Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Extraterrestrial Crucifixion of 1866

Our story takes place in 1860 era during the Western incursion of settlers into Indian territory, and as a result, war soon appeared.  A young boy is orphaned as a result of an Indian assault on a settlement and by necessity, is taken to an outpost of the U.S Army. He is then adopted informally by a certain Major much to the consternation of his superior who thinks that their outpost in light of the war is no place for a young boy. The Major turns to a sympathetic bachelor settler who also happens to  be a fierce fundamentalist and yet has a soft spot fairly well hidden.

He knows this settler could use some help around the ranch.
The settler agrees and takes the boy in. Shortly thereafter the settler confides in the boy that something keeps stealing supplies and grain from the ranch. This has him puzzled. There are no traces of anyone entering the ranch on horseback and the closest Indian settlement is some distance away. After his chores, the boy has a habit of going to a nearby grove of trees by a river to fish.
He is startled by bumping into a disheveled stranger wearing a rumpled hat who confides in the boy he is in hiding and is the perpetrator of the thefts from the ranch. 

The boy comes round to ask why he is hiding. He says he is not from here but rather some distance away from the stars. He removes his hat and the boy is startled to find this fellow has small horns protruding from his head.
The boy becomes the strangers co-conspirator and takes supplies from his benefactor’s ranch which makes the settler come to the conclusion that this is the work of the devil.
The boy is thoroughly confused.

Shortly thereafter, an Indian attack on the settler’s ranch occurs and as the boy tries to make good an escape while the settler defends his territory he is captured by the Indians as a hostage.
The boy is held by the Indians with a knife to the throat with the demand that the settler leave.
The settler refuses and a tense stand off occurs.
In the midst of this the stranger appears which surprises both sides and doffs his hat and his horns are apparent to both sides. The Indians back away. The boy is released. The settler drops the stranger to the ground with a single shot.

The crumpled body of the stranger with the Indians on one side and the settler on the other.


I wrote this story as a parallel to the cloying film" ET: The Extraterrestrial" as well as a homage to the sardonic Ambrose Bierce , author of "The Damned Thing", which is a story about the foibles of human nature as well as human nature being confronted with a "paranormal" event...something outside of their own experience." Strangers and the strange as a cause for alarm much like the contested West in 1866. Add to this the possession of territory in their minds.
The two groups were strangers to each other much like many of the differences that cause conflict as I type this. 

Bierce also penned the "Devil,s Dictionary"a must for those pessimistic regarding the fate of human nature. Thus the short outline was developed on a extraterrestrial theme.

I thought it was a diversion as well as a metaphor for the complexities we earthlings face as well as that of some hapless extraterrestrial who was foolish enough to face the psychological conflicts we entangle ourselves in as an innocent bystander. I thought anyone who read it would naturally assume that it was fiction. Not so.Someone asked where this story originated. Another said you could not be crucified by a bullet.  I beg to differ. Surprising or not surprising were the admixture of those responses. 
You can decide for yourself how the truth can take as many forms as there are individuals whether it is figurative or literal....


  1. oh wow! seems like you may have stopped by the subreddit :) thanks! I really enjoyed this piece and its approach to psychological nuance.

  2. Anon
    My curiosity got the best of me. I guess the curiosity of folks at that site is equal. While it was not my intention I suppose this could also qualify as a satire on all the hyperbole visa the internet. The paranormal in particular.

  3. That's awesome :) I truly enjoy your perspectives and hope you don't mind me sharing them over there. Have a great weekend!