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By Scriptorius

The item below is a letter just received at our office

To the editor of Madazine.

Dear Mr Rider-Hawes,

This is a note to let you know that I have discovered a way of saving the human race. No doubt you will wish to know how this came about. It happened three days ago, when I got talking with a man in a pub, where we shared a table and had a few drinks together.

Our conversation took an extraordinary turn when I asked the man what he did for a living. He replied that what he called his people did nothing in the conventional sense. As he appeared to be fairly young, able-bodied and mentally quite sharp, I asked him if he would be so good as to tell me what he meant by his people and how they got by in our world.

My companion’s response astounded me and I suppose it will have the same effect on you. He said that he was a representative of an alien race from a planet in a distant galaxy, that these creatures could change form to suit any surroundings and that those on the Earth had assumed human form. When I asked how many of them were among us, he replied there were many thousands of both genders, distributed everywhere, roughly in line with each country’s percentage of our world’s total population.

In response to my request to know what his kind wanted here, he further astonished me by saying that they intended to take over after the human race had, as he put it, vanished. I pressed him for details as to how our disappearance would occur and he replied that he and his complanetoids (I invented that word) had plenty of time to observe us destroying ourselves, as he seemed to think we would in due course. Should we not do so in what he and his fellow beings considered a reasonable length of time, they knew how to exterminate us quickly and easily.

I noticed that although we had been drinking for quite a while, the fellow was totally sober. Then I realised that it was because he had been imbibing only fruit juice. At that point, I had the inspiration that will rescue us from extinction. I asked him if he would allow me to buy us a round, suggesting that he might care to try beer or possibly something stronger. His gave himself away at that point. With a look of horror he answered that he and all of his like were intolerant of alcohol and that the slightest drop of it was fatal to any of them.

I bided my time until my interlocutor excused himself to go to the toilet. When he did so, I hurried over to the bar, bought a shot of vodka and poured it into his half-full glass of orangeade. On his return, he took a sip of it and within seconds, he slumped back in his chair, eyes glazed and breathing stertorous. After a further two minutes, his body went into a spasm, then he gave a short gasp and appeared to expire. At that point I left. Confirmation that he had perished on the spot came to me in the form of a report in our local newspaper the following day.

You will surely grasp what is necessary for our salvation. All we need to do is ply everyone we meet with any sort of drink, provided it contains alcohol. That way we shall dispose of these interlopers before they do the same to us. Naturally I realise that we might in the process do some damage to human teetotallers, but as ever one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs. You may thank me if you wish.

Yours sincerely,

Horatio J. J. Pumps-Ventricle

Editor’s note. Pumps Ventricle, eh? Seems to come from the heart. (I hope you don’t have to look that one up, Pumpers.) We shall see how the wider public reacts to your message but everyone in this office is grateful for this pointer to our deliverance and you may be sure that we shall do our bit. We can hardly wait to get out there and indulge in all the booze-ups we shall arrange, hoping that in the process we shall get rid of a few of the intruders you mention.

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10 Nov, 2019
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