An Imposter Among Us

Brady Draghetti

This story is intended to be read after Vacation Gone Wrong: parts one and two.

https://theherdkhs.net/2022/01/vacation-gone-wrong-part-1

https://theherdkhs.net/2022/01/vacation-gone-wrong-part-2

 

Alex was working in her house. Luna the tabby cat was lying on the couch. Alex had recently upgraded her house to have a more modern interior. It was still small, with a kitchen where you walk in, a living room with a furnace and TV, and a bedroom with a bathroom in it. The outside looks like your typical Arizona house. 

Dan came into the house without asking and said, “Oh hi Alex, I have to give you something.” He was holding what looked like a small toy chest. “What is that?” Alex asked him. 

“It’s a travel chest. I use it when I travel,” he said stupidly. “There’s stuff inside that I don’t need anymore.” Dan dumped it out onto the floor, and there were a bunch of weapons inside. 

“I can’t take these,” Alex said. 

“But you should,” Dan replied, “especially if you go into the desert to explore or mine or something.” 

“Well, I guess I could make space for them,” Alex said to make Dan happy. It was easy to upset him. 

Ben was also working in his lab on a new thruster. He wanted to send himself to outer space in a capsule to study astronomy. The thruster was currently powerful enough to blast an entire building into space. He carried the thruster outside of his lab in a wheelbarrow because it was very big and he needed to attach it to the capsule. 

In the meantime, Steve was searching for his dog, Rufus, who had run off and dragged Steve’s beloved statue called Spooky with him. Steve was walking through the village calling Rufus’s name. 

Ben carried the thruster along the road of the village. He was approached by Steve, who was still looking for his dog. They bumped into each other and the thruster knocked Steve into the window that was Alex’s bedroom, and the thruster went flying from Ben’s arms and went under Alex’s house. 

Steve got up from the floor in Alex’s bedroom, he noticed that the door to the rest of the house was closed and that told him that he hadn’t been spotted yet. Then Rufus the dog came out from under the bed with Spooky in his teeth. 

“There you guys are,” Steve exclaimed, “now let’s get outta here.” 

Ben came into Alex’s house where she and Dan were in the living room. He had the controller for the thruster with him. “What are you doing in here?” Alex asked him. 

“My space thruster accidentally attached itself to your house,” Ben replied, “but I can get it off with the push of a button.” 

Ben hit the wrong button. The house began to go up very rapidly. Immediately everyone lost their balance and Alex, Dan, and Ben layed down on the floor. Luna the cat held on to the couch. The thruster got them very far away from the Earth and then stopped. 

Ben found he could still control it, but now the house was still floating in outer space. “We are okay!” he cried. 

“What did you do?” Alex shouted at him. 

“Don’t worry,” Ben said calmly, “I can still steer us back to Earth.” 

Then Steve and Rufus and Spooky burst out of Alex’s bedroom. “What the heck is going on? Why are we in space?” Steve exclaimed. 

“Typical,” Alex said when she saw him. 

“Sorry,” Steve said, “I came in here looking for Rufus. But yeah it’s me, Steve! The one and only.” 

“Okay?” Alex hadn’t heard him talk like that before. “Anyway, ask Ben why we’re in space right now.” 

But they got cut off by Dan saying, “Guys, look out the window.” There was a large object and they appeared to be heading straight for it. 

“A satellite orbiting Earth,” Ben exclaimed. “We’re not supposed to be up here so it’s not going to avoid us.” 

“Well let’s steer away,” said Steve. 

“Hmm interesting idea,” Ben replied, “we would all have to lean to one side of the house.” 

“It’s coming,” Alex said as the satellite got closer. Steve grabbed Spooky The Statue for extra weight as he, the pets, and the others all jumped to the living room side of the house. Sure enough, it leaned to one side and avoided the oncoming satellite. 

But the house tilted a little too much, and the furniture started to fall toward the group. They all tried to dodge a couch and kitchen table. Steve went into the bedroom and the others followed. By leaning on that side of the house, they were able to make it tilt back to normal. Steve stayed in the bedroom after the rest of the group left. 

“Okay, I can get us back to Earth if I reactivate the thruster,” Ben told them. 

“Well let’s do it,” Alex said. “But wait. Hasn’t Steve been acting a little… strange… since we came up here?” 

“Well he’s never come up with anything smart before,” Dan said and laughed. 

“It’s true though,” Ben added. “It’s almost like she’s acting… sus-.” 

“She?” Alex asked. 

“Yeah, I don’t think you’re the real Alex,” Ben said. 

“Neither do I,” said Steve as he emerged from the bedroom. “We should throw this imposter off the ship!” 

“Now guys,” Alex pleaded, “Let’s just talk about this for a little bit.” 

But her friends actually moved in on her, and she tried to plead, but they were pushing her toward the front door. Alex would be pushed out into open outer space. But then Rufus the dog noticed an unfamiliar smell coming from Steve. Rufus jumped at Steve’s hair and pulled off a brown wig, revealing that it wasn’t Steve at all. 

“You guys remember me?” said the blonde-haired impostor who had stolen Steve’s clothes. But no one actually recognized the man. 

“Who are you?” Alex was unfamiliar with this person. 

“It’s me…Jack,” the man said and put on his helmet, which Alex and Dan recognized. This was Jack from the forest, where they’d been stranded on their road trip. 

“Jack? What are you doing here? I thought you were dead. And how did you even get up here and what did you do with Steve? Okay I think that’s everything.” Alex had a lot of questions. 

“That’s right,” Jack said, “this whole outer space thing was my idea. When Steve went into Alex’s bedroom through the window, I came in after him and before he found his dog, I pulled him out, stole his clothes, and snuck under the house where the thruster had landed to secure it onto the bottom of this building so it would fly into space.” 

“But why?” Everyone asked him. 

“Because I want revenge for the way I was treated in the woods. I literally traveled all the way to your village just to get Alex and Dan into trouble!” As Jack was speaking, Alex noticed one of the weapons from Dan’s travel chest on the floor. 

She grabbed a sword and tried to run at him, but then he dodged out of the way and Alex bumped into the wall. Rufus bit Jack’s leg and Dan tried to throw a pickaxe at him. Alex shouted at Ben to get the house back to Earth, and she would keep Jack distracted. 

Alex’s attempts to take down Jack were not great, as he was a skilled fighter. All she could think about was Steve back on Earth in his underwear, wondering where Alex’s house had gone. 

As the sword fighting got closer to where Ben was working, he activated the thruster and the house leaped toward the Earth. At the sudden movement, Alex and Jack were propelled backward along with everyone else. Jack went through one of the house’s back windows but managed to grab hold of the window ledge. 

Alex wanted to say a cool line before pushing him out, but now that the window was open the oxygen was depleting fast. So she just shoved him and watched as he grew smaller and smaller as he floated away into space. 

Everyone was about to pass out when the house reached Earth’s Atmosphere, and the oxygen levels came back. Ben was able to control the speed of the thruster to make the house go lower as he saw the village ahead approaching them quickly. 

Once they were about to land, Alex looked out the window and saw Steve and the other small group of townspeople who lived there staring at the house as it landed right back in its proper spot as if it had never left. 

When they all came outside, Steve said, “Alex you won’t believe what happened!” 

“We know,” she said soothingly. 

“And why don’t you put some pants on,” Ben told him. 

Steve looked down at his boxer shorts with smiley faces on them and his face became red.