Fallen Angels and Ham Sandwiches, by Beth Percy

Dear child,

I came to your planet by grave mistake.

A sabotage most foul. My craft fell and, rather than alert others of our presence, immediately set course to terminate itself. The last moments would have looked like a crossing comet to you. I expected my life to end amongst the stars, to return to the state from which we all came. It would have been a noble death.

Instead I unceremoniously hurtled down. Down into the trees and the dirt where my body bent into new shapes as I writhed. It would have surely been a grave had you not made your intervention. Straying from the predetermined path, you broke your human laws to assist me. You beheld an unknowable creature and, in your hesitation, I waited for the cringe, the disgust.

I – broken and barely able to flinch from the blow I expected – 

I waited.

And I saw only wonderment, only concern; you acted decisively for one so young. From your little box, you brought out receptacles. I regret I took only the middle of your soft square but the water was the same as what I knew. Water always is. As I consumed and grappled with my situation, you watched, crouching next to me in a forest you should not have entered. I wonder now what you thought, hearing the commotion that rose from the trees and seeing a body with too many eyes looking up at you.

I winced as I shook. The strange suddenness with which you placed you hand on mine was… I believe you wished to comfort me and, were I not already indebted to you, I would have sworn allegiance ten times over. The earnestness with which you looked at me was steadfast. In all my travels, I had yet to meet a creature such as you.

My shaking continued despite your touch-based assistance and I feared that the end would come regardless of my saviour. You rose, removed the bright protective overgarment and laid it over my form – or at least tried to – my size rendering it useless. Once more I was conflicted by your actions; I should have snarled to make you take your leave so I may have died in peace but this small being – so  careful, so gentle – fascinated me. You looked around and mumbled in your odd way and stalked off into the trees. I had received my wish.

I did not expect my wish was to see you to return and yet you fulfilled it. As I shook and cursed and tried to move, I heard you. A strange rustle, a new sound, not natural like the trees in the great wind or the earth and rocks that scattered as I spasmed. It was another of Earth’s shiny fabrics. Oh child, my spirit rose as your tiny form appeared, dragging a greenish hued expanse of…

You folded it over me, placing it to encompass my form. You spoke softly as it settled over raw parts of my skin, wounds I could not move to lick. You looked at me once more before covering my head, tilting your own in understanding. You were to keep me safe.

Every day of my recovery, as your closest star found its apex and its rays of light reached through the treetops, you returned. I would have already removed the covering and placed it to the side. Within your box was more of what I had already taken; you held it out to me and I received it gladly.

As I hungrily inhaled, you once more crouched next to me. You looked around at my little crater and consumed your own food in small bites. Quite the pair we made, little human.

Soon I regained my strength. I could get up; I could test my legs; I limped but I could move. I could eventually catch creatures that fulfilled my needs better than your pale slices. I was grateful, of course, but the freshness made such a difference to my nourishment. You became apprehensive in light of my new taste for wildlife. Out of respect I attempted to hide the blood from you – you were capable of much but you were still a child after all.

Now I am healed. Trapped, despite all my best efforts, but healed. No communicator will work, no matter what I scavenge. No machine I could find was powerful enough to herald my liberation. I occupied all of my time endeavouring to escape. I realised your visits had ceased.

The forest had died and been reborn by the time I found you again, a settlement over. You had become different but I could recognise your scent. Your eyes were the same. I am grateful for this expansive forest, of all the places to crash: here was a fortuitous accident. I am safe and hidden. I may hunt as I please. I…

I may have committed a sin by the rules of your human gods but of my own code I am clear. Your paths are many and sprawling; I watch over as you move through your life. I now know of your angels and your godmothers. I can discover a great deal even if I cannot leave. I would never wish to scare you child but you crossed paths with a…wolf. A predator stalked you, on a path you knew to be safe. You know I crave fresher morsels than you and yours so I shall spare further detail. But the delight which I felt when sinking my teeth into him was unparalleled. I had not dared touch one of your kind but in this instance even your gentle soul will agree. I owed you my very life; I could not stand idle in this time. The sweetness in the kill was twofold but that is of little consequence. I am loathe to wash off the remnants; I feel it’s rather a trophy of mine. I promise you child none shall ever touch you, not whilst I walk this earth.

If I am doomed to have fallen from the heavens, then guardian monster I shall be.

Critical Reflection: Lilo and Stitch and Super 8 are my two main influences. I love the switcheroo where the ‘big scary alien’ isn’t the bad guy – humans are much more of a threat in my opinion. It’s kinda dark but it ends on a positive note which is very important to me. I hope people will make sense of the dissonance of this grandiose voice paired with the actions of a vicious killer. You’re supposed to love the monster and appreciate that he protects the child. I wrote this in response to the death of Sarah and the following media respose. I wanted to make a story where the girl walking home is protected – nothing bad will ever happen to her.  

Beth Percy/22/Northern. I have been trying to write stories since I could pick up a pencil but have only recently started to finish them. Science fiction and fantasy are my first loves but I tend to include some mixture of comedy, horror and crime in my work.