Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Man Who Fell To Earth

Yesterday, April 17, 2013, was the 116th anniversary of an odd event in the town of Aurora Texas. (Thanks to Sarge Portera for pointing it out!)  Legend has it that a bizarre flying machine crashed into a windmill belonging to Judge J.S. Proctor. The vehicle exploded, killing it's sole occupant, a strange little man who was reported to be "not of this world", and a "Martian."

The alleged incident has been the subject of much controversy over the years. The body of the alien was supposedly buried in the local cemetery. Efforts to locate the grave and examine the corpse have been unsuccessful. Some say it really happened. Others say it was a hoax. The truth has proven to be maddeningly elusive.

Until last year, that is. Information sent to me by the Black Centipede, which I incorporated in the second volume of his memoirs, Blood of the Centipede (Pro Se Press 2012), revealed the long-suppressed truth. Here, then, in celebration of the anniversary, is the true and accurate account of some of the mysterious events, as presented in the aforementioned book:

APRIL 17, 1897

"What the hell is he, anyhow?"

"I just don't know, Earl. What do you think we should do with him?"

The two men stood together next to Judge Proctor's ruined windmill. The object of their speculation, a very odd-looking little man lying on the ground at their feet, covered with an old blanket. He was no more than four feet tall. He was hairless, and his skin had a greenish tint. Bits of the little man's vehicle lay scattered on the ground around them.

Early this morning, the weird-looking flying machine had come roaring out of the west and smacked right into the windmill. The results were catastrophic. The machine had exploded, and the little man-- intact but showing no signs of life-- had landed in the grass.

"He's dead," said Earl, a tall redhead who looked to be in his forties. "I reckon we bury him, Henry. What else is there?"

"He don't look exactly human," said Henry, a short, fat fellow with thinning yellow hair. "And I ain't never seen nothing like that... whatever the hell it was he was riding in. You think he came here from someplace?"

"Most people do," Earl said with a shrug. "Judge Proctor says he thinks the squirt come here from Mars. You think he's a Christian?"

"Judge Proctor?"

"Naw, not the Judge. He's Episcopal. This feller here."

"Even if he ain't, it won't hurt to give him a Christian burial."

"It might be blasphemy, Henry. Or sacrilege. I always get them two mixed up. You ain't supposed to plant a heathen in sacred ground, is what I'm saying."

Henry shrugged. "What you reckon the Lord would do to us if we did, Earl? Think it would amount to very much? Seems to me if God's that touchy, we're doomed no matter what we do."

Earl, a fearful and suspicious Christian, refused to commit himself one way or the other. But he helped Henry bundle the little corpse into the back of a wagon and the two men drove it into town.

The Englishman showed up later that evening. He knocked at Judge Proctor's door and inquired about the strange accident that had taken place earlier in the day. The Englishman said he was a doctor and implied that he might have some connection with the United States government. He had with him an official-looking letter which appeared to have been signed by the governor of Texas. He was informed that the little body had been taken to a local funeral home. He was given directions to the establishment.

"As you can see," he said to the undertaker, once he had introduced himself and proffered the letter, "I have authority to examine the corpse."

"Be my guest. I've never seen anything like him. I have not attempted to embalm him. Kind of afraid to puncture him or cut him open, to be honest. There aren't any lacerations or obvious breaks or anything like that. I can't even hazard a guess as to what killed him. Shock, maybe."

"Yes, well, I'll see what I can determine. If you wouldn't mind leaving me alone, I fear this will require my utmost concentration, and I would prefer to have no distractions."

"It's all yours," the undertaker said. "Just yell if you need anything." He left the room, shutting the door behind him.

The Englishman placed the black bag he'd been carrying on the table next to the strange little cadaver. From it, he withdrew, not medical instruments, but a curious bronze medallion of some sort. This he passed three times over the small man's forehead. When he had done this, a small spot of red in the center of the medallion lit up.

And the dead man opened his eyes.

For the next hour, the Englishman and the strange creature whose fantastic vehicle had crashed into Judge Proctor's windmill conversed in whispers. Occasionally, the little man would lapse into a strange language, unlike any ever heard upon the earth in modern times.

Finally, the Englishman said, "You have done well, friend. The accident was unfortunate, but hardly catastrophic. You are fine, and your power is undiminished. I will send someone to you within a few years-- someone I have hand-picked to join with you. A man with considerable personal power, and the sort of ambition that makes him a suitable comrade. We shall accomplish great things together. I am pleased that you have arrived. But for now, it is best that you sleep deeply once more. The people of Aurora will think you are dead and you will soon be forgotten."

He passed the medallion over his interlocutor's head three more times. The red light winked out and the little man's eyes closed.

"Some secrets are best kept in the grave," said the Englishman. "But they need not remain there indefinitely."

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