Issue 4 cover

The Dancing Aliens

by Mithran Somasundrum

Issue 4 :: Spring 2009 (stories)

The dancing aliens are here. They’re in the squares and parks and shopping malls, and sometimes out on street corners. They’re still in the clothes they appeared in, the flapping white shifts, which by now are more of a dingy grey. And with winter coming they wear Earth-based additions: a woollen hat here, a denim jacket there, a pair of worn-down boots. They don’t seem to understand how incongruous it all looks. The aliens don’t have dress sense, just like they’re willing to eat almost anything. I was going to say they don’t have style, but no, that’s not true. They have a style of sorts. They have their dancing.

With the big show here at last, the World Show, with it on the news and all, everyone wants to tell you they were there when the aliens first arrived. Everyone wants to tell you they knew they were aliens right away. For me, that’s actually true. At least the first bit. I work for British Telecom, that big building on Shaftesbury Avenue. In the summer, it got to be that I’d stroll down to Leicester Square on my lunch break. I’d pretend to myself I was a tourist: grab a kebab or a pizza slice, drift with the summer crowd, watch the mime guys, see what films were on. For half an hour it would feel like a weekend.

So I must have been one of the first people to see the original group, the group that appeared in Leicester Square.


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"The Dancing Aliens" is roughly 5985 words.

Mithran Somasundrum grew up in London and currently lives in Bangkok. He has published short fiction in Natural Bridge, The Sun, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and the minnesota review, among others, and has a story forthcoming in Zahir. He recently completed a slipstream novel. He is a proofreader for Strange Horizons.