The continuing exploration of my fascination with alien probing

Malan eased the sleek silver craft to the ground, ion drives humming quietly and three silver legs sliding out slowly to cushion the ships gradual descent.

Malan eased the sleek silver craft to the ground, ion drives humming quietly and three silver legs sliding out slowly to cushion the ships gradual descent.

“This looks as good a place as any” said Malan as the craft settled snugly into a clearing in the middle of a large wooded expanse.  His voice was full of excitement as a green light on the panel lit up to indicate that recharging had commenced and a second blinked to indicate that there were no locals within a 1 quillet radius.

“We’re here dear” he grinned “shall I put the kettle on and we can get straight to it?”

His clan mate ran a clawed hand through thick blue fur and grunted approvingly.

“make sure the system’s are running on low power” she bristled, her thick tail swishing impatiently “we need to keep usage low until we’ve recharged enough to make the next leg.”

Their unplanned detour to this awful blue and green galactic backwater was made only slightly more pleasant by the promise of the opportunity to do some probing, something she took great delight in.

“How many did you pick up for me?” Zarb asked curtly.

“Just the one” Malan said eagerly, “there seem to be rather a lot of them so he won’t be missed for a few hours I’m sure. ”

“They all looked like pests to me!” she snapped.  “Hardly worth our time I’d imagine”

He was lucky to have her he reminded himself – the benefits of a wealthy family – and she was a quite magnificent specimen when she was vexed.  Standing tall she was half again as large as he, her glossy fur thick and blue and a quite magnificent tail that made him want to do nothing more than please her.

Zarb punched away at a small hand held console.  “According to this there are already a number of recorded instances of probing across a number of the species on the planet” she said curtly “I guess we won’t be getting any ‘first finder’ recognition!  Records seem to indicate a mostly primitive society.”

Malan brought her over a steaming cup of tea, the writhing thrubar tentacles curling around the lip of the mug made her purr with delight as she slurped them into her sharply toothed mouth.  “Right, let’s meet our visitors shall we” she said almost smiling.

Malan coughed nervously.

“What?” she snapped.

“He does seem rather annoying”

“Annoying?  What do you mean annoying?”

“Well, just a little backwards and he really will not shut up”

“What do you expect” Zarb snarled, “an unpleasant rock such as this is hardly going to be the most intriguing of places is it.  I’d be surprised if we were able to learn a single thing of interest from him.”

“I suppose” Malan replied, suddenly feeling deflated.  “I just wanted it to be fun you know – special – it’s been a while since we’ve done this together.”  Despite her frightful temper he really did admire her and as clan mate’s went she was the envy of many of his colleagues and friends.

“Perhaps just turn your translator off” Malan suggested, “we can still have fun without listening.”

“Hush will you!” she snapped.  “Let’s just see what we have shall we.”  Zarb put aside her tea and pushed past him and headed to the medical bay.

The first thing she noticed about the earthling was just how small he was.  Small and pink.  He seemed to have a light covering of fur in a few places but mostly he displayed a rather repulsive amount of flesh.  “How revolting!” she said scornfully as Malan followed closely behind her.

Upon hearing her voice the creature turned his head towards her and started shouting something, his eyes wide.  Zarb had no idea what he was saying but she thought she would at least entertain it for a while, he might actually turn out to be interesting.

She walked across to a small panel and with a curled claw punched a sequence into a keypad.  With a crackle she began to hear the previously unintelligible ramblings translated as he spoke them.

“…You will be purged ..something something…” the translator was struggling a little.

“Animated fellow isn’t he” Zarb remarked, picking up a large probe from the array of tools at the end of the silver bench to which he was strapped.

“…and fire and death will descend upon you…” he continued, his eyes bulging wide as she walked towards him smiling.

“Fire and death eh” Zarb smiled menacingly “I think I may keep him awake for this you know Malan.”

Malan congratulated himself on bringing such pleasure to his clan mate as the creature continued to rage and thrash.

