[Story] The Birdtrish chronicles – The alien invasion of privacy
The world’s most magnificently useless mythical creature stood in the middle of the magnificent plains and stared at the magnificent sunrise.
“Ah what a magnificent day,” it said as it spread its gigantic wings, “and what a beautiful sky! If only I could fly among those clouds… “
It sighed and folded its useless wings. The morning light bathed the creature in its watercolour sheen. The upper body of a bird, the lower body of a fish (similar to the infinitely more useful creatures- mermaids), and the trunk of a tree in place of legs. It couldn’t fly. It couldn’t swim. It couldn’t even walk. It had spent it’s incredibly long life rooted to one place and if it weren’t for its lifelong friend and servant Ramu Kaka, it’d have starved through most of it.
“Ramu Kaka! Wake up! You do not want to miss the magnificence of this sunrise… RAMU KAKA!”
Lying a few feet away on a ragged sheet of burlap, the elf groaned as he lost his grasp on the warm void of sleep.
“How is it any different from yesterday’s sunrise?” the elf complained as he turned over, trying to reconnect with the retreating unconsciousness.
“The sun looks happier.”
Ramu Kaka turned its head and squinted at the sun. “Yes. I can see that. It’s positively beaming. Let me sleep.”
“It’s not the kind of morning to be bitter and sleepy. Wake up stately elf.”
The elf sat up with a defeated sigh. “You belong in a nightmare,” he grumbled, then stood up slowly and began to fold the sheet of burlap. Walking up to the tent he raised the flap and threw it inside, taking care not to look inside. He didn’t want to feel any more terrible then he already felt.
Inside was a mess that could break the strongest of hearts. The weekend cleaning had been ditched a few weeks and now the point of no return had been breached. The mess now reigned supreme inside that tent and there was absolutely no way to reclaim order from that chaos. The elf now slept in the open.
Without looking, he fished around inside the tent with his hand and found something spine chillingly slimy. “Ugh!!” he exclaimed, moving his hand a little to the right. Finding some sort of fabric he rubbed off the disgusting slime. A little further to the right he found what he was looking for. The bow and the quiver of arrows.
“I’m going hunting. I don’t think the rabbits from the last hunt are edible anymore.”
Birdtrish didn’t reply. It was looking curiously at the sky.
“Still looking at the sun? Is it telling you jokes now?”
“What is that in the sky Ramu Kaka?”
“That’s a happy sun shining on an unhappy elf.”
“No… over there… to the right of the sun.”
Curious now, Ramu Kaka looked at where Birdtrish was pointing with the tip of its wing. There was a small disc-like speck in the sky, gradually growing in size but still far away.
“Maybe it’s a bird…”
“Wrong shape Ramu Kaka… and too big.”
“…or a plane…”
“…an alien spaceship?”
Birdtrish unfurled its wings, spreading them out to their full glorious span. “Could it be Ramu Kaka? Could it be? Are we on the threshold of such magnificent discovery? The first contact. Sharing of information between beings so divided by the vastness of space? And who better to participate in such a glorious beginning than the all knowing Birdtrish and its trusted elf-servant Ramu Kaka.”
“…or it could be an invasion.”
Ramu Kaka could see all the excitement fizzle out of Birdtrish. The wing folded back tamely as fear crept into the eyes of the gloriously useless creature. “Hmm… invasion huh?” Birdtrish paused nervously, “Don’t you have a terrifying sword? Forged of that magical metal of your people… maybe you should…”
“It’s stainless steel, Birdtrish. And it’s blunt. I bought it for decorative purposes.”
“You could bluff. Maybe it’ll intimidate them.”
“And quite a story they’ll have for their grand children. ‘We travelled long and we travelled far! We travelled past a billion stars. But sadly there was a sad creature with a blunt sword in our way. Now that’s a dead end if there ever was one!’ ”
“Fine then. Let us just hope for the best, shall we? Maybe they came all the way over for a picnic,” said Birdtrish, overdoing the sarcastic tone as all rare and fantastic creatures are wont to do.
The disc was steadily growing in size and definition as it travelled toward the field where the two creatures stood. A few minutes later it was hovering over the ground not far away from the watching creatures.
“This must be a retro model. It looks just like a saucer,” said Birdtrish as he stared at the floating spaceship, “This is exciting. I think you should nock an arrow. Hold it ready. Just in case.”
“Oh no thank you,” Ramu Kaka put the bow and arrows down beside him, “If they aren’t thinking of killing me, I’d hate to do something to change their mind.”
“Oh what has gone into you? You used to be so brave.”
“Look, it’s landing.” Ramu Kaka took a step back without really thinking about it. With a whirring sound the ship slowly descended to the ground. As it landed there was a low rumbling thud that sent mild vibrations along the ground. Birdtrish and Ramu Kaka both held their breath, neither speaking. There was a loud hiss as a door opened on the left side of the saucer and descended to the ground like a yawning jaw.
The two creatures of the plain stood in anticipation for someone to appear at the door. There was an anticlimactic pause of a few minutes where absolutely nothing happened.
“Maybe it’s unmanned. I mean it would be convenient, wouldn’t it, not to have to worry about…”
“Shhh trusted elf-servant! Someone’s emerging.”
A strange green bulbheaded humanoid creature was descending the steps, facing, thanks to the placement of the door, away from Birdtrish and Ramu Kaka.
“Ah! Retro. Just like its ship.”
“Will you keep quiet? It hasn’t seen us. Let’s keep it that way,”
Once outside the ship, the alien paused and flicked out some sort of device.
