During his most recent, almost lustful relationship with a bottle of Australian wine, it had dawned on Drew that he had reached a roundabout in his life. While the world continued to turn around him – everyone else having a place to go – Drew was very much stuck in the middle of it all, isolated on a man made island. Everyone else got to reach a crossroads, it seemed, at which they could make life changing choices and enjoy the self confidence that a little decision making can bring. Not for Drew, however! He was a plump, fortysomething, stay at home dad with very little to occupy himself other than making sure that his boy got to school and his little girl’s nappy wasn’t full of crap.
Life is an arse… and then you have to wipe it… or something… Drew thought through his self induced haze of alcohol. He decided to commiserate with himself by setting off for the nearest roundabout … probably to have a little, private, drunken wee there.
It was all a little blurry from that point… Drew remembered dropping the keys to the shed… something about struggling to turn tiny pedals… being assaulted by a tree and wrestled to the ground by long grass… blissful, glorious snoring…
…and then, sweet nothing…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Drew snapped awake and stared at the stars as they shook in silence. A huge, gelatinous blob of monochromatic light undulated it’s way over his head and out of his eye line and air shimmered in it’s wake, causing the night sky to ripple impossibly… As he watched, tiny pulses of light began to appear in the sky where the blob had travelled – these shimmers opening like flowers, eventually growing into one another to form what looked like a roughly drawn slimy line of liquid light.
He sat bolt upright and his aching head immediately protested. Holding a slightly muddy hand up to his temple, Drew shifted as quickly as he could into a standing position, whipping himself with low hanging tree branches as he did so. Tripping his way forward awkwardly, bracken and weeds attempting to halt his slightly drunken progress, Drew stepped out into the clear grass. There, he stood motionless, in awe of the trail of semi-corporeal goo that had been left in the wake of some… unidentified… flying slug thing ?
Following the trail, he once more gazed upon some kind of massive, mollusc like flying object. It shuddered as if struggling to maintain control of itself in the sky, then began a slow arc towards the ground – Drew reckoned about a mile away. Drew involuntarily winced and snapped his eyes shut as the… craft ? … sheered to the left, about to smash into the ground.
He stood for a moment, expecting a huge explosion, and quite possibly a ball of wind and flame that would engulf him. Strangely, all he felt was a tiny summer breeze and the hint of rain in the atmosphere.
Drew panicked. Perhaps he had gone deaf. That couldn’t have been right – he could hear the air calmly soothing the nearby trees into a moonlit dance (once, that was, he was able to slow his own roaring breaths). Drew coughed, just as an extra hearing check… then opened one eye to look at the crash.
Whatever it was had stopped alright. Not only that but the thing looked like it had… become part of the earth ? There didn’t appear to be any major crash damage – at least visible from this distance. Drew expected to see either mounds of displaced Earth or one heavily jigsawed space slug. Neither of these were apparent. It was as if the thing hadn’t quite ‘been’ there enough to actually crash.
“I hereby declare that I will never drink again…” Drew proclaimed to No-One in Particular.
He heard ‘No-One’ laughing back at him in his head, each metaphorical cackle sending with it a dull ache.
It was at this point when Drew remembered where he was and what he had been doing… “Oh balls!” he sighed, glancing down at a distressed looking child’s bike that had helped to transport him to his leafy resting place… The pint-sized conveyance had carved a muddy arc into the freshly mown grass of the roundabout upon which Drew was standing and his son’s pride and joy lay abandoned nearby. A ring of flowers closer to the tree filled centre of the circle had been rudely broken at one point – the trail of destruction pointing towards Drew, who stood, slightly hung over, in a small patch of grass just outside his impromptu camp site.
What looked to be an explosion of light drew his eyes back up to the distant slug. Again, no sound emanated from the site to accompany the white fireball from part of the craft. For a moment, the slug appeared to strobe as if juddering in and out of existence, until it seemed to right itself in some way within reality.
Drew shook himself awake a little more. Better check this out before it disappears again, he thought.
Or explodes properly this time… the creepy, slightly melodramatic part of his brain added.
Grabbing the bike, Drew struggled to climb upon it once more. Having achieved a partial success at mounting his mini wheels, he rode awkwardly onto the road – knees bashing heavily into the steering column with every attempt to pedal.
Slowly and unsurely, Drew began his painful ride towards adventure like an oversized, drunken Elliot on his way to meet E.T. …
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