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Recommended Posts

Three weeks ago, an alien landed in my back garden. Pardon me for being nonchalant, but I knew the day was going to be an unusual one when I found a double yolk in my fried egg.


Nodding to myself in slow satisfaction, I popped the both of them with a fork and continued with my breakfast. A rare day off only meant a game of catch up as I struggled to wade through mountains of laundry and if I was lucky, I wouldn't fall asleep playing my PS4 like last weekend. Taking advantage of the good weather, I hung my laundry outside and watched for a while as the towels were caught by a fresh wind, twitching like banners. I was clearly lost in thought, because the only thing that tore my attention away was a dull thump in the grass behind me. No sooner had I turned around, the smell of sweet smoke tickled my nose and thin plumes rose almost like vapour trails in cartoons. My first assumption was that it must be a drone - I know the Henderson's next door have more money than they know what to do with, and it was ideal flying weather to be fair. Last year I wound up fishing a remote controlled monster truck out of my new pond. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed more appendages. The smell of smoke was growing sweeter, almost like barbecue sauce and a twinge of sadness flickered as I remembered I forgot to buy some yesterday.

As the smoke thinned, I noticed that whatever it was shone a brilliant blue colour. After a few seconds, the machine cracked open and revealed what looked like a tiny armchair surrounded by soft flashing lights. Sitting inside was the ugliest animal I think I've ever seen. It was only a shade duller than the craft itself, but with two bulbous grey eyes that seemed to shimmer as sunlight hit them. Anatomically, it was vaguely human, but the only similarities were a pair of arms and legs. Surprisingly, I only really took a step back when the alien coughed and fanned whatever smoke it could away. With a leap that was borderline theatrical, the alien left its craft and seemed to proudly stand in front of me. The double yolk in that egg was the least of my worries now.


"Do not be alarmed, human," its voice was oddly powerful for something barely half a metre tall.


We stood facing each other for what seemed like weeks. With each second, the drama was leaking. I noticed the once proud stance was melting from the alien's shoulders. With a fresh breath, it regained composure and pushed out its chest to preserve what little anticipation was left. I really shouldn't have eaten that egg. Honestly, I was too stunned to even move, let alone take a photograph to prove I hadn't drowned in my orange juice somehow.

"I have travelled far, but your kind have been less than helpful. I bring wisdom from beyond your stars and seek guidance in spreading my news to your species. A great threat looms."

"Less than helpful?", I croaked, finally able to form a sentence. My toast did seem a bit dry. "You've been here before?"

"Yes, some time ago. I was forced to retreat back into orbit around your moon when I failed to illicit a response from others."

The alien's eyes darted to the right and the gills on its neck seemed to flutter excitedly.

"There! I spoke to them previously and was most offended!"

I turned quickly, hoping not to see more creatures of the unknown. The last thing I needed was an intergalactic turf war in my back garden.

"That?" I turned back, leaving a thumb pointing over my shoulder, "that's a cat. They don't talk like we do, they just make noises. I doubt they could understand you anyway."

A mixture of relief and embarrassment was clearly visible on the alien's furrowed brow.

"That explains a great deal. I have spent decades studying your numerous languages, I would be most displeased at having wasted my time."

Its diction was flawless, I had to give it that. I did have some questions about source material though, as it seemed like it'd had spent the past twenty or so years gleaming English from both sitcoms and literary classics. I held my tongue and brought my attention back to the situation at hand.


"Regardless," boomed the voice again, "pardon my cliché but I wish for you to take me to your leader. We have much to discuss!"

"Oh, er," I mumbled. This might be a problem.

"Well, she's busy at the moment."

"Busy? What do you mean?"

"Well, she's got a lot on at the moment, what with Brexit and everything."

The alien's gills snapped shut. I couldn't tell if this was sadness or annoyance.

"What is Brecksit? A rival species? My news is the only news to be trusted."

"No, it's more like... a..."

I scanned the garden for help in the form of a metaphor. I didn't quite feel like explaining the politics and besides, if this thing was even a little bit malicious it would probably use the information against me. I already had a cease and desist letter from my internet provider warning me about the dangers of piracy, I didn't need any more trouble.

"I'll go into that later," I said, finding nothing. "You'll need an appointment to see her. You can't just walk up to her front door. Her house is barricaded."

"Ah, she is expecting an attack! A wise move," the alien spat, stroking its face, "I hope her defences are apt."


Maybe the prime minster knows more than I do about this, I thought. We stood awkwardly for a few more seconds as if it was awaiting my instructions, not the other way around. This was definitely not how I expected visitations from another world to play out. Its entrance was grand, sure, but it had the air of an office worker on their first day.

"Would you... like to come inside?"


That was it. No ray guns, no battles, certainly no probes. I think deep down I felt sorry for him. He at least put some effort into it. Most people I know who go to other countries don't learn a scrap of the language and here he was, rattling off sentences better than I could. Over the first few days I gradually learned more about him. He doesn't really have a name, and that was a concept I had more trouble explaining than I thought I would. I did at least learn he was masculine thanks to a two hour lecture on their genitals and reproductive methods. The fajitas I prepared for dinner that day sounded less appealing, especially when he decided to add sound effects. As it turns out, mustard was a bad choice, but it did make for an excellent comparison to their amniotic fluid.

My main problem though was actually getting in touch with anybody who could help. Not one single member of parliament had responded to my communication until now. I had sent letters, emails and even tried to phone them directly. Meanwhile, this intergalactic mooch has been eating my food and asking non-stop questions about human life. It's like having a pet dog that talks, but you quickly fall out with them because they're anti-abortion or a racist. I've managed to find a balance though, since discovering he really likes dried cereal straight out of the box. I go to work during the day, and leave him sat at my computer reading Wikipedia and eating Cheerios. We've been making progress, because now we can at least sit through an episode of Game Of Thrones without him asking me which one Thrones is. I've grown to like him a little bit, so it's a little bit saddening to learn that after three weeks a secretary at my prime minister's office finally decided to take me seriously and send something other than a photocopied response. I do wonder if I would have received a response quicker if I had simply told them I had a bomb, and intended to take parliament hostage with my new alien friend.


I've given him my old mobile phone and he knows how to get in touch with me. It was much like teaching my grandparents how to use their new iPad, but less frustrating. A government representative is going to pay me a visit tomorrow morning, though judging by their lack of haste I doubt they believe me even now. The alien has since told me what was so important that he absolutely had to meet somebody of importance immediately. I didn't have the heart to tell him we know about the flag and the footprints on the moon.

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The Time Ranger

I enjoyed reading this, it was funny and you have a knack for description and a natural humour that reminds me of Bill Bryson.

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Get outta here Douglas Adams. You're too good. Go publish something, goddammit. This was cheeky, British, and wonderful.

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