Thousands had gathered on the place where it was supposed to happen, the Nevada plains. Caught between the burning sun and rubble radiating heat, they had waited in growing suspense since sunrise. Finally, the moment was here: first contact. An unanimous gasp went through the crowd. They had expected a space ship, a rocket, or at least some kind of flying saucer. No scifi movie had prepared them for the craft that broke through the clouds. A yellow submarine was making its way down to earth. It had everything nobody had seen for centuries—and on all the wrong places, too: propellors that were rotating in different directions at the same time, countless periscopes in all shapes and sizes, and port lights all around. On the side that was facing the crowd, something was written in giant red letters. What, nobody could tell. The word was made up from letters of every alphabet known to man—dead and alive. It was a rather long word and it didn‘t look too friendly either. The brownish red color had run down and left long streaks. The president wasn’t the only one who couldn’t shake the feeling that the word was written in blood. The sound of shuffling feet made him aware of the fact that the crowd behind him got nervous. He didn’t need to turn to know that all eyes were on him. It was time for a little statesmanship. He straightened up, slapped a smile on his face and stepped forward to show he wasn’t afraid. Only his twitching left eye betrayed that he wasn‘t feeling too well either. He hoped they had kept true to their word and really came unarmed. The message had also said it would be only one of them. The vessel seemed small enough. Even if they had been lying, there was no way more than twenty of them could fit into the peculiar space craft. Twenty was safe number. Very safe considering the amount of bullets they brought. The sharp shooters hiding behind the rocks were ready to shoot them down, if need be. Even though the welcoming committee was supposed to be unarmed, too, the president had decided, first contact was no time to be unprepared for the worst case scenario. Therefore, plan B, C, and D for that matter was preemptive annihilation.
The thought of everything but Plan A made the president instantly relax and he felt almost calm, when the vessel finally hit ground with an irreversible BLONK.
Out of one of the submarine’s port lights stared a rather large eye. It blinked once, then the vessel’s door popped open. A moment later, an entity twice as large as an elephant squeezed out. It wore some kind of garment, that slightly resembled the military uniform the president was wearing himself. Only the ambassador’s was bright pink, had yellow tassels all over and the left side of his uniform was plastered with batches from chest to knee.
Whatever he had imagined it to be, the president hadn’t dreamed of an alien looking like this—and neither had the crowd.
Zork however did not share the crowd’s surprise. He knew exactly what humans looked like. He had studied them for centuries. He even had dressed like their most famous insects because lower life forms were his speciality and if they got to know him better, Zork was sure they would appreciate the joke. Maybe it was a little too much on the nose, with the yellow submarine and all. But mission control was not sure if subtext would be understood in situations like this. So they had insisted on the literal way.
The crowd looked at Zork in awe, eyes and mouths wide open. Zork straightened up, put on his most winning smile and—hesitating just a moment to mark the gravity of the moment—put his foot on alien ground.
Involuntarily, the president cringed when he saw the creature bare its teeth, exposing yellow fangs that looked as if they could bite a grown man into two. The president stood very still, hoping the big scary thing in front of him would overlook him. A harrumph of his VP reminded him of his duties. Not for the first time he whole-heartedly regretted having run for office, but for the first time it took a real effort not to pee his pants. He was about to take a brave step towards the ambassador, when the creature put his hands above his head, shook them wildly—and hell broke loose. Deafening screams resounded. With rowing arms people made room for themselves to flee and then, like a herd of scared buffalo, they ran. Instinctively, the president followed his kind. When he looked back, he saw the creature hesitating for just a blink of his giant eye—and then it came after them.
Dieser Text ist das Ergebnis der Schreibübung “Erzähl’s noch einmal!” aus dem Modul “The Craft of Character – Teil 4”, der Teil der Coursera-Spezialisierung: Creative Writing ist. Zur ersten Version dieser Szene geht’s hier.