This story is by Camille Simonds and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
A year ago the aliens showed up. Spoiler alert for those who hate having their favorite characters die: I’m still alive as of this writing and yes, I’ll be your favorite character. For those of you who skipped the spoiler, what features popped into your mind when you saw the word alien? Green heads? Big eyes? No clothes but not revealing any sensitive body parts?
Look, whatever you saw, forget about it. These aliens looked very similar to us, despite the weird glass bubble around their heads, but were characterized by an extravagant sense of arrogance. The type of arrogance that usually results in something disastrous. Like Uncle Jaja walking off the Vassal Tower into space because he thought his brain power would make him float gently back to the ground. Let’s just say that experiment ended with a decisive splat.
But where were we? Ah yes, aliens. Actually, whenever I think of them, I see the word in all caps: ALIENS. They call themselves humans, but I’m not familiar with that term, so I prefer ALIENS. You would feel the same, if you had seen them drift into the atmosphere in their snobby little spaceship with their snobby little noses turned up, acting as if they owned the place.
I didn’t see it in person, but everybody within a thirty-mile radius had a video camera pointed at the spaceship, frantically narrating as if everyone actually wanted to hear exactly what they were saying.
The one I first saw featured a man who had jumped out of the shower at his wife’s screams, though he thought she had found out about his affair and was running for his life (she knew where the guns were kept). When he saw the spaceship, he dropped his towel and grabbed his phone, but forgot that the camera continues recording even when it is not facing the object or action you want to capture on film. He would have deleted the video, but his wife did find out about the affair and posted the video, rightly deducing that the repercussions would satisfy even karma herself.
The ALIENS brought cameras of their own, little flat rectangles that made weird sounds, and didn’t bother asking permission to shove them into anyone’s personal space. With their weird notions and strange objects, the ALIENS quickly claimed our lovely planet Vadoria as their discovery and foolishly assumed that they could do with it as they pleased.
This did not please us, the citizens of Vadoria. In fact, we were split into several categories as to our approach to managing the ALIENS and their attempt to take over: there were those fools who wanted to run to some other planet where they were absolutely sure there were no other ALIENS (this being interpreted as not having a backbone and not thinking ahead to perhaps comprehend the concept of there being other life outside our planet even though evidence of this was right in front of their faces); there were the brauns who mindlessly couldn’t conceive a single thought besides destroying something that isn’t just like them; there were the brains who masterminded plans to communicate with the ALIENS and created various strategies for different possible scenarios.
And then there were the ones like me. The couch potatoes that didn’t really care beyond a strong curiosity. We sat on our couches and watched videos and daydreamed about ALIENS showing up at our front doors.
Perhaps we were the smart ones; we learned more about these aliens than anyone else. When an ALIEN showed up at my front door while I was multi-tasking on the toilet, I treated it to a Vadoria special meal and learned all the secrets of the strange planet Earth. I learned that they thought we were the aliens, that their planet was 50 times bigger than ours, and that they were all smarter than Vadorians (completely a matter of opinion and skewed observation). The ALIEN, drunk on Vadorian wine, revealed that the earthlings believed themselves to be alone in the universe, but had been searching for hundreds of years for other beings like us.
It was then that I realized with discomfort that they really did intend to take over Vadoria as a conquest, and to parade us back home as triumphs of their success. I asked the ALIEN if they realized that we were equal to them and did not want to go back to their horrible planet. The ALIEN laughed with derision, then shook her head, stating that we had no idea. Of what, I’m not sure, but this was when my indifference became dislike.
Or perhaps that happened when the tall ALIEN with a horrible voice let loose a very loud, very smelly fart right as I passed him.
Not like uncle Jaja’s bad farts, that mysteriously appear when sitting at the dinner table in an attempt to stink everyone out and away from the whole stickleberry pie. This fart must have lowered the national average for smelly farts, so those Vadorians formerly ostracized for their horrid flatulence were suddenly welcomed into the social world, blinking as if they had never even heard of a sun before.
Regardless of the inciting incidence, I joined the anti-ALIEN club as a matter of principle. Or curiosity. It gets boring being a normal member of society.
Also as a matter of principle, I cannot tell you exactly what happened in those club meetings. It would betray the Vadorian code of honor.
This is all that I will say. There is a drug that when given to an ALIEN makes them tell us anything that we want to know. They are also easy to abduct as their glass heads are cumbersome. They are also easy to kill, as one must simply remove the bubble surrounding their heads and they turn a peculiar blueish hue. According to the things they have told us, we have developed a plan. And a superweapon.
I write this as I sit on board the airship FARTKNOCKER, a super-sonic contraption made with a combination of Earth and Vadorian techniques, that is hurtling through space faster than the speed of light. A tiny blue-green speck has been sighted, and we are readying ourselves.
So yes reader, it has been a year since the ALIENS landed. Today is the day we take over Earth.