Saturday, 18 January 2014

Alien base on the Moon


“Turns out that there is an alien base on the moon, it's been there for a few thousand years, on the dark side of course but they still have capability to observe us from there. It's  a science they've developed along with many others, they are naturally more advanced and sophisticated than we are. If we developed it we'd call it Octogeographics – it means have the ability to look through and/or around things. Useful if you want to operate undetected whilst observing primitive peoples or sensitive animals over a long period of time which is exactly what they've been doing. If you are an alien being based on the moon is seen as a pretty bum gig, not the best, not the location to which the best operators are sent. It's either young apprentices or the old heads, those who are near the end of their service, on the verge of burn out or retiral. Earth you see isn't really considered to be all that interesting, in fact it's dull. That's partly because the real reason they are they is to monitor the sun, the earth is secondary in the mission and the sun, in the great scheme of things is still low down in terms of universal interest.”


“The aliens are mainly interested in the rather erratic behaviour of the sun, suns (stars) are far more important than planets and our sun is going through a particularly odd period at the moment. The sun's activity is currently slowing, dying back, reaching a low level of activity. All the signs are that solar movements have died back and so who knows where this will take the giant star or what the consequences might be for the solar system? So the aliens are studying this and they've seen a lot of it before as everything runs in the familiar universal cycles, birth, maturity, death. But it's worth recording so that a fuller understanding can be had and critically that any strategic opportunity or tactical gain can be realised.  Aliens pretty much want the same things as earth people, they have their schemes. If the sun changes then everything else orbiting around it will also change.”


“You might be wondering quite how I know all this. The answer is simple, I'm one of them, I'm a sleeper, a lizard man, a star man, here hidden in your plain sight. Heading out, heading in, gathering data and doing local and more detailed observation. There is the occasional piece of interaction with the humans, that's unavoidable if meaningful study is to take place, I can deal with that. So far I've been  active on earth for  about three hundred of your years. I've seen all the wars, minor advances, developments and significant events in that time. You might think it's all been exciting and dramatic, well maybe but we've written a lot of it off  as wasted opportunities and the predictable outcome of poor communication skills. All your languages and the diverse cultures that you celebrate don't really help, you need to slim down on these things, focus and pool your strengths together. You get far too hung up diversity and individuality. That mistake has cost you dearly in your progress on the evolutionary path. Basically you're all pretty fucked up, you know it (in a way) but really you don't and sadly (based on what I've seen) you're incapable of stepping out of this (other) cycle.”


“Anyway it's not in my mission to sort you out, that would take a decent sized nuclear war, something you've shrunk back from but frankly you need to take the bad medicine. You wont see it this way but it's your next most logical evolutionary step. Yes it is and that's unpalatable but the whiners and the cowards will never see that. They want the earth to be developed under a glass case full of preserved artefacts, using languages, processes and economic models that are broken. There is no value in preserving  lifeless ways of life and inefficient systems. Concentration on these things will not give you the kind of progress you need. You need to learn lessons from the past and wash your planet clean. Every other successful civilisation in the known universe has been through this but you guys are stuck in a rut. Now your sun is slowly switching itself off, you need to think again.”


“So there you have it, that's how it is, you've got some potential but you are all too strung out on the wrong things; religious slavery, political ineptitude, greed and fighting amongst yourselves. The most powerful need to take the initiative, cleanse the planet and move on. Ok that's an alien perspective but hey we've been watching your antics for a while and you're struggling. Anyway I've got to head back soon, I've a few extra shifts to do back on the moon base before I get my next break.”

Friday, 17 January 2014


She had always been partial to the gentle but stylish sounds of singer and songwriter Clifford T Ward. She loved his voice, it's quiet strength and his clever and concise lyrics. She'd been a fan since she'd heard his first album way back in her teenage years; “Singer Songwriter” in 1971, then she'd moved onto “Home Thoughts” (his second and most successful recording) and had followed him via his other recorded output up until he died in 2001. She had never seem him perform live however, he was famously reluctant to tour but she was consoled by the odd video clip that remained and her collection of cuttings  and albums. Whatever else even if most of the world had forgotten about Clifford, she would not – she hummed the opening lines of “Gaye” to herself and carefully and slowly played along on an air piano. It was a beautiful song.

