As a kid, Dino had been fascinated by spaceflight and the existence of alien beings, and he had always dreamed of being a space hero. In his later years he invented a real-time translation program so he could talk to aliens. Its database included every known language on earth. He even included Klingon. If there was a pattern to a language then he reckoned he could translate it.  

He never forgot his childhood ambitions or interest in UFOs and kept in touch with other ‘believers’, so when rumours of an alien landing reached him he didn’t hesitate. He jumped in his motor and headed for the crash site. Weaving his way through flashing lights at the scene he reported to the duty cop, arrogantly flashed his ID card, and demanded to see the chief scientist. There was a lot of panic and it was dark and cold and the cop had had a bad night. So he just waved him through.     

The control centre was a temporary hut, and on the monitor screens he saw a picture of a silver machine and two green blobs. Like ‘Jello’, he thought, except that they steamed slightly in the cold night air. An argument was going on about what to do next. Dino coughed and said, “Hey! I can communicate with aliens. Let me try” 

A guard grabbed him and the chief scientist sneered: “Throw him out.” 

But his colleague raised an eyebrow questioningly. They were pretty desperate. So the chief shrugged his shoulders. 

“OK, what have we got to lose? Run the tape for him.”

 “Ggbb mertic araaarg ahic zum,” the tape said. 

Dino pressed a few buttons on his own machine.

“I told you not to push that lever,” it translated.

A sigh of relief passed through the crowd. The chief turned to his colleague. “So it isn’t an invasion. It sounds like they simply crash-landed”. Everyone in the control room relaxed a bit. “OK, so, let’s be friendly,” the chief continued.

 “I’ll go and meet them,” Dino replied.

Dino walked out to the stricken craft feeling like a real hero. He would go down in history as the first man ever genuinely to communicate with aliens. That was better than walking on the moon!  

The green blobs just sat there steaming. They didn’t move as he got closer. Not until he got right up to them did one of them turn and speak to the other.

“Igjh Largigagral!” it said. Their accent was a little difficult to understand but his translator said: “Ah good! Dino.”

His first thought was how did they know my name? Then the translator offered a correction: “Sorry. Ah! Good. Dinner!”

Dino didn’t become famous. He didn’t make the history books. He didn’t even make the TV headlines that night. The whole business was hushed up. Another Roswell, he might have thought, had he not by now been fully digested into the green ‘Jello’.

About The Author

David M. Smith is a retired academic living in a village in the County of Essex in the United Kingdom. He has three children and three grandchildren. When he gave up his day job, he turned his hand to fiction and discovered that he had never had so much fun at a keyboard.

Since he began writing adult stories in 2011, he has published either online or in print 18 adult short stories covering humour, science fiction, horror, crime and literary themes, in such magazines as The Absent Willow Review, Delivered, Dark Places, Awen, the Atlantean Christmas Chillers series, Drunken Pen Writing and Monomyth.  

He has also published a few children’s stories and a couple of poems. In addition, he published a low volume ‘prehistoric’ detective novel based in ancient Malta which kept him busy in the British Library doing research on Neolithic society in the Mediterranean.  

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