Now one of them, the tallest and thinnest and bluest of the lot (with the silveriest, shiniest pompadour but, in Andromedan terms, also the most ordinary), emerged from the back of the lorry first, peering up and down the suburban paradise that was Juniper Mews as he did. He waved his compatriots past him into the house, and once they’d all scurried safely indoors began directing the removal men (who, technically, were arrival men in this instance) from the ideal vantage point he’d only just discovered on the back of the lorry, wherefrom he was also able to operate the hydraulic lift, which he did now with considerable glee carefully disguised by the most stoic expression he could muster.
That the others had disappeared into the house so quickly was much to the consternation of Mrs Felicia Fripp, the biddy in the dreary British Home Stores frock who lived next door at Number 12. She'd only just gotten to the curtain in time to see their oddly blue group as it blurred behind the garden wall and through the faux-Georgian door into number 14, and was not at all happy to have seen even the little bit that she did. To Mrs Fripp the notion of five men (for they all looked like men to her) sharing a house together either smacked of hippies or much worse. She was determined to see no shirts lifted in Juniper Mews, no matter what sort of a lift it might give to property values.
There are kings and presidents and generals who would rather die than confront a mere journalist, let alone a space alien with a potential craving for human casserole; unfortunately for all involved, Felicia Fripp was no statesman. ‘Can I have a word with you?’ she said, stepping over her threshold onto a doormat which was rather too tasteful upon which to be trod. At least the mat, unlike the expression on Mrs Fripp’s face, said ‘Welcome’.
The alien’s body turned jerkily, while his head turned fluidly; seeing her, he set his lambent grey eyes upon her, then seemed to bore them into her. She felt her face flush - and that was just for starters. ‘Good morning madam,’ he said, approaching her gently, his voice like a kind of liquid honey which filled her ears and from there seemed to ooze its way down her body at a very leisurely pace indeed.
Blood she didn’t know she had was flooding into places on her she’d forgotten she had; gathering her breath, she batted her eyelashes at him and said: ‘Moving in are you?’ Having said that she cast her eyes down coquettishly - feeling almost as though they were being pushed down independently of her, like someone else had over-ridden her central nervous system; all her previous fury having suddenly, inexplicably, turned into the sultry equanamity of an especially cougary MILF, she raised her left arm and leant into the door frame, back arched, chest out, lips moistened...
He chuckled warmly and his eyes twinkled as he looked around him. ‘We are madam. My colleagues and I are so looking forward to our stay here. I must say, I can see why they call it ‘Jolly Old England’; it’s jolly old all right!’
At this rather pedestrian sentiment (at which she wouldn't have laughed even had it been uttered by Russ Abbott) she giggled like she hadn't giggled in years - mainly because she hadn't - just managing to spit out ‘Isn’t it just!’ before turning and bouncing off the aluminium siding, spinning into the house, and slamming the front door behind her so hard it sent the tasteful brass knocker nailed to it flying off it when she did.
Inside, in the antiseptic stench and ill-lit gloom of her foyer, she managed to shake all the befuddlement out of her head; her befuddlement gone in a shower of stars, she found she was still shaking, only by now it was more than just her head... It was her whole being - clenched as a fist and a hundred times as hostile...
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