Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Today marks week 45 of the 52 week writing challenge!
The prompt for Sunday 12th November is ‘Alien’:
This weeks attempt is written in first person. I needed to blow off some steam on something different so I can re-focus on my NaNoWriMo project later. Contains Aliens and drinking!
‘Come on Steven.Time to go home.’
‘No! I don’t want to!’ I replied with a squeak, and ran behind a table. A man as large as myself probably looked ridiculous behaving as I was, but drunk as I was I didn’t care. Outside, a beautiful vision caught my eye, a strange figure with a bent back and a large head.
‘Don’t you think you’ve had enough to drink mate?’ Johnny, my best friend since preschool, asked. ‘You have a big presentation to the technology board members tomorrow.’
I glanced at the empty glasses in front of me. ‘The bartenders here are so lazy,’ I grinned. ‘They didn’t clear our table!’
Beside me, Johnny’s girlfriend Sasha groaned. ‘Nope, those are yours. Give me your keys. Now. Ain’t no way I’m letting you drive home like this.’
‘Fine,’ I replied, and I knew I was pouting as I dug my keys out of my pocket. I missed three times trying to put them in her hand, but on the fourth try, our palms connected. Her hand was so warm.
‘Let go,’ Sasha insisted.
I did. No one messed with Sasha. She flounced over to the bar and spoke in loud whispers to the bartender. ‘She’s talking about me,’ I said to Johnny with a smile. ‘Jealous?’
‘She’s making sure he calls you a cab later, since you insist on staying here.’
‘I’m fine,’ I insisted, and waved them off as I sipped the last of my pint. ‘Need a refill. Later, losers.’
Johnny rolled his eyes and met up with Sasha at the exit as I approached the bar. I glanced outside again.
‘Another round!’ I ordered the barkeep, and then asked in a whisper. ‘Is the patio open?’
‘Aye mate it is, you look like you could use some fresh air,’ the bartender replied as he handed me another drink.
I took a sip. ‘This is soda!’
‘Your lady friend said no more. I have to agree.’
‘Fine,’ I replied, and slouched off towards the patio. ‘Need to be sober-ish to talk to that lovely vision outside anyway.’
I pushed open the door and the chill October wind assaulted me. It blew leaves into the building and earned me a glare from the patrons inside, but I just smiled and waved them off as I shut the door behind me.
‘Oh, you have friends!’ I said to the lovely lady and her two friends with large hats. ‘I’m Steven.’
I held out a hand, but they remained aloof. Then, as quiet as the whisper of wind which blew past, one of them replied, ‘Hello, Steven.’
‘Hi! Wow. Do you live around here?’
In the darkness, I thought I saw them nod.
‘Cool, I do too. Well. Half hour away, but it’s close-ish. Pubs near work you see.’
The wind ruffled their hats, and I thought I heard them giggle.
‘Sorry,’ I muttered, and ran a hand through my hair. I downed my drink with the other, wishing I had something stronger than soda. ‘I ramble when I’m nervous. A lot.’
An eerie light appeared behind them, and a giant saucer descended from the sky above. It illuminated the lake beyond the patio, and a beam sparkled in the dark of the night.
‘Woah… Hang on, is that your ride?’ I asked, my eyes wide as saucers as I stared upwards. ‘Are you… aliens?’
Their hats fluttered and they turned away, towards the light.
‘Wait! I didn’t mean to offend you! If you are, I don’t mind. I like aliens!’
There was a cough from behind me. I spun around to see the bartender. ‘Mate, those aren’t aliens, they’re patio umbrellas.’
I turned back and shielded my eyes as the bartender flicked on the outside light. There was no saucer in the sky, only the light from the nearby street lamp, and the women weren’t women or aliens. Was I that drunk? I needed to go home and sleep it off before my presentation. ‘Call me a cab,’ I said, as I smoothed my rumpled suit. ‘I think I’ll go home now.’