“…and you will be destroyed and you will submit to the… something …will of the most something…Alan Akbar!”

“Alan Akbar” Zarb remarked, “you ever heard of an Alan Akbar, Malan” she asked, now most definitely grinning.

“Alan Akbar?  No dear” Malan replied playfully “never heard of the chap.”

“Well my little pink friend” She continued menacingly, running a claw slowly down the creatures stomach, “unless this Alan Akbar is about to burst through the door an rescue you you’re going to feel this descend on you most imminently!”

She held up the probe and something in the creatures response told her that it knew exactly what would happen next.

“Malan, be a dear turn the translator off will you” she asked smiling, “I think we will do this the old fashioned way…”


Whilst this piece can be read on its own there are other pieces which give it some greater context which you can find here and then here.

Scamper – Daily Prompt

“BRAINS!” demanded Chuck, teeth gnashing and arms flailing as he thrashed to extricate him from the tangle of barbed wire around his legs and waist.

“Hey Chuck, do you remember when we young?” Brian asked, his mind a fog and a hunger in his belly that made him want to scream.

“BRAINS!” demanded Chuck, teeth gnashing and arms flailing as he thrashed to extricate him from the tangle of barbed wire around his legs and waist.

“You used to be really active you know” Brian continued, “You were always…what’s that word..?”  He trailed off into silence, thinking was getting more difficult and the hunger was unbearable.

“BRAINS!” Chuck demanded again, more forcefully this time.

Chuck had no recollection of much other than the fact that he really wanted some brains right now.  If he tried really hard to not think about eating brains there was occasionally a flicker of a different world, but it all seemed like a …like a…something,   He didn’t really have the words anymore really, he was just so hungry.

“I’m trying to have a normal conversation with you mate!” Brian snapped.  “I know this is all very upsetting but …” the words failed him again.

He looked down and noticed a rather large hole in his military fatigues, and an equally large one in his chest, crawling with flies. “You used to …oh what was that word now…” he said, looking across at his old friend.  “You used to love to…”

Chuck had managed to get one of his legs free and celebrated with a rather hearty “BRAINS!”

For the briefest moment of moment Brian felt a clarity of thought and a million thoughts flashed through his mind.  He remembered everything.  The outbreak, the war, family , friends and so much more.

“Chuck” he said slowly, “I think we’re undead mate!”  He felt his thoughts escaping him, like sand slipping through clutching fingers.  The hunger was overpowering, he had to fight for every word.  “I’ve remembered Chuck” he said excitedly, “I’ve remembered what you used to love to do!”

He looked over and noticed that Chuck had dragged himself free of the barbed wire, leaving much of his right lower leg behind.  “BRAINS!” Chuck exclaimed joyfully.

“You used to…it was…you…we…” His voice trailed away, eyes glazing over and his head falling to one side.

“BRAINS!” was all he could muster.


Fancy something a little different?  Try one of these maybe…












On being really fat

They say one should write about what one knows, so I I think I shall perhaps write about being fat.

They say one should write about what one knows, so I I think I shall perhaps write about being fat.

Now, I don’t yet know if it will be a cake and pork fuelled celebration of my wobbly belly and chafing thighs or whether I shall use this as a shameful catalyst to stir me in my eternal attempt to lose weight.  I haven’t quite worked myself up to a commitment one way or another yet having only just penned the thought, plus I have a rather nice hot beef and mustard sandwich that needs to be eaten before I do any sort of serious decision making.

Now if I was to attempt to lose weight, which I indeed might but let’s not be too hasty as we are still working through the premise for this piece, then It obviously goes without saying that typing will not help me shed a single chin.  I am also pretty sure that a few of the particularly energetic amongst you may well be thinking that I should simply stop typing right now, wipe the quite delicious beef juice from my chubby little fingers and get myself on a treadmill or go for a nice walk.  I won’t argue against that point, and the matter of the treadmill is one I will address another time most likely, but for now I think I shall  either, but I shall persist with writing something first at that was my aim when I sat down.  That and to eat my rather delicious sandwich which I have done whilst typing this.

