Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Barington Encounter: Part Fifteen

Once you get used to the temperature (about 1500 Kelvin on a good day - but it's a dry heat) the amenities offered in Great Red Spot are second to none; in fact, it's a real social whirl! Is it any wonder deities from around the galaxy have chosen it for their home away from home? ~ MSM

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Once Lililili had returned to 14 Juniper Mews, and related the (to them, at least) thrilling story of his maiden solo Earth-walk next door with a peace offering potful of left-over Andromedan stew from Gary Carlisle’s wake, during which he’d made the acquaintance of a discrete species his colleagues had yet to encounter, not to mention the marvellous discovery of Earthicacians engaged in sophisticated banter using archaic 38th Century Andromedan - and their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Centauri footballers, besides - the aliens returned to the task at hand...

Knowing nothing of human DNA, but a great deal about human burial - for reasons previously elucidated - the aliens laid Gary Carlisle out on their newly assembled kitchen table and gleefully set about pulling internal organs out of his oddly un-pocketed body to prepare them for their eventual embalming. It was all very thrilling to them, as it would be to the legions of exobiologists who were undoubtedly watching back at home... Only one heart, two small lungs rather than one big one, an appendix! Not since 14th Grade biology in primary school had they been so excited to cut open an alien and haul out its guts; other than the alien called Grimmnha, of course, whose job as a coroner at the Andromeda City Exo-Zoo routinely involved doing squeamish-making things to Persistence Lizards in the name of exo-zo├Âlogical forensics.

Once the Egyptified scented oils and Mesopotamianated spiced unguents had been packed into the suitable orifices, smeared on the appropriate body parts, and otherwise dispensed with (most of them, it turns out, were smashing on Ryvita) the aliens called another taxi (actually the same one they’d called before - a good bet, since it was one of only three in all of Barington) to take them all to the nearest Anglican cathedral.

Somehow this got the attention of the newspapers...

Criminals of all kinds get away with larceny of all kinds in broad daylight of all kinds - even occasionally in Barington - and no one even notices (or cares if they notice, or bothers to anything about it, on the remote chance they care) but when five peaceable aliens with sky-blue skin and wearing silver boiler suits attempted (and, in fact, succeeded) in bringing a dead policeman dressed in the purple and ermine cloaks of an Andromedan emperor (hastily improvised with their brand new DIYnot? bath towels and without access to a sewing machine either) into Barington Cathedral, eventually someone noticed, and cared, and even bothered to do something about it - so maybe miracles did occur after all, even in houses of God, where God had not dwelt since moving into that converted mews on Jupiter.

Inevitably the same someone also got around to calling the papers; some time later a reporter managed to shake off the worst effects of his hangover - seeing as it was five in the afternoon, after all, and therefore nearly Happy Hour - in order to come round in person, with an equivalently haggard photographer in tow, and even the police, ironically enough for ‘colour’.

This is exactly what happened in the lowering evening of May 12th, as the stars in their unfamiliar positions danced above the alien’s heads - just in time to make the morning editions, in fact; and so it was on the morning of May 13th when Trudy Carlisle happened, in passing the tobacconist, to see a photo of her dead husband on the cover of one such morning edition, with the words ‘COP IN UFO CHOP SHOP SHOCK’ alongside. And so, even though she found it repellent, she bought the Daily Mirror anyway; since it had a picture of her dead husband on the cover, that made it okay - though only just. ‘I wish the Guardian had gotten there first,’ she was heard to mutter, although not by anyone reliable enough, not even for the Daily Mirror.

For good measure she bought a copy of Razzle in which to conceal it and then rushed across the village green, where on the hideously modernist steps of Barington Cathedral Trudy Carlisle was more or less appointed the go-between. This was said to be on account of how much she and the Andromedans had already been through; Frederick Toady of the Foreign Office thought it best, as she and they had already ‘bonded’.


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