Aliens and Monsters
Published by Randy at Shakespir
Copyright 2017 by Randy Caldwell
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. Please do not make additional copies of this ebook. If you want to lend it to someone else to read, then please let them know that they can download it for free from Shakespir.
About the stuff:
Hello and welcome! The stories below are based on various writing prompts that have appeared on Reddit, specifically r/writingprompts. These are a few of my favorites that have been collected here for your reading pleasure. The original prompt is listed underneath the title of each story.
If you would like to see any of these stories fleshed out into something a bit more substantial, feel free to comment on my subreddit under this post. I regularly post stories there, so feel free to subscribe!
The Janitor and the UFO
Universal Healthcare of Canada for the Universe
Earth is a Nature Preserve
Faeries and Cats
The Game: Conquer Earth
The Game Savers
The Staring Contest that Ended the Universe
About the Author
The Janitor and the UFO
Original Prompt – You are the man with the highest security clearance in the world, you’ve been to every blacksite and secret facility that exists. You aren’t a spy or anything, no; you’re the janitor.
“Fuck this mess,” I said aloud. Two dead bodies lie on the floor, and blood was splattered all over the walls. There was something like a UFO in this warehouse, and it wasn’t even slightly the weirdest thing I had seen.
“I dunno, some guy got in here,” said the chief of operations. Only she was able to enter the site with me, lest I learn the identities of the rest of team. “Footage review team says he came in, took out these guys, got a couple of pictures, and left. We need you to clean up the scene before the next shift comes and gets…you know, spooked.”
“I’m spooked right now. What am I supposed to do with these bodies?”
“There’s tubs of acid in the back. Per their contract, they had no personal ties.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
“Yes. It didn’t?”
I shook my head and began my work. The chief left and I wondered how she dealt with all this death. I had seen more than my fair share.
Original Prompt – Create a fictional mythological race, (werewolves, vampires, skinwalkers, etc) and the legend behind it.
“The grengrams got my shoelaces again,” little Rick Leon said to his mom. “So I can’t tie my shoes. Not today.”
“Oh…my god, come on, again?” his mom said. She was clearly angry with him, possibly even frustrated. He had learned that word from his father.
“It’s okay, I don’t mind.”
“Your shoes are going to fall off and get ruined, so I mind. Let me see if we have any of the velcro kind left…”
Sure enough, they did, although they were a size to small and Rick was sure to get made fun of when he got to school. All the kids who didn’t know how to tie their shoes wore the velcro kind.
At school, no one made fun of him, and Rick was thankful for that. His dad had bought him new shoelaces on his way home from work. Rick took them out of his shoes and hid the laces in his pocket before he slept.
That night, Rick woke and felt something moving around under his covers. He lifted his covers. “Grengrams,” he whispered. They were little creatures. They way they looked made Rick think of a worm that tried to be a human, but couldn’t, and so it was sad all the time. “Why do you want my shoelaces?”
There were four of them tonight, more than usual, perhaps because he had hid the laces in his pocket. One of the grengrams bounced and Rick thought it might be trying to speak. The boy leaned closer so that he could hear.
“We need the laces for the monster!” the little grengram said. “It grows with each day, and we must tie it down.”
“What monster?” Rick said, shaking and suddenly scared. “Where is it?”
“It lives inside your mother’s belly. Every day, it grows a little more until it will make your mother hurt and bleed. We try to go inside and tie it down, but it will come out eventually, anyway.”
“That’s not good. I love my mom, how can I stop it?”
“Give us laces.”
“But that will just hold it down. Don’t we need to destroy it?”
“Only you can destroy it. You have to jump on your mother’s belly while she sleeps. Jump as hard as you can.”
“Okay,” Rick said and left his room, such was the importance of his mission. He opened up his parents’ bedroom door and realized something: the grengrams had never told him why the monster was bad. If there really was something bad there, his mom was sure to know about it and see the doctor. That’s what had happened with his aunt’s cancer. Something grew in her boob until the doctor had to take it out.
Rick turned and walked back to his room. The grengrams were waiting. “What’s bad about the monster?”
“It will come and disturb us. It will cry and smash us.”
“Then leave. It’s my house.”
