A Planetary Neighbor
I overslept, an almost-never since farm days, but lingered for what-next! in a dream...
A Tiffany lamp hangs low above the table, augmented by the soft glow of beeswax candles, very like companionable evenings at the farm, though this table is round.
Friends are enjoying postprandial mugs of tea when a stranger settles into the empty chair.
"Do we know you? Have you eaten? Have a cup of tea."
"I'm a neighbor."
"Oh. Would you care for honey in your tea?"
"I thought you should know that men with AK-47's are prowling around the house, watching."
"Do they seem friendly?... No? Are you sure you're from around here?"
"I'm a planetary neighbor."
"Well, that explains it. What do they want?"
"Obedience, which may not be pleasant. They especially are on the alert for independent thought, which seems to be frowned upon."
At this point a little boy of three or four pads in wearing sleepy-time Dr. Denhams (footed onesie pyjamas.) Conversation continues around the table. The stranger notes the boy with interest, who telepaths the question:
Are you from Sirius?
The boy raises the crook of his arm where a stuffed bear is nestled and looks brightly at the man.
Ah, Ursa. So you can find your way home.
The boy smiles beatifically and toddles back into the shadows away from the table.
The stranger come-to-table asks if anyone saw the boy.
"What boy?" they ask, though one woman looks down into her tea.
"You heard him, didn't you?"
"Uh, he asked if you were from Sirius..."
So, Horatio, I once dreamed an organic farm, and then I lived it: