, whisper, rustle, rustle, rustle. And it was coming from the closet, this time she was sure of it so she took a few quick steps and pulled the door open again but this time slowly and more cautiously.
Knowing there was nothing big hiding in there, she grabbed a shoe and kept her eyes glued to the floor as she began to methodically search through some boxes and shoes. She carefully kicked and prodded each one with her foot, expecting a mouse to run out when it’s hiding place was discovered. As Melissa dug deeper into the far corner of the closet she expected to see the mouse at any moment so she held the shoe at the ready so she could give it a good whack. Even though she was usually so scared of mice she screamed and ran at the first sight of them, this time she was fully prepared to do battle with it. That little varmint had made so angry that she was bound and determined to stand her ground and give it a good smack right on its head.
It was behind a box in the farthest corner of the closet that Melissa discovered what was making the noise and it wasn’t a mouse. It was farthest thing possible from a mouse. It was a tiny, human man she saw crouched behind one of her old beat up sneakers and it was hard to tell who gave the biggest scream. Him or her.
Melissa gave a startled wild yell and screamed “there you are” and was fully prepared to swing her shoe at the miniature man because after all she had been through she was in no mood to back down from anybody or anything.
At the same time the three inch tall male was yelling at her, “please don’t hit me, I come in peace.”
“Peace, what do you mean peace,” Melissa demanded as she starred in disbelief at the diminutive little human who stood looking up at her.
“We will not hurt you so please, put down the shoe,” the man stated and that statement suddenly seemed very funny to Melissa. He’s three inches tall and only weighs a few pounds and I’m five foot tall and weigh 90 pounds and he promises not to hurt me. I must look like the giant of all giants to him and he promises not to hurt me.
“Hurt me,” Melissa snorted in derision. “I don’t know who or what you are but if you don’t come out into the light where I can see you then I’m going to hurt YOU.” She waved the shoe menacingly as she peered down at the strange little man through the dim light in the closet.
“All right, okay, we’re coming out,” the man replied as he began to walk towards Melissa who kept a wary eye on him as she stepped backwards into her room. Her eyes popped wide open in utter surprise when she saw the head of a second little man suddenly pop up from inside her shoe. He seemed to take forever as he laboriously climbed out of her shoe and joined his companion in the march out of the closet.
It only took Melissa two steps to be back in the bedroom but the two small men took about a dozen before they were out of closet and Melissa got her first good look at them. They looked like real human guys, alright, only in a radically condensed version and the more Melissa studied them the more they somehow seemed to look familiar. It was when she knelt down on the floor to get a better look at them that it suddenly dawned on her what she was looking at.
Miniature Star Trek characters, complete with Star Fleet uniforms. Her eyes grew big and round when she recognized the Vulcan, Tuvock and the handsome star ship pilot, Tom Paris as the two little people standing before her.
“This can’t be real, I must be still sleeping, dreaming all this,” Melissa asked the pair who up until now had remained silent. Then to prove her point she pinched herself on the arm but yelled “OUCH” at the sudden pain. “No, you are not dreaming, this is very real and yes, we are from the Star Ship Voyager. You see we do exist out there in space, Tuvock explained in the same logical voice that Melissa had heard countless times on TV.
“I am Tuvock and this is Tom Paris,” he added and Melissa replied,” I know, I know who you are but aren’t you supposed to be just on TV. I know I’m only 13 but I’m not that stupid. You guys are played by actors from Hollywood or somewhere and somebody writes up all those things you do. Everybody knows that.”
“If everybody knows that, than why are we here in your room and not on your TV,” the ever logical Tuvock asked. He then answered his own question by saying “therefore if we are here, it is logical that we are real.”
“Oh yeah, than what about your size? The real Star Trek characters are life size and you two are so small your space ship must be the size of a shoe box,” Melissa asked with a triumphant look on her face. Feeling as if she had finally bested these guys.
“We are life size but unfortunately we had a mal-function in our transporter system when we beamed down here and it shrunk us to this size,” Paris explained.
“And why are you’re here, hiding in my closet,” Melissa demanded to know.
