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Chapter 1

The Calamity Girl – The Promotion

I looked at my computer screen — Rachel’s Blog – The Calamity Girl on Word Press.  What should I write about today? Should it be Twilight nail styles, organic beauty products, America’s Next Top Model?

Maybe I should do a piece on dating and relationships?  I am single and with no prospects on the horizon, it might depress me. It’s crazy; I am a slim, attractive, fashionable executive with stylish cropped red hair and sky blue eyes with long eyelashes.

I love my hairdresser, she doesn’t mind that I like to change the color of my hair every couple of months.  My natural hair color is dirty blonde but I get tired of the same old thing, so when the season’s change my hair does too. Even though I have a good sense of humor, I can be serious and studious when it’s called for. Usually I’ll be that way at work. I am a writer and lately things have been quite tense for me on the job.

David our CEO at GDS – Global Data Services is a bit of a serious type of guy. He hardly ever cracks a smile. He is handsome though, good eye candy for a single girl like me.  At least work isn’t too boring.  There is never a dull moment there. A fast paced job was what the doctor ordered after my father passed away. I needed something to change my life and GDS was the answer.

It would be my first real job after leaving University.  I had a Business and Marketing Degree under my belt, and now I was going to make something of myself.  At the moment I write articles for the monthly business letter for all of our clients.

In the future I hope to be a travel journalist. The company I work for creates customer service – computer database programs -for all types of companies. Sure I fill out a form and stuff it into a suggestion box at work, but I never hear anything about it. I wonder if anyone reads my suggestions. No one has ever said thank you Rachel Tornquist for your lovely ideas.

No one seems to take any of my ideas seriously. And the company should because I could help them make a lot of money. Lately David’s attitude was becoming unbearable. I was debating if I should stick it out with this job, or move on to greener pastures. Enough about that though, I’m not at work so I can forget about it for now. God knows I need to have a good sense of humor or I’d be miserable all the time. I wonder how many people could survive what I’ve been through and live to tell about it.  My father said that I am like a cat with nine lives.  With all the mishaps I have it’s a wonder that I am still alive and kicking.

My father was a wonderful man. I miss him so much.  It’s been three years since he died. I really start to miss him when someone mentions losing their father. I popped open my laptop and began to type.

Dear Readers; Today I plan to share with you a recent visit to the flea market. My weekly ritual on Sunday’s is to go to a different flea market, whether it is in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada where I live now or in a city nearby.

I was walking around the flea market in the City of Mississauga when I spotted a tiny pair of leather shoes with the toes curled up on the ends. They look exactly like the ones that the Prince and the Genie wear in the Disney movie called Aladdin. I start to imagine what my life would be like if I could hop on a flying carpet, and have a genie to grant my every wish. I gave a lot of thought to what I might wish for. I think I’d wish to see something new and unusual, titillating to the eye.  Maybe the depths of the ocean where there is sea life that has never been discovered. It would be something humanly impossible to do… a request only a genie could fulfill. Or maybe I would choose to go into outer space and discover alien life forms. All of this crossed my mind when I saw those curly toed shoes; I felt like an alien in a different world. My eyes were fixed on the red and gold pair. I noticed there was hardly any room for one’s toes. The Indian men and women who wear these shoes must have very small, slender feet.

The East Indian lady was not amused when I took a pair of the adorable little baby shoes, put them on my fingers, and pretended to dance around in them – like a little puppet. I hadn’t noticed her watching me until I turned around and then, of course, it was too late. The dance had already begun. I turned red with embarrassment and stopped what I was doing.

I quietly said, “Pretty shoes … I did not realize that people really wear these.”

Her stony stare made me uncomfortable. I bowed my head in shame and walked away as quickly as possible. I could feel her gaze burning into the back of my neck. I felt stupid about the whole encounter.

I was tempted to go back and buy a pair, simply to display on my coffee table as a conversation piece. I love buying exotic pieces of arts and crafts when I travel; they are a great reminder of where I’ve been and the adventures I’ve enjoyed. I wondered how many other people out there didn’t know that those shoes actually exist.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a gorgeous display of colorful Indian dresses.  I had to stop and think for a minute. Now where can I possibly wear one of these dresses? I don’t think I could wear it to work, it wouldn’t suit my job. Maybe I could wear it while I out shopping? Nope that’s not a good idea. People would ask if I had visited India recently.

