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Open Features, Open Features: Community Spirits - Part Three

Martin Rothery continues his sci-fi tale.


Mrs Samson came into the kitchen from the parlour to see what all the fuss was about with one of those 'what have you been up to' looks on her face.

“What’s all that racket about?” she enquired sharply.

“Mum, mum. Martians.” Bobby gasped. These appeared to be the only words he was capable of saying at the moment.

“Really. Martians? Where?”


Mrs Samson put her face to the window and peered out into the gloom and was unsurprised to see nothing.

“There’s no-one out there,” she stated matter of factly as if unsurprised. “Must be your imagination playing tricks on you, silly-heads.”

Georgie and Bobby looked at each other knowingly; they’d imagined nothing and were determined to prove it. But they let it drop for now as they were not brave enough to face the look on their mother’s face. It was then that it struck them…

“And where’s my bucket of water?” she growled.

Both boys went white not just at the thought of facing their mother’s wrath, but fearing that she would send them back out there to face those beings.

“Do I have to do everything around here?” she huffed pulling on her shawl, picking up the spare bucket and trudging out through the door with a slam not even giving them the chance to explain.

Georgie and Bobby were not going to hang around for her return and shot off to their bedroom and dived under their bed, relieved at the temporary reprieve.

“Were they real?” Bobby whispered, a little doubt creeping in.

“I think so,” Georgie responded.

“What if they get mum?”

Georgie’s breath stopped for a moment. “I don’t think they’ll see her in the fog – they didn’t see us,” he answered hopefully.

No sooner had he said it, he heard the front door shut downstairs followed by a grumbling about the cold and a splosh of water as their mother filled the kettle in the hearth.

She was back safe.

Supper was a quiet affair that evening. Mrs Samson was still angry at the boys and Mr Samson was particularly tired from labouring on the farm all day. The cold damp fog had got into his bones he’d complained.

The unseasonably murky mist hadn’t lifted all day and it had become dark rather earlier than usual. It seemed to amplify the mood in the dimly candlelit room.

Georgie and Bobby were soon packed off to bed.

As they lay under their grey woollen covers listening to the drip outside the window from condensed fog from the eaves, their minds were still active trying to process what they seen earlier that day.

“Do you think they’ll come back?” Bobby whispered into the darkness.

“I don’t know.” Georgie replied. “How did they not see us? We were right there in front of them. It was almost like they saw straight through us, as though we didn’t even exist.”

“Why do Martians speak English, Georgie?”

“Maybe they’re trying to blend in?”

“Not with those strange spacesuits.”

“No, you’re right. Why has no-one seen them before?”

“Should we look for them tomorrow? It is Saturday?” Bobby’s curiosity was starting to take over and bravery slowly started to creep in to feed it.

“Ok, but not if it’s foggy.”

“Yeah, not if it’s foggy.”

“Let’s get to sleep then.”


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