If you’re finding it difficult to get into your writing, why not try working on something a bit different? You never know where it might lead and you could discover that you like writing in a genre or style you didn’t think you would. At the very least, it’ll get your mind thinking creatively and help you to get back into the writing habit.
I’m no science fiction writer, but I thought I’d try something new. It was certainly a lot of fun:
The Strangest Parents on Earth
Sam always knew his parents were strange. But when he saw them change colour and shape he knew they were really strange.
Up until that moment, that very moment when he had opened the door to their bedroom, he thought they were like everyone else’s parents. Everyone’s parents were strange. Parents belonged to another world. A world of completely and utterly no dress sense or hair sense. They liked watching old films. Films no one other than adults had ever heard of and listening to music from a bygone age, where all the singers wore dreadful clothes and hats.
Adults also thought they could dance. Shuffling from side to side and waving their arms around like a demented puppet was not dancing.
They couldn’t talk properly either. The worst thing was when they said, “We were young once.” Perhaps they had been, but growing into an adult obviously wiped out all memory of it.
Sam’s parents were exactly like that.
“When we were your age, we spent exciting weekends round the camp fire singing songs and eating proper food. McDonald’s was a farm in our day with sheep and cows, not those dreadful nugget things. We knew how to have real fun. We weren’t worried about complicated computers and mobile phones.”
Now he knew why.
He hadn’t known what to do at first. Not seeing a sight such as that. He knew he didn’t want his parents to know he was there. They always told him to knock first. He didn’t mind that. They knocked before they came into his room after all. Though, he hadn’t knocked today – because they weren’t supposed to be there.
They were supposed to be at work. Mum behind the counter at the post office and Dad putting his hand down the loo to rid someone of an unspeakable blockage.
Sam knew he should be at school, but that was beside the point. He had only nipped out to get his homework. He had spent ages doing it and had just forgotten to put it into his school bag. Old Slater would go mad if he didn’t hand it in, though nothing like the reaction of his mum and dad.
He had almost made it too. The exercise book was still in his hands. He had reached the stairs and was ready to go down when he heard the noise. It was faint at first, more like a whistle and then it grew louder and more gobbly, if there were such a word, but that’s the only way Sam could describe it. Yes, like a load of turkeys making manic gobble noises.
He had to look. Anyone would have done the same. He wasn’t frightened when he tiptoed up to the door. Well, he was, though he wasn’t about to admit he was afraid of something which sounded like a turkey.
He had pushed the door gently at first. Then he’d poked his head round and he was certain his jaw had slammed down to the floor and flown back up into his face.
A man – he was certain he’d seen a flash of a man – his dad, was changing from pale pink to peach and then purple. Orange spots exploded onto his body. Legs slowly shrank to leave a blob of a body and finally his head exploded and contracted like a balloon sucked dry of air. Hundreds of eyes popped onto the tiny head.
Sam tore his eyes from his dad to his mum. Her soft, brown hair merged to grey, lightening and finally staying a rich red, spreading to the rest of her body. Green diamonds dashed onto her skin. Her legs began to disappear, though something stayed, still slender, which Sam was sure could be called legs at a push. The eyes were still brown, though her two had now been joined by many others.
It was then that Sam realised his parents were literally from out of this world. But they weren’t really his parents. His parents weren’t aliens.
“Yes, we are,” his dad’s voice boomed into Sam’s head, “you were born on the planet Zuma, just like us, though you were only a little baby when we came to earth so I doubt you remember.”
Sam jumped and fell back, landing on his bottom. The exercise book flew from his hands. It didn’t seem so important now.
“Not so loud,” his mum’s voice now, pushing its way into his mind. “Sorry, dear. Your father has always been too loud. Now I think you had better come in.”
“No. What have you done to my parents?” Sam said.
“Well done, dear. We didn’t even have to teach you. This is going to be so much easier than I thought,” his mum again, still in his head.
“What’s going to be easier?” Sam stopped. He was talking to his parents without saying a word. He was also aware that he was talking in the gobble language, though it suddenly made perfect sense to him.
But it couldn’t be. None of it could be happening. His parents were normal, boring people who used to go camping.
“We didn’t really, dear. We read that somewhere in an earth book.”
He felt sick. Very, very sick.
“Just wait until you learn how to change minds as well, Sam. It’s terrific,” his dad butted in.
“One step at a time, dear. Now, Sam, are you coming in or do we have to fetch you?”
Sam gulped. He got up and willed his feet to move in the opposite direction. They weren’t having any of it. His mum and dad were coming for him. He knew it.
But they weren’t. They weren’t moving at all. But he was – right towards them. He reached out to grab at the door before sliding gracefully through it and landing at their feet.
“You really ought to be getting back to school with your homework, Sam, but I suppose you’re in no fit state to now, are you?” his mum said.
Sam was about to ask her how she knew when he realised that she knew everything. He squirmed and shuffled his feet from one spot to another. He didn’t particularly like the idea of his parents knowing everything he was thinking. Perhaps there was a way to block it.
“Samuel!” his mum said aloud. “Stop that.”
“The boy’s gifted,” his dad laughed and hands shot out from the top of his head and joined together in a loud clap.
Sam backed away. He wasn’t like them. He wasn’t.
“I knew we should have told you about all this sooner, but the Council thought it wise to wait until you were a little bit older. You see, the Great Council of Zuma sent us on a mission to study earth for a hundred earth years. That’s not long in Zuma years. Anyway, they said we needed to disguise ourselves,” his dad said.
“As humans?” Sam asked.
“I’m afraid so. They’re all right, but so primitive.”
“Well, I like my human form just as it is, thank you very much. I don’t think much of your blubbery mass of blancmange,” Sam said, defiantly.
“I think it’s time we showed him what he really looks like, don’t you?” Sam’s mum said, smiling at his dad.
Not that Sam was actually sure she was smiling, but he thought the long, curved line stuck in the middle of her face looked like a mouth and a smile.
Suddenly, Sam didn’t care if she was smiling. His body was shrinking. His rib cage felt as if it was being crushed and he was sure someone was jumping up and down on his head. Then he began shaking uncontrollably as if a hundred people were continually poking him.
He looked down. He didn’t have any legs and his body was green with yellow stripes swirling madly across it. His hands. Where were his hands? Oh yes, at the side of his head.
He looked round the room, amazed that he didn’t have to turn his head to see everything in it. It was all so clear and then he remembered his eyes had multiplied by a few hundred.
“Look at him,” his mum said, proudly and reached out her hands to stroke him. “I’ve wished for this day for so long.”
It was almost as bad as when she ruffled his hair. Not that he seemed to have hair anymore.
“I can tell he’s going to be a natural at flying. I’ve always wanted to teach my son how to fly,” his dad said, joining in with the stroking.
Flying? He was going to learn how to fly? Suddenly, he didn’t mind them stroking him one little bit.
“And I rather think he’ll like learning to drive,” his mum said.
What was she talking about? He had years to go until he could learn to drive.
“Driving for us is a little bit different to driving for humans. We also prefer to travel by speedsound rather than by car,” his mum continued.
“The vehicles are so fast, humans can’t see them,” his dad said, excitedly.
Sam grinned. He liked the sound of that very much. He had to admit that the day hadn’t got off to a very good start and it did feel a bit weird to find out he was an alien, but perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. It would be great for scaring the girls and he could change old Slater’s mind about the homework situation.
“No, we do not use our special gifts for that sort of thing,” his mum spoke into his head.
Sam blocked her out and she folded her arms in front of her mouth, tutting.
Sam smiled. His mum and dad weren’t half as bad as he had thought they were. In fact, he could safely say that he had the coolest family on earth.