“Look Ramu Kaka a space gun. It looks menacing. Maybe it shoots laser beams. What a scary proposition for unarmed weaklings such as us. Erm… why is it… why is it…?”
“…pointing it at himself?”
“Yes. Do you think it’s going to… ”
“I don’t think so. You don’t make interplanetary trips when you’re that depressed.”
“Notice what it’s doing with its lips. Is that… Is that an alien duck face?”
There was a flash of bright light from the device. The alien turned the device over in his hand and studied a screen on the other end intently, apparently pleased with its endeavour. Then it stashed the device away. A couple of identical looking aliens had joined the first, holding in their hands what seemed to be large futuristic baskets.
“None of them have noticed us it seems,” Birdtrish straightened slightly, “what do you think they are doing?”
The aliens set down the baskets and took out silvery looking objects from them. Then with a graceful motion they waved their hands in front of them and the objects were revealed to be folded tarps of silvery foil. Once the tarps were on the ground they turned towards the gaping opening and gestured. More aliens poured out. The last of them to exit the ship carried another device. Having disembarked it set it on the ground and snapped its fingers in front of it. Almost immediately lights began blinking on the surface of the device. A series of beeps emanated from it growing in intensity and volume… till it suddenly stopped. Then the bass dropped.
“Ah! Music I presume. Look at them move. Dancing. Not something you usually associate with aliens.” Birdtrish turned to look at Ramu Kaka who was standing with his mouth hanging open and a horrified look on his face. “Ramu Kaka my dear! You look sick.”
“Huh what?” said the poor elf like someone hoping he was experiencing a nightmare born of last night’s rancid rabbit dinner.
“Oh Ramu Kaka! So my sarcastic quip turns out to be prophetic truth. They are here for a picnic.”
“I think I’m going to puke.”
“Oh don’t be so melodramatic! Let’s sit back and enjoy the show till one of them notices us.”
They ended up waiting till late in the afternoon. For travelers of the great and mysterious paths of space, the aliens had turned out to be surprisingly uncurious beings. They sat and ate and drank and played some sort of game involving some form of cards. There was absolutely no exploring. Or even general looking for that matter. It was long before one of them realized that something in the background was moving.
“Ah Ramu Kaka! The moment has arrived. Our magnificent selves have finally caught their attention. Look how they flock towards… towards… are you actually sleeping? Ramu Kaka? RAMU KAKA!”
“Huh what?” Ramu Kaka jolted awake, “It was a nightmare! There were dancing aliens,” he mumbled, “It was last night’s rabbit stew. I’m telling you the meat is…” Ramu Kaka had only gotten so far before he saw the gathering aliens, “Oh dear! It’s real isn’t it?”
“As real as the sun above us. Fix your hair. You look dumb.”
Ramu Kaka gave Birdtrish a furious look. The aliens had arranged themselves in a rough semicircle in front of them. They seemed to be waiting. Hesitant and nervous.
“They seem cowardly creatures Ramu Kaka.”
“Dey sim Kawa Dikisas Ra moo Ka ka!” One of the aliens blurted out in a squeaky voice. The others giggled.
Birdtrish was taken aback by that.
“Ramu Kaka that vile creature just mimicked me!” Birdtrish accusingly pointed at the offender.
“Go get your sword!”
“Go gay tyoswod…” More giggles.
“Ramu Kaka! It did that again!” Birdtrish flapped its wings in indignation.
“Uh huh. It’s hilarious.”
One of the aliens had in the meantime walked up to Ramu Kaka with some sort of alien food. It offered the green squiggly glob to the elf.
“Er… This one’s offering me food Birdtrish. What do I do?”
“Looks delicious. Take it.”
“It does not look delicious at all!”
“I’ll eat it. I’ve been eating rabbits everyday for a century. Just take it, will you?”
“Juss tay ki willu! Hihihihi!”
“Ramu Kaka I hate that guy!”
Ignoring that, Ramu Kaka took the slimy glob from the alien close to him. “Ugh! It’s disgusting. Here…” Ramu Kaka raised his hands up to Birdtrish’s beak. Birdtrish ate the food with obvious glee.
There was a collective “Awwwww…” from the alien spectators. Both Birdtrish and Ramu Kaka froze.
“Is there no end to the indignation? We’ve just been awwwwwed.”
“It seems so.” Even Ramu Kaka was shaken this time. He stared at the aliens, hoping against hope that this was all just a bad dream.
The aliens never moved from there. There was another round of feasting and drinking and another game of cards as both Birdtrish and Ramu Kaka looked on, looking humbled and traumatized respectively. It was well and truly dark before the aliens finally stood up and gathering their tarps, made their way towards their ship.
“Hey wait a minute!” Birdtrish called out after them, “Who’s going to clean up all this mess?”
“I’ll do it,” came the frustrated reply from Ramu Kaka, “Just let them leave I beg you!”
They stood, looking tired and dejected as the spaceship whirred to life and slowly ascended towards the sky. After it had vanished into the night sky Ramu Kaka sauntered up to the tent with the bow and arrows and after a few minutes of searching, came back with the burlap. Then spreading it on the grass, the elf lay down to sleep.
“Are you sure you want to sleep just yet? The moon looks…”
“I will kill you! I will dive into the mess inside that godforsaken tent. I will find that sword. And I will dig your sorry roots right out of the ground!”
Birdtrish blinked in confusion unsure as to what exactly it was that had so angered the elf. Birdtrish remained silent as Ramu Kaka lay down on the burlap, closed his eyes shut, and prayed for sleep to come. For a long time it didn’t. And when, almost close to dawn, it finally did, it came riddled with a nightmare. There were dancing aliens.