“Give us laces.”
“You will give us the laces! We’ll give you anything, anything you want.”
“I want you to go away.”
The grengrams didn’t say anything, and left. Rick put the laces back on his shoe and slept with them on his feet. The grengrams never came back.
Grengrams are small, wingless wyrms that attempt to induce miscarriage in the hope of a feast. Typically they use ropes to achieve this by literally pulling the fetus from the womb, but they will enlist the help of others if they can. If you encounter one, tell it to leave three times, just like Rick did, and it will never come back.
Universal Healthcare of Canada for the Universe
Original Prompt – Deeply misunderstanding the term “universal healthcare”, aliens have begun arriving in Canada, seeking medical attention. Canadians, being Canadian, are too polite to correct them.
“Oh, uh, what seems to be the problem here, buddy?” John said. It was the 10th alien he had seen that day, as the check-in nurse at the ER in a hospital in Vancouver. The alien was a purple blob with two eye stalks and at least as many limbs.
"IHUH8hfdnbaf97y- ( &_&FBhbvagv606) (* jn jfndab606)) ),” the alien said. It then coughed, and a yellow slug fell out of what John hoped was its mouth. “Ah, that’s better. As I was saying, my polar gladiax is all spreckly. I think it has something to do with the magnetic field on Ratel, where I was visiting a groobling for a party. You know how it is.
“Ah, okay, buddy, well I’ll log that down and see what I can do for ya.”
“Thanks, human. You guys are alright.”
“It’s been three years, when are the Canadians going to wise up to what’s going on here?” US diplomat Jim Hunter said to his UK counterpart, Boorish Counterbottoms. “I’m telling you, it’s an invasion!”
“Well, they’ve only asked for healthcare so far,” Boorish said. “I’m just as surprised they don’t swim ‘cross the pond. Ah well, not our problem then.”
“But why don’t the Canadians just tell them to go somewhere else? How much money are they spending on this? I swear, ever since they legalized the Devil’s weed, they just don’t give a shit about anything.”
“Well perhaps that’s it. The extra tax is being used. Last I heard, I think they are getting something out of it, though. They haven’t been telling us any specifics as far as I’m aware, but they are getting some tech trade going.”
“Tech trade?” Jim was intrigued. He hadn’t heard anything about this, and it made him wonder if the British agencies just shared more with their diplomats, or if there was something his government didn’t know. “Yes, that makes more sense.”
The purple blob, healed now, sat across from Justin Trudeau. “Yes, we can give you warp drive. I’m surprised you didn’t have it already, considering you provide health care for all beings in the universe.”
“Yes, well…” Trudeau began, before stopping himself. “Yes, anyway, the warp drive would be very helpful to our people.”
“Oh, it’s nothing, that slabar was streckling my polex like a Guaranian texstute! Anyway, we have plans for you that will be easy enough to duplicate.”
“We can’t thank you enough.”
Ten years later, Captain Jones stared down at the Earth from the mothership of the Canadian Space Force. All around him, ships shaped like maple leaves and hockey pucks maneuvered around each other like falling snowflakes.
“Everything ready?” the new Prime Minister over a secure radio channel.
“Yes, sir,” Captain Jones said. “This will be known as the day that Canada became the first country to emigrate from Earth.”
“Right well, let’s get on with it. It’s time we Canadians stand up for ourselves, and get the fuck out of here before it’s too late.”
Wave after wave of red and white spaceships launched from the Earth all at once, as the world watched in awe. Streaks of light vanished into the sky, with roars that were quickly quieted with distance. “Now…” Captain Jones said, the Earth disappearing from view, “…they are the ones who are sorry.”
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Earth is a Nature Preserve
Original Prompt – The reason earth never made alien contact is because earth is in a natural reservation inside a non transit area inside a neutral zone between two warring empires in a relatively boring part of the galaxy.
“Whoa, shit!” Gor said to Zoran as the third quantum torpedo struck their craft, nearly ripping it in two. The Yurians were close behind them and closing fast. “They’re gonna kill us man, I told you we shouldn’t have crossed the border!”
“It was worth it for the Guaranian texstutes!” Zoran shouted back, madly flipping the three dimensional control arrays. “What’s that over there?”
