Squirrels on the Common

Raven's Quill

I often sat on the common at night, alone with my thoughts. After a hectic day, it was a perfect way to comfort body, mind and soul. Today had been hectic, the computers had crashed just after lunch launching the entire office into chaos and panic. So here I was sat on the common just under an old sycamore tree – just being. I looked up at the few stars and briefly wished I could be among them, even for a little while.

It was a still, dark night with just a sliver of moonlight. Silent, perfect for a contemplative hour or two. I sat staring at the open grass in front of me. Not a blade was moving, well until it happened. Without a sound, the grass just flattened as if under a weight. It formed a small oval shape. Then another oval shape, and another until there were 10 or 12 of them.

Odd as it all seemed I didn’t let it bother me. In fact, I thought I was probably imagining it if I am honest. Slowly they appeared. A dozen small egg-like shapes.

The front end of one opened and two small figures appeared, so small they were no more than 6 inches in height. They stood like humans, but their faces were like squirrels, albeit squirrels with blue fur. The two came up to me, staring with eyes of curiosity. To them I must have looked bloody strange I suppose, just as they did to me.

The first one said something and, of course, I couldn’t make sense of it. He pulled out a small box from his pocket and pressed a few buttons. He spoke again ‘Ahhh, that’s more like it, the machine will translate for me.’ He looked at me again. ‘Hello, we mean you no harm.’

‘Hello,’ I really didn’t know what else to say.

‘We heard you, so we have come’

‘You heard me?’

‘It was you who wants to be among the stars?’

‘Umm but I only thought that’

‘We heard that,’ the little guy said. ‘We can take you out there if you want’ His hands motioned to the sky.

‘Apart from the fact I will never fit in one of your ships, I don’t know you’

‘Ahhh yes… one minute’ He took another box out of his pocket and pressed buttons, with barely a sound he grew until he stood at about 5 foot. ‘I forget we have to reduce size to travel. And my name is Welph from the planet Garie.’

‘Nice to meet you Welph, I am Daniel, and this is planet Earth.’

Welph sat with me and we talked about travelling among the stars. I didn’t notice the rest of the eggs open until we were surrounded by 30 or more little blue Garies. These guys travelled through the universe just because they want to, and it sounded idyllic.

‘Everyone has their role to play, Daniel, even you if you come with us. Each ship can carry 12 crew, and everyone joins into together.’

‘Do the ships travel together?’

‘In groups of 4 normally. We joined up this last week or, so we could land somewhere quiet and explore.’

‘You were planning on exploring Earth?’

‘No, a planet in another solar system, we just heard you and since we have space we thought we would offer you the chance’

‘I think I might just do it, what do I need? Clothes and stuff?’

‘Nothing we can provide for that.’

‘And how do I get back? If I want to come back?’

‘We return here, no one is forced to stay longer than they want to.’

‘Let’s do it.’

Welph turned to his companion ‘have you a reduction device Daniel can use, Pono?’

Pono handed me the little box ‘It will change size to match you Daniel’

Welph stood beside me point to the buttons ‘Now before you press that last one, it does feel a bit strange, but it is very quick’ he said. I nodded. ‘On my mark, Daniel – press’

For a moment the world spun, my head felt immense and my guts churned. Then I was stood there with the Garie, the same height as them. ‘Let the adventure begin’ I said.

 

©JG Farmer 2018