Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London in the summer of 1971 but only began writing fiction and poetry at the age of 36 when he moved to Brighton. He has been published widely online and occasionally in print including numerous stories here at Horror-Sleaze-Trash. His debut novel DIVE will be out sometime from New Pulp Press and if you want you can follow him @beatnikbraduk on Twitter.
THE WEIRDEST THING
“That’s half the problem with you, you think you know everything and you don’t understand that there is life outside of your precious little sphere of reality!”
“Oh no, he’s off again,” Lucy said to Harriet off to one side, pulling a face of ridicule at Jack who stood centre-stage. He was addressing the whole party, it was important what he had to say and he needed everyone to hear him.
“Don’t you all get it? They are here already! They live among us!”
“Has he been watching a lot of X-Files again?” Harriet asked Lucy.
“Sure looks like it, and smoking that shit we sell him, when will he learn!”
“You all laugh at me now but come the day I’ll be saved and you’ll all have your brains fried!”
“Yeah, yeah Jack,” Andrew chided Jack as he took his arm and helped him off to one side; he hoped allowing the party to return to normal.
It took a couple of minutes before everyone had grown bored of talking about Jack’s latest social outrage and he took a seat in the corner of the garden and began to roll a joint. It would sort his head out and make him feel less self-conscious about the scene he’d just been at the centre of. As he sat back and sparked the joint to life his gaze ventured upwards towards the night sky. It was a beautiful summer night, the kind perfect for a party but then as he inhaled deeply on the second toke of the joint something really strange happened. In the night-sky he saw a little light appear and manoeuvre in a very peculiar fashion. Jack had grown-up on a flight path to Gatwick and he had never seen anything move like that before and as a geeky kid planes were one of the few things Jack enjoyed about his childhood. The light grew closer but no one apart from Jack had noticed what was happening, about the impending arrival of a group of visitors from another planet. Seeing the light grow closer Jack jumped to his feet and began shouting.
“Look at that you motherfuckers!! I told you it was real, they are here!!”
He started pointing to the light that was now almost taking up their entire point of view whilst continuing to shout. No one else said anything, they just stood and starred at what they couldn’t really believe was happening. The next voice they all heard was a computerized English voice.
“Remain calm, we are your friends. We are looking for Jack Thompson of London, England.”
Jack started jumping up and down to bring attention to where he was.
“I’m here!” he shouted to the sky. “They’ve come for me, now do you believe me?” He began sobbing with joy. he had been proven right and now he was going to live a better life, surely now was the time for a good life.
It was at that moment that things became even freakier. The ship transmitted some kind of radar and it took everyone at the party under its control, everyone that is except Jack. He was devastated, what kind of mass experiment was this going to be and why wasn’t he picked; did they know enough about him already? He had slowly begun to remember scenes of some of their diabolical experiments but his last memory was a fond one; he couldn’t remember exactly what but it made him feel good to think about it. When he finally emerged from his stupor he couldn’t believe his eyes. All of his male friends heads were now on his female friends bodies and vice versa, worse yet the scene had already descended to an all-out sex orgy and as Jack looked up to the sky again he saw a conveyer belt made of light and from it a production line of alien creatures who intended to join the orgy. He could do nothing but stand there and laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation and then, suddenly, it was all over and everyone and everything was back to normal.
Jack remembered everything but everyone else just continued the party as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.
“Everyone, what the hell just happened??” he asked as someone turned the music up from the background. Jack knew that person was under alien control via mental telepathy; ‘turn the music up, don’t listen to Jack, he’s a mad-man’ they were told. Jack turned to the one person he knew would listen to him at the party; these weren’t really his people, but then with Jack it was rare to find any kind of crowd who were his kind of people as he embraced the life of a loner.
“Sandy? You know what just happened don’t you?”
“Yes Jack I do, you were prattling on about stupid UFOs again, when are you going to understand…”
“What now?” she retorted.
“What happened before that?”
“All I can remember Jack is you making a fool of himself all night going on about your damn UFO conspiracies.”
“Don’t you get it Sandy? They were just here…”
“Really? Well, how come I don’t remember then?”
“They had you under their alien mind-control, don’t you remember anything? The orgy, the changing faces, the aliens joining in?”
“Jack, you are bring ridiculous now, pack it in.”
A light came from the sky again and zoomed in directly above the garden. Jack turned to look at Sandy to gauge her reaction and in a matter of seconds it was her who was picked out by the light and as she floated off into the ether the crowd stood shocked knowing they would remember this moment forever. The spaceship took off and disappeared out of the night sky within a matter of seconds.
“Holy shit man,” the first voice announced.
“What the fuck just happened?” another asked.
“Don’t you get it the weirdest thing is Jack is right, always has been…”