Damn. I’m out of Baked Cheetos. I pause the DVD, take a quick pee and as I leave the bathroom Susie, my wife, enters shaking her head at me in disgust. “Are you really that hard up?” she asks. I grab a Fiber One bar from the snack drawer and flop back in my easy chair. Unpause. A.D. Skinner races in, buffed and wearing those wire-rim circular spectacles that make him look wonkish and ready to kick ass all at the same time. He says to me, “Senator Sorenson is shutting down the X-Files. He demands you stop pursuing the bull-necked, symbiotic shape-shifting super-soldier with green blood and oil in his eyes. You’re through, agent!” I shove A.D. Skinner aside, brush past him to the senator’s chamber, kick the door in, enter and say—
“I want to believe,” Susie says as she leaves the bathroom and walks down the hall, “that you’re coming to bed soon.” I shush my hand at her and press pause. “I’m warning you and this time I mean it,” she adds. I wait for her to close the bedroom door.
I’m standing in the middle of a large circle back-to-back with Scully. Surrounding us are the shape-shifting Manitou, the murderous Chinga Doll, the amorous Mutato, pizza-toting vampire Ronnie Strickland flashing his bicuspids, diabolical double agent Alex Krycek, and the incestuous Peacock Family, holding their limbless, chortling ma upright. Krycek screams “Now!” and the circle tightens. The occult, the primordial, the mutated, shuffle and scrape and crunch inward. Scully and I glance over our shoulders at each other. I whip out my leather-pouched ID and yell, “Put your hands up, we’re FBI!” Still, the circle tightens like a hangmen’s noose around us. I feel Scully’s hand grip mine. I reach into my shoulder holster and slip out my service revolver. She says, “There’s a logical explanation for this.” My pulse leaps. I say, “The truth is out—”
“There!” Susie says. “This’ll prove to you I’m not kidding around.” She’s carrying a small suitcase and the keys to the Accord. I press pause. Susie heads toward the front door. “Wait,” I say. “I’ll turn it off. Honest!”
“That’s what you said the last time, and the time before that!” The door slams. I spring out of my easy chair and rush outside just in time to see the car screech out of the drive. I barely notice it’s morning as I enter the house. I slump in my easy chair. I should go after her. I look around at the dull yellow walls, the plain furniture, the worn linoleum…and the remote in my hand. Unpause. The whistled theme music waffles in the air. The sinister circle once again closes in around me. I glance across the room at Langley who is yelling at Frohike who is pointing a lone gun at Byers. Scully taps my shoulder, arching her left eyebrow at me as if to ask, “Aren’t you going after her?” I glance at the remote. The circle is nearly upon me. Fight the future, I think, fight the future!