Merry Christmas to all readers and writers and a Peaceful and Healthy 2020.
Season’s Greetings to all. Have a lovely Christmas and a Great New Year.
Not really a blog this yuletide month, no hint of UFOs [other than perhaps a certain deer-powered sleigh], but a few reading gifts to link to, plus a small excerpt from Amidst Alien Stars. This new book was published on December 1 and you can have a look here: Amidst Alien Stars
For those who haven’t read The Emu and the Orange or The Comedian short stories, here are the links to read them when you can find a few quiet moments to yourself:
Just click/tap on the title.
And a reminder, if you have not done so already, you can get Silently in the Night for free, simply by subscribing to my monthly newsletter at the bottom of the page at: https://claytongraham.com.au/
You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.
And now, here’s the Amidst Alien Stars excerpt:
It was snowing outside. Laura drew her dark-green, alien-made cloak around her Earth clothes, the same attire she had been wearing when she was taken from her home planet: white slacks, a blue shirt, cotton socks, and sneakers, all mysteriously replicated when required by her captors. Snow landed on her short blond hair, tickled her nose, drifted among the branches of the nearest spiderlike trees.
The large flakes, larger than on Earth, fell like cascading feathers, touched the green grass, melted to nothing, and were temporarily replaced in a cycle of apparent futility. The station was obviously programmed to represent all of Earth’s more moderate climatic conditions; today the sky was grey and heavy, the air was cold, and there was no wind to call a wind. But, of course, it wasn’t home.
She pined for the vastness of West Australia, the celebrated beaches, the giant Karri forests, the infinity of the Nullarbor, the pure fresh air. It had withstood the last global war better than most places, but the population had been devastated and with it the comforting infrastructure upon which all people had unthinkingly depended.
A speck appeared in the clouded sky. It grew rapidly and landed beside her. An RNasia! Startled, Laura took a step backwards. Visions of encounters on Earth sped through her mind, darkened her mood, and fuelled her fear. She too easily recalled the characteristics. Mesmerising black eyes in a triangular head. Perhaps a metre tall. Two elbows as well as a wrist. Three long fingers, one opposing the other two. Green-grey sparkling skin. Scrawny legs. An apparent knuckle halfway down the instep.
The robotic servants of the aliens were on this station, but she had not been approached by one before, and her first reaction was to turn tail and run. Intuition, however, told her to hold her ground while simultaneously watching its every move. The creature—she still could not think of it as a robot—lifted its arms to display the thin membranous tissues that served as energy receptors. It was, she knew, offering a greeting.
To her surprise, the snow falling around the RNasia suddenly started to stick. Its triangular head rolled from side to side, as if trying to hypnotise her with its huge dark eyes. Within a minute, the grass around its feet was covered by a circular white patch of glistening crystals. One of its arms dropped slowly, enabling a three-fingered claw to touch the ground. It seemed to be scratching in the snow. Then, it stepped back, lifted one arm, and mounted the air, vanishing into the swirling snowflakes.
Laura remained still, fearful of its return. Even though her nano-enhanced body could not be invaded by the creature, she could not quell thoughts of what had happened on Earth. The circular snow patch remained. She took three steps forward.
There, scribbled in the snow as if it was a touchscreen, were four words. Do not trust anyone.
Her heart skipped a beat. Despite the cold, sweat sprang to her face and hands. What the hell does that mean? It was supposed to be all sweetness and light here, with her mission all mapped out. Surely, she deliberated, the message could not apply to Jason.
Do not trust anyone.
As she pondered, the patch of snow shrank and disappeared. The message was gone. The RNasia was gone. Her fear, however, remained.
Who sent the RNasia? And why? She turned and retraced her steps. She needed to see her son.
Take care over this special time of year, and have a wonderful Christmas. Graham C.