Alien Scout Pod Crashes in North London by Izabella Grace

Alien Scout Pod Crashes in North London by Izabella Grace

Nestled in the pocket of the Grügääbä galaxy, we lie, like babes, in twisted Chläägh metal, while the wind whistles a melancholy tune. Beneath the stink of burning Däärgh fuel and churned mud, the grass smells sweet as tüüärj berries.

Above: a blaze of fire left hanging in the sky.

Beyond: hazy stars winking, our mother-ship, a far-flung planet where burnt, red sand slides into boiling seas.

We fold our clawed hands into the sacred triangle of protection and intone a tribute in honour of our fallen brothers and sisters. May their heart-selves escape the fiery tongue that licked them on their approach to this sun-kissed globe. May they float free and find their way safely to the throne room of Määk Määhär.

“Mägh härräüünda,” you murmur.

We made it.

I smile. All praise Väiirünä. May she lead our fellow citizens to victory. May she aid them in plucking up this precious pearl-planet, so we can string it upon her most treasured–

Rumbling. Our pod rattles and shakes, slipping and bouncing on the charred lawn. Then the console winks out, throwing blackness into our eyes, just as four pink beasts plunge through the gaps in the metal. They latch onto our bodies, crushing our light armour and wings. You groan. I scream. You twist and kick. I flip the buckle on my Krääj holster. But the beasts wriggle, reinforcing their unholy grip, and drag us up

Up

Up into the moon-washed night. Then, all of a sudden, you’re falling, falling, gone, and I flutter my broken wings, desperate to catch you, but the beasts pinch too tight. A distorted shape hovers before me, a gaping black hole at its depths. Air and sound spill from it, blasting me with warmth and buzzing. I shrink back and cover my ears, but the wriggling fiends tip and everything spins. My fangs catch my tongue, slicing it like a hunk of gräält meat, and saltiness fills my mouth. I retch bile.

Higher. I float higher. Until I’m level with two glistening orbs that swivel up and down, hungry, devouring. Eyes. They must be. The eyes of a giant. I grab my Krääj and shoot, the crimson ray bursting bright as our dying sun, but the giant just blinks.

How to catch a fairy by Flickr user Rachel Adams

How to catch a fairy by Flickr user Rachel Adams

“Fair ree,” it says.

A greeting?

Then the world spins again, and my ribcage crunches, pain seeping through my breasts and belly. Shaking. Rumbling. Faint stars wheeling. Darkness, thick as Räggärääm’s fog, threatens to overwhelm me, but I cling onto consciousness and flick the Krääj’s booster switch.

“Help me, Väiirünä,” I beg. “Lady of the twin moons, let your celestial wings unfold to strengthen mine.”

I squeeze the trigger and fire explodes, searing the hairs on my wrinkled skin and burrowing like hämtäks into my eyes. The giant grunts, shaking its gargantuan head, and I sway like a räänyip tree in a hot wind. I squirm and kick and bite. Then the beasts twitch, loosening their grip for a flash, and I tilt and tumble, dropping my Krääj as I plummet through nothingness. I uncurl my limp, shattered wings, agony ripping deep into my heart-self, and let the current catch me in its fragrant arms.

I jolt onto firm ground. More shaking. More rumbling, louder than a nest of päänkors. Then light, warm as Däkäiirm gold, pours towards me. The giant freezes, its shadow falling onto me, hunched, grotesque. I blink, craning my neck, desperate to find our pod, desperate to find you, my love. Then a shrill cry splits open the hush.

“Wayne! Dinna!”

“In a minit, Mum.”

“Now. Or your sista gits your chips.”

“But Mum. I found a fair ree!”

“I don’t care if you found Jack’s beanstalk. Get your lazy bee hind in here.”

The giant lumbers away, the ground writhing with every step, then a bang ricochets across the lawn and the yellow light vanishes. I call your name, over and over, and crawl in ever-widening circles. I curse the loss of my wings. I curse the giant who broke them. I curse Räggärääm for leading us here. To certain defeat. To this world of giants. Where our weapons are useless.

Your twisted body lies beside our mangled pod. I study the deep, ragged wound upon your shoulder, then trace Väiirünä’s holy circles upon your cracked skull. She will protect you, my love. She will lead you away from Räggärääm’s dark eye, even though we are so far from home.

You sigh, emerald blood bubbling from your hairy snout. Then you open your three eyes, their violet hue shining bright as Däkäiirm stone. You steal another breath, which fractures the night, and your pale scales spark in the lone moon’s silvery glow.

“Tä är Määk Mähäär grüüm,” you whisper.

Until Määk Mähäär’s throne room.

Your body convulses and stills, your unfocused gaze fixed upon my face as your heart-self slips out of its soft shell. I tilt your head, so you can see to find your way past the foreign constellations, then I touch my aching heart and press my three fingers to your empty chest.

Gvä,” I tell you. “Grë cärrüro.”

Soon, my love.

Odd, tinny music and high-pitched laughter drift in snatches, as I drag my failing body across the pod’s cold metal. My blood leaves a glistening trail. I half-squeeze through a gap in the melted roof, groaning as the jagged edges slide against my wings, and flip the cover on the box beside the communications panel. When I push the red button, the warning beacon’s rhythmic hum fills the dark space where we once sat, our fingers knotted, our dreams already clothing us in conqueror’s robes.

I wriggle backwards, and my left wing rips, but I welcome the stab of pain. It gives me the strength to slide down towards you, to collapse beside your cooling body, my heart pounding, my breaths rasping. Nausea sucks at my edges, and the damp earth steals my warmth.

In the distance, something roars. Another creature? Or a machine? I stiffen as it draws closer, and lights scrape the giants’ dwelling, but then it rushes past. The noise fades into a distant whisper like rushing water.

Above, the clear moon hangs round as a warrior’s shield, its dark side concealing our now departing fleet. I rest my fist on my chest and bid our citizens a silent farewell. May Väiirünä’s golden wings protect them and guide them to a safer home. May the radiance from her gem-encrusted crown bathe them in eternal glory.

I uncurl my claws and wrap my frozen hand around yours. Then I wait for my body to surrender, so I can slip out beyond the stars and enter Määk Mähäär’s mighty palace.

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Izabella Grace lives beside a stony river in rural Ireland, where, depending on her mood, she writes fiction or poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a variety of online magazines, including Flash Fiction Online, Cease, Cows, Every Day Fiction, Youth Imagination and Black Denim Lit. Find her on Twitter @iza8ella