A gentle breeze caressed the lush, secluded field. A towering tree, its broad torso an apartment complex for a dozen species of fauna, spread its branches upwards to the skies. Oversized plants adorned the outskirts, offering shade and fruit to compliment the balmy climate. Serenity lay draped over the land like a security blanket. Then a small projectile screamed through the clouds, hurtling furiously downward as if the ground had insulted its mother. It crashed with an unceremonious thwack into the tall greens.
Ten feet away, Norg popped her head out of the grass, her attention momentarily diverted away from the leopard slug she had been prodding. “Gonta waxas maka-kuda?”, she muttered. ” Id semothick dabo?” Her hands rummaged through the grass until a glint drew her eye. The object was black and rectangular, roughly the size of a small cat. It housed a smaller, shiner rectangle with a wheel in the center. A lit square jumped back and forth between displaying squiggles and lines, and showing her an apple with a bite mark. The precocious nine-year-old snorted: did the thing travel so far just to educate her on the importance of apples? She was a produce aficionado.
Norg touched the Sky Thing gingerly and immediately leapt backwards for dramatic effect. “Whiiiiii!”, she yelled. Her brothers always insisted on a battle cry when charging into danger, and she had come to appreciate the value of a dependable holler. The object did not move. She repeated her experiment, growing slightly more emboldened with each new attack. When she was convinced the Sky Thing was not dangerous, her finger traced the circle wheel. It chattered through a series of clicks and then loudly announced its presence.
“JITTERBUG!”, a very deep voice boomed. Norg gasped and backed up, ready for combat.
“JITTERBUG!”, it declared thrice more. Her eyes narrowed and she regarded it suspiciously when a second voice addressed her:
You put the boom boom into my heart
You send my soul sky-high when your lovin’ starts.
Jitterbug into my brain (yeah yeah!)
Goes-a bang, bang–
The sounds abruptly stopped. Norg was surprised to notice she’d been swaying rhythmically. “Pum…Pum chok gned haxat zis dis, fut Pum gict eb zook dit,” she said. She picked the object up. There was a screeching noise, and the apple was again replaced by grainy squiggly lines.
— you go-go,
Don’t leave me hanging on like a yo-yo.
Wake me up before you go-go,
I don’t want to miss it when you hit that–
The noises culminated in a whine. Norg stared at it for a moment, then strode back to her village, imagining how impressed everyone would be with her find. “You go-go,” she murmured. “Alunda maka-zook a yo-yo.”
“Sottro pewn,” the chieftan warned. Fifteen had gathered around his table: burly, intoxicated men; wise, mildy amused women; and at least three crusty codgers wearing their most solemn expressions. The object had remained silent since Norg left the field the day before. “Norg, axalo ug kaza ug idniz meeka dinvonk zis?”
An irritated look passed across Norg ‘s face. “Pum idniz vaxako!”, she explained patiently. “Pum loola maka-daka gonta zis zick peos.”
“Worr, dit peosniz keega te fo peick lom-gom,” the chieftan declared, after some consideration. “Macha wo skeurd –“
The object suddenly spurted into life, replacing the bitten apple on its face with illegible text. “Boondo de dit peick?!”, a Council member shouted. The wise women rose up, ready to engage the thing with reasonable discourse and perhaps a hearty pummeling if it proved dangerous. Sound burst through the object’s body, trying desperately to impart its critically important message:
In this world we’re just beginning
To understand the miracle of living
“Oosha semothick drito um!”, the chieftan hollered. Those within the vicinity of well-shaped rocks grabbed them forcefully, attempting to phonetically transcribe the message as best they could, though it was obviously speaking a rather primitive language.
Baby, I was afraid before
But I’m not afraid anymore
Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth.
They say in heaven love comes first
We’ll make heaven–
There was a snarl of feedback and the mysterious dispatch ended. No one remembered to apologize to Norg for doubting her. “Ooh, baby,” a boulderous man with a discernible lack of neck warbled. A woman concentrated as she carved delicately, repeating one word like a mantra: “Heaphen. Hellvan. Hea-ven. Heaven.”
Sozhus smiled at the target of her affection, being so bold as to show all her teeth. In the two years since the object gifted them with its presence, she’d become more assertive, more inclined to surrender her autonomy to the seductive pull of sick beats and keytar solos. She remained relatively ignorant of keytar-related details in general, but believed she had successfully captured something of an ethos. “There’s a room where the light won’t find you. Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down,” she grunted to him gently, sliding her oversized hand into his.
Bhurvorv’s face brightened–not substantially, as his threshold for intelligent conversation was fairly low–and kissed her cheek. “We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind. ‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance, well, they’re no friends of mine.” Sozhus snorted appreciatively. Her boyfriend could be ridiculously witty.
They entered the premium cave Bhurvorv had reserved earlier in the week. The Maître D’ directed them to a corner slab, stylishly festooned with candles and pressed flowers. At his restaurant, patrons were instructed as to the dishes that would be prepared for them; permitting the guests to order all will-nilly according to their own peculiar whims was universally thought to be in poor taste.
“Running just as fast as we can,” the Maître D’ proclaimed cheerfully. “Holding on to one another hand. Trying to get away into the night and then you put your arms around me, and we tumble to the ground and then you say?”, he asked, turning to Sozhus.
The prehistoric cave-painter smiled. “I think we’re alone now,” she rumbled. The Maître D’ bowed and retired to the kitchen, where they could overhear him shouting at the cooks.
They munched on the freshest rabbit in the valley (so said the Maître D’) and crunchy salamander poppers as they contemplated the stars and, as they often did, why the gods had chosen to reveal themselves to their particular tribe. “See yourself,” she said quietly, “you are the steps you take.” She took his arm and sketched a picture in the dirt: the object, a triumphant Norg, boogeying tribesman. “You and you and that’s the only way.” She pointed to each figure as it materialized with a few strokes from her skilled hand. “Shake, shake yourself. You’re every move you make.” She looked at him expectantly.
He did not speak for several beats, and she was worried she’d been too forward. But he cleared his throat dramatically and said: “Gotta keep on rockin’. Someday gonna make it to the top, and be a jukebox hero.” From the other end of the restaurant, a trio of teenage hunting apprentices yowled “GOT STARS IN HIS EYES!”
She relaxed, all the tension leaving her body. It was the right answer.
@blackpigcomic requested ” A primitive isolated Stone Age society. One day a broken iPod falls from the sky into their world. Once each day at the same time it randomly plays one song from its 80’s classics playlist. What happens next? “