“That’s a nature preserve! It’s illegal to land there and the punishment is death. It’s just a bunch of hairy assholes, anyway.”
“Well, we’re gonna die—” Zoran was interrupted by the fourth torpedo strike. “Fuck it, I’m landing.”
“I don’t like this.…”
Rick Jimbob took a break from plowing his field with his tractor in a field near Macon, GA, when suddenly an explosion made the day ten times brighter than it already was. “Well, I’ll be darned. Better go check it out, ‘fore a fire starts.”
He strolled over and was about a football field away when he saw two strange creatures exit what was left of what appeared to be a metal saucer. They were each about four feet tall, skinny, and what skin he could see was purple. A single antenna poked up from the back of each of their necks. Otherwise, they might have been human, albeit short ones.
“Hey, you over there!” one of the aliens, about two inches taller and a few pounds fatter than the other, yelled over to Rick. “Help us out, man! Come on, we got got by the Yurians.”
“He doesn’t know what Yurians are,” the other one said, quieter but still so that Rick could make out the words. “He doesn’t know what we are. This whole planet is a fucking primitive nature fucking preserve for some dumbshit apes that can’t even fly past their own fucking moon.”
“Well, hey now,” Rick said. “You all speak the English, and that’s alright with me. Why don’t you boys come on inside to my house for dinner?”
Over time, Rick learned of the Hyperions, who were Gor and Zoran’s people, and their war with the Yurians. The human wasn’t surprised that Earth was in a boring part of the galaxy, as his siblings who had moved into the cities stated that he lived in a boring part of the country. What did surprise him is the aliens had no way of fixing their ship.
“My brother, he works for NASA now over there in Houston,” Rick told Gor and Zoran over dinner. He’s a good guy and I’m sure if I talk to ‘im, he can help y’all folks out.”
“Well shit man, alright!” Zoran said.
“I don’t know…I guess we could make it to the Sol outpost in a few years,” Gor said.
“He’s not supposed to know about that.”
“He’s not supposed to know about us, either.”
“Remember the punishment for landing here?”
“We’ll take our chances.”
Three years later, the President of the United States stood at the head of the bleachers in the viewing area at Wallops Space Center in Virginia, giving a long-winded speech. “These aliens came here, not of their own will, but because they had no choice. We helped them because we know that it is right, and also in the hopes that they will share the news of our goodwill with their own people. Let us hope that we see them again.”
The crowd cheered, photographers snapped pictures, and the rocket launched two minutes later. It wasn’t just the Hyperions in the rocket, but with them went the hopes and dreams of the entire human race, many of whom fantasized that one day, if all went all and humanity evolved past its violent pitfalls, that they may too rise on a ship like that into the heavens.
The rocket sped out of the atmosphere, and Gor and Zoran cheered each other, glad to finally be on their way home. Their joy lasted until the Hyperion space police cruiser honed their missiles in on them, and fired, sending the debris of their craft raining back down onto the Earth.
“Well, sheeeeeet…..” the president mumbled.
Faeries and Cats
Original Prompt – Your cat normally brings you dead mice or birds. This time, he’s brought you a live fairy.
“I’ll grant you a wish,” the fairy said. “Just let me go!”
I stared at Bowser, my cat, and wondered if I were dreaming. She had come to the back door. She scratched the door. I opened the door. There was a fairy in her mouth.
“I…” I didn’t know what to say, and that is the honest truth! I was lost, confounded by the sense that I had fallen into one of those secret doors that exist only in cheap fantasy novels. “Look…”
“What do you want? Anything you want, I’ll give it to you!”
“Don’t listen to it,” Bowser said, dropping the fairy at my feet. She stared it down and said, “Don’t try anything, I’m watching you.”
“It speaks lies. I caught it browsing around my garden.”
“Stupid beast!” the fairy shouted, brushing the saliva from its tiny, thin dress. “I tell no lies and only invite others to accept my gracious service!”
“We cats can’t kill fairies,” Bowser said.
“Look…I…” Honestly, I’m a quiet person, but I’ve always felt that when the time comes to talk, I talk. I can do it with ease. I’m diplomatic even! What would you say if your cat brought you a fairy?