Maybe I could just wear it at home while I was typing up my articles for the Gossip Tabloids newspaper.  I usually do a few articles each week for them as a freelance writer. This week I would be writing about the international cultural events going on at the CNE-Canadian National Exhibition Place in Toronto.

I walked over, picked up a black red and gold trimmed dress.  The material was so soft and silky. I draped it across my shoulder, looking at the pretty picture of myself in the mirror. Yes this would look fabulous on me.  I wonder if I should buy one of the head dresses. That might be too much.

I paid the Indian woman and carried my parcel around with a big smile on my face. I felt happy and lighthearted inside. I was looking for a designer Guess purse. It would be the perfect accessory. It would look classy with my new navy blue designer suit that was hanging up in my closet at home. A Guess purse usually costs around a hundred and fifty dollars at the Eatons Center.

Someone told me I could pick up one for less than seventy-five dollars at the Mississauga flea market. While I was searching for the purse I found some Motorcycle Choppers hats and t-shirts for fewer than twenty dollars. That was a deal usually the shirts were over forty dollars at the mall. They are hard to get a hold of so I bought a couple of them for future gifts.

Then I spotted the most gorgeous purse, it was from Guess. It was the exact same lavender purse with a big silver buckle on it that I had seen in the window at Eaton’s earlier this week. I couldn’t believe it when the guy told me he’d give it to me for fifty-five dollars. I jumped at the offer, paid the man and went on my way before he changed his mind.

I was standing in the middle of the thruway wondering what to do next.  Suddenly this strange looking dude, who reminds me of Howard Stern, comes up beside me and interrupts my train of thought.

He says to me, “You know I have some gorgeous leather belts that would go nicely with that purse?”

I looked at him and smiled, “Show me where they are.”

So I followed him to a rack of belts. I’m sorting through the various patterns of belts, looking for one that is my size. Dude starts telling me a story about his father.

I didn’t want to be rude, so I stopped what I was doing and looked at the crazed look in his eye.  A thought crossed my mind that he had escaped from the insane asylum and was working here part time because no one else would hire him.  A scary looking creature, wild eyed, with frizzy hair. Yes it was Howard Stern with a bad hair day.

Dude joggles me out of my stupor by saying he wants to tell me a cool story about aliens and spaceships.

I grin as a thought crosses my mind I ask, “Did you watch that cool space movie that was on last night?  It was called Sky Runners. I think the actors name was Kelly Blatz.  That kid is amazing.”

Dude is smiling at me and waiting to tell me his story. For some reason I’m feeling nervous so I continue, “I thought it was cool how they find a spaceship.  All sorts of weird things begin to happen to Kelly after he has contact with the spaceship.

The funniest part was when Kelly grows about six inches during the night, and he’s trying to put his jeans on the next morning while getting ready for school.  I was laughing my ass off when Kelly’s pants only came up to his knees.  Then his mom knocks on the door and she tries to come into the bedroom. Kelly’s brother blocks the door so that Kelly can crawl out the window and crouch up on the roof.

A hot girl that Kelly likes, walks by the house, looks up and starts asking Kelly why is he standing outside with his boxers on? Kelly comes up with this lame excuse, which in itself is funny as hell…”

I can see dude wants to tell me his story. So I patiently listen to him, in quite disbelief and when he’s done, I smile and thank him for sharing this wonderful story with me.  I look at my watch and say, “Oh where did the time go? I’m sorry I must get going. Thank you!”

I hurry out the door, parcels in hand looking for my car. I find it; place my parcels carefully in the trunk and drive home.  After having a quick bite to eat I sit down, grab my laptop and started typing this story.

Dear Readers thank you for listening so far.  There is more to the story. I am sure you will find it interesting to read. The wheels are turning inside my head. Dude told me that it was a true story – aliens and spaceships.  Where can I go with this thought? I am going to start a new post now…

I saved and published the first article and now I will start on the second post to my blog.

Dear Readers, What would you do if you had an alien encounter? Would you tell someone, or keep it to yourself? The reason I ask is this. While I was out shopping at the flea market today dude tells me an interesting story.

