Some Nine Years Away On A Planet Called Disco
Davie lands on Planet Disco - and straight into the jaws of a hungry beast!
It hurt when Davie hit the water. Well… he wasn’t exactly sure if it was water he’d crashed into, but from the way the capsule bobbed up and down as if lapping against waves, an ocean full of salty water and great white sharks was the image that manifested inside his mind.
Davie was some nine light years from Earth on a planet called D1SC-0. A small planet in the Goldilocks region, surrounding a star named after a 20th Century rock star.
“Welcome to the Disco,” he moaned, his voice echoing through the empty capsule.
He unbuckled himself and looked out at the endless ocean. Days ago, when circling high above the atmosphere, he could only see water. No indication of life. Not above the water anyway. No birds or bugs or flying bears.
As Davie completed his initial survey, something stirred below.
Davie prepared to leave the capsule. He slid on his helmet and gathered the supplies he’d need to set up the stabilising platform.
Suddenly there was a thump on the side of the shuttle. He looked up, confused. It took another thump to shake him into action. Was he under attack? His mind raced, so he looked around the cabin for protection.
He grabbed a roll of duct tape and made his way for the door.
The door slid open and he stood staring out, unravelling a little of the tape and holding it out as if ready to fix a leak in a dodgy air mattress, assessing the horizon for the unwanted visitor.
All of a sudden, a blur shot up from the water and through the door.
“Hey!” Davie called as he swivelled around, to find a creature sitting awkwardly in the middle of the capsule.
Tubby. Plump. Chunky. Pudgy. Round. A ball of silver scales, fins and a couple of pokey eyes.
An odd noise emitted from its fishy mouth.
Davie closed the door behind him and awkwardly removed his helmet while still holding out his roll of tape. The creature was making itself at home, mearping away as it hopped from one area to another – inspecting the odd environment in which it had found itself.
In a move he quickly regretted, Davie let down his guard, just as the little Disco ball leapt towards him with great speed and dexterity. Protecting what many described to be his best physical feature, Davie threw his hands up to cover his eyebrows. He swished his arms up, as if swatting away imaginary flies, only to find the tape that was supposed to protect him was now cemented across his face and knotted in his hair.
The creature looked up at the spaceman and burst into action to help its new tangled friend, ripping the tape from Davie’s face and hair and dropping it at his feet.
Davie cried out in pain, before feeling around his head and face and realising a large chunk of hair and an eyebrow were no longer in their rightful place.
Still, Davie managed a half smile as the Disco ball bounced around the capsule.
With the foreign star setting and the stabilising platform afloat, Davie sat thinking about the potential wonders of his new home. Even though he’d lost an eyebrow, he’d found a friendly ball of scales. He kept the roll of duct tape next to him, just in case.
The stirring was rising at a reckless speed. A terrific beast was ascending, soaring through the depths, but Davie didn’t know it yet. The beast from the bottom was the size of a skyscraper, had long razor sharp teeth jutting from all angles, and a mouth that could swallow a double-decker bus whole.
The serene scene that Davie was enjoying EXPLODED into a wild storm of waves and roaring as the monster erupted through the surface.
The stabilising platform flew up, throwing everything and everyone high into the air.
Davie felt his stomach drop as the combination of his unexpected flight and the idea of his impending demise fused together, when he caught sight of the monster below. Its mouth wide, and its teeth clinking together, like a thousand Japanese chefs sharpening a thousand Japanese knives.
Davie fell, throwing out his arms as if swimming in mid-air, and tried to manoeuvre himself from the jaws of the beast. He splashed into the water, avoiding the stinging embrace of the teeth. The beast from the bottom let out a scream and steered itself downwards as it tried to locate Davie, who was plunging deeper and deeper.
Davie sank all the way to the bottom of the strange sea.
Meanwhile, the Disco ball was also trying to locate Davie. The little silver orb shot through the water following the stream of bubbles, but when it finally reached the almost lifeless body of the astronaut, it found there was no way to wake him. No way for the little creature to lift and carry the spaceman above to the safety of the capsule.
But then the scaly Disco ball had an idea, and swooped back up to the surface.
The giant monstrosity above was still straining its eyes for a glimpse of Davie. It could not see a glimpse of the shape of him below. After a final roar, claiming victory in the name of all things malevolent and malicious, it returned to its own burbling depths.
The Disco ball meanwhile rushed through the water. The stream of bubbles had long disintegrated, so it was led instead by instinct and whim.
As the creature reached Davie’s almost-lifeless body, it wrapped the duct tape around and around Davie’s arms and hands before entangling it within its own scales, and pushing itself back to the surface, Davie in tow.
When the pair spewed out of the water and back onto the stabilising platform, the Disco ball bounced on Davie’s chest until he coughed. Davie opened his eyes wide, and began breathing easily again.
The foreign star had almost completely retreated now and Davie thanked his fishy friend by removing the duct tape tangled within its scales.
Davie let out a sigh. His mission to find a habitable home, a home that could one day replace the decaying planet so far from where he sat, had gotten off to a shaky start. But he may found a glimmer of hope for the billions back on Earth. A glimmer as beautiful as the one radiating from the silver blue scales of his friend. It was friendship. He was not alone on Planet Disco.
Davie thought about all of this, and felt strangely comforted.
And there they sat, these two new friends – Davie, and hope, in the shape of a mirror ball – sharing the last of those electromagnetic rays, some nine light years away from Earth, on a planet called Disco.
© Mat Williamson 2021
1. The little disco ball fought the monster to help Davie. Do you think that it was brave? Why? What is being brave, to you?
1. In the story, Davie feels less alone to realise that the little disco ball alien is his friend. How do you think having friends helps you to feel better?
Illustrations by Pixabay, with thanks.