Marc Noble + Paul Thomas

The Interstellar Service

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008
Wierd Forest

Weird Forest

The thing I’ll miss the most, perhaps, will be the sea. They don’t have it, where we’re going. By all accounts it’s pretty dry and dusty up there and there’s not much oxygen in the atmosphere: the heat of it can burn you up. But then again, they tell me that when I get there I’ll be a kind of king, with all I want to eat, and that doesn’t sound too bad at all.
There’ll be a place for the others, too, but not as good as mine. I made sure of it: that was part of the bargain. ‘Be sure to book a place for Mum and Dad,’ I said. Then the star man frowned and said he’d try to squeeze us all in. He ticked a box. The Interstellar Service, it said. It had a certain ring. I liked it. That’s why I chose The Interstellar, over The Cosmic Trotter, or the Infinity Tourist. You see, I’m tired of always choosing second best. I’m tired of always falling short and of never winning any fights and I’m tired of always hitting the mat, face down.
‘I’ve already seen it. Deep in my heart, I have lived it all before.’ That was what a guy called Virgil said, a long time ago. And I reckon that he felt it, too.
So anyway, I told them exactly where we’d be. In our camper van, up near the cliffs. It’s where we always go on holiday; it’s good enough, the sea’s quite nice, there’s a town with a mini arcade nearby. But it’s never any more than more of the same. And Jeez, there are only so many crosswords a boy can do.
‘Are you sure you want to go, during the night-time?’ the star man asked. He was dressed up like a vicar. He didn’t seem to know much about humans. He wanted to do it during the day, but I warned him the other campers might get freaked out. People are funny like that.
Now there’s nothing left to do, but wait. I hope it all goes off O.K.. I quite need to pee. Maybe  I’ll pop outside in a mo and have a butcher’s; see if I can spot them, coming down.