So where to next I ask myself.  I am not certain yet but how about I float a couple of ideas to see whether any of them stir me as to my preferred course of action:

·       When bending over to pick things up became an embarrassment to my children.

·       Why my jeans need pulling up whenever I stand.

·       Failing at not being fat.

·       Stamina, what stamina.

·       I woke up with a lollipop stuck to my jumper

·       What do you mean I have piles!

·       Late night eating by refrigerator light.

·       Please put a shirt on the neighbours might see you.

As much as that feels like Weird Al album track listing,  I think I might have enough ideas to take this somewhere you know. 

Perhaps I will see you next time when I tackle the difficult subject of ‘Why my bathroom scale hates me and lies just to make me feel bad about myself’.

Passenger – An Armitage Tangent

Alex stood frozen.  Looking across the empty lanes of the motorway he could see his brother’s red Mustang,  crumpled and twisted, steam billowing from the radiator.  His first thought was  “Mum and dad are going to kill him!”, and it never occurred to him that everything wouldn’t be ok, because when you’re 15 everything usually is.

“Weird” he thought, scratching his head through a mop of dark curly hair, something was nagging at him, his thoughts very much a fog.   “This is a dream right?”  He asked himself.

“You know, that’s usually what you lot ask at this point” came a response out of nowhere  “and then I tell you it isn’t” it continued, “and then you freak out”.

Alex turned to the source of the voice, seeing before him a small bald man with a warm smile and piercing blue eyes.  He wore a sharp well fitted dark suit, crisp white shirt and a black tie tied with a Windsor knot and despite his stature had all the air of someone who could quite easily do you harm if you forgot to pay him for whatever you might own a man like him for. 

“Calm yourself curly locks” he said, a thin smile breaking out on his face “I know this is all a shock and you want to run over and see what’s going on and blah blah blah but we really need to get moving”.

Alex indeed wanted to run over to the scene where a fire truck, lights flashing and horns blaring had just pulled up, but he couldn’t.  His head told his body to ignore the small bald man and do exactly that but he simply remained where he stood.  His thinking was so slow, words escaped him, concepts too.

“I need to go over! My brother’s still in there” he mumbled.  That he knew, foggy headed or not. 

The Bald headed man remained unmoved. “Hate to break it to you kiddo but you’re dead”  he said dispassionately.  “You aren’t going anywhere other than recycling.”  It was simply a fact to him.  He had done this so many times that he found it far easier to just get right to the heart of the matter rather than to try flowering things up. 

Early on in his career he had developed a real flair for the dramatic, and relished these moments.  He’d dabbled in poetry and religious imagery and had even used props for a while but it soon wore thin.  

These days he was a fan of a nice suit over the effort of a hooded cloak.  They were rather more uncomfortable than one might think and forever dragging on the floor and needing to be washed.   and as menacing as a scythe is it’s a real nuisance to cart around all day

Alex stood, saying nothing because some part of him knew he was dead.   There was a feint recollection of a party – perhaps someone’s birthday – and rain, lots of rain.  After that there was a horn, loud noise and then …well then he was stood where he found himself right now. 

After a while he spoke “Is he ok?” he asked.

“Id not worry about him for now kiddo” bald man replied, “come on, follow me.  You’ll like this.”

Alex turned slowly to follow, his head swimming.  “Where are we going?  What will happen to him?“

“Always with the questions” the bald man mumbled under his breath.  “Just follow me, I’ll explain everything in a bit”.

The bald man led him up a small path and just over the brow of the embankment that ran adjacent to the motorway.  “Keep up” the bald man called, disappearing inside an open door, “Ive got places to be.”

Now as far as doors go this one was for the most part a rather regular and unassuming door, the type you would find on any street. It was 8 panelled with a  brass handle, letter box and knocker and painted jet black with a number two positioned slightly off centre to the right about three quarters of the way up.  What made it wholly unusual though was the way it simply stood unsupported just alongside a busy motorway where he had apparently just died.

