Can't Remember Dick part two
By Galaxy 1001D
"I can't believe how good I look!" Mary smiled as Nina drove her home.
Nina, her friend and secretary was an Afro-American woman of indeterminate age. "I know, you're a whole new woman! It's amazing. Did you volunteer for some new procedure or what?"
"I don't remember doing so, but thanks to the painkillers I don't remember anything clearly," Mary laughed. "I even imagined that a bunch of weirdoes came into my room and told me they were aliens before doing a bunch of science fiction mumbo jumbo to me! Isn't that hysterical?"
"You were out of it girl," Nina shook her head. "You were a nine point two on the buzzard scale. Somebody up there must really like you. I don't know about you but I'm going back to church!"
"Yeah, me too!" Mary smiled. "None of the doctors know what happened. This looks like a case of divine intervention if I ever saw it. I just wonder why I imagined angels that looked like a bunch of jerks and weirdoes? I guess in this cynical scientific age my subconscious rejects anything magical or miraculous. If Jesus himself walked up to me I'd just think he was a Jewish hippie."
"Is that why you imagined aliens?"
"I didn't imagine aliens," Mary shook her head. "I imagined a group of weirdoes who said they were aliens. I didn't even see any Star Trek stuff. I am such a cynic that my drug addled hallucinations don't have any magic in them! Is that pathetic or what?" Mary laughed before she sobered. "That's pathetic," she said seriously. "If I'm going to hallucinate why couldn't I dream of angels or pixies? You'd think that as an anthropology professor I'd have a whole planet worth of symbolism to choose from. Instead I just imagined a bunch of ordinary people who acted strange."
"Maybe they were angels," Nina suggested. "You know, they were those 'Touched by an Angel' kind of angels that look just like normal folks so nobody knows they're dong the Lord's work. Unless you can figure out a reason why aliens would do the same thing."
"I can't," Mary shook her head. "And the strangest thing was that one of them told me his name was Dick Solomon, that man I dated off and on for six years but for some reason can't remember."
Nina hit the brakes. The cars behind her did the same and honked their horns. "Say what?" she demanded as she glared at Mary. "You say one of them said his name was Dick Solomon? Mary you better hope it was a hallucination, 'cause that man is bad news! The guy was batcrap crazy girl! You were so strong before you met him and after he and his freaky family disappeared you became an alcoholic. You better hope he's not back to undo what the Lord has done for you. You're finally on the road to recovery. Don't throw it all away girl!"
"Nina, it's not like this guy could really exist!" Mary chuckled uncertainly. "What are you talking about? The drugs messed around with my subconscious and churned up stuff that's been repressed so much its degenerated into confabulation, that's all. Maybe your 'Touched by an Angel' people are new at their jobs like Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life and used whatever tomfoolery they could think of to cover up a divine intervention. It doesn't mean anything, you silly."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Nina snickered as she started the car again and continued driving Mary home. "It doesn't matter if your guardian angels are screw-ups as long as they get the job done."
"If my guardian angels are screw-ups it sure would explain a lot!" Mary chuckled. "I probably wasn't supposed to become an alcoholic in the first place and they probably had to save my life to save their jobs!" She laughed hysterically before she sobered. "I'm over sixty, a slut, a boozehound, and living alone. Where were those idiots?" she grumbled bitterly.
"Well the important thing is that you have a second chance at life," Nina lectured. "It's up to you to decide whether or not to throw that chance away. You're a strong woman Mary, so I know you'll do the right thing."
"Yeah," Mary nodded. "When I get home I'm going to wrap all my wine bottles in gift boxes and give them away for Christmas. I got so much of that stuff I'll probably be set for the next four years. You got any preferences, Nina?"
"Well, there is that bottle of 1998 Chardonnay that will be great for my next wedding anniversary," she said before lapsing into an awkward silence. Mary didn't like being reminded that she was still single.
"I'm sure Lemont will love it," Mary said bravely after an awkward silence. "Well, here's my house," she said as Nina's car pulled up to the driveway. "Thanks for the ride Nina," she waved as she got out of the car. "See you at school."
