Lars versus Space Aliens
by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson
Table of Contents|
parts: 1, 2, 3
Part 1: The Campground
Lars arrived at the campground at early sunrise, as people were about to get up. He drove the black BMW he’d stolen from someone at the party through the grounds and parked it at the perimeter closest to the woods and got out. His phone buzzed, but he ignored it.
There wasn’t much activity at the campground. Nearest to him was a caravan with a meatball-shaped diesel SUV parked beside it. Beyond them, clockwise, at a few paces distance was a tent, out from which a hippie-looking couple was sleepily emerging, wielding a primus stove.
There was an ugly old FIAT camper van at the far end, at, say three-o’clock, emitting snores, a couple of tents on each side of it, three different motorcycles parked beyond. At each side of the entrance to the grounds, five to eight o’clock, were small caravans and some nondescript cars.
In the middle of the grounds was parked a long caravan trailer attached to a pickup truck. Around it on all sides was a wide open space. Placed at about nine o’clock was a smallish caravan trailer attached to a largish station wagon with a boat on top of it. It was an Opel or something. Lars didn’t care. The entire arrangement looked disharmonious and downright ugly to him.
He was there not to admire the composition of the scene but to look for some rope, which he found in that Opel station wagon. It was the first car he looked into, and there it was. Fate, he thought. He grabbed the rope as silently as he could, returning back to the BMW with it. There was a bottle of beer in the passenger seat. He took it also, and went into the trees.
The woods were serene and beautiful in the early dawn. Lars lumbered through them until he was out of sight and out of hearing of the campground. No reason to get interrupted. He leaned against a tree and had a drink. The beer didn’t improve his mood any. He sank lower, if anything.
The mood had hit rather suddenly at the party, intensified by his intoxication almost developing into catalepsy. But it didn’t go so far. Never did. Instead of hiding in the bathroom or starting a fight as usual, he hurried out and confiscated the nearest car.
His phone buzzed again, and he checked it. Two messages from the same person; some “Ditte” of whom he’d never heard before. Actually he had heard from her yesterday and had expressly told her that she had the wrong number. Apparently she hadn’t listened. She was asking, “Aren’t you coming to your son’s birthday? Anders is waiting for you.” Smileys and hearts to follow. And the other: “I forgot, we are having the party at his new father’s house at Jørgen Moes Vei 31.”
Lars considered showing up at that place, perhaps even more plastered than he was, and making a scene there. He could meet this Ditte who had accidentally dialled his number, and her boyfriends, and fight all of them, then vomit on the living room carpet or, better yet, on the birthday cake. There just had to be cake. He smiled at the thought and laughed to himself. But thought better of it. He’d be thrown in jail. That wouldn’t improve his situation any.
He finished the beer, threw away the bottle, and started looking around for a convenient tree from which to hang himself. He spotted one within seconds. Next was to fashion a noose. He was working on that, when the thought occurred to him wether he should relieve himself before he ended it all. He had had some beer.
But no, he wasn’t feeling it much yet. Besides, when he’d be dead, the state of his corpse wouldn’t matter any to him, would it?
He had thrown the rope over a branch, and was fastening the end to the trunk when he heard a sound from above. A sort of drone. He looked up and saw a massive flying saucer descend into a clearing somewhere farther in the woods.
Lars paused. He knew he was quite drunk, and he was pretty sure he wasn’t the sanest guy around, but that thing looked to be as real as the ground he stood on. He pondered the matter and decided to put his death on salt for a few moments while he had a closer look at this. A UFO. That had to be something to see, right?
He walked along to where he thought he’d seen the thing land, and lo and behold, there it was. It was sort of elliptical, sort of shaped like an old-style hubcap propped upon some legs and lined with little windows. The doors were open, and some space-aliens were moseying about in front of it. Like beetles they looked, with beady eyes and antennae and six limbs. They all carried some sort of exploratory apparatus, which they aimed about and poked into the air like characters from Star Trek. They even made funny little space noises while doing it.
Lars was dumbstruck. He waited until all of them had moved into the woods, then snuck in to have a better look at the spaceship. Maybe he could steal it and fly into space? Wouldn’t that be something?
The ship was very spartan on the inside; there were chairs in front of some control panels, and racks with some equipment on the walls. It was all exotic to him, made to fit hands that weren’t human.
He rattled one of the things loose, and examined it. It looked like some sort of gun. There was a barrel, what looked like sights, and a trigger... Off it went, and a surprisingly large ball of blue flame shot out, burned a fist-sized hole through the hull and caused a powerful explosion somewhere outside.
