Hallo Spaceman

Flash Fiction Month 2015, Day 28

Challenge #12: DAVID BOWIE DAY. Score at least 150 Bowie points under the following system:

Score one point for every letter “Z” in your story.

Score 10 points for each:

  • David Bowie song title
  •  …quote of more than three words from any David Bowie song
  •  …character called Ziggy, Major Tom, Aladdin, Jareth or Jean
  • …made up word

Score 20 points for including a:

  • magic dance
  • …goblin king
  • …spaceman or raygun
  • …spider from mars

Score 50 points if:

  • Your piece is 565 words long (“David Robert Jones”)
  • Your story features an androgynous character, or a character who changes gender or sex
  • Your story features a man who fell to earth
  • Your story features a man who sold the world.

 

“You call that a knife?” growled Jareth. “This is a knife!”

“I think you’re in the wrong Bowie fanclub,” said Jean, slicing lemons at the bar.

“ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” snored Ziggy.

“Ah, nuts.” Jareth plonked his knife down on the bar and looked around. There certainly were rather more spacemen, goblin kings, and spiders from Mars than he’d been expecting. “When’s the next bus to Crocodile, Dundee?”

Jean pulled a face. “I think it’s gonna be a long, long time.

“Ah, nuts.” Jareth gave the corks dangling from his hat a frustrated slap. “I was supposed to meet Major Tom there half an hour ago. These military types expect you to be punctual, you know.”

“Excuse me?” A man or woman in a very impressive lifeguard tower costume tapped Jean on the shoulder with one of his or her long wooden legs. “Will the Hoff be available to sign my lifebuoy today?”

“I think you’re in the wrong David fanclub,” said Jean. “Now if you can hold on for just a minute, I’ve got to move Ziggy along. There’s a starman waiting in the sky, and—uh-oh.”

YaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!” yelled the Starman, as he fell to earth through the fanclub’s skylight. He landed sitting perfectly upright on a cushioned barstool, which would have been hilarious had Ziggy not been crushed beneath his meteoric buttocks in the process.

Everybody stared at the new arrival in horror.

“Do you do cocktails here?” he asked. “Oh, and napkins. I think there was something on this chair.”

“That was Ziggy the narcoleptic,” said Jean, still in shock. “You murdered him with your butt.”

The new arrival shrugged. “I’m not losing sleep over it. Here today and gone tomorrow: that’s what I say.”

“What are you, some kind of sociopath?”

The space-suited man leaned forward over the bar, hand outstretched. “Aladdin Spacename,” he said. “Professional…uh…well, I can’t explain. I’ve been taking on odd jobs mostly, and I gotta tell ya, it ain’t easy. Lately I’ve been looking for satellites: the man who sold the world is hiring absolute beginners all across the universe. You know—because after he sold the world, the new owner changed the locks.” The Starman shrugged. “He probably regrets it in hindsight. Between you and me, I pity the fool.”

The Starman kept his hand outstretched, but Jean made no move to shake it.

“Suit yourself.” His shoulders slumped, and he prepared to lower himself back onto the barstool.

“Don’t sit down!” cried a nearby goblin king. “I can still revive Ziggy with my magic dance!”

Jean and the Starman watched as the goblin king began to twerk frantically.

“Wiggly wiggly blargamajehd, bring dear Ziggy back from the dead!” chanted the goblin.

There was a bang bang and a scream like a baby. Suddenly, Ziggy was back on the barstool as though nothing had happened.

“ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” snored Ziggy.

“Thanks.” Jean nodded at the goblin king. “I keep forgettin’ you can do that.”

The Starman moved over to the next available stool, right between the Buddha of Suburbia and Joe the Lion. He sat down.

“ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz” snored Ziggy.

Jean went back to slicing her lemons.

The Starman drummed his fingers on the counter. “So,” he began. “When’s the Hoff going to be available to sign my Bowie knife?”

“I…” Jean stared at his blank, behelmeted face. “I don’t know what fanclub you meant to land in, but this isn’t it.”

Final score: 757 points.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, you can find my work from previous Flash Fiction Months collected in these books:

OCR is Not the Only Font Cover REDESIGN (Barbecued Iguana)Red Herring Cover (Barbecued Iguana design)Bionic Punchline eBook Cover

Click any cover to download that book in your choice of format.

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