[The auction for his Significant Object, with story by Irina Reyn, has ended. Original price: $0 (found/donated object). Final price: $30. This is part of a series of five epistolary stories guest-curated by Ben Greenman. Proceeds from this auction will go to One Story.]
From: Saskia (the Monkey)
Subject: Help Visitor From Future – Earn Riches in Afterlife
My Dear Human:
Under normal circumstances, I would never be asking you for money. We monkeys consider this an act of coarseness, a vile human quality. But extreme circumstances have forced my hand, and now I must appeal to whatever spirit of charity nestles in your so-called soul.
I’m not sure how much you know about time travel. I will assume next to nothing and not confuse you with time dilation and the twin paradox. In any case, during routine maintenance of the temporal deflector console, I found myself transported from the future and landing in a place you call New York City. You may wonder what the future holds for humanity. The short explanation is: you will all be dead. A peaceful, civilized society is ruled by monkeys. If it’s any solace, please know that evolution has done its proper work.
Finding oneself trapped in the past is inconvenient, not to mention prohibitively expensive. I had read about your attachment to currency, but it is far more deep-seated than anything our historians have imagined. Even your Ritz Hotel, fabled for its hospitality, refused to provide a few weeks’ respite for a guest lacking a valid credit card. Outrageous. In our society, we would be lining your bed with the finest Frette sheets, greeting you with the most lavish of spreads, (well not you; if we discovered an actual living human, we would probably execute you).
I’ve done a modest inventory of the items needed to repair the time machine and blow this Casa de Morons:
Two weeks at the Ritz (Royal suite): $30,000
Transport (BMW or comparable automobile): $80,000
Tools and sundries: $1,450
Quantum mechanic: app. $250/hour
In the past days, I’ve reached out to a dozen aid organizations (human only, they insist), to no avail. Is your race as ignoble as we’ve always assumed? Thankfully, you have the power to change humanity’s legacy. I could return to my community and say, “You know what, guys? That Mr. So-and-so (you) is not like the other inferior life forms. Let us inscribe his name in the Who’s Who Scroll of Humans or at least name a drink in his honor.”
Checks or money orders are equally accepted at PO Box 222, Soho Station, NY, NY. If you would like to directly deposit money through PayPal, please find the link below. I think $5,000 would be a reasonable, if modest sum.
Let this holy monkey in my image be a token of friendship. When you wind it, know that somewhere in the far future, I will be raising a (Your Name Here) blood orange mojito. I promise you this: you will not be forgotten.