Authors: Luke Kondor
2015 by Luke Kondor
All rights reserved
Hawk & Cleaver
London, United Kingdom
For press inquiries, please contact
To that old hipster I saw on the tube that time. Nice shoes.
STRANGE THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN OUR CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE
An ancient race of Space-Beings called Thinkers are waking up as humans on Earth.
A malevolent force is killing them off one by one whilst listening to self-help tapes.
The honeymoon period for a pair of newlyweds is cut short.
An elderly lady and her pet dog are convinced that the universe is ending.
And a ginger cat called Gary is the only one who knows anything about anything.
Be warned. Contains graphic violence. Swearing. And the protagonist is a bit of a git.
Also, the author is English, so when he talks about the item of clothing, pants, he’s talking about underwear.
“Forth then, my soul sped, throughout the Cosmos,
seeing ever, new things and old;
learning that man is truly space-born,
a son of the Sun,
a child of the stars.”
Thoth the Atlantean
The Emerald Tablets
“Can we actually ‘know’ the universe? My God, it's hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown.”
“I’m sixty foot tall and made of diamond,” Aidan muttered under his breath. “I’m sixty-fucking-foot tall and made of unbreakable diamond.”
He wasn’t talking to anyone other than himself as he drove along to the silence of the early morning roads. It was his mantra. An affirmation. Something he would repeat to himself over and over, burying it deeper into his subconscious.
The tin box on the dashboard rattled as Aidan drove along the country road. An old biscuit tin Aidan had started using to collect his teeth as a child, and had continued to do so throughout life. On the lid he’d etched the words ‘For the toof fairy’ with a penknife.
He’d been driving for three and a half hours straight, and the sun was only just starting to rise.
The van wasn’t his. It was a Transit thing his granddad used to shift his painting and decorating gear across the Midlands. Just here-and-there jobs. Not the main one. No, that was always the farm.
He could still smell the methylated spirit soaked into the wood in the back.
The van was old, dirty, and on its last legs. There were no other words for it – it was a shit-box. Someone had even written the words ‘clean me’ in the dirt on the back. It was covered in stains and patches from a decade before. Never cared for, it had been left to rot and moulder. Aidan hated it. He hated everything about it. It wasn’t him. It was the antithesis of everything he was.
You’re better than this place. You’re a god amongst men. Your potential is yet to be realised.
“I know,” he said to the empty passenger seat. “I fucking know that.”
He banged his hand on the steering wheel and looked back to the road. Running his hand through his hair, he turned onto the winding stretch of road that ran through the village of Alvaston. It was a sleepy place where nothing much happened. It was his hometown. He slowed the van and wound down the window, letting the cool morning breeze enter.
The milkman drove past in his milk float. His bottles of white danced and rattled as the old cart sputtered along.
“Morning,” the milkman said, doffing his cap. The man’s unkempt grey sideburns reached out from the sides of his wrinkled, paper-thin face. Lack of vitamin D. Loser. Unsuccessful.
“Morning,” Aidan said.
You’re a winner. You’re a star.
Aidan smiled at the empty passenger seat.
“I’m a god,” he said, smiling. “I’m a fucking god.”
He glanced at himself in the rear-view mirror. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a brown comb and ran it through his hair. He pressed down so hard it scratched his scalp. Any harder and it would’ve broken the skin.
The main road in Alvaston was as limited as the ambitions of the locals. Its achievements could be counted on a single hand. The most it had going for it was the farm, and that was down to the work ethic and positive mind-set of his granddad.
As Aidan passed the houses and shops, he shook his head at the wasted potential. He came to a signpost that read ‘White Log Farm’ and turned right.
It was a petting farm. The kind of place where people would go and buy bags of pellets for the goats and the pigs and feed them, hoping that they might feel like something loved them and that maybe they weren’t so alone in the universe.
But the goats couldn’t give a fuck about them. Not even if they were giving them pellets. They would have to be some special kind of pellets if they wanted to leave an impression on those brainless bastards.
And the guy who sold them the feed. The spotty little teenager, bucktoothed, up to his knees in shit-stains. The farm boy. The one the guests laughed at because he spoke funny: a lisp, an accent they couldn’t place. A mix of every accent they’d ever heard before. That boy was…
Concentrate. Execution is everything. Do you want to reach your potential?
Aidan shook his head. He had a headache. He drove past the goat pastures, spotting a few of them huddled in the corner of the field, a couple of kids in the mix. He passed the admin cabin, which was actually a shed painted up to look nice for the guests. The paint had long since faded and chipped away at the edges. It had blistered in the heat of summers past. Everything about the place screamed old and outdated.
He drove on past the smaller pasture for the pigs and the unforgettable stink of pig shit hit him. He winced as he pulled the van up next to the pigsty, or as the red letters on the side of the building called it, the Pig-House.
Holy … It really
terrible. A stench the customers would complain about as they bought their pellets for the goats.
“How can you stand that smell?” they’d ask as Aidan handed them their little paper bags. Why paper? Because it was cheap. Plus the goats would bite the bottom of the bags so the pellets came tumbling out and the parents were forced to buy new bags to keep their children from screaming and ruining their “perfect afternoon”.
Aidan took a deep breath and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. The sun was peeking over the horizon. He opened the van door and climbed out. He could already hear the snorting and scuttling of the pigs. Their chunky little legs casting shadows through the holes in the wooden walls. He walked over to the rusty barn door and knocked.
It was a few seconds before the door opened.