This week we are asked to consider the concept of an arrival
It was the flickering of lights, then the alarm beside my bed that triggered me awake and into a state of uncertainty.
At 6am one’s lights don’t flicker.
Something was up.
Outside was an eerie silence and a light that had glowed red.
Curiosity had me out of bed. It might be another dust storm I thought. The last one left the sky with a red tinge and a lot of dust to clean up.
But outside it was clear. I could see across town and everything seemed normal except for the colour of the morning.
Then I saw them hovering above the town, the cylindrical shapes sitting there as if spying on the main street not that I could think of anything interesting in our main street at 6am.
In a flash they moved and settled over the paddock beside my house. They came down and seemed to kiss the grass before settling to the ground in the same way a mother hen might settle on a clutch of eggs.
They made no noise. They sat there for some time. I stood on my veranda watching, waiting for something to happen.
It was an arrival the like of which I had never seen before.
No fanfare, no fuss just quiet and peaceful.
I think most of the town was still asleep when a door in the side opened and out stepped what I came to know as Eric.
To say it beggared description is to put it mildly.
Lets just say for the ease of telling this story it was a grey mass. It sort of shone in the red light then it shivered in the morning cold and then as if guarding against the cold its colour turned a murky brown.
Seemingly now more happy in its environment it turned towards me or at least it turned and I think it was looking at me.
A wand appeared from out of the murkiness and waved towards me, the sting from whatever power it ejected burnt my arm.
I recoiled and then another hit my other arm.
I let out an exclamation of pain and that seemed to startle it.
Suddenly it was in front of me. Height wise it was just below my belt height.
“I do beg your pardon,” it said. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, just trying out our laser 3000 to see it might be useful here. I can see it will be. Very interesting.”
Another wand appeared and this one shaped like a hand extended as it to hand shake.
I gingerly took it and a sudden warmth run through me.
I don’t know how it happened but the next thing I knew I was serving tea and biscuits. Iced vo-vos to be exact.
There were three other murky browns around the table.
Outside the day was beginning and it seemed no one was noticing the spaceships sitting on the grass beside my house.
The leader who introduced himself as Eric made it clear they meant no harm but rather were on holiday sight seeing in our galaxy when what they thought was a malfunction on their radar turned out to be us.
Never did they think they would find any life forms in this part of the universe. So remote they said, so barren, so many life forms of limited use to them. As it was they concluded we would be extinct in five thousand years from sucking so much energy from the earth.
On the one hand the experience was exhilarating. On the other hand it was all rather depressing. They said there wasn’t much that could be done and as a life form from the few places they had already visited we were a very sorry sight, present company excluded they were quick to add.
I was the first person to offer them hospitality though how I did and when still eludes me.
But it was a good chat and they showed me some technologies that left me wondering about what we thought was cutting edge.
They made it clear that their arrival was to be treated with confidentiality.
The second in charge, Ted was a lovely chap and thought himself a bit of a poet much to the horror of his companions Tom and Harry who were for the most part very quiet.
“Cosmic clouds so vast
So colourful I wonder why
Your stars sparkle as they do
Is it because I snurgle so?”
That was how Ted began and it got worse from there such that Tom and Harry along with Eric changed colour three times and ended up a very embarrassed salmon colour.
Somewhere in his recitation Ted made mention of “eating entrails of blaster bugs” and at that moment his companions consumed him into themselves.
I need not be alarmed I was told it was what they did when one of their kind got out of control, Ted they assured me would be all right in a little while.
They stated their collective thanks and began to make their departure.
I can’t say I enjoyed the visit, I can’t say I remember it all as I’d like but their departure was like their arrival, very quiet, very gentle they hovered slightly above the ground as if the mother hen was checking to see if her chicks were all ok. Then in a flash they were gone.
I went inside to discover that Ted had left his poetry book behind.