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Kid Things

by Jonathan Wood

Jonny's a space pilot. He's got an airship made from an old tire swing. Lucy-Jane's his girl. She's wearing tin foil over her dress. I'm an alien lurking on a distant moon, waiting to shoot Jonny down, to pick over his bones. I'm going to go easy on Lucy-Jane, though. Things are rough with her mom and dad shouting all the time right now.

Jonny steers his ship down onto my planet. I clamber over the moon rocks and the slide. His cockpit opens with a hiss and he swings up high into the air and leaps out. Lucy-Jane follows more daintily, her foil outfit glinting in the light of the twin suns.

As Jonny surveys the barren landscape and Lucy-Jane asks what he sees, I crawl close. My tentacles drip ooze. My fangs drip blood. And then I leap. But Jonny, space hero that he is, feels the motion in the air. He spins, his laser pistol already unholstered.

But I leap too wild, and he draws too fast, and his fist catches me in the jaw, and I spill to earth, biting my tongue, the taste of my blood hot and sudden in my mouth.

And then whoever I am is lost back on earth, and now I am the alien, and I'm on Jonny, space idiot, and I am spitting my blood at him as I hit him. And I'm crying, and I think he's crying. He better be crying. I am an alien. I feed on his tears.

Lucy-Jane ends it. She pushes me off him. I sprawl on the grass. On the moon rock. We both lie there panting, sniffing.

"Why is it always fighting? Why is it always aliens and fighting?" She shouts it. And suddenly she is crying, suddenly there are tears. They stand out, bright as jewels on her tin foil outfit, shining in the light of the twin suns. "Why doesn't anyone ever come in peace?"

And she turns and she runs, off across the moonscape and out of the park and away into the distance of outer space, out into the great unexplored stars that Jonny and I have no idea about, won't even realize exist until the slow time travel of our lives has left the park and our spaceships far far behind.


I still want to be a space fighter pilot.

Posted by: Len | May 8, 2009 7:22 PM

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