30 Stories in 30 Days #11 – “Directions”
Something woke Peter. He glanced around his darkened bedroom, but couldn’t see anything. Then he heard what sounded like someone bumping into his kitchen table, followed by a muffled curse.
Peter rolled out of bed and landed in a crouch. He reached under his bed and found the baseball bat he kept there.
Standing, he rushed to his bedroom door. He eased it open and looked out into his living room dimly lit by a streetlight. At first, he didn’t see anything, but then a tall man wearing a silvery uniform stepped out from his kitchen.
Peter slammed the door open and flicked on the light switch. Stepping into the room he pointed the bat at the man and yelled, “Who the hell are you?”
The man squinted in the light. “I’m dreadfully sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to intrude. Would you happen to know how to get to the Battle of Hastings from here?”
Peter blinked a few times. “What?”
“Hmmm.” The man looked at his left hand and holographic images of red spheres and cubes appeared above it. The man studied them for a few seconds then touched one of the cubes with his right forefinger. The figures turned green, and the man said, “Ah. I should have turned left at Alpha Centauri.”
He nodded to Peter and said, “I’m sorry to have inconvenienced you. It won’t happen again.” He then vanished with a fairly loud pop.
Peter dropped his bat and slumped down onto the floor. He sat there for several minutes before he got up and checked out his apartment. He was alone and the door and windows were still locked. But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t fall back asleep that night.