Thursday, 27 June 2013

Red Weeds

It being almost Martian invasion time (HG Wells Martians invaded in the summertime), here's a wee excerpt from my War of the Worlds story Terminus, which is a collection of personal histories, poetry and banned texts detailing the truth of the Martian invasion.

“While visiting a friend in Southsea recently, I was fortunate enough to be invited to an evening dance in one of the many villas. The hostess - a charming lady renknowned for such gatherings - had arranged for a medium to be present, perhaps to give a small show during the band's intermission. At first I must confess to thinking this a terribly vulgar addition to so formal an evening - I believe such characters to be charlatans who should remain at the furthest away end of any seaside pier. My friend shared my opinion, but in the interests of etiquette, we stayed silent on this matter.

The intermission arrived, and a woman took to the stage. She introduced herself as a Mrs. Guppy and I must admit that she was not the sort of swarthy individual I had been expecting. Indeed she looked entirely at home in such company. After the traditional summoning up of various deceased family members, she looked toward my friend with a great deliberation. She asked - though it sounded very little like a request - that he should join her on stage.

Naturally my colleague complied, though I am certain he would have done almost anything to avoid this fate. She lulled my friend into a sleep, and explained that through him, she was going to 'channel' a message from the stars. I was incredulous and asked why she could not channel this message herself. Mrs. Guppy explained to myself and the crowd that there were only certain of us who could receive these messages. And while she herself could not, she was able to "sense" those who could. Such bunkum continued for a further five minutes, and I was surprised to see that the rest of the audience were enthralled by her theosophist babblings.

After a time, I began to see a change come over my friend, his complexion paled and although his eyes were now opened, he seemed to be staring into space. I was about to move toward the stage to rouse him from his trance, when all of sudden...there was the most frightful howl. It took me a few moments to realise that the source of the noise was my friend himself. Again he howled "Ulla! Ulla!". The sound was like no other I have heard before, and it was obvious that my friend could not be the true source of so inhuman a cry. I resolved to wake him from his stupor, for I had the most definite belief that he was in danger. The howling rang out again, certain of the ladies were beginning to weep and couples were making to leave. I stepped toward the stage and reached out for my colleague. Mrs. Guppy chastised me sharply. 'Do not touch him. Despite what you hear..he is not in pain. It would be more dangerous for you to wake him from this trance so suddenly. I will bring him back.'

I asked her what the noise was....where it was coming from. I still hoped -half heartedly-that there was some sort of theatrics involved. She turned from me and addressed the remnants of her audience. 'This is the sound of the dead planet Mars preparing their forces for attack. You will hear this sound again. When they arrive.'

Mrs. Guppy woke my friend gently, and then left the stage."

Terminus is part of the Stramashed ebook which, as has been previously noted, costs less than many of todays popular chocolate bars, with markedly better impacts on health.

Here's an even briefer excerpt, a wee Martian invasion haiku

Dead trees are daubed 
In gaudy red violence 
As the weed marches.

And if you would like to send actual haiku to Mars, the MAVEN spacecraft which is heading to Mars this November, is looking for your poetry. You have until July 1st to enter and potentially have your name and poem basting off towards the supposedly dead planet Mars...