Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"GAMES" (1995)

Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway on a warm afternoon I’m beginning to feel drowsy from the pleasant sensations of warm air, the smell of the surf, watching the waves crashing on the beach, so inviting, so inviting.
Marie lays asleep in the seat beside me, and I realize I can’t seem to remember life without her; I certainly don’t want to imagine life ahead without her.
As I look out over the passing beaches, to the blue sea, I notice that there are no people on the beaches. This is strange, it being such a warm, sunny day. I would expect to
see at least a few sunbathers.

I come around a bend in the highway, and suddenly there are people everywhere. I slow down and pull into a “beachcombers” restaurant. Marie finally wakes up to my nudging. We get out of the car, and with a passing word she heads off to the bathroom.
I head into the restaurant.

Inside, there are people going off in every direction at once. I feel discombobulated. I’m not sure why.
I see someone who looks familiar at the bar to one side of the wall of windows overlooking the beach. I walk up to him. I’m not sure I know him —— I can’t place a name with the face -- but there is a gnawing feeling that I do know him
from somewhere.
As I stop in front of him he looks at me, opens his mouth as if to greet me, but then a look of perplexity covers his face. “Dont’t I know you?” he asks awkwardly.
“I think so, but I can’t think of from where,” I reply, slightly releived at his shared uncertainty.
“At school, maybe?”
“Maybe.” But what school did I go to? I’m drawing a blank. Did something happen to me out on the highway, that I’ve now blacked out?
“What’ll ya have, my friend?” the bartender asks.
I am suddenly terribly thirsty, so I order a soda. I look around for Marie. She is nowhere in sight. I start to really need her there, now, with me.
“'Scuse me a sec, I just wanna find my girlfriend,” I say to my friend.
“Sure,” he smiles. “Come on back, we’ll have a beer.”

Outside the wind has died down, and I feel the heat pounding on my head. I look around, don’t see Marie. I look towards the car. Not there either. I’m worried.
Now there seems to be some kind of raucous going on. From the direction of the beach, I hear shouting. Now screaming. People start running up from the beach. Others out
from the restaurant. I force my way back into the restaurant to see what’s going on. My heart is pounding out of my chest.
At the window I look out onto the beach. I can’t believe my eyes.
Hovering just over the surf are three strange looking ships. They don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before. There is something totally alien about them. The sun shines
brightly on their metal skin. I assume it’s metal.
People run away from the ships. The beach is practically empty. I stand in awe. What is this? What should I do? Where’s Marie?
The ships move up above the beach. Ramps drop down from underneath them, and lines of —- men? -- march quickly down onto the sand.
I run out into the parking lot. No one is in sight. I feel fear in every fiber of my being. I run across the street. I don’t know what I’m running from —- Russians? Aliens? Time-travellers? -- but I know I must get away from them.
I duck behind some bushes on the other side of the highway. I carefully peak through them back at the beach. I see a couple of the invaders coming onto the parking lot. I’m
not safe where I am.
I creep along the rows of bushes, keeping low. They lead down a little side—street. I follow along.
I’m well out of sight of the beach, but I don’t feel safe yet. Up ahead I see a couple of small houses. I decide to head for them.
Suddenly, from behind me I hear, “Halt!” I run head long down the Street.
Before the closest of the houses is a large tangle of bushes. I dive in. And...

...crash into equipment. I sit up. There is one of the invaders manipulating a controlboard. It looks at me. I feel trapped.
As I try to rise I am suddenly held down by several more of them, who have come up behind me. I want to scream, but I am paralyzed. They hold my arms out to the side. Are they
going to kill me?
One, who signals the others with it’s hands —— it is in charge? —— stands before me. It rips my shirt open. I do not comprehend. I look down at my chest. There is some kind of
panel on it. The thing before me opens the panel. I do not understand. What is this? The thing reaches in. It pulls some wires...

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