Note: This is one of my older pieces. Just something silly I had to write for a class. I rediscovered the file and decided to see what people thought.

An 8-Letter Word

A man wearing a cape rang her doorbell.

Ginny looked up from her crossword puzzle and stared out the window at the bizarre-looking man. He was attractive, she had to admit, with dark, wavy medium-length hair deliberately styled to appear unstyled: wild and unkempt. His eyes were blue as the ocean and definitely nice to look at, but shadowed by the ugly green…thing…on his head. It appeared to be a hat of some sort but looked more like a flattened plush frog strapped on with large round goggles like a World War I pilot's. Aside from the rather luridly patterned yellow and orange cape billowing dramatically in the wind, he wore heeled knee-high leather boots that hugged his calves and looked decidedly uncomfortable.

Baffled by his appearance, but also intrigued, she cracked the door open as far as the security chain allowed and asked, "Yes?"

A broad, impeccable white smile crossed his face and he bowed, flourishing the cape and tipping his hat to her. "Miss Virginia Lee Madsen, I am honored to make your acquaintance."

Ginny raised an eyebrow. "And you are…?"

"The name's Marcus. Marcus Aurelius Thelonius Isadore Bartholomew Daniels-Wellington. I've come from the future-"

She cackled and closed the door, walking away. The doorbell rang again and he grinned at her through the window next to the door. Against her better judgment, she rolled her eyes and opened the door again.

"Virginia, my lady," he said with another extravagant bow, "I am thrilled that you have given me a second chance. You must feel, as I most certainly do, that we are destined to be lovers and-"

"Excuse me?" This time she slammed the door in his face and didn't look back, even though he continued ringing the doorbell for several minutes. Ginny picked up her crossword puzzle and sat down at the kitchen table, basking in the light coming in from the glass patio doors.

A tap on the glass distracted her from number 23-down as the man clambered over the rhododendrons and stumbled gracelessly onto the brick-paved patio. Retrieving his hat and carefully placing it back on his head, he flashed that Barbie-sweet smile again and yelled through the glass, "You see, my dearest Virginia, I have come from the futureto claim you, lovely, sexy, beautiful Virginia, to save the human race."

Ginny blinked at him and went back to her crossword. 23-down: lunatic. 8 letters.

Undeterred, the man continued even though the edge of his cape was stuck to a boxwood branch and his hair was falling flat. "In the future, roughly eight hundred fifty-three years or so from our present time, the human race is dying and we need old blood to help renew us."

Ginny angrily slid the glass door open and said, "That doesn't even make sense. Besides, what if I'm supposed to do something important that alters your future when I don't do it? I've seen enough crappy scifi movies to know that's dangerous. Or didn't you get the memo?"

He smiled again, tossing his hair back to life so it caught the sunlight in a roguishly handsome way, only to settle perfectly, framing his face as before. "Aha, sweet Virginia, I see we have chosen well since you have an unusually skilled mind for one of your sex in this time." She shot him a dirty look and closed the glass door, pulling the blinds closed while he spoke. "Our people choose only the finest women, career-bent and childless until death, who don't actually contribute to society in any tangible way without our intervention. You see," he shouted, apparently realizing she could no longer see him and might not even hear him anymore, "we're saving you from obscurity, plucking you from your useless existence to make you a bearer of the greater race."

Ginny pushed aside the blinds so he could see her, smiled sweetly and held up a finger to show she'd be back in one moment. She went into the garage and came back hauling Sadie, her Doberman, by the collar. "Look, asshole, I don't care if you're actually from the future or just some crackpot with weird clothes, you leave my property right now or I'll let Sadie here play with your stupid cape and those godawful boots." Sadie watched him intently.

The man looked suitably shaken and backed away a few steps. Uncertain, he adjusted his ugly green hat on his perfectly coifed hair, and whimpered, "But what about humanity? Babies? You're dooming us and yourself for no reason. Think of the future!"

"Screw the future." Ginny grabbed the door to slam it shut but stopped to say, "Work on your pickup line next time. Better yet, give up."

The bizarre man disappeared around the corner and the last thing she ever saw of him was a quick flash of a yellow and orange cape billowing in his wake. Scratching Sadie's ears, Ginny sat back down to her crossword.

23-down. She filled it in. C-R-A-C-K-P-O-T.