It was a fairly typical Saturday morning in our house. Dad was in the garden emptying out the shed (again!). Mum had snuck to the gym for her early morning work-out. Rory (my four-year-old brother) was on the sofa wearing dad’s snorkel and mask watching his favourite underwater scene in ‘Finding Nemo’. I was scoring goals against the kitchen wall in front of an imaginary crowd of 50,000. That’s when the doorbell rang.
‘I’ll get it!’ I shouted. I don’t know why I shouted, because I knew that neither dad nor Rory could hear me. As I rushed down the hall to open the front door I tried to guess which of the following it would be:
- Joe Williams from next door asking for his football back (yet again!)
- Someone selling tea towels
- Our postman with a parcel
- The National Lottery man to say we’d won (dream on!)
- Mum, hot and sweaty, having forgotten her key as usual.
In fact it was none of these. Standing at our door that Saturday morning was, I kid you not, an alien!
Now, most people would jump out of their skins at the sight on their doorstep of a bald-headed fluorescent green monster with pale blue smoke wafting from its tiny semicircular ears. But there was something about this alien that touched my heart. Whether it was his large slow-blinking wine red eyes, his snub nose, his friendly smile, or simply the fact that he was exactly my height, I cannot tell you, but for some reason I just stood there and gawped at him in wonder.
My gawping, and the alien’s blinking and smiling, carried on for a good thirty seconds. It was as if I had met a long lost friend and here we were bonding again. But then I nearly jumped out of my skin as an eerie wheezing and rasping noise floated up past my right ear and over my shoulder. The alien suddenly stopped blinking and pulled such a terrifying face as he stared beyond me I was convinced that a ten-eyed goblin from the far side of Mercury must be hovering in my midst. I swung round in fear for my life – to find Rory, complete with snorkel and mask, staring wide-eyed through his steamed up visor at our visitor.
The alien could only handle a few seconds of the sight of Rory. I think it was the batman outfit that finished him off. Without warning he emitted a strange high-pitched echo, then spun round and fled out through our gate and off down the road.
‘‘You idiot, Rory!’ I reprimanded. Rory wheezed through his snorkel, then shrugged his shoulders and held up both hands as if to say ‘What did I do?’ Then he disappeared back to his ‘Finding Nemo’ DVD, whisking his cape like a matador with an attitude.
‘Well,’ thought I to myself. ‘I’ve got two choices here. Either I close the door and pretend this never happened, or I race down the road to see if I can find the alien and bring him back. No prizes for guessing which of these two options I picked.