Wheelie Bins in Space – Karen Cochrane

Winner of the Pens ‘Wheelie Bin’ mini competition November 2015.

Karen reading her winning piece

Karen reading her winning piece

Radio interference squealed and shrieked as the three aliens sat huddled together on the top of the windswept hill.

‘Earth to Central, Earth to Central, come in …….’ Antennas quivered as they quickly ducked down as headlights flashed across the hillside.

‘Earth to Central, come in…………’

‘Central to Earth, come in, we can hear you, please report, please report.’

Vlod rolled his third eye at his comrades.

‘At last,’ whispered Zlod, ‘I thought we would never get through. All that space junk floating around I’m surprised there’s any signal at all. Lousy, filthy planet, filthy air, filthy space, huhhh I miss Zanuu, what I would give to wave my antenna in good clean chlorine.’

The three aliens were a scouting party for the Intergalactic Council, their mission, to find a new outpost. This planet would not be it if Vlod had his way, three days on this pile of space junk were quite enough for him. Too much of everything, too green, too wet and just too much, definitely too damn much oxygen. The hydrogen was so thin he swore his skin was turning pink and losing its green luminous glow.

‘Agent Vlod we are patching you though to the Council Chamber now. You will be free to talk after the third bong’.

Bong…… Vlod sighed and rubbed his antennae.

Bong…… he had to find another job.

Bong …………………

‘Agent Vlod, the Council welcome you and your report. Please begin’.

Vlod sighed, glanced around to ensure no earthlings were close and began.

‘Agent Vlod, No 3847 of the Intergalactic Scout Mission to Planet 243, reporting on ‘Viability of Planet 243 for Colonisation’.

Councillor, the major species of the planet appear to be in the vernacular ‘Wheelie Bins’. They are large and black with a yawning mouth which consumes inordinate amounts of fuel on a constant basis. Although they have what appear to be circular feet and are capable of movement they are instead moved, fed and served by puny bipeds which are obviously trained or bred for this purpose.

The subspecies feed their masters constantly with high-grade fuel, consistent with materials that we would use for molecular interplanetary travel. The subspecies spends considerable time, feeding, cleaning and relocating the master race and we must therefore conclude that this subspecies are in fact merely mindless slaves, programmed to fulfil the will of the master race. The fuel consumed by the master race ‘Wheelie Bins’ appears to be produced within large clay caves in which the bipeds disappear when the Sol goes down.

We must therefore conclude that the master race are capable of intergalactic travel and may well be a threat to the peace of the Intergalactic Council.’

‘Vlod, this is Councillor Janus, have you attempted communication with the ‘Wheelie Bin’.

Unfortunately Councillor, we have found it impossible to communicate with the Master Race, they are obviously far more advanced than our own. Our tractor beams have been unable to lock onto them although it is remarkable easy to beam up the bipeds who serve them. Unfortunately their minds are so primitive that we have been unable to extract anything of valued, subjects such as Kardashians, Eastenders and Joey Essex can be easily sucked from their brains yet we have yet to divine their significance. They are proving to be primitive and ultimately non-threate3ning.

We believe if the Council decides to colonise, then it would be more cost effective to exterminate the bipeds as they appear to breed rapidly and we can find little to advance the case for keeping them.

‘Do the ‘Wheelie Bins’ have a hierarchy, or Leader that we could facilitate talks with at a later date.’

‘Difficult to answer Councillor, without direct communication with the ‘Wheelie Bins,’ but they are all individually visited at least once a week by a more powerful creature called the ‘Dust Wagon’. This mighty beast is at least ten times bigger than the said ‘Wheelie Bins’ and the ‘Wheelie Bins’ interact physically with the ‘Dust Wagon’ in what I believe is a mating ritual.’

‘Mating Ritual? It must be a mighty beast if it mates with each ‘Wheelie Bin’ individually every week’.

‘There are many of these ‘Dust Wagons’ each with their own territory, they return each solar cycle to an even mightier Master called the ‘Recycling Plant’.’

‘What function does this ‘Recycling Plant’ do?’

‘I believe it to be a mighty temple to their God.’

‘Do you believe that we could communicate with this God of the ‘Recycling Plant’?’

‘That we cannot confirm, only that the great God ‘Recycling Plant’ generates large voldarvs of energy, this Temple appears to be an extremely powerful. We cannot overstate to the Council the vast army of ‘Wheelie Bins’. At least two sometimes more patrol the clay caves of the bipeds. One can only conclude that these burrows contain great wealth, and where the bipeds mass produce fuel.

They do have a passing resemblance to the Dalek nation of ZZHagg. We have picked up references to this subject in their air waves. It could be that the ‘Wheelie Bins’ are maintaining an outpost for the Dalek nation and as such could bring the wrath of the Dalek down on the Intergalactic Council.

In conclusion Councillor I do not think Planet 243 is worthy of colonisation at this time.’

‘Vlod you have done well, you have permission to return to the mother ship in order to submit your report in person. Over and out’.

Vlod fell back against the organic matter behind him, closed his three eyes and sighed.

‘Yes, beam me up Zantog, we are soooo out of here.’

The silence on the hill suddenly felt oppressive, he opened one eye and straightened slowly, a phalanx of Wheelie Bins surrounded the hill. With a screech of wheels they all began rolling in towards him ……

On the soft breeze words floated up, words that made his yellow blood run cold…………..




The Winners and Mike, organiser and judge

The Winners and Mike, organiser and judge

About David Rollason

I am a writer, creative, inventive, observant, but the results are for you the reader to decide. There are things in my head constantly that I need to get out and into a readable form and this for now is my preferred medium. I am a simple being with complex workings. I am a complex being with simple logic. I am really just..... me.
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