Suit still rumpled, and sunglasses over my eyes, I made it through my presentation the next day. I skipped the rest of the work day to sleep off my hangover, but a couple of hours later, when I got a phone call, things went downhill. They’d sacked me.
I was halfway down a bottle of scotch and halfway through a turkey sandwich by the time my friends found me. I didn’t want to tell them about work, so I told them about the aliens instead.
‘And then the bartender comes out, and tells me I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes trying to talk to patio umbrellas!’
Sasha snorted and spat out her drink. She wiped a hand over her mouth and said, ‘That’s new, even for you.’
‘Aliens are real! I’ve seen them,’ I replied, as I grabbed the bottle to pour myself another glass.
‘So you’ve said. Repeatedly,’ Sasha complained, ‘But you never show us any proof, and you only see them when you’ve been drinking!’
I opened my mouth to protest, but Johnny interrupted me. ‘Maybe if you spent less time thinking about aliens you’d still have a job,’ he said with a frown. ‘I put in a good word for you, and you screwed it up. My father’s not going to trust my judgement any time soon.’
I sighed. No one ever believed me, and no one would give me a break either.
‘I’m smart! They should forgive my mistakes!’ I protested. Cool amber liquid sloshed over the edge of my glass, and Johnny glared at me.
‘You mumbled through the entire presentation and shouted at the vice president of the company.’
‘He was yelling at me!’ I protested.
‘He was talking at a perfectly reasonable level, which you would have known if you weren’t hung over!’
I slouched in my seat and swirled my drink in my glass. Downed it with a gulp. ‘The aliens would appreciate me,’ I muttered.
‘Sure they would, mate,’ Sasha said with grim smile. She patted me on the back as she stood. ‘We’re going back to work. Don’t party too hard.’
‘Me?’ I asked with a laugh. ‘Never.’
I watched Sasha gesture to the bartender as she left, and cursed. I’d have to find another pub to drown my sorrows in. I took my bottle and my sandwich to go, and pushed open the heavy wooden door. A crisp wind assaulted me as I looked left and right. Left was work, the corporate sector. Not a pub in sight, but plenty of wine bars. Right was… Well. I’d never been right before. Time for a change.
I’d walked along three winding country lanes when it happened. I felt a weightlessness settle over me, and my feet left the floor.
‘Woah,’ I said, and dropped my sandwich in surprise. ‘I didn’t drink that much!’
I took another gulp of scotch and clutched the bottle to my chest as I ascended into the sky. Aliens were real! I glanced around at the empty fields. Too bad no one was around to see them, and I wasn’t going to risk dropping my bottle to dig in my pocket for my phone.
There was a whirr and a click above me. My head shot up to watch as a circular door slid open in the bottom of… A real spaceship!
‘Wow,’ I said, as my head was levitated over the top of the opening. ‘This is so awesome!’
‘I’m glad you like it, human,’ a smooth voice clicked from behind me.
I tried to spin around, but between the traction beam and my uncoordinated limbs I couldn’t figure it out. I was forced to wait until my feet were lifted above the opening and it slid shut beneath them. As soon as the beam disengaged and my feet touched the floor, I span around, but I ended up in a heap on the floor.
There was a murmur above me, and I looked up to get my first glimpse of them.
There were three of them, and they were freakishly tall, surrounded by a dark cloak. Their heads were obscured by a dark curtain, but it wasn’t material, it was rubbery, like skin.
‘It was you the other night!’ I yelled as I stumbled to my feet. I pointed my bottle of scotch towards them in my excitement. ‘How do you speak my language?’
‘We’ve watched humans for centuries. We speak many languages. And of course it was us. We are discreet and only show ourselves to those we believe worthy,’ the alien in front of the trio replied. I stared at it, trying to figure out where its lips were, where its eyes were. I didn’t know where to look. The thick leathery cloak parted. ‘Down here, human.’
I glanced down and gasped. In the middle of the creature was a single eye, and above that lips curled into a frown. I blinked and searched the bulging outcrop that must be its face. It had no nose that I could see, at least not near its mouth. I trailed my eyes upward, and gasped.