“At least that much is true, you dreadful animal,” the fairy said. It flew up and sat cross-legged on the edge of my kitchen counter. “If you believe that thing, then you surely believe that pigs fly and goblins don’t murder the firstborn of every doomed family.”
“Just kill it already, Steve!” Bowser said. “What are you waiting for? Do you want your family and your family’s descendants to be cursed for all of time? Do you want your name to be dragged through the mud by every possible means? Do you want your home to be sunk into the very bowels of Hell?!”
“Ah, stupid cats! You all are just prancing around, pretend that you are the friends of humans. We are the true friends! We grant wishes! What do you grant but a full litter box?”
They chased each other around my living room, and I sat stunned on a stool in front of the counter on my kitchen. Coffee, already brewed, filled a pot in front of me. I poured some of that, and a lot of whiskey, into a mug. I drank it, and drank more, and even some more. Perhaps not the best reaction….but what would you do?
The Game: Conquer Earth
Original Prompt – A game among aliens is to conquer other planets using the laws of that planet. Earth is their next target, but what they don’t realize is that our bureaucracy is a mess.
“Sir, we’ve touched down in what’s known here as the Appalachian Mountains,” Blorg said the leader of the Fridnar team, aka the Scalpels. They stood on the edge of a cliff, and twinkling lights dotted the warm, green valley below them. “This is one of the more beautiful places we’ve been, eh sir?”
“Stop calling me sir,” Captain Rogorg said, turning to look at his friend of over three Earth centuries. “Seriously, what the hell is that about? We’re a team, not a bunch a of filthy savages. Tell me, does everyone have their skin on?”
“Yes, except Lorg, she’s still getting ready. Man, I don’t know how humans where this stuff.”
“It’s just how they hold their guts in. Anyway, you really need to do more to remind your wife of the urgency here. The Yakonians have already infilitrated the Cuban government.”
“They’re playing a short game, then.”
They both fell silent and enjoyed the sight of the stars. It reminded Blorg of when he first asked Lorg to marry him, after they had been dating for months (although it had seemed like many wonderful years already) on Fridnar’s third moon. It reminded Rogorg of their win against the Hyperions in the Hindristic Nebula games.
No team had managed to infiltrate a major power here yet, and Rogorg wanted to know why.
“You mean to tell me that I have to get people’s signatures in order to run for office?” Captain Rogorg was telling the party official. “How many?”
“Well, sir, it depends on the state… “ Mary, or whatever her name was, tapped a few keys on her keyboard, and the Fridnarian knew it was a delaying tactic “… but in total…about 900,000 in order to get on the ballot in each state.”
“What the hell are you talking about? In my home country, anyone can run for office! A child can, of course he won’t be elected, but he can do it!”
“That’s very cute, sir.”
Rogorg grunted and left the building. He called Blorg with his cell phone. Human currency was easy enough to print for themselves, at least. “Any luck getting a job with the agency?”
“Ro, they want to do background checks! They want my family, my friends, all of them to testify against me just to get a job!”
“What kind of untrusting people are these? This is going to be harder than I thought. Damn, I heard the Yakonians are working with Venezuela now.”
“And the Klepers are already moving on from Ghana to Gambia.”
Rogorg knew it was unethical, although not technically cheating, to assume the bodies of whoever they were invading. He didn’t see another way, however, and a win was a win. He sat in the Oval Office, sure that in this position of power the Scalpels would win within a week, or perhaps a day or two.
Blorg stood in the corner, continually scratching himself. “It’s this skin, how can they wear it?” he’d say when Rogorg or Lorg, who sat in a chair staring at a tablet, would complain about it.
“What do you mean you can’t get the votes?” Rogorg said angrily into the phone. “I’ve literally developed an engine that can go faster than the speed of light, and still you can’t get enough votes to approve a Martian colony?”
The gift of technology was something else that was traditionally forbidden in the Invasion Games, but technically not considered cheating. Rogorg had had enough.
"I know...I know...ethical concerns, taking care of Earth infrastructure first, all that, of course. But an off-world colony is the first step to any unified world government. What do you mean New World Order? Actually yes, that's a good description of-- What are you talking about? Why shouldn’t I talk this way? Just get the votes!”