Bald man popped his head around the door. “Are you coming or not?” he shouted, and disappeared back inside.

As Alex approached he could see inside into what looked very much like an office.  There was a large empty hall, white floors and walls and the bald man seemed to be stood at what looked like reception desk.  Bald man looked over beckoning for him to hurry across as Alex stepped through the door.  He felt it close behind him and a lock clicked.

“Alex” he said, grabbing his sleeve and pulling him over, “this is The Receptionist, she’s been looking forward to meeting you.”

She looked a bit like the woman his mum didn’t like his dad talking to at work he thought, the one mum described as “that hot home wrecking blonde” and dad always described as “harmless” and “just really friendly”.

Alex heard a voice in his head, it seemed to cut through the fog.  “It’s very nice to meet you Alex” she said, “If you want to take a seat on one of the chairs behind you I will be with you in a short while.  I just need to have a word with Mr Goodwin”.

He had a million questions going through his head but he felt compelled to do as she had asked, and nodding he turned on his heels and walked across to the chairs and took a seat.

He watched Goodwin and the receptionist for a while, him speaking and her simply looking directly at him.  He nodded once or twice, made a few notes in a small notebook which he then tucked inside his breast pocket and with that he was gone, pausing only briefly to look back across at him before exiting through the door they had passed through earlier.

She beckoned him over with a long elegant finger.  Stood before her he heard her in his head “Well Alex, I guess you are wondering what exactly is going on.” He nodded.  “Mr Goodwin should have explained but alas he has a tendency to neglect his duties sometimes.  I really must have a word.”

Her voice was cold, he felt it not only in his head but in his bones.

“You must have a lot of questions” she continued.  He nodded again.  “All in good time Alex.  For now you need to know this.  So listen carefully.”

He nodded.  It was all he seemed capable of.

“You’re dead I’m afraid Alex, and Mr Goodwin has just left to fetch your brother who did not make it despite the best efforts of the emergency services.  You and your brother are very special, and possess certain qualities that I value most highly and because of that I asked him to being you back for recycling.”

She could see from his face that he was confused.  Understandably so she thought, these people with their antiquated belief systems really had no idea of just what lay out there in the universe.  The universes.

“Is this heaven?” he asked.

“No Alex, this is not heaven” she replied, “You’re in the council offices.  We are here to recycle you and get you back out there because there is something you need to do for me”.

That was not what he had expected to hear.  He had always gone to Sunday school and was pretty sure that if he were dead he really ought to be heading off to heaven and ot stood at the council office reception.

“No such thing as heaven or hell I am afraid.  Regardless of which of your many god’s you root for” she explained “Though from what I read neither sound particularly interesting. You really need to just forget everything you may have been told and trust me that this is the best place for you.  You got lucky really today Alex, we could have simply let you dissolve into nothing but you’re here so let’s get on with the job at hand shall we.?

Her tone was suddenly less friendly and that was not a question.   Alex nodded again as Mr Goodwin burst through the door, his brother in tow. 

“Justin!” he exclaimed, waving him over.  Justin had the same foggy look Alex had had just ten minutes prior. Mr Goodwin lead Justin over to stand with him.

“Thank you Mr Goodwin” the receptionist said, her gaze fixed on Justin.  “Very nice to meet you, I’m terribly sorry about being dead and all but it really is nothing to get too upset about.”

She looked at Alex now, he was pretty sure that they were all hearing her in their heads.

“If you would be so kind to explain to your brother what is going on I shall go and prepare you a couple of nice new bodies and we will have you back out on there in no time at all.  We have a lot to get done today.”

***I started this piece about the death of a passenger in a car then thought I’d explore an idea for the Armitage stuff I am writing so kind of just went with it.  It probably slots into the Armitage story somewhere, just not really sure at the moment. – Michael***

Is it really so bad ?

