Mike Williams series: A courtroom drama in space
Mike Williams was an extremely normal person. If you can use the word “extremely” about someone who is absolutely not extreme in any way, that is. He lived in a small house in a medium-sized town. Not a Big City, but not a small village either.
He didn’t hate his job but was as fond of it as he could be. He worked at a help desk and answered the same ten questions asked in one hundred different rude ways over and over again.
Mondays were the worst day because the customers would have build aggression and frustration over the weekend and unload it on him.
Tuesdays were bowling night with the guys from work. Meaning the guys from his department. Mike wasn’t really into bowling but it was a nice way to hang out with his co-workers and complain about work.
Wednesdays were okay. He would be at home watching the latest episode of his favourite TV-show, a British gardening show. Mike was quite fond of gardening, though his own garden wasn’t much bigger than a stamp. He wanted to move to a bigger house one day, not because he wanted a bigger house but because it would probably have a bigger garden.
Sometimes he would go to a garden centre and look at plants and tools. But the very best of all the things was the lawn tractors. He could spend hours looking at them, reading about the technical specifications and dreaming about driving one. It wouldn’t make any sense buying one since his own lawn was the size of a suitcase and took less than five minutes to mow. So he kept the wish for a lawn tractor as a dream, at least for now.
At one point he had considered quitting his job and become a gardener. But he had a terrible feeling that making his hobby into his job would eventually kill the joy of it and he didn’t want that to happen.
Sometimes he would talk about gardening at bowling night even though most of the guys only knew about mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. You know, manly gardening chores. He never shared his love for nurturing plants. Right from the beginning of planting them, the smell of dirt when he dug the hole to put them in, the satisfaction of patting the dirt firmly around the new plant to the trimming and pinching and watering. But it was alright because he could share his knowledge about lawn tractors.
Simon from work had a lawn tractor even though his garden was almost too small to justify it. His wife had been quite mad about it when he bought one and so had Mike. But with time both them had come to terms with it, especially when they could have a run on it from time to time.
Thursdays were not special in any way but on Fridays, he would join Simon and the other guys for a beer at the local pub after work. It was a nice way to end the week and welcome the weekend. Sometimes co-workers from other departments would join them, or some of their girlfriends or wives. It was always very uplifting and Mike looked forward to Friday all week.
• • •
was on such a Friday that something extreme and not normal in any way
happened to Mike. He had stayed at the pub for quite long that night and
the sun was already set when he finally left. The many beers had made
his head buzzing so he decided to walk home and let the fresh night air
clear his head. He was walking through a park in a particularly dark
area caused by a broken street lamp when he heard a weird noise.
What a weird noise, he thought to himself. And then: I wonder what that could be.
Moments later the noise was accompanied by a bright spotlight.
I’m not on a stage, he managed to think right before he was lifted into the air by the tractor beam.