Yarnspinners – #atozchallenge
We laughed when they arrived. They weren’t our first aliens. The first showed themselves to the modern world in 2120 after a millennium of mere sightings. Now, in 3313, we were accustomed to visits from all over the Galaxy. Sure, this lot came in chariot-emblazoned spaceships. That was original, but we were no longer impressed or awed when aliens arrived.
They landed their chariots in Rome. Cameras captured their descent from the crafts – twenty beings who stood a good five or six feet above an average human. We’d seen taller aliens before. Their bodies shimmered and glowed a brilliant bright light. They were beautiful to behold. A male stepped forward and pointed a golden finger at the crowd.
“Bow to me!” he demanded in a voice that thundered around us.
We waved him off. We’d had aliens make such demands before – fierce insect-like aliens in larger ships, mega-giant lizard-like aliens in pods, winged aliens, even giant elvish-like aliens. This puny bunch couldn’t come close to the ones we’d dealt with in the past. We just went on with our normal lives and left the sensation of this event to the diplomats and reporters.
Stories began to surface. Curiosity finally got the best of us. We watched news reels on our tablets. This bunch spun a good yarn, especially the one who’d spoken to us that first day. They told stories to anyone who would listen. Amazing tales of their heydays when they ruled this planet. Their audience shrank day by day. Within a week, very few came to hear the yarnspinners.
“I am Jupiter! Do you not recognize your God when you see him?”
Apparently this lot thought they were the long forgotten Gods of the Roman Pantheon – Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Diana, Venus, Mars and on and on. They even attempted to assert their authority by causing storms and earthquakes. Our neutralizing system shut that down. We’d had aliens attempt to disrupt our planet before.
Leaders of Earth finally held a conference. They invited the twenty beings to explain themselves. If they were who they claimed to be, we all deserved answers. The large mega-dome was filled to capacity with curious onlookers.
“If you are, as you say, the Gods of Rome, why did you abandon us?”
Venus, with her long blond hair and flowing white gown, stood in the center of the dome with the other nineteen. She stepped forward and spoke in a soothing gentle voice. “You were all doing so well. We took it as a sign.”
“A sign for what?”
Mars, clad in his battle gear, joined Venus. “A sign that we could leave,” he declared.
The council members stared back and forth at one another. Finally, one spoke up. “Did you even bother to check back on us?”
“No, we went on a well-deserved vacation, but we are back now. We are ready to rule you once again,” Jupiter decided in his booming voice.
That statement caused a roar of laughter among the onlookers. We began throwing rotten food and stones at the twenty beings. The council members allowed this to go on for a few moments and then struck their gavels.
“Silence!” one of them yelled at the crowd. We obeyed and sat back down in our seats.
“As you can see, we do not need to be ruled,” one of the female council members stated.
“But all beings need to be ruled!” Jupiter declared.
This time we booed him, but remained in our seats.
“We gave up such notions over a million years ago when aliens began to come here. We realized that what we’d been worshiping were merely aliens all along. We could govern and rule ourselves and we’ve done a great job at it. We no longer believe in Deities.”
The twenty beings huddled together and consulted with one another in hushed voices. After a long moment, they turned away to leave the dome.
“You do not have to leave,” the female council member informed them. “We welcome all aliens here.”
Mercury turned around and came back to the center. “We are not aliens. We are Gods. You’ve stripped us of our powers and no longer need our services. We have no reason to stay.”
The beings walked out of the dome and headed back to their chariot-like spacecrafts. The crowd of onlookers followed them. We watched as they ascended back into the skies until they were no longer visible.
Years would pass and stories were written about the days the God-like Yarnspinners walked among us on Earth. Cults sprang up and died out just as quickly as they had formed. They begged the Gods to return, but they never did. Eventually their visit became a myth, like all the legends before them.
©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.
The Prompt via Mandy Wallace: Gold-fingered gods arrive in chariot-emblazoned space crafts claiming to be the Roman Pantheon back from vacation.
Each day for the A to Z Challenge I will be writing a 500-1000 word Science Fiction story. I hope you will enjoy them.