I, like most of you , am probably prone to over exaggeration.  If I were to say “I am going to kill the kids if they leave a towel on the bathroom floor again” then I think you probably know what I mean and where I am heading with this.  Unless of course I am prone to killing children for acts of untidiness  – which I am not. 

Just to be absolutely clear on that matter – I have not nor will I kill my children for leaving a bit of a mess in the upstairs bathroom.

Equally, as it turns out I did not actually nearly die when filling up my car recently despite me insisting to my wife to the contrary.  My life did not flash before my eyes, I was not filled with the urge to hold my sons one last time, and I did not re-evaluate my existence as a consequence of paying £1.20 a litre.

I also had to reconsider whether leaving a chicken in the oven for what was maybe 15 minutes too long last Sunday – resulting in the breasts being a little dry – was in fact the disaster I supposed.  Would I classify the lack of moistness as a serious disruption, occurring over a relatively short time, of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental loss and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources?  

Probably not, I just made a little extra gravy. 

With the realisation that I am prone to such exaggerations I ask myself whether I will perhaps use more appropriate language in the future. 

No, obviously not and I am sure you feel the same.

I will still insist that I very nearly soil myself every time something surprises me and I will continue to insist that the neighbour, who drives so terribly, is indeed as blind as a bat and by that token navigates via sonar.  No one ever became excited or intrigued and leaned in with great interest upon being told that they are absolutely going to believe a tale I am about to tell. 

There is a joy in exaggeration, a freedom and a licence to share an excitement that is ours and which we simply want others to feel.  It helps us express, albeit lazily, the things we feel and lets us get straight to the somewhat more mundane details of the thing we are expressing.


Soil – An Armitage Tangent

“A scotch egg is not a fruit!” Wednesday insisted forcefully, “it is an egg wrapped in sausage meat then crumbed and deep fried!”

 “A scotch egg is not a fruit!” Wednesday insisted forcefully, “it is an egg wrapped in sausage meat then crumbed and deep fried!” 

“All I’m saying” replied Thomas, “Is that if you use your imagination, and think of it maybe as a meat apple then it maybe could be.”  He paused for a moment.  “Don’t you think?”

Wednesday did not think.  Not for one moment. 

“Why do you insist on being so completely ridiculous?” He ranted, face flushed and his jaw clenched.  “I swear you do it just to annoy me!”

“What if I gave you an apple flavoured one?”

“That’s a bloody apple!” Wednesday raged.  “We’ve got a job to do here – stop going on about scotch egg flavoured apples and apple flavoured scotch eggs and dig!”

“What about an orange flavoured one?”

“Ok, you know full well  that an orange flavoured apple flavoured scotch egg is a bleeding orange!”  A vein pulsed just above his right temple.  “Just keep digging and stop being an idiot.”

Thomas allowed himself just a little smile.  He loved Wednesday deeply but he was a frightful bore at times and took things far too seriously.  No imagination at all sadly.  “It’s nature’s goodness Wednesday” he grinned, attempting to push the large brown pork ball into his friend’s hand.  “Here”, he said “Take a bite they’re delicious!”

Wednesday hit Thomas’ hand away and the scotch egg fell to the floor “Stop it!” he shouted, “I don’t want a bloody pork apple!”

“So you admit it then!”  Thomas laughed in delight, picking up the scotch egg from the floor “Oh Wednesday, you are funny.  You won’t grow if you don’t eat your vegetables” he teased.

Wednesday did not find any of this funny at all.  His sense of humour was not his strong suite.  It served very little purpose in his line of work.

“Just keep digging the hole and then we’ll get out of here” he said thrusting a shovel into Thomas’ free hand.

“I don’t see why I always have to do the digging “ said thomas “you could help”.

Wednesday rolled his head, bones cracking in his neck.  “You dig because I do most of the killing” he replied curtly.  “If you want to do more of the killing then I will quite happily dig but if you insist of eating scotch eggs and being an idiot then you get to dig.”

“I only asked, bloody hell mate” Thomas said “This should be deep enough anyway, drag him over I’ll get him covered up.”