I wasn’t sure if I should share it with all of you. I have decided it cannot hurt. Remember the dude that told me a story in my last post?

Well dude, who sells lovely leather belts for less than twenty dollars, tells me that his father just passed away.

I’m calling him dude because he talks like Ashton Kutcher in the movie “Dude, Where’s my car?”

The dude looks like Howard Stern (with frizzy hair and lots of grizzly looking facial hair) but he has that same jovial tone of voice that Ashton Kutcher does in the movie, “Dude where’s my car?”  So I tell dude that I am sorry for the loss of his father.  I tell him I’ve lost mine too. I have tears in my eyes because it’s bringing up the buried emotions of my own fathers death. Yes I do get emotional when talking about it to strangers.

Which is understandable, it’s only been three years and it still hurts like hell when I think about my father dying.  Anyways Dude starts talking about a secret his father has kept for many years. At first I think he is pulling my leg when he tells me his alien spaceship story, but now after doing some research about Apollo 20 on Google, I kind of believe him.

Supposedly, fifty-three years ago in 1957 dude’s father has a close encounter with an alien space ship.  His father was visiting some relatives somewhere in Alaska.  The name of the place has escaped my memory for some reason.

The father was out ice fishing early one morning. Suddenly he hears a strange loud sound go rushing by him. Something crashes into the hills nearby. Curious in nature, he strolls over to see what it was. He is surprised to see a shiny piece of silver lying there. It has a long oval shape with triangular curves on each end. And it has Egyptian symbols written on it. He picks it up and feels a jolt of electricity go through his body.

He is looking at the piece of metal in his hands. Suddenly, he hears a whirring sound and the hair stands up on the back of his neck. A bright light comes on and it blinds his vision for a few seconds. A large oval shaped space ship rises into the sky. It hovers for a minute or two above him, and then it disappears.

The man is knocked off his feet by the blast. He gets up and grabs the piece of the spaceship lying there as a memento. Then he collects his ice fishing gear and calls it a day.

The next day he is looking in the mirror and he notices that his face, neck and hands are scorched red. This surprises him because he feels no pain. He is worried that someone will notice so he decides to leave Alaska earlier than planned. He packs his bags, phones his relatives and tells them he’s got to go back home. He’s been called back to work. So he fills his truck up with gas and heads home.  How will he explain what has happened to him?  People will think he is nuts if he tells them the truth.

Many hours later he gets home, put his things away, looks in the mirror at his face, neck and hands everything is still bright red. He shakes his head in despair. He looks like a giant red lobster.

He is worried, why was his skin red. What happened to make it that way? Usually a chemical burn would cause such a red mark but he felt no pain.  He couldn’t remember what happened. It was all a blur now in his mind. If anyone asked about the red marks, he would say it was from wind burn, or frost bite while out ice fishing. People would probably believe that story.

He sat down in his lazy boy chair.  He placed the piece of the spaceship on the coffee table in front of him. Using a magnifying glass he took a look at the different Egyptian symbols that were now starting to flicker and slowly disappear one by one.  He noticed that the alien spaceship was starting to shrink, and he wondered if it was because of earths’ atmosphere.

Suddenly three black Cadillac’s flew into his driveway and several men in black suits surrounded the house with guns. Then there was a loud pounding of fists on his door.

He quickly hid his prize in the closet under a coat and opened the door cautiously. There was a tall black man standing there with sunglasses on and dressed in a black Armani suit. The man asked is you Mac O’Reilly? Mac nodded yes. The agent flashed his badge and said I am Jack Carpenter. You have something that belongs to us. We understand that you have a piece of a spaceship here.  It needs to be returned immediately to a safe place.  It could be very dangerous.  It was very foolish of you to take the thing.  Has anything strange happened to you, other then the red marks on your body?  Mac told them nothing else had happened.

Mac was defensive, how could his prize belong to the government? It came from out of the sky.  He was meant to have it. It was fate. Mac O’Reilly believed in aliens. Maybe they probed him or something but then again his ass wasn’t sore so he didn’t think so.  He told the agent he didn’t remember much about that evening.  But the symbols on the ship are disappearing.