Now she was looking out across the kitchen sink, out through the grimy window and net curtains, across the roofs of the council flats and garden sheds, the concrete and cacophony of housing estate life, past the odd struggling tree and orange glowing lampposts and that mysterious cold fog of damp and air pollution that just hung there between heaven and earth. She looked through all this to see the winter sun glow and slowly fade out over the warehouse tiles and the motorway flyover. The day was over nearly but she felt warm inside as the melody trailed away somewhere in the back of her mind, like a ribbon on the end of a drifting balloon. It would have been nice to have been called Gaye (with an e of course). It seemed sad that the word and the name had been hijacked by another meaning altogether, a modern language piece of robbery that she was powerless to stop or change. She just liked that name and liked to imagine Clifford T singing it to her in the song, as if it was her real name and it was all pure and untainted by...everything. The thought brought a tear to the corner of her eye and a sniff and a wipe. She finished the dishes.

Life would've been so different if she could have just met a man like Clifford, a mild, creative, sensitive type, a man who just understood things, a man who listened and smiled. She was still looking out of the window. At times like this her loneliness was like a sharp pain, almost crippling but familiar and comforting in a way she couldn't understand. This was how it had been for years, tight up and private, all there running around inside her head in an unspoken spiral of frustration, rage and then tempered by a silent reflection and a passive acceptance. “This is my life and my pain; I can choose to prod it to understand it or I can choose to deny it and leave it be. I can also choose to ignore it and then just slip away. Slip away into that music, those chords ringing out from the piano, recorded forty years ago but still as fresh as paint. Remarkable and moving, understood by me and me alone as the voice rises and sings and pours out the raw but very English emotions that you  won't  find anywhere else. You just won't.”

Then, the doorbell rang, you never do expect that to happen. It was a delivery, an Amazon Box, recycled and woven with brown parcel tape and handwritten labels. She signed the electronic device the man handed her, thanked him, took the package inside and closed the door. She stood and admired the box, she like the look and feel of cardboard. This was a fine example. “Don't be in too much of a hurry to open it, savour the moment, don't be in too much of a hurry,” so said a voice from somewhere. Perhaps God, Clifford T, the radio or the delivery man whispering through the letter box.

She put the box on the coffee table and read the label; Ms G Fraser, 121 Mendelssohn Way, Saltley, Wolverhampton. It had come to the correct address. The voice's advice was still resonating so she made a cup of tea and weighed up the box and what It might contain. There were no brand names or logos, it was ex-Amazon but the label was hand written in biro on white paper cello-taped to the lid. It was bigger than shoe box but much smaller than a whale. She was intrigued and she reminded herself that she never bought things on line or from mail order catalogues.  Somebody else had sent it out to her. Another singsong voice began in her head:

“I sent a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it,

I sent a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it,

I dree, I dree, I dree, I dropped it.

My lover sent a letter out and on the way he dropped it,

My lover sent a letter out and on the way he dropped it,

He dree, he dree, he dree, he dropped it...”

She jumped up from the couch, plonked down the empty tea mug and sliced open the box with the upturned blade of a pair of scissors. The cardboard flaps yielded and sprang up as the tape was slit up the middle, a delicious moment. There were more packing materials inside, bubble wrap and tape and botched things. It was well wrapped up. She tore through the outer levels.  She saw the contents and was shocked, a tiny hiss of a tiny scream escaped and she shut the box quickly and looked around the room, as if a crowd might have gathered to watch and comment upon her response. She gently put the package back on the coffee table like was for all the world an unexploded bomb (it wasn't).

She composed herself, that took time. Hands together then open and apart she lifted the lids and picked out the packing materials, shaking each piece as she drew it from the box. With the packing gone the contents were revealed and her mouth already open fell open wider. Bones. There were bones. Dry, white and grey, flaky, old, dusty, misshapen, strange bones, unholy bones she thought. About a dozen shapes (which she wasn't about to touch or count properly) maybe femurs, ribs, vertebrae; human or animal, ugh! There seemed to be no obvious explanation and her mind was racing around the various macabre possibilities. She looked again at the outer packaging and the post mark. “Birmingham City”  was all it said. “Bones from Birmingham, dry bleached bones, blown in to lie and die in the dust in my house, sent from up the motorway in Birmingham. 

The neighbours were complaining to the police. Hardly an angry mob but here and there feelings were running high on a mixture of frustration, disturbance and concern. “Bloody woman, bloody music, everyday, all day, that's all she plays and now it's been going on for weeks...well all week. I can't sleep or concentrate, it's like being strangled by treacle,  you have to do something.”

The police eventually acted. They had to break down the door. She was there, sitting in the kitchen, slumped but still staring out, dead eyes open, blindly staring over the sink, beyond and past the kitchen window to the wide world beyond. The sun was going down. There was an eerie glow in the room. The bones were laid out on the kitchen table, arranged like letters or symbols. The officers couldn't quite fathom it, then one realised he was seeing the word upside down. He moved across the kitchen floor stepping on some bubble wrap that popped as his black shoes landed on it. The bones spelt out “Gaye”.