New Short Fiction: JUBILEE

Regular members of The Readership may recall that I celebrated the Royal Wedding last year with a tale that embraced the idea of the Windsors being extraterrestrial lizards that ruled in disguise. If not, it’s here for your delight.

The Wedding Day

As The Jubilee is upon us, I thought it might be nice to revisit the family, and see how they were enjoying the long Bank Holiday. You may be able to deduce some idea of my feelings towards the monarchy, but I’ll leave it as an inference. No point in giving everything away.

Here then, for your holiday enjoyment, Excuses And Half Truths is proud to present: JUBILEE.

(Advisory for profanity and references to lizard sex.)

 

 

Under the palace, the lizards stir. They have no need to see the sun rise; millions of years have give them the bone-deep knowledge of the right moment to rise. It’s a big day, a key moment in The Plan that will culminate in the overthrow of the monkey infestation that has forced them to a half-lit existence of disguise and mis-direction on this gods-forsaken rock in the backwaters of a minor-league galaxy.

The Queen feels no such excitement. Aggressively curled in her sleeping nook, she resists all attempts to rouse her. Even The Consort, ever patient, the calm still point around which she orbits like a fiery comet, is starting to lose his patience with his mate.

“Don’t wanna,”, she spits. Lizard language is a subtle, multi-layered mix of gesture, sound and pheromone emission. “Don’t wanna” in lizard translates as a growl and a clawed swipe, mixed in with a squirt of foul-smelling musk directly into The Consort’s face.

Finally, he can stand it no longer. Duty, respect and rectitude are all well and good, but now The Queen is taking the piss. He reaches into the nook, grabs her by the ruff and bodily drags her out of the nook.

The Royal Enclosure stills. This action is unprecedented. Mating season is the time for such rough behaviour. The Guards shift uncomfortably. Should they be doing something about this? Has The Consort just committed a treasonable act?

The Queen shrieks, and lays a stripe of fresh blood across The Consort’s snout with a well-timed slash of her claws. One of the Guard takes a step forwards. The Consort shoots him a paint-stripping glare. The Guard stops. A gust of pheromone hits him: not your fight.

The Queen calms, growling and setting her head onto The Consort’s shoulder. She knows her duty, however unpleasant it might be.

 

“You can be such a grump in the morning,” he teases. But there’s a smoky taint to his pheromone delivery. He can’t keep the worry out of his voice.

Sixty years is a tiny fraction of time in the life of a Lizard – at eighty-five, The Queen is barely out of adolescence. They do not measure time in the same way as the monkeys that plague the planet that should be their home do. Subsequently, The Queen sees nothing important in the time or date. It seems like just another reason to squeeze her into the over-tight skin disguise that she has to wear above ground, and spend the day fighting off the urge to go into a feeding frenzy.

“I know it’s part of the plan,”she grumbles as she wriggles into the pink, rubbery sheath that seems tighter and more restrictive every time she has to wear it. “I thought once The Heir had mated with the monkey-girl that the plan was moving into its final stage. Why do we still not rule?”

The Consort stifles a sigh, and decides not to get into the argument that