Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Frankly Speaking

Inspired by J'Mel, I'm posting a short story I wrote a while back. Comments welcome.



I peered through the frost of the stasis tube, watching Frank Sinatra open his eyes.
Wow. They really were blue.
I popped the last of the fail safes and slid the tube open.
He blinked a few times before staring at me.
“Where the hell’s my robe?”
“Yes, right here, sir.” I’d rehearsed this enough times you’d think I would have it ready. But the shock of the reality knocked the wind out of my extensive training.
He slipped into the robe and examined the chamber.
“A man could die of thirst before he’s offered a drink around here.”
The Medbot produced a Jack and water. Three ice cubes.
Sinatra eyed the drink suspiciously before taking a sip.
“Okay. What is it this time?”
I cleared my throat. “Well, sir, we’ve become concerned over a growing trend—“
“You’re younger than the last one,” he said.
“Uh, yes, sir.” In fact, during the last Sinatra Crisis, some four hundred years earlier, Benson himself served as Technician In Charge. The legendary Benson, the Technician who single-handedly salvaged the Facility after the Grid Wars, must have been nearly 70 when that particular Crisis manifested.
Now we’d reached another obvious Crisis Point. And I knew I was no Benson. How could I possibly interpret Sinatra’s advice correctly? Benson had a lifetime to study the Roasts and hear the discs. I’d only just seen From Here to Eternity. What if his advice had something to do with The Tender Trap? I’d never know. Unless he mentioned Debbie Reynolds, I suppose.
“Hey!” He snapped me back to reality. “Let’s get this over with. My drink’s almost gone.”
“Yes, sorry, sir, I’ll get right to it.”
“You do that.” He walked to the window, staring at the snow-covered sands.
“We seem to have taken things in the wrong direction,” I began.
“Are we still in Palm Springs?” he asked.
“Yes, the remains of Palm Desert and—“
“Christ. You bimbos really screwed it this time.”
“Yes, sir.”
He drained his drink, removed a single ice cube, then handed the glass to the Medbot on his way back to the stasis tube.
“I’ve seen enough,” he said.
“But the climate, we’re not sure if this severe cooling is our fault or a natural—“
“Turn the tube back on,” he said. “I’m done.”
“But the crisis, sir. We need you. We need your help!”
“Here,” he said, tossing the ice cube to me. “Go skate on it.”

5 comments:

J'Mel said...

If every anything begged to be a short film...

Laura Eno said...

Oh, what has the world come to when we turn to Sinatra in stasis to solve our crisis? Hilarious!

Cascade Lily said...

Yes, well, I can see how that would have been a daunting experience! Love Sinatra's final throwaway. How enigmatic!

(Just one little bugbear stopped me from completely enjoying this story - watch over-capitalisation. You didn't really need to make all those 'things' into proper nouns.)

G.P. Ching said...

Fun story. I never thought of Sinatra as a "go to" guy. Terrific concept.

John Wiswell said...

If only Sinatra would intervene rather than working through intermediaries...