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Greetings from Earth!

Jon Wheeler is a writer, musician, and composer currently residing in the American Southwest. A digital archivist by day, Jon spends a lot of time thinking about the context dependencies of information and pretending that the "digital dark age" is a Thing. Jon's work has previously appeared in Sanitarium Magazine.

Greetings from Earth? Greetings from Earth?! You've got some nerve to come up here after--how many millennia?--and stand there next to that slop bucket you call a ship and talk about greetings from Earth. Like you invented warp drive! Ooh, everybody look at the big explorer! Big explorer, my finger. You should be ashamed of yourself.
We have been so worried about you, you don't even know. When we dropped you off in that little backwater we never dreamed how many centuries would pass before you condescended to contact us. Yes, yes, we know. You had to get your bearings... find yourselves... clear your collective heads or whatever. It happens. It also happens that species grow up and think of someone besides themselves. We left you pyramids! Stonehenge! Easter Island! You could have phoned home any time but you had to do it your way with radio. Radio! I don't mind telling you, we could hardly show our faces outside the supercluster after that embarrassment. Your mother stopped going to bridge club, even.
And that ship! I can hardly believe that thing made it to hyperspace, let alone through it. I tell you it hurts, it really does, to think even after your little alternative lifestyle thing with radio that you'd still feel like you had to go the long way around. What about the instructions and the manuals we shipped with the pyramids? What about the mechanics we sent with updates? Don't act like you don't know--the Bible? The Torah? The Gita? Uh-huh, I thought so. At least tell me you got something out of... no, wait. Never mind, we're probably better off not knowing.
I think I'm calming down. You're lucky I am. It is good after all this time to see you again, you should really stay and maybe we can talk more calmly in a hundred years or two. But you'll have to find somewhere else to crash--we rented your room to the Alpha Centauri eons ago.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Author Comments

My tendency as a writer has been toward longer, slowly developed philosophical and thought pieces. As a change, and also because I thought it would be nice to write something publishable, I decided to try a short, humorous story based on the popular conspiracy theory of humanity as an "alien" race in exile. Since I was writing during the holidays, the frequency and quality of my contact with family was also on my mind--the chastisement of the prodigal son was relevant and seemed like a good way to frame the exchange.

- Jon Wheeler
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