Day 112: The Aliens

The Aliens
Matt Zurbo


June had a horrible dream,
(Little wombat, pretty bow-tie headpiece on, white dress, red frills, sitting on ground, playing with toys by the pool.)

She dreamt aliens came to her town.
(June and other Aussie bush animals, playing cricket, skateboarding, etc, looking up at space ship, two or three creepy, aggressive-looking aliens descending.)

They said they meant no harm…
(Alien with hand on chin, examining June. June watching another shipload of aliens arriving.)
But more and more came!

They started taking the best waterholes, and food.
(Building weird buildings that are big and full of cogs and gears, and dark. With smoke coming out of them.)

And when Freddy tried to protest that they were ours…
(Kookaburra in blue singlet and stockman’s hat protesting, alien shooting at him with ray gun.)

Then they said something very strange.
“We have discovered this place! It is therefor ours!”
“We call this country: Groog!”

“Leave it out!” Mayor July protested. “We’ve been here forever!”
(Protesting dingo, with footy jumper on, turning from his bbq. Aliens ignoring him)

That was when the killing, thieving and slavery started.
(Several images of aliens killing entire herds of animals, say, at the markets. Then at billycart races. Houses on fire as alien bulldozer flattens them, behind it bigger, darker alien houses being built. Weird, alien machines, huge, are crumbling milk bars, playgrounds, etc… Big alien hose draining billabong, where kangaroo kids and goanna kids were playing in the water. Another hose dumping waste into it. Aliens lazing on beach, shooting at koalas that are surfing with broadies on. Big alien factories with smoke darkening the sky are being built.)

Soon, almost everyone June knew was dead. All her family’s land was gone.

The aliens put June in an orphanage.
(Being pulled away from Mum and Dad wombats.)

June missed footy and meat pies and playing cricket in the backyard at Christmas.
(June lying in confined, dark, alien prison cell, dreaming of things mentioned.)

But every time she spoke her own language, the aliens would whip her!
“Don’t you want to fit in?” they roared.
(June hunched after a whipping, alien standing over her.)
“It’s for your own good.”

They beat and starved her until she worshiped this weird little god.
It looked nothing like her!
It didn’t hold her beliefs.
It was cruel and mean.
(Statue of drooling alien god tied to a circle, lots of alien spears coming out of it. Statue is on wall. June stood over by alien with food, watching her bow to it.)

But that wasn’t enough for the aliens.
(White page, just text.)

“Why don’t you eat what we eat!?”
(June cheeks puffed, forcing herself to eat weird alien food with eyeballs, etc, that is making her fat and sick.)

“Why don’t you work in our factories!”

“Support our causes?”
(Alien military marching.)

“Live like we do?”
(Aliens all trying to eat each other, or stab each other in the back. An aggressive, overcrowded race.)

“It’s not my way, cobber,” June mumbled.

“DON’T YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY!?” the aliens roared.
“It’s not m-“
“What’s WRONG with you!?”
(June holding up a counterpoint finger, aliens, much bigger, eyes rolling, hands clenched in exasperation…)

But the aliens weren’t done yet…
(White page, no text.)

Each year they celebrated the day they first stepped on June’s land.
(Double page spread of aliens holding up their grey-and-black flags, drinking, gorging themselves, throwing up, passing out, saluting their flags. June holding an Australian flag, an alien pointing at it, aggressively shouting, big alien mouth full of sharp teeth, intimidating, in June’s face, blowing her hair back.)

The murder of her people, the taking of their land, the destroying of their you-beaut culture, June didn’t feel like celebrating at all!

“TRAITOR!” the aliens spat!
(Several aliens in party hats, sitting vomiting, etc. Closest two leaning over June, pointing beyond her. June standing firm.)
“I came from here,” said June.
“Yeah… well…!”

But the aliens were still not done…
(White page, no text.)

They didn’t mention ANY of the bad stuff that happened in their history classes.
The aliens were the good guys! Every single time!
And they never, ever taught June’s language.

And, most bizarrely, the aliens were scared of other types of aliens! Even friendly ones.
(Aliens shouting at a marbled polecat with burka on and Cheetah with traditional Sudanese outfit on. June looking at shouting aliens in disbelief.)

That was one of the GOOD things about the aliens, June thought. They brought in new food, new ideas.

“If there were going to be aliens, then why not share?” June asked. “Why not have aliens from everywhere!?”
“ARE YOU MAD?” the aliens barked.

 Crazier than a dead dingo’s fart, June thought.

But she wasn’t going to sook.
(June, determined expression, rolling up the sleeves of her dress.)

June built a school where they said “You beaut!” and Bonza!” and “G’day mate!”

and read their kids tales of bunyips and gumnut babies,

and talked about Jezza’s mark!

And studied Christmas and the Dreamtime and even that Allah bloke.

So many aliens hated June for not loving them and wanting to be them and not thinking only they were the best in the universe. That was a lot of pressure. But June was tough!

June wanted her fellow bush animals to be happy in this new world. She figured the best way to do that,
(Bush animals dressed in Aussie cozzies, staring proudly beyond our view.)

was for them to be proud of who they were, and where they came from.
(Aboriginals standing between each bush animal, also staring proudly. Some in modern clothes, some in traditional dance/paint.)

For everyone to respect where everyone else came from…
(Line, everybody walking forward, native bush animals dressed dinky di, Indigenous Aussies, aliens with their kids, camel, black panther, etc…)

and start our nation from there!
(Pan out of Australia)


The End.

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