Thomas shovelled the majority of the soil over what was quite obviously the body of a rather portly gentleman, a single polished shoe protruding from a thick white wrapping that did very little to hide what was inside.

“Job Done” Thomas said satisfactorily, brushing the dust from his clothes.

Wednesday smiled “You got any of those scotch eggs left, I’m starving.”

Dash – a collection of hastily scribbled limericks – Daily prompt


>A fellow from Bangor I met

Had a shirt that was soaked through with sweat

As he’d been on the run

From a priest and a nun

And a Bishop whos wife he got wet


>A lady with bosoms aplenty

Proved a hit with the men of the gentry

They succumbed to her wiles

And her winks and her smiles

But to church she was oft refused entry


>A chap met a lass in a bush

Passion and lust what a rush

Pulses raced what a thrill

As they rolled on the hill

Until doctor confirmed he had thrush


>A wife bored at home with burst pipe

Hastily scrubbed with a wipe

As the plumber quite handy

Made her head swim like brandy

She was ready for plucking, quite ripe


>Please do not show these words to the wife

I really do not want the strife

“A grown man should man should know better,

your kids cold read this letter…

writing slightly rude rhymes, get a life!”

Sail – A Tenuous Daily Prompt

Today I shall sit in my chair

and write a poem of despair

or something deep or maybe sad

but nothing fun and nothing glad.


With teenage angst perhaps I’ll write

of when my jeans became too tight

or of my hair when it fell out

or of last Saturday’s beer drought.


Ill dim the lights and play whale songs

and bemoan all the world’s wrongs

and type about my slow net speeds

of morning traffic hell in Leeds


Ill hug myself and watch the rain

wear baggy clothes and spout my pain

That time TIVO missed GOT

or of my boats main sail ripped in ’03


My pain is shared so now you feel

the things I do that make me real

Perhaps you’ll like to show you care

my tale of woe, pain and despair

Probing – a cautionary tale – Daily prompt


I woke one day only to find

Aliens probing my behind

Imagine if you will my shock

Lying undressed bar just one sock.


Now I’m not the type of chap to moan

but I’d only just set off for home

from work when there to my surprise

An alien vessel fills the sky.


And after that it’s quite a blur

I recall a creature with blue fur

and a cold insertion twixt my thighs

and tears streaming from my eyes.


Then nothing until I awoke

On a metal slab with another bloke

who struggled wildly to get free

and looked just as surprised as me.


And there we lay for quite a while

imprisoned by these creatures vile

until they entered fur and claw

with tails that dragged across the floor.


I blurted out “I must protest

I need to get this off my chest!”

They simply blinked big eyes and peeked

inside my new friends bottom cheeks.


“Now please forgive my attitude

I do not mean to be so rude

but bloody hell this is not fun

please do not rummage in his bum!”


No response, they weren’t aware

it was as if I was not there

they seemed intent on exploration

to my compatriots consternation.


“Now come on really must you poke

inside the bottom of that bloke?

What is it you hope to find

secreted inside his behind?”


I felt an anger from way down

that they’d picked me when leaving town.

Who would believe a humble tailor

with tales of an alien Impaler.


“I’ve hear you lot are so obsessed

with getting people quite undressed

then delving into their hind quarter

is that what your mother taught ya?”


I’m riled, enraged, my dander rising

“Please just stop my butt cheeks prising

and let me go back to my wife

I’m late, not called, and in real strife!”


I know not if it was my words

but my request it seems was heard

and soon they would to my pleas yield

and drop me off in a corn field.


I know not why they chose to take

folk such as us and prisoners make.

Folk laugh when I of my tale speak

how I cold not sit for a week.


One day perhaps I’ll understand

why people all across the land

are probed by these fowl creatures blue

today was me, tomorrow you?


Take heed in case one day you find

an alien in your behind

your wife doubting just where you’ve been

accusing you of deeds obscene


with strangers you picked up in town

finger pointing face a frown

“Think of the kids, please don’t get drunk

and let folk fiddle in your trunk”.