A Spaceship Landed in Sussex

by Dice

Mr. Cobbs was a very ordinary man, who dressed in a fine trench coat and walked to the bus every morning at exactly 7.00 a.m. and returned in the afternoon at precisely 3.15 p.m. He lived on Whittler Alley and hardly ever thought about living anywhere else, except on lone summer nights when it didn't rain and he could almost recall a very agreeable flat in Paris, where lived a very sassy young lady he had once known.

On this very afternoon, when Mr. Cobbs came around the corner at Whittler Alley, where he had lived for a considerable amount of years in reasonable happiness, he had to admit to a certain confusion.

He clearly recalled that he lived in a big red brick house, which was built a few decades past and still had no central heating. This house lay in a small garden, which Mr. Cobbs tended with the utmost reluctance only to please the meddlesome Mrs. Lynch, who walked down the street, dragging her fat schnauzer behind her on a leash every Monday to Saturday at about 4.00 p.m. - on Sunday she took two walks.

This lovely, although chilly in winter, red brick house, with its small, but well kept garden, surrounded by a white painted picket fence, was always, except on foggy days, clearly visible from the corner of Whittler Alley.

There was no fog today.

Mr. Cobbs lifted his hat and scratched his head. It was quite odd really, but he was sure he couldn't see his house. In fact where the house usually were it was very much not, at this moment.

He walked up to the front gate, which in retrospect was the only thing left of the picket fence. The whole garden was a ghastly mess of wood and bricks, all in a shade of charcoal and ashes.

Mr. Cobbs put his briefcase down on the ground and watched the very large, round and metallic object which had somehow managed to place itself both inside and outside of his living room, kitchen and well, entire house actually.

"Excuse me," Mr. Cobbs began and peered up at the large object. "Um, I say, sorry to be rude, but you seem to have flattened my house."

There was no reply, but Mr. Cobbs had really not considered that likely, however he felt that he should at least express some displeasure at this turn of events.

He walked around the very large object. If he didn't know any better, he would have thought that the large object was a prop from a Hollywood film. If indeed he didn't know better, but he certainly did know better; he was a man who held a very respectable position within the Bank of England and he was both educated and quite intelligent. He knew that it was not at all likely that a production company from Hollywood would have misplaced so large a prop in Sussex of all places and not without being here to sue him for allowing his house to damage it.

So it must be an actual spaceship then.

Mr. Cobbs came around to where the back of his house used to be and straightened his back a little and sighed. He had a bad feeling his insurance wouldn't cover this.

Suddenly the side of the large object melted away with a musical hiss and a ramp slid out pushing away some of the debris and charred remains of his walls and roof. Mr. Cobbs swallowed, a tad concerned as to what would happen now. If this perchance was an alien invasion he probably had some kind of humane duty to report this to the authorities.

But he didn't particularly want to.

There was no time to move and so he remained standing where he was watching how a slim figure in a silvery spacesuit came trudging with snappy steps down the ramp. It stopped on the edge of the ramp and stomped its foot angrily.

"It's not fair!" it seemed to say - it was naturally speaking in an alien language, but Mr. Cobbs thought that this seemed a likely translation of the tone with which it spoke.

A second alien stuck its head out of the opening in the ship. It was taller and very finely dressed in a long robe with odd embroideries.

"Don't you tell me what's fair, young man!" it seemed to scold the first alien, then it pointed at the willow tree growing in the neighbour's garden. "Fetch me a switch, at once, I have had enough of your cheek!"

The first alien sobbed and stomped its foot a bit more quietly and then it walked down and cut a switch from the willow with a very clever little laser device. Then it walked up the ramp again. Mr. Cobbs, scratched his head a bit and then he followed the alien into the ship.

It was a very clean and shiny ship. Like most space ships. In fact it was a very fine ship, as ships go, but it had taken badly to being crashed into a lovely, red brick house with a small, but well kept garden and all things that could come loose inside a space ship had come loose and fallen on the metal floor.

As Mr Cobbs came further into the ship, he again heard voices speaking. He peeked around a corner of the corridor and came to a tentative halt. The taller alien was tapping his foot, pointing decisively at sturdy bench like object protruding from the wall.

"I say, um, excuse me? I say," said Mr. Cobbs uncertainly and raised a finger into the air, while carefully walking closer. The aliens turned around and stared at him. "I'm terribly sorry, awfully awkward business this, but I feel I should, well, you see, it seems that your spaceship has somehow ended up on my house, and I'd be ever so thankful if you were to move it a tad..." he said.

"Oh, dear," said the tall alien in the fancy robe.

"Oh, fuck!" said the small, slim alien.

"Mind your language!" chided the taller one angrily.

"Sorry," the other one muttered.

"I do apologise for this inconvenience, we will naturally reimburse you in any way we can! My colleague here, has an annoying tendency to forget to turn on the anti gravity boosters when we..." the tall alien began to explain.

"Oh, that's right, blame me! You didn't tell me we were getting close!"

"And I suppose that a planet as large as the Grand General's mother's ass was too small for you to see?!" bellowed the robed alien and the shorter one blushed a pretty blue.

"Yeah, yeah," he mumbled.

Mr. Cobbs, scratched his head. He was a little confused, but he didn't exactly feel that this was the proper time to express such a confusion, after all, it must be much more confusing for two aliens to take a nosedive into his garden in Sussex, than it was for him to find them there, well, perhaps not, but still.

"Well, as long as you don't intend to stay for long..." said Mr. Cobbs and signaled that he would leave them alone now, however the tall alien in the robes stopped him.

"Why don't you sit down while I deal with my young colleague here, and then we'll settle matters, what do you say?"

He found himself sitting in a comfortable chair that had not been anywhere to be seen only a moment before. It was a very nice chair, quite a bit like a chair he remembered from a certain very agreeable flat in Paris.

"Bend over, please!" ordered the tall alien and the smaller one stomped his foot, but then obeyed hesitantly. Rapidly the taller alien unbuttoned his robe and placed it on a hanger on the wall. It then proceeded to remove the other aliens silvery trousers, baring its bottom.

"This isn't fair!" the now half undressed alien blurted out in a final accusatory wail.

"You just consider what might have happened if this had been that super mega travel cruiser that you'll be handling all on your own after next Tuesday!" the taller alien turned and said for Mr. Cobbs'benefit. "It's a very big ship. I believe one of them crashed here a few billion years ago, and you know what happened that time!"

With that the alien raised his willow switch and whipped it down across the upturned buttocks. The other alien howled. Again he was whipped and again until the howls and the swishing sounds blended together.

Mr Cobbs, watched the scene with a thoughtful look. He wondered if this indeed was the common praxis among aliens. It seemed a rather effective way of getting through to a bad driver, in any case. Once it was all done and the errant alien had sobbingly been sent to his quarters, the taller alien sat down next to Mr. Cobbs and handed him a cup of a steaming hot beverage.

"Now, I suggest that you allow me to take care of the reconstruction of your home and then perhaps we might offer you a trip somewhere, anywhere, is there a place you would like to visit? The back of your moon is lovely this time of year, no? Somewhere closer then?"

Mr. Cobbs thought of the scene he had just witnessed and then his mind traveled back to a time when he had known a particularly sassy young lady in an agreeable flat in Paris.

"Well, perhaps... Paris? Yes, I believe I'd like to go to Paris."

At 4.00 p.m. when Mrs. Lynch dragged her fat schnauzer down the street for their afternoon walk, she glared outraged at the terrible mess in Mr. Cobbs' garden. Indeed, some people just didn't know how to keep their gardens tidy.

The End

~ Dice

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