Illegal Aliens 1

Welcome to weekend writing warriors. Many fine authors, and me, contribute short snippets for your delectation. This is the start of a new work, Illegal Aliens. It is something of a cross between a horror story, a science fiction tale, and a romance.

Roland, an archaeology instructor at Reading University (academic ranks in the UK are different than in the US, he’d be an assistant professor in the land of the free), is on his way to London. He’s on call when something unusual turns up in the works on the new underground. Something dashed odd has turned up and he’s on his way.

Roland settled back in his seat on the 15:11 from Reading to Paddington, and pulled a sheaf of papers from his bag; he was working through them when a young boy committed the social solecism of asking what he was doing.

“Are those hieroglyphics?”

Roland studied the boy for a moment; he was about six, maybe seven; his son Thomas, if he weren’t at the bottom of some lake in Wales or rotting in the heather nearby, would have been that age; he said, “Not quite, they’re Demotic, almost hieroglyphic, but…”

The boy’s mother started to apologize for her son.

“No, it’s fine; I like children; this is how ancient Egyptian people wrote; something like cursive instead of printing.”


“I guess they don’t teach penmanship in school these days.”

“What’s it say?”

“This is a religious book, a codex to the book of the dead, invocations and prayers to the Gods.”

“Gods, they teach that there’s only one God at my mosque?”

Great Britain and England in specific, is layered with history. You can’t stick a spud in the ground without finding something (well you can, but you know what I mean). Reading University runs an excavation at the nearby Roman site of Calleva, where they are doing their best to undo the depredations of earlier, less skillful archeologists.
IMGP3173 This picture, from 2010, shows the works.

Calleva itself, was roughly the size of Londinium, but for a number of reasons (mostly that it isn’t on a navigable river and the Anglo-Saxons sadly let the road network go to Hades) was abandoned. Today it’s a walled livestock field about 10 miles to the south of Reading.

You can, if you are somewhat bored and insane, sample my writing here.

Author: Amelia

A mild-mannered professor of computer science in real-life, I remove my glasses in the evening to become, well, a mild-mannered author in my alternate reality. I mostly write sweet romantic fiction, although with an occasional science-fiction or paranormal angle thrown in. I have interests in history, mathematics (D'oh), and cryptography. I'm also something of an Anglophile, and know that country pretty well. In addition to writing, research, and more writing, I volunteer with the scouts. I'm something of a nature-nut, enjoying long walks in the country with almost ultra-light gear, boating, and identifying wildlife.

10 thoughts on “Illegal Aliens 1”

  1. You had me smiling at “social solecism”. It’s so true. I had a brief conversation with a total stranger at the grocery store yesterday and commented that you just wouldn’t do this back in the UK.

    Intriguing start to the story.

  2. Cool beginning, bringing in the book of the dead. I liked the setting, too, as one of my three sons lived in Reading for a year. Jane Austen attended school in Reading, which is also in its favor. (I guess it should be ‘favour’, but after nearly 30 years in the States, I’m used to omitting the ‘u’.)

    1. Thank you. She attended the Abbey school – which was in the top of the old gatehouse from the Reading Abbey and still stands. It’s next to Forbury gardens where there is a huge (anatomically correct) statue of a lion to commemorate the losses of the Reading regiment in the 4th Afghan war. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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