The King

“I just… I just don’t see how this is helping,” he said, head bowed.

“You don’t need to see. You don’t need to understand, Elvis. You just need to follow orders.” The Colonel stood up, making motions to leave. He felt a pang of pity for the soldier, remembered when he was in a similar situation many moons ago. A few less sequins, though. A lot less junk food.

“Colonel,” he said, edging closer, “it’s not me.” He glanced around, afraid that someone was watching, listening. “I can’t pretend to be this person anymore. I don’t think I’m fooling anyone. And this.” He brushed a burger aside and picked up a sheet of music from his make-up table. “Blue Suede Shoes. Carl did this, a few months ago. An extra body was shipped in for him, he burnt through the first one so fast. Why do I have to do the same song again?”

The Colonel sighed, ran his paw through his slick-backed tentacles. He brushed some glitter from his insignia. “Listen to me, son,” he said, placing his hand gently on Elvis’s shoulder. “This planet is important to us. Not just you and I, not just the military, but our people. Our race. This Thread is important to us.”

Elvis looked at his mentor and tears welled up in his eyes behind his sunglasses. He longed to be free of this body, of this place with its heavy gravity. He turned to his mirror and wiped his eyes. He stood up and shook his hips at his reflection.

“Well, it’s one for the money…”

4 thoughts on “The King”

  1. Nice, it reminded me of the tone of some Galaxy or Astounding stories from the 50s, but sadder, somehow. A good take on the “Elvis was an alien” UL without cliche.

  2. A group of tentacled aliens have some unspecified (but I’m assuming not nice) goals for Earth. They go about working towards these goals by having one of their own dress up as Elvis. It’s not clear whether he’s just impersonating Elvis, and that Elvis was once human, or if Elvis was never human and always an alien ploy. I like the idea that he was kidnapped, though, and was historically always an alien impostor 😛

    I enjoyed the slow reveal of the characters’ alien nature. I thought mentioning that “an extra body was shipped in” was a good, not-exactly-spelling-it-out-but-signalling-something-is-odd start to it.

    While I was reading this I had images in my head of that Elvis in the Army movie he did. Not sure I’ve ever seen the movie, though.

    And wooh! Tags!

    1. Thanks, RudeBoy.

      > historically always an alien impostor
      That’s my feeling, for sure.
      “No, Elvis is not dead. He just went home.”
      :)

      > the characters’ alien nature
      Did you also spot “many moons ago” near the beginning. Actual moons, man! Ahem.

      > And wooh! Tags!
      You set a fine example for us, sir.
      I’m a big proponent of meta-data thingies. Unfortunately I’m also incredibly lazy… :-/

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