“Because we followed the Borg here,” Paris explained
“Borg in my room,” Melissa asked in a skeptical voice.
“Yes, the Borg and they do intend to assimilate you and everybody else on Earth as well so we need your help,” Tuvock replied.
Melissa eyes moved around her room even though she had just finished thoroughly searching it.
When she found nothing, she turned her attention back towards the closet, suddenly recalling she had discovered Tuvock and Paris before searching the final two boxes in her closet.
With a frown and a look of concern on her face, she picked up her sneaker again and reached back inside her closet to find the boxes. There they were, side by side in the farthest corner of the closet. Were the Borg in one of them?
Yes, they had to be because it was the only place she hadn’t searched yet, Melissa reasoned. Now what to do? At first Melissa was prepared to kick the boxes to see if the Borg would pop out like Tuvock and Paris, but after a moment she reconsidered the idea. If the Borg were in them they would jump out and scatter and she would have a big job trying to track them all down. So instead of kicking at the boxes she reached in and grabbed both of them, then backed out of the closet holding one in each hand. They had lids on them so she couldn’t see what was inside of them but as Melissa placed each one to her ear, she felt she could definitely hear noises.
“The Borg must in here,” Melissa told Tuvock and Paris as she set the boxes down on the floor. The pair stepped up to the boxes but they were so short their heads barely reached the top of them.
“Now what do I do,” Melissa asked?
“If the Borg are in there you must destroy them immediately which might be difficult as everyone knows the Borg are very hard to kill. They are very resilient,” Tuvock said
Melissa nodded in agreement, then took the lids of both boxes. Sure enough, tiny, miniature Borg in their strange costumes were marching around in circles with their mechanical beady eyes staring up at her.
“You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile,” she could hear them chanting when she peered down into the box.
“So you think resistance is futile, well we’ll see about that,” Melissa spoke back to the dwarf-like creatures. Then she carefully put the lid back on the boxes because she didn’t want any Borg to somehow escape, but also because she couldn’t stand the sight of them. They looked so ugly to her.
Once she was sure the lids were on secure enough that they couldn’t be dislodged, she stepped back to consider what she would have to do to destroy the Borg. They are so small I could get a big book and start swatting them down like flies but Melissa shuddered at the thought of getting that close to the Borg. Besides, it’ll be too messy and I’ll just have to flush them down the toilet when I’m done.
At the mention of the word toilet, Melissa ceased her contemplation, stood up and went into her bathroom. Yes, the toilet is probably the best place for them, she told herself. I’ll flush them all down the drain so to speak, she muttered as she eyed the toilet. But just to make sure they’re properly assimilated into their new home, I’ll add a few things. Then Melissa reached down and opened up the doors to a small cabinet where her mother kept cleaning products. After pulling several containers, she studied the labels on a couple marked with a big X with the word poisonous written underneath them.
Which one to use, well why not both, Melissa decided so she poured something called Draino into the toilet bowl as well as something from another bottle that had a great big acid sign on it. She watched it sizzle and bubble in the bowel for a moment. Satisfied she returned to her bedroom and got the boxes.
“Where were you, I could hear the Borg trying to get out. Don’t you understand that they must be destroyed,” Tuvock demanded.
“I know and I have found a perfect solution,” Melissa said.
With a box under each arm she returned to the bathroom and was happy to see that her concoction was still bubbling away in the toilet bowl.
Taking a lid off the first box, Melissa heard the “you will be assimilated chant,” again and said “try assimilating this,” just as she tipped the box over so that the Borg tumbled out and into the seething cauldron that awaited them. She then quickly emptied the Borg out of the second box and watched as they too hit the bubbling water in the toilet bowl with a splash. She saw that within in seconds of landing in the toilet bowl, most of them were consumed by her concoction. Others managed to stay on top of the water for a bit but soon became smoking, smoldering ruins as the caustic substances ate away at them. In a few minutes they had all disappeared beneath the surface but Melissa waited several more until she was satisfied that all the Borg were gone.
Then she flushed the toilet and said with an air of finality. “I guess resistance wasn’t all that futile.”