The agent said anything that comes to earth from the sky belongs to the government. We have to do tests on it and study it. We want to find out where it came from. You had no business touching it or removing it from the area. You should have reported it to the police or the government and handed it over immediately.

Mac was curious to know how the government agent managed to find him. He was told that someone else had reported seeing something flying in the air and had noticed that a man had left town with strange red marks on his face, neck and hands. They were concerned about his health; for he had acted strangely when asked if he was alright.

It was the gas attendant, old man Charlie.  He was the only one who had seen him leave town.  It wasn’t hard for the government to trace him. It was a small town.

Charlie remembered that someone’s relative had come for a visit.  Charlie knew the family. They had a relative living in Toronto, Ontario.  Most of the people living there were Native. Mac had a very distinct Scottish accent so Charlie figured that he had to belong to Angus O’Reilly’s family.

Dude paused for a moment so I could digest his story. Then he continued. Mac was warned. Jack Carpenter told him to keep the story to himself or suffer the consequences.  Mac sadly gave back his memento and he was surprised to see that all the markings had disappeared on it. Jack Carpenter asked if he had touched it with his hands.  Mac said yes.  Jack shook his head.  It’s too bad; the acid on your hands has an adverse affect on these metals for some reason. We won’t arrest you this time but I must insist you never tell a soul.  For if you do then you will end up in jail.  The men left and his father never told a soul about it. Dude stopped talking. He looked at me, waiting for some sort of reaction.

I was smiling at him. I thought that it was a strange story. If it was supposed to be a dangerous secret why was this guy telling me about it?

Dude could see the perplexed look on my face and he said, “My father told me all of this on his death bed. He died two weeks ago.”

I said, “I’m sorry but why did he tell you? Why did your father feel that it was safe to share his secret with you?”

Dude said, “When I was a child, I always asked him where the red marks on his face and hands came from. He could never tell me.  I guess he felt that I should know about it before he died. I decided to share this secret with you. I think it’s cool that my father saw an alien spaceship. You’re a good writer Rachel.  I’ve seen your articles in the newspaper for Gossip Tabloids. I love reading your posts. I thought you could use something different for a change.”

I looked at him and smiled, “Thanks for the compliment.  It’s too bad that we can’t prove your story, but then again if we could, we might be in danger.”

He said, “You’ve got a point there.”

At the time I said, “Well I can’t do a write up as a “news” story, but I could put it under interesting tales that I’ve heard.  Do you really believe your father?  Is it possible that he made it up, for a joke?”

Dude seemed offended at my suggestion.

I said, “I only mentioned it because of all the hype that Orsen Wells started years ago. He was on this radio show in the United States. He convinced people that aliens were landing in the City of New Jersey.  He called it the War of the Worlds.  I watched a movie about it the other night.

It was good.  Funny how one man’s story caused mass hysteria in a nation? Over 1.7 million people were terrified.  They actually believed that earth had been taken over by aliens. They fled from their homes in a panic.”

Dude laughed and said, “Sucks to be them. What if it really did happen?  Would people just think it was some kind of prank or would they think it was real?”

I said, “I don’t know.  I guess they would have to base it on what is believable.  Either you think that it’s true. Or someone’s just starting another Hollywood gimmick to sell you alien repellant. I would have to have someone powerful deliver the message. It would have to be the President of the United States, or a representative for the United Nations to appear on CNN News and make a formal announcement.  Then I would know that it is true.”

Dude laughed and said, “Well we will just have to hope that it never happens. But if it does, I won’t mind protecting you.”

I couldn’t believe it. Dude was looking at my boobs when he said that, I wanted to slap him.

I calmly said, “I have to get going now, thanks for the story.  I’m sure my readers will enjoy it.”

I had quickly walked out of the market, fuming. Why do guys always have to ruin an interesting conversation with a bloody pick up line? I was so sick of guys hitting on me; the next guy that does it is going to get a piece of my mind. That is all that I can tell you dear readers about this story.  It should give you something interesting to talk about.  Have a good day, Rachel Tornquist.

I sat quietly for a minute then I closed my laptop for the night. Little did I know that my life was going to change drastically within the next 24 hours?

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