"Take care of yourself Doctor Albright," Nina said before she drove away.
Mary took a deep breath and steeled herself. Here it is. The hardest part. Going back into that empty house. Her possessions were probably boxed up by her relatives looking to grab her stuff. Still it was home sweet home, right? She stopped when she got to the door. If she wasn't careful, force of habit would make her pour herself a drink to relax after a big day. She'd been down that road too many times. She was going to have to start having soft drinks. That way she could go through the motions without actually having any alcohol…
What the hell? Her door wasn't locked? Were some of her relatives in there all ready? Didn't they know she wasn't dead?
She opened the door and her mouth fell open. Inside she saw the people she saw at the hospital.
"These boxes are heavy," the little boy complained as he hauled down a box full of wine bottles from upstairs. "I'm just a little kid again; I can't lift as much as I used to! Shouldn't I be updating our cover identities or something?"
"Quit complaining old man!" the tall bald man who called himself 'Dick Solomon' ordered as he pulled a bottle of vodka from behind the couch. "Mary's coming home today! We've got to get rid of all this stuff before she comes home and starts drinking again."
"Don' worry Dick," the man with the squint said as he sat on the couch and drank right out of bottle. "I'm getting rid of it. As fast as I can."
"Hey are you out of your mind?" The amazon set down the cases of beer she had pulled out of the kitchen in order to slap the man on the couch. "What do you think you're doin' Harry? Dick told us to get rid of the booze, not sit around and have a one man party."
"Sally, you get rid of it the way you like and I get rid of the way I like," he purred in satisfaction.
"Harry that stuff is a poison," the boy said. "It's a chemical that affects your brain."
"Tommy, the human body is a chemical that affects your brain," Harry drawled as he leaned back and stretched. "Let's face it: We didn't have bodies or feelings like this back home. Humanity is like a drug: A dangerous self-destructive drug, and even though we cold turkeyed a while we fell off the wagon. Take the high commander. Get it? High commander."
"What about the high commander?" Dick asked indignantly.
"You couldn't let Mary Albright go, could ya Dick?" Harry drawled lazily. "That woman, she unlocked some kind of biochemical in that body that's made you an addict. That's it. We're all addicts. We've got human biology addiction. We were clean for over a decade, but now we're back… Back in this lonely planet, full of feelings and sensations, with nowhere to go, and we're their last hope…"
"Okay, I'm taking this away," Dick said as he pulled the bottle out of Harry's hand. "You obviously can't take this stuff. You're talking crazy. Lieutenant, dispose of it like the others."
"Yes high commander," Sally said as she took the bottle. Before Mary's unbelieving eyes, the woman and Dick saluted each other, but it was the wackiest salute she ever saw. It was more like a fraternity handshake or something.
In the meantime Harry reached under the sofa cushions and extracted a small silver hipflask. "I knew you wouldn't let me down Mary!" he smiled and nodded.
"In the meantime we've got to update our covers," the boy named Tommy said. "This body can't pass for the same Tommy unless it's grown up to maturity, so in the meantime I'm not going to be the original Tommy. Dick, I can't be your son."
"You're not my son?" Dick wailed in horror. "But what happened to my Tommy?"
"He joined the army and is fighting overseas," the boy said. "We don't know how long he'll be gone."
"Ooh! Ooh!" Harry raised his hand. "Join the marines! They're the first ones in and the last ones out!"
"So if you're not my son, who are you?" Dick asked suspiciously.
"I'm Sally's son," the boy said. "Eleven years ago, Sally was knocked up by your brother in law, the original Tommy's uncle. Since both Tommys' parents come from the same gene pools, it's a good explanation for why the young Tommy looks identical to the old Tommy at this age."
"I got knocked up?" Sally asked uncertainly. "How did it happen?"
"You both got drunk at a New Year's Eve party," the boy explained. "It's a secret family shame that tore our families apart. That's why we have no contact with Tommy's mother or my father. We don't talk about it."
"I got drunk?" Sally asked timidly before glowering at the booze bottle. "You ruined my life!" she screamed before she threw it on the floor. "Why? Why did I ever start drinking? Why?"
"There, there Lieutenant," Dick hugged her protectively. "It wasn't your fault."
"How could this happen?" she sobbed as tears trickled out of her eyes. "I'm a good person Dick! I swear I'm a good! Person!"
"Hey look!" Harry pointed at her. "She's leaking again! I forgot that we did that!"
"Sally for crying out loud it's just a cover story," Tommy scolded.
"Be quiet Tommy!" she shouted over her shoulder. "You're the symbol of my shame! I had to sacrifice my dreams to take care of you!"
"Come on Sally, it happened eleven years ago," Harry shrugged. "You're still goin' on about it?"
"Lieutenant we all appreciate the way you get into character but you're starting to scare us," Dick said.
"I'm a ruined woman!" Sally howled.
"Leave this to me," Harry said as he rose to his feet. "I've seen a lot of movies. Sally…"
"Yeah?" she sniveled as she turned to face him. "Ow!" she yelped as Harry slapped her.
"No need to thank me," Harry nodded in satisfaction. "My work here is done."
"No it isn't we still need to get rid of this booze so Doctor Albright doesn't destroy herself," Tommy scolded as he placed a heavy box of booze in Harry's hands.
"And where to you get off slapping me?" Sally growled before she punched him.
Harry tumbled over the couch and disappeared behind it in a crescendo of breaking glass. "Clean up in aisle seven!" he moaned.
"Who are you people?" Mary demanded.
The three remaining housebreakers turned and stared at her.
"Mary!" Dick gasped. "How long have you been there? Did you hear us say that we're aliens from another galaxy and we've returned to save the Earth from that giant asteroid that's going to hit it in 2015?"
"No," she shook her head.
Dick blinked in self-recrimination before he assumed an exaggerated expression of nonchalance. "Well that's good," he said as he glanced around at his teammates. "Because we didn't say it. Did we guys?"
"No," Sally and Tommy shook their heads.
"A little help back here?" Harry's voice moaned from behind the couch.
"You expect me to believe your aliens here to save the Earth?" Mary asked indignantly.
"No," Dick smiled strangely. "We expect you to believe that we're perfectly ordinary earthlings who've been here the whole time, isn't that right guys?"
"Yeah," Tommy and Sally nodded while trying to act cool.
Harry emerged from behind the couch. His clothes were soaked in wine and bits of broken glass clung to him, but he appeared unhurt. "Hey it's Doctor Albright," he smiled. "Yourplace is a mess." He looked at his hand. "Oh, I'm bleeding. I must have cut myself when I got up." His gave his bleeding finger a double take before confusing in horror. "I'm bleeding! Dick I've only had this body for a few days and I've already broke it!"
"Let me take a look at that," Sally said. "I'm the tactical officer. I've been in combat. I know how to treat a wound." She stared at his bleeding finger. "Blood!" she gasped before she fainted dead away.
"Well at least it's not serious," Dick said as he surveyed Harry's wound.
"Get out of my house before I call the police!" Mary demanded.
"If we go, you're not going to start drinking again, are you?" Dick asked in concern.
"Hell yes!" Mary exclaimed.
"Then we can't go," Dick said seriously. "The reason I jeopardized our mission by coming here was to save your life. I'm sorry Mary. I love you. I can't let you kill yourself."
"You're the people who were at the hospital!" Mary gasped in realization. "You're the weirdoes who said you were aliens during the miracle that saved my life! Oh my God! It's you! You're Dick Solomon!" She fell to the floor, unconscious.
"Yes!" Dick cried. "She remembers me!"
"There must be something in the air that's knocking out all the women," Harry mused as he clutched his finger.
"Yeah, we better run an atmospheric test," Tommy agreed.
"I'll get the equipment," Dick said as he stepped over Mary's comatose body to leave the house.