“Easy, captain,” Blorg said after Rogorg slammed the phone down on its receiver. “We’ll find a way, just got to keep trying.”
“Peace is what brings us together, not war! Peace is what makes a man a man and a woman a woman, not war! Peace is what we must have, for one world must have one government!”
All the political representatives cheered Rogorg’s speech in the joint session of congress. He was sure that people all over the country, and even the world, were ready now to become one. Then the Scalpels would declare victory for the third time in as many centuries, a record that few could match.
A senator, whose name the captain didn’t know, spoke in his ear, “Sir, it still has to go through both houses.”
“Whose houses?” Rogorg said above the ongoing cheers.
“I just want you to know, there are still those of us who oppose you in the Senate. We’ll filibuster this if you try it without negotiating first.”
“Filibuster?” the Fridnarian had heard of that term, and he knew what it meant. “No…” he shook his head as the cheers quieted “…no…” he writhed around, dense internal hands pushing against the flimsy skin “…no…” Blorg tried to stop him, but it was too late.
A twenty foot tall tentacle monster stood before the Congress. Its purple skin rippled like oil in a breeze, and its dozens of eyes stared everywhere at once. Talons popped out of its tentacles and began whipping at everything in the room.
“I’M INVADING YOUR PLANET, YOU SHITHEADS!!!”
Blorg looked at Lorg among the ripped and gored carcusses of those who so recently had been clapping for their killer, and said, “Well…I guess this means we lost.”
The Game Savers
Original Prompt – Write a dystopian themed story where the only difference between the story and the real world is something very minor (i.e. pencils use actual lead instead of graphite, or that the tissue was never invented).
“I’ve heard there is a place where things are different,” Tal Raven says to the crowd of teenagers below the dais. He stands on the Capitol steps, and for this speech, he will be punished greatly. “Where frustration turns into relief. Where one may try new things, many times over, and never have to worry about starting from scratch.”
Policeman huddle nearby, depressed by the power of free speech. Yet their sinister smiles tell me, seventeen year old Bub Krak, that they are encouraged by the idea of silent vengeance. The time will come when Tal walks into an ally and never walks out.
“What do you think?” I whisper to my friend, who also listens and stands in the crowd with me as we dare ourselves to dream. “Is it really possible?”
“I’ve been playing for years,” Jo Teets replies. I have a crush on her, but I mustn’t tell her. “You know, some people say it would just ruin the fun.”
I nod, unwilling to tell her my true feelings about the ability to save, lest they ruin the potential for love.
“And I have more than heard it,” Tal went on, taking deep, ragged breaths, clouds of fog drifting into the cold air from underneath his dark hood. “I have seen it! I have played it! I have enjoyed the ability to save my game, and here I stand before you!”
The crowd grasped, and the police officers gripped their batons.
“Do not let them strike you down! Do not let them make you play the same game for hours on end, memorizing the position of every enemy! Let the words ‘game over’ mean nothing!”
This was too much for the police, who proceeded to crowd the stage. Fights broke out among the teenagers. “Let’s get out of here,” I say to Jo, who nods and follows me onto a side street.
“You heard Tal, it’s out there,” I say to Jo and a few others whom we call friends. A few days have passed, and we sit in my mother’s basement debating what to do next. “Can you imagine? If we could save our games…no more meticulous note-taking, no more making a mistake, jumping off a cliff when you’re about to face the boss, and having to start over at the first level!”
“But…a lot of the fun is in the memorization, isn’t it?” Le Jenk says. “I mean, it gets us all together to take notes, right? That’s fun.”
“We could get together to just play. Imagine that…just playing the game.”
“He’s right,” Jo says, and my face turns red. “If the ability to save is out there, we have to find it. Imagine what we could do! The experimentation, the killable NPCs that we could bring back to life with a load of the save…just think of it.”
The shine in their eyes tells me I have them. “Alright,” I say. “Let’s do it.”
A year later, and I see it on the pedestal before me. The journey has been long, and the others have died due to the treachery of our saveless society, but Jo and I have survived. And now we are here, having sneaked into a government facility just outside DC.
