Things that go bump in thenight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Things that go bump in the night.


Suddenly the room was filled with a bluish light. A few seconds later they heard a crash like thunder and the whole house shook. Christ said Max that’s the last time I order a vindaloo from that bloody take away. Shut up said Sarah this could be serious. They had all moved over to the patio door that opened on to the garden. The sight that greeted them was unworldly.  

The smallholding was a mile from the nearest road but the three acre plot seemed to be lit by an eerie blue glow. At the end of what Max liked to call his kitchen garden was a large grey sphere perhaps thirty feet in diameter; it was glowing, smoking, and pulsating slowly, like disco lights that are running out of power. It was half buried in the crater it had made when it crashed into the ground. Most of the boundary fence which marked the kitchen garden’s limit had been sucked into the huge hole and was sticking up at a crazy angle.  What the devil! Max’s father in law had hardly got the words from his lips when a bright light lit up everything; it came from the sphere and was so bright the sphere itself disappeared from view. No sooner had the light come on than it was switched off and the four humans were left blinking at the stars that danced before their disbelieving eyes. As the eerie scene came back into focus, Sarah’s mother let out a piercing scream what is it, what is it Jim, How  do I know said Jim its probably an aircraft of some sort, or even a meteorite.

 Now Max liked his in-laws and they’d spent a pleasant evening so far but he could tell from the sound of his mother-in-laws outburst that things were beginning to go down-hill fast. Mary Walton was a big woman, highly strung and used to getting her own way; her long suffering husband Jim, as Max would often say to Sarah was like putty in her hands. If Mary wasn’t in complete control of the situation Jim got the blame! It flashed into Max’s mind that his in-laws relationship could be characterised by the advert he’d seen on the internet. For sale, 12 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, no longer needed, just got married, wife knows everything! Call the police, call the police, call the police Jim. Mary’s voice rose to a crescendo; what do I tell them said a perplexed Jim. Well tell them something’s landed in the garden and we don’t know what it is. Listen said Max let me go out and have a look, no, no, no said his increasingly agitated mother in-law it could be dangerous, call the police Jim. As the four of them continued to stare through the window Jim Walton picked up the phone and dialled 999. Fire police or ambulance said the stilted voice on the other end of the phone, police said Jim nervously. A few seconds later Jim heard a deep steady voice say Barton Ford police station, what’s the emergency. Well said Jim something big has landed in the garden and we don’t know what it is; there was a pause, well what does it look like sir? It looks like a huge sphere; actually said Jim looking out of the window as he spoke and noticing the portholes for the first time, it looks like a space ship. There was a longer pause and Jim thought he heard a sigh; I see said the voice, a space ship has landed in your garden; yes, well it’s not actually my garden, but that’s about the size of it said Jim. This time Jim could hear the exasperated intake of breath, and a few seconds later the policeman’s voice said; a’ve we been drinking sir? No, said Jim; well I did have a few glasses of wine with dinner; another pause; oh a bit of a party was it sir? No, no, no said Jim you don’t understand; I think I do sir, said the voice.

 At that moment the sphere started to split in two and a light, not so bright this time lit up the house and surrounding garden. Four bewildered souls looking through the window saw three figures emerge from the sphere and begin walking towards the house. There was hint of panic in Jim’s voice as he went back to the officer at the other end of the line. There are three people coming out of the space ship; there coming towards the back door. I see, said the steady voice at the other end, what colour are they? Well they look grey said Jim; not green then, said the voice; no they’re definitely grey said Jim, his voice rising by two octaves. Are you married sir said the policeman; yes said Jim but what’s that got to do with anything. Well I suggest you get the wife to make you a nice pot of black coffee and you go and have a lay down; wasting police time is a serious offence. With that Jim heard the dialling tone. What did they say, what did they say asked a panic stricken Mary. They thought I was mad said a rather chastened Jim. Just as Mary finished speaking there was a knock, knock at the back door. Mary screamed and Jim had to support her as she crumpled on to the sofa.

When Max opened the door an odd thing happened; all four of them were struck by a sudden wave of euphoria; it wafted in as the door opened; difficult to explain and Max later described the feeling as pleasurable understanding. It was impossible to be afraid or nervous and even the recently hysterical Mary had a smile on her face as they gazed at the three strange looking humanoids who were standing in the dimly lit porch. Before Max could react or ask a question a hypnotic voice in his head said greetings my name is Captain twenty and these are my companions. The voice paused for a few seconds and continued, our transporter has mal functioned and we are in need of water. For the first time Max realised that although the strange captain didn’t appear to be speaking his voice was being heard by the four of them. Sarah dashed into the kitchen and returned with a tray on which there were three large glasses of water. They didn’t so much see the smile as feel it and Max thought he saw the captains eyes twinkle. Sorry I should have explained said the voice our vehicle needs water not us. No problem said Max I’ll run out the hose pipe. As Max walked down the path pulling out the hose pipe as he went; he said to the captain, where did you come from? From a long way off said the voice. Yes but from where said Max; for a few moments Max felt the captain’s hypnotic presence leave his head as he communicated with one of his men. The voice came back again, the navigator suggests we arrived from 140 light years away said the captain. Impossible said Max it would take you hundreds of years to travel that distance. True said the voice in a matter fact tone; but we don’t travel in the sense that you understand it. Our vessel is able to bypass the space time continuum. Including time there are twelve dimensions and because of the malfunction we missed the fifth dimension and materialised here. Max’s meagre grasp of schoolboy physics imploded.


As they approached the sphere the captain’s voice said no further please; the radiation may have a detrimental effect on your metabolism. Max handed the hose to the small man on the captain’s left. Just a minute said Max; surely your ship doesn’t run on water. This time the three figures laughed, they made no audible sound but Max felt the emotion in his head. Too many questions; the captain’s voice drowned out the humour; for your information the voice went on we use electrolysis to split water; the resulting energy is used to ignite the gravitational flux mechanism. Why did I ask thought Max as he walked back to the house. Forty minutes later captain twenty was back at the door and the hypnotic voice intoned preparations for departure are being made!

 The next thing Max knew he woke up in his own bed with Sarah beside him; they were both fully clothed but their shoes had been removed; Max jumped out of bed and ran downstairs only to find his in-laws already looking out of the window for any signs of the sphere or the mysterious captain twenty but there was no trace of either, or of the debris that had littered last night’s crash site. Did all that really happen said Jim Walton, rubbing his eyes. They all grabbed outdoor coats and wandered down to the end of the kitchen garden; all was perfect, not a plant or a fence post out of place. But as Max walked along the fence he noticed all the posts were brand new and the wire was in pristine condition. He could also see that the small barn where he kept the smallholdings mobile equipments had been rebuilt. It took him an hour but after the inspection he was satisfied that everything within a hundred yards of the crash site had been repaired, replaced or carefully refurbished; how could they do all that overnight? Later, over lunch they all agreed that aliens had landed but who would believe them!  


 1613 words

Submitted: November 20, 2016

© Copyright 2023 Peter Piper. All rights reserved.

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