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. After an interesting conversation on the train, he arrives to find the odd item – a block of Roman Concrete which is covered in inscriptions.
“I told you,” Mr Shah replied, “I’ve seen enough of it in my time; look at these.” He pointed to the inscriptions, “My son did a project on them, in school, for his a-levels.”
“And that is the Bull of Mithras … odd to see it on the same block as a cross, a fish and Horus’s falcon;” Roland paused, “You said there was an inscription.”
“On top, badly damaged; there must have been a near miss during the Blitz.”
Roland hoisted himself up to where he could see it, “Not an easy translation.” He studied the words, “Almost a curse, possibly a warning … explains all those religious symbols … they invoked every deity they could.”
After a few more moments, he pulled out his camera and took a few photographs. Then he slid down and carefully photographed the images on the front of the slab. He stepped back and photographed the whole thing after setting a meter stick in front of it for scale.
Mr Shah called his notice to the back of the block, “There’s a crack on this side.”
We, among others, are in it.
An Eorl of the Kingdom of Wessex, in desperate love with a woman doomed by the “coughing sickness”, Cynric grasps at the straw a visitor from the stars offers him. Use his prowess with a sword to recover a precious red gem and his love will be cured. He no sooner boards the strange ship than things begin to unravel for him. Instead of an honorable quest, the alien is a criminal, a pirate. Interstellar travel takes longer than he could have imagined. True to his oath to return for his Bridget, he returns home, only to find things have changed in the mean time. Steorrum is Old English for ‘to the stars.’ This is a short work of about 13000 words.