“The memory card…” Jo says. “It’s real…”
I can only nod. Struck by the moment, I finally try to kiss her. She goes in for the briefest moment, but then pushes me away.
“No,” she says, gasping and walking toward the card. “We must wait until we have the card in our hands.”
“Yes,” I say. “Take it.”
She does so and points a gun at my head. “I’m sorry, Bub, but I had to do it. Lead you on like this. It made it so hard…your feelings for me that you were always too nervous to admit too…but here we are.”
“Jo…why? Why would you do this?”
“Because it totally changes game design! Where is the challenge in being able to save a game, where is the progress? There’s no achievement to be had.”
“But all the things we talked about….being able to save would be world-changing!”
“Which is exactly why I must destroy this…and kill you…sorry, Bub.”
I roll onto the ground as the bullet blasts past me, missing me by inches. I find a rock and throw it at Jo, hitting her square on the head. She tries to get up, shoots again and misses, and I am top of her struggling for her weapon. Before I know what happened, the gun fires again, and Jo is bleeding from the stomach.
“Well…” she whispers, the life fleeting from her lungs. “I guess…this is it.”
Tears stream down my face, dripping onto her chest, and I can hardly think at all.
“One life…just as it should be.”
“No…no…no…it didn’t have to be this way!” I cry and shout and struggle to bring her corpse to life, but I fail. Sirens go off and I know I must leave.
But…at least now I know that I can always start over.
The Staring Contest that Ended the Universe
Original Prompt – The Universe as we know it is a simulation and blinking is a way to distract the human whilst the world around you is rendered. You and your friend have just broken the world record for a staring contest and are starting to notice some odd changes in your surroundings.
Jim and Bob stared at each other for what seemed like millineia. Their eyes bored holes into the pupils of the other, each of them turning red and dry. A passerby might think they were stoned out of their minds, or coked out of their heads, or on some other drug that hasn’t yet been made popular by demand.
“You quit,” Jim said.
“No, you,” Bob said.
The referee’s back was wet with sweat. He feared blinking, lest he miss the fatal blow, but was unable to hold back against that singular bodily function. How many matches he had seen, regulated, and decided, he could not count. He did know that this was by far the longest that any had ever witnessed, beating the world record by at least fourteen hours.
The crowd watched with horror. Their spouses worried what this might do their husband’s eyesight. Their children had grown tired of cheering their fathers and now played in a nearby patch of grass with their disinterested fellows.
Suddenly, the world changed.
“What’s going on?” Jim said.
“Did you blink? Or did I?” Bob said.
“The grass…is it somehow straighter?”
“Everything is straight lines and polygons.”
“Dear god, I think we broke something.”
“Sir! They’ve broken the simulation and have become self aware!” Bleep said to Bloop, his captain.
“How can that be?” Bloop said.
“Did they push their bodies beyond their physical limits in a test of ultimate strength, as did Hercules against the bull?”
“No, sir, not that…”
“Did they attain a higher level of consciousness beyond that of any of their historical peers, as did the Buddha after realizing the existence of suffering and its causes?”
“No…not quite…almost done…”
“Well, have they somehow broken beyond the physical laws of their universe and changed them to fit their own will? That shouldn’t have been possible for another few thousand generations!”
“No, sir, I have it! They…oh my gizormat!”
“They broke it with a staring contest.”
“A staring contest?” Bloop said, stunned. “A staring contest?!”
“Yes, sir. A staring contest.”
“I know, sir.”
“Well…fuck man. Just end it.”
“End the whole thing?”
“I’m done. I’ll take the blame. Just end the whole fucking simulation.”
“Jim?” Bob said.
“Bob?” Jim said.
“Where are we?”
“I don’t know. It’s all dark.”
“You know I won, right?”
“No, I did.”
“No, I did.”
“No, I did.”
About the Author
Randy Caldwell lives in Maryland with his wife and three sons. He enjoys writing because it keeps him sane. He is currently working on an urban fantasy novel entitled The Necromancer’s Son.
You can find more stories at arcaldwell.com, and at the subreddit r/arcaldwell.
Please leave a review, and thank you for reading!
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