Today I have a guest post from author Beth Merwood.
The Five Things
For nine-year-old Wendy, the summer of 1969 will never be forgotten.
Local kids have always told stories about the eerie wood on the outskirts of the village, and Wendy knows for sure that some of them are true. Now the school holidays have started and she’s going to the wood again with Anna and Sam, but they soon become convinced that someone is trying to frighten them off.
When a terrible event rocks the coastal community, the young friends can’t help thinking there must be a connection between the incident, the tales they’ve heard, and the strange happenings they’ve begun to witness. As glimpses of a darker world threaten their carefree existence, they feel compelled to search out the underlying truth.
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Getting ready for aliens
The following has nothing to do with writing, but it’s something I feel the need to share.
I read recently that it is impossible there is no life on other planets. That is an exciting thought. I realize, of course, other lifeforms are probably not going to be anything like us and are going to resemble moss or a sponge or something we can’t even imagine. Even so, I wonder if we shouldn’t all be getting ready, just in case.
What if there is an alien out there who actually is a bit like you and me and plans to come to visit?
It surely is our duty to be prepared to welcome him or her — or whatever gender they might be: there could be a gender specific to their galaxy; they may have no gender. My brain is hurting already — it’s hard getting ready for aliens. I need to think logically. How would be the best way to gear up? I must devise a plan.
Of all the people I know, I have decided my friend James is the most like an alien. If someone told you James came from outer space, you wouldn’t question it. Therefore, I have opted to base everything on welcoming another James to the planet. First of all, I will need to be able to talk about football. I can do this to a certain level, though I admit not really a level that wholly satisfies James. I don’t suppose the alien will support Liverpool either, when I think about it. I wonder who he will support, or she — or the other gender, whatever that is — I’m going to go with ‘he’ for convenience.
The best thing might be to take him to a game. I could take him to a local match rather than trying to get him in through turnstiles or anything like that. Anyway, he’s likely to enjoy the game down in the park, and also if anyone doesn’t turn up to play, he might even get a game himself. Oh, I’m not sure if he’ll have two legs, though. I wonder if he’ll be allowed to play if he has more than two? Perhaps we should just watch after all. I can buy him a hot dog from the stand. I’m sure he’ll enjoy that.
Another thing James likes is real ale. I think the alien will want to try it. I’ll obviously have to be careful what I get for him. Some of the brews are quite strong, I understand. I don’t want a drunk alien on my hands or alien sick to clear up. I wonder if he’ll be able to hold a pint glass. I wonder if he’ll like the music they play at the pub James goes to — it’s mostly heavy metal type stuff. What does alien music sound like? I wonder what radio station he listens to.
Now I’m beginning to think the alien might not be much like James at all. He might be more like Deborah. That would be better really. We can go for coffee and talk about his new boyfriend.
At least I’ve been thinking it all through. When he arrives I’ll certainly be ready.
Beth Merwood is from the south of England. The Five Things is her debut novel.