“The Fortunate Ones” by James Bollert

Eric Jackson sat at his desk typing away at the reports he had to get finished by five o’clock. Out of the corner of his eye he thought he spotted the top of someone’s head walk passed the fax machine, but when he got up and looked out he could see anybody.

Eric asked as he spun around to his cube neighbor Dave, “Holy shit, was that Ian?”  

“Uh, no. He may be a little person, but he’s got big footsteps. I totally would have heard him,” Dave replied.

“Why? You think you saw him?”

“I just thought I saw the top of his head as he was leaving. He’d normally tell us to keep up the hard work,” Eric said as the two returned to work.

“He’s probably busy and didn’t have time to stop,” Dave said without turning from this computer.

After work Eric took a shortcut down a pathway through a small park area
that he took to and from work, never on weekends, and always uneventful. Eric saw what he thought was a man leaning against a tree in the park, but he didn’t pay any attention to him.

Eric looked away, not wanting to stare at what he presumed to be a little person with strange clothing on but as he was looking away he couldn’t help but notice that the guy wasn’t wearing any shoes. Eric tried to sneak a quick glanced but forced himself to look away. It was too late.

“Sir. Sir!” The guy started saying and Eric knew that he was busted for having done a double-take on him and started thinking of all the excuses to he could make so the guy didn’t think he was rude.

“I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to stare,” Eric said, leading with an apology. He thought it was a quick but sensible approach.

“You can see me?” The guy replied, causing Eric to regret stopping. Eric started looking for a way to get around this guy as he felt a powerful urge to flee.

 “Uh, yeah. I’ve gotta go.” Eric said looking for the quickest way out of the park, caving to the urge that allowed him to walk away despite it feeling rude.

 “He can see me, folks!” The guy said, with a smile more appropriate for a cat that caught a bird than a man in a park.

“Wow, someone’s…” Eric started thinking, grinning to himself as he thought until he looked up and spotted a dozen of various-sized people in strange clothing coming out of the woodworks.

“Whoa, what’s going on?!”

“You’re a rare and special kind of human that can see our kind, we Menehune.” The first man said, attracting Eric’s attention back onto him.

“I… This can’t be happening,” Eric said, stammering a bit out of shock before he turned and headed for home.

Eric walked in his house he rented with Alan and Alan’s girlfriend Jessica, hoping to get some time to relax with his roommates that were becoming friends. As soon as he opened the door he felt able to relax but as he walked in and sat on the couch next to Alan and Jessica.

“How was work?” Eric asked as he leaned back and relaxed.

“Neither of us had to work today,” Jessica replied.

The Menehune that Eric had spoken to in the small park walked through the door. Not unlocking and turning the knob, but walking through the door. The door didn’t move. The small man, dressed in unfamiliar clothes strode through as if it wasn’t even there. Eric’s eyes widened as he stared at the doorway, causing Alan and Jessica to stare at him.

“Oh, yeah, that’s right. I, uh, thought that was tomorrow,” Eric said before realizing how suspicious he was acting.

“Friggin’ weird day today, I’ll tell ya. My manager Ian was sneaking around the office, I swear.”

“Are you all right?” Alan asked as he sat up in his chair and looked at Eric.

“Look, I’m gonna to be real. I see these people called Menehune and one of them is right there,” Eric replied.

“You idiot,” The Menehune said before he burst into laughter.

“Nobody can see or hear me or my kind but you. That’s why you’re special.”

“I… Think you need to go lay down and sleep off whatever you’ve taken because you’re on drugs, Eric,” Jessica said with only a hint of a joking tone in her voice that was only there to make it nicer sounding.

“I really hope that it’s some sort of drug. I feel like I’m losing my mind,” Eric said as he looked at the Menehune.

 “You’re not losing your mind, pal,” The Menehune said.

 “How do you know?” Eric asked what seemed to be the door, causing Alan and Jessica to widen their eyes.

“You could just be a figment of my imagination. Your whole kind is just a myth, so why am I seeing you?”

 “Hey, buddy, it’s real simple, so listen very carefully because I think you’re thick and not in a good way. We’re real.” The Menehune said, “You should also probably not talk to me or even acknowledge that I exist around other people, lest you look crazy as f…”

 Why can I see you? And can you just, I don’t know… leave me alone? That way I could at least pretend you don’t exist,” Eric said, prompting Alan and Jessica to get up and walk into their room.

“Please,” Eric said in a hushed voice as he watched Alan and Jessica walk

“Uh, no can do, pal. I know you don’t realize how rare you are and I know that you definitely don’t know how much fun you are to play with. We’re going to have a lotta fun. A lot of fun.” The Menehune said with a wide smile.

 “Oh, please no,” Eric said as Jessica and Alan walked out of their room.

 “Eric, we’d like for you to go to the hospital. We think you may be experiencing a psychological breakdown,” Jessica said in as sweet of a tone as she could muster.

 “Oh, heck yeah! Hospital time, baby!” The Menehune replied.

 “No, no way. I’m just gonna lay down and sleep it off, whatever it is. Like you said,” Eric replied.

“I could use a nap anyway.”

 “No, Eric, you should go see a doctor about this. You’re seeing things, man. You could’ve been drugged and don’t even know it,” Alan said as he stood cross-armed beside Jessica.

“Dude, I am not going to a hospital. I shouldn’t have even said anything,” Eric said as he stood up before he went to his bedroom and closed the door.

 “What the hell…”

 “Seriously, what the hell… did you think was gonna happen if you mentioned my kind? You do realize that people talk about us, right and that we’re considered mythological creatures, right?”

“So, saying that you saw just one of us, let alone a bunch of us living in the park, thanks for giving away our hiding spot by the way, is like saying
you saw a unicorn,” The Menehune replied while Jessica and Alan listened with their ears up to the door.

 “What? Unicorns are real?!” Eric said as he paced back and forth in his room, causing Jessica and Alan to look at each other before Eric dug into his pocket.

 “What!? No, are you stupid or something? We have a real winner here,” The Menehune replied, causing Eric to stop and stare at the Menehune wide-eyed.

 “Oh, yeah, because that would be ridiculous,” Eric said before he went back to pacing back and forth in his room.

While pacing back and forth Eric noticed a police cruiser pull up into the driveway and he realized what had happened.

 “What the hell!?” Eric said as he ripped his door open, “You called the friggin cops on me?!”

 “You’re acting crazy, Eric. We tried helping you, but you wouldn’t accept our help,” Alan said as the Menehune kicked their phone off the arm of the couch and into their glass of water sitting on the end table beside the couch.

 “Oh, come on!!” Jessica said as she ran to her phone as the police knocked on the door.

 “You’ve got to be kidding me. Please don’t do this.” Eric said as he looked at Eric and then over at Jessica, and then at the Menehune.

 “You need to go to the hospital, Eric,” Jessica said as Eric let the cops in.

 “I’ll go, I’ll go,” Eric said, holding his hands up.

He walked out with the cops, who didn’t even put handcuffs on him before they put him in the back of the car. They drove off and as Eric watched the Menehune fade into the distance, he felt himself relaxing. Until he looked back and noticed the Menehune sitting beside him in the back of the car.

 “It’s gonna be real fun, pal. So much fun,” The Menehune said, “So much.”

 “I need a psych eval, stat,” Eric said as he leaned up to talk to the cops through the metal mesh.