Underneath the dark curtain of what I’d assumed was its head, the tip of a long object peered out. Blue, with two slits for nostrils, it twitched as the creature continued to stare at me. Between that and its mouth, was a pale blue expanse of chest, and below its eye, a belt cinched the cloak together to hide its legs from view. Its arms were covered, but its hands were not. Long claws curled at its side.
‘We didn’t wish to alarm you,’ the alien said. ‘So we came in disguise.’ It smiled at me as I took a sip from my bottle. ‘What is that strange liquid?’
‘Scotch.’ I offered it my bottle. Did aliens have gender? I wasn’t about to assume. ‘It gives me courage. Try it.’
Its claws scratched against the glass as it took the bottle and raised it to its mouth. It swallowed, and I blinked. The liquid travelled upwards, and the alien frowned. It was an odd sight indeed.
‘Don’t like it?’ I asked with a frown of my own.
‘Do not confuse our expressions, human. This is our expression of happiness,’ the alien replied, with a gesture between its frown and the bottle. ‘Where can we find more of this delectable substance?’
‘Earth. I know a place,’ I said. I bounced on my toes, already plotting our visit.
‘Oh no, we couldn’t,’ the alien said. Behind it, its companions shook their heads. ‘We weren’t going to interfere, we just wanted your expertise.’
‘No one will mind if you come to the pub with me for a bit,’ I replied with a smirk. I glanced at my watch and grinned. ‘We’ll have to wait a few hours though. I want you to meet my friends.’ I’d show them who was crazy.
As we neared the bar a few hours later, after time well spent getting to know the ship and what my new friends required of me, the alien leader, Barticus, began to close his robe over his face.
I shook my head. ‘If you want to get served, leave it open, otherwise the bartender will mistake you for umbrellas again.’
‘Are you sure the other humans won’t freak out?’
‘Those that do aren’t worth knowing,’ I said with a grin as I pushed open the door.
‘Oh no. You’ve been cut off for today!’ the bartender said when he saw me.
I gestured behind me, to my new friends. The bartenders jaw dropped. People who glanced our way screamed and pushed past us, out the door. Some fled out the patio and off it into the lake. Soon, the bar was ours.
I led my friends to the bar. ‘You going to argue with them?’ I asked. ‘They have laser pistols.’
The bartender snapped his mouth shut and grabbed a bottle of scotch. ‘The usual?’
‘Four bottles and four glasses,’ I replied with a grin. He sighed and assembled our order. I grabbed the tray and nodded my thanks.
‘What’s a laser pistol?’ Barticus asked, as I led them to the seats on the patio.
‘Doesn’t matter,’ I replied. ‘The threat got us what we wanted.’
We were drinking quietly and sharing a few laughs over the stupidity of my old boss, when his son walked in.
‘You gave him more?’ Johnny yelled from inside, but his voice carried easily to where we sat.
I span around to watch the exchange. The bartender mumbled and pointed at me.
‘He’s drinking with the patio umbrellas!’ I heard Sasha say with a groan. She met my eyes and shook her head. ‘That’s it. I’m done.’
I nodded at her. My new friends turned to look. Sasha blinked. Johnny screamed.
‘I told you aliens were real!’ I yelled, then smirked and gestured to the bartender. ‘Load us up with all the scotch we can carry. It’s going to be a long trip!’
In deep space a couple of hours later, I reflected that, all in all, it had been a great day. I got a new job offer, I made some new friends, and I proved to my old ones that aliens were real. Best of all? My new bosses encouraged drinking at work.
Thanks for reading!
This was a lot of fun to write. I saw a picture once with patio umbrellas and a reference to talking to aliens. I can’t remember where (probably Twitter!) but it inspired this story. Anyway, I’m off to work on my NaNoWriMo project for the rest of the day!
Next Sunday’s prompt:
The prompt for 19th November is ‘Ruins.’
If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 19th November, and leave a link in the comments below so I can read it 🙂
If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