Lars stood motionless for a couple of seconds while he contemplated the ramifications. Instinct told him to run, so he did. Out of the ship and out of the clearing and into the woods. The space-aliens spotted him as he was fleeing into the woods and came after him, firing some highly visible lasers at him. They cut down a tree. Lars fired back at them, hit the ship, and it exploded violently. He could see the aliens hop around confused and angry, and he quickly retreated into the woods.
Lars was totally lost in the woods. All the trees looked about the same to him, and visibility was less than 50 meters. He wondered what he should do next: should he fight it out with the aliens, going out in a blaze of glory, or should he run away from the aliens for the fun of it? He figured that if he gave himself up, he’d probably just get probed.
He skulked around in the woods for a while, probably for as much as two minutes, before found the camping grounds again.
Some early riser was arriving through the gate in a small car. Lars watched as it drove toward the bikes and tents, and parked there. A woman came out of it, picked up some bags, and carried them to the FIAT camper van.
Lars was watching that when he heard the aliens sneaking about behind him. He looked and saw one of them. It hadn’t noticed him. Then his phone buzzed, and the alien did notice him. It fired a laser at him, singeing many leaves.
Lars made for the car. The aliens noticed he was heading toward it, and one of them shot it. A beautiful glowing blue fireball hit it, and it exploded in a massive fireball. The doors came off. This perturbed Lars a great deal. How would he ever explain this? Stealing the car was one thing, blowing it up was quite another.
He headed to the nearest car: that white Opel station wagon. The keys were in the ignition. Lars smiled at his luck. Then a laser broke the glass in the side window, searing asunder the B-pillar in the process. Lars moved faster: the car started up nice and quick, and Lars put it in reverse, for some reason.
The people who owned the car were in the caravan just getting up, heating some water for their morning cup of coffee, when they got jolted quite hard as Lars backed their car with the caravan for no good reason.
The caravan spun and jacknifed awkwardly with the car. That caused the boat to fall off. The aliens didn’t quite know what was happening, and stared in awe at this bizarre happening. They had never before seen a car with a caravan, but somehow figured that what was going on before their eyes was all wrong.
Had Lars been sober and in a better general mental state, he’d probably have put the car in first gear. Or never been there in the first place. But since he was there, he put the car in the proper gear and the car lumbered off in the right direction, dragging the caravan.
The aliens took to shooting lasers at the caravan. It was such a tempting target somehow. The people exited it in a great hurry, hugely confused and fearing for their lives. The owner decided to run after the car and retrieve it.
The aliens lasered the propane tank powering the stove in the caravan. This caused the whole thing to explode in a most spectacular manner. The owner flew off his feet. The rig got considerably lighter, and the car accelerated.
Lars wondered about all this, and looked behind. The aliens were rejoicing. He frowned at them. He turned around, only to see that he was about to hit an awful lot of lawn furniture arranged in front of a large caravan trailer.
Lars had time enough to be very surprised before he ran through the entire assembly. He also hit the other caravan, causing it to explode violently. He came out the other side, lacking the caravan frame he’d been pulling. Lars pulled the handbrake, and spun the car, barely avoiding a collision with the tents in front of that FIAT camper van.
He didn’t get much peace, because the aliens were coming at him, firing their lasers as they went. They were not particularly concerned with hitting, it seemed, but they did sear some holes in the car’s sheet metal, cut the A-pillar on the passenger side, broke a window and zapped the FIAT a few times, waking up the inhabitants, who had slept calmly through all the explosions. Also, the owner of the Opel was fast approaching, and he looked angry. Lars was somehow more concerned with him. He shifted into reverse and floored the accelerator.
The man got a hold of the car’s rear door handle, and managed to open the door, but fell over as Lars backed away quite fast. Away from the ball of blue fire that would surely have struck him in the head but instead hit the owner of the FIAT as he opened the door to see what was going on outside. Hit him right in the solar plexus. He was flung inside, and the entire camper van exploded in a massive ball of fire.
Lars backed over a tent and a hit a motorcycle before striking a parked car. It somehow ended inside the Opel and went through the door and hit the B-pillar.
Lars put the car in second gear and floored it. The car lurched forward, rear door now open wide. He hit the owner of the car in the forehead with it as he passed him. Lars was quite pleased with that.
He saw the aliens blast at everything: a blue fireball hit the hippie couple’s primus, blowing it and them up. A laser hit every last motorcycle, one after the other, blowing them up. A fireball hit a tent, it exploded.
Lars headed for the exit. It was between a couple of caravans. They both exploded spectacularly as he passed. He thought how great all of that would look in slow motion and accompanied with some Pink Floyd music.
Copyright © 2017 by Ásgrímur Hartmannsson