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They Came To Earth In Crates

4 Jun 2004

"We can't let the people know, sir."

The Secretary to the Protector was adamant, but he didn't press the point. He knew that the argument was already won. The Protector, sat opposite him, didn't seem to be listening to a word his secretary said. His chair was turned three-quarters to the right, so that he looked at the wall rather than his employee, and his left hand drummed faintly on the crescent-shaped top of his desk.

"Sir?" the secretary prompted, quietly.

Divine inspiration

17 May 2004

Torrenostra is a dismal carbuncle on the smooth face of the Costa del Azahar. If it were not for the dead motor in the taxi, dead and cooling in the lesser heat on the N-340, I would have spent the minimum possible time there. I would have stayed long enough to visit my customer and then fled to the hills.

Open secret

2 May 2004

The student in the gardens of St George's Church ranted at his companion.

"Nobody believes," the student wailed. "Oh, everyone in the department says, I mean, they all claim to know about old Hawksmoor and-" in a sarcastically elevated pitch "-those terribly eccentric assimilations of Egyptian and Phoenician superstitions into his architectural oeuvre, rendering the sublime both bizarre and baroque—bloody Dr Price's words, incidentally—but nobody really realises what he discovered."

The other just nodded, sympathetically.


14 Apr 2004

[A therapist's office. Neat and art deco. Dr Inchwold is sat reading a sheaf of notes. There is a knock at the door.] "Come in." [The door opens, and Mrs Glaiverouter comes in. Mrs Glaiverouter is a humorous Northern caricature, with all the primness, self-righteousness and borderline querulousness that that entails. She probably has hairpins.] "Ah, Mrs Glaiverouter. Come in, come in. Why don't you have a seat here?" [indicates enormous leather chair, a parody of typical therapeutic seating.] "Thank you, Doctor." "Mmm. Mmm. Good.

Wake-up call

11 Apr 2004

He was luxuriating, glad of the hot pounding and cold spritz of the shower's spray, when the telephone rang. Its jangling cut through the freshness, to his hangover beneath, and with a groan he pulled himself out and answered.


There was a pause before the confession: "... Hi."

He sighed, away from the phone. Keep it light, he thought, and brightly said: "Hi. Morning. Uh..." (rubbed his eyes) "... how are you?"

"OK," the voice said, following the outline of a shrug. "I miss you."