After The UFO by Bryn Fortey


He had been called many things: Yeti, Sasquatch, Woodwose. But his description of choice was Bigfoot, a name that conjured glorious memories of endless forests and tall trees; a time when his species had combined relative freedom with a need to maintain barriers between themselves and humans. All now in the past, lost, their very existence doubted and attributed more to mythology than fact. Just him, now, last of the tribe that once roamed the world, somehow morphed into a single psychic being.



Travelling at will in a spacecraft no more substantial than himself, though real enough in appearance. What fun! What mischief! The possibilities were endless, limited only by the inventiveness of his co-pilot and himself.



Ghost looked at the crazy Bigfoot, sitting in his Jim Kirk chair, and wondered how he himself had come to be picked for this particular gig.



His name plucked out of a cosmic hat?

During life, Ghost had always hoped to spot a UFO. Now, in death, he was in one, co-pilot to the man-beast, who he called Captain. What a team!

Captain told Ghost how he got Peter Mayhew, the actor, to take a secret break while he spent a couple of days playing Chewbacca in Star Wars. No makeup needed. Ghost believes him, every word. It’s such a good story it deserves to be true, even if it isn’t.



Before he died, Ghost would often discuss UFOs with his father, him for and Dad against. Ghost would quote unexplained cases while Dad would joke about flying saucers and little green men. He never fully understood how a science fiction fan like his father could be such a total nonbeliever, not accepting Dad’s attempts to differentiate between fact and fiction.

Dad missed those friendly disagreements, and was no longer so hard-headed sure of his position. This much he now knew: realities differ, and so do unrealities. This one psychic spacecraft existed. Maybe not as he fully understood, but within the scope of itself.

It appears, hovers, zooms, disappears.

This UFO exists, for him, in the magnitude of his loss.



Dad’s first dream of Ghost after the event was probably meant to make him feel easier about his having died.

“What’s it like being dead, Son?”

“It’s great, Dad. I can go absolutely anywhere.”

“Have you been to the Emirates yet?”

(Arsenal were Their Team.)

“Not yet, Dad, but it’s on my list.”

It was a good dream, but of little help in the wider context of his grief.



After the UFO came the birds Avian monsters: wings beating, filling the sky. Cruel beaks and sharp talons. After the UFO came the Death Birds.

“If you have come for him,” said the father, “too late…..too late.”

“If you’ve come for me, I’m ready.”

Bryn Fortey

A veteran of the writing game for more years than he cares to remember, Bryn Fortey edited the well received (at the time) OUTLAW, a post-Beat poetry magazine from the 70s and at the same time had short stories in FONTANA anthologies, among others. After a while away from the literary scene he recently returned with both fiction and poetry acceptances. In 2014 The Alchemy Press published his debut collection MERRY-GO-ROUND, combining short stories and poetry in one book.



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