9 July, Takahiro Ōkura

文字数 3,558文字

Stay at Home with an Alien

I’d just been gazing into space when an alien appeared in my apartment. Apparently, it’d come to take over the Earth.
  I dislike violence, the alien said. I couldn’t tell if it was its skin or if it was wearing some kind of suit, but the alien’s body was a shiny black.
  So instead, I want to challenge your heart. You just have to tell me that you will give me the Earth. What do you think?
  What would happen if I did say that—that it could have the Earth, I wondered. Alien technology is uncharted territory. There’s no doubt that extraterrestrial powers are capable of things beyond human imagination. The alien will seize the Earth in no time.
  The alien scanned my poorly-lit, single-room apartment with its big blue eyes.
  There isn’t much in this place. The only thing worth mentioning is the computer. Your salary barely covers the rent, food, and cell phone bill. You have zero savings. If you give me the Earth, I can promise you a better life. You can fill your stomach with the most delicious foods. You can go wherever you want, and do whatever you wish, as much as you like. How’s that? Have I convinced you to tell me that you’d give the Earth to me?
  I thought about it for a moment, then said, Three months ago, I would’ve happily given it to you.
  Explain yourself.
  The Earth is in big trouble at the moment. A lot of people have lost their lives because of a horrible virus, and no one can go outside.
  I am aware of this.
  I haven’t left my house in three months, you know.
  That must be difficult.
  I shook my head.
  Not at all. I can work remotely and buy everything I need online. The country gave me some money, although it was a small amount. I don’t have to see anyone, and I don’t need to leave my home. No need to worry about what to wear or getting a haircut. No one cares whether I bathe or not. Now, my days are rather enjoyable.
  I can’t say I agree with the bathing part. . . .
  So, I won’t give you the Earth. I’ve finally started to enjoy life here.
  The alien didn’t seem to have such a thing as a facial expression, but I could tell that it was angry.
  Curse the virus!
  With that, the alien vanished like smoke.
  The next day, the virus disappeared. The alien must’ve done something.
  Soon, I went back to commuting on packed trains, getting lectured by my boss, and going to social gatherings I wished I didn’t have to attend. The balance in my savings account makes me . . . well, unbalanced. My normal, gloomy days on Earth have returned.

Translated by Yuka Maeno/Arranged by TranNet KK

Takahiro Ōkura
Born in Kyoto, 1968. Graduated from Gakushuin University’s Faculty of Law. Won honorable mention in 1997 at the 4th Sogen Mystery Short Story Prize for Sanninme no yūrei (The third ghost), and won the 20th Mystery Novel New Face Award in 1998 for Tsūru & sutōru (Tool & stall). The Shirato Osamu no jikenbo (Osamu Shirato’s casebook), Fukuie keibuho (Assistant inspector Fukuie), and Keishichō ikimono gakari (Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s living-beings clerk) series have all been adapted for TV. He has also written screenplays for anime including







, with the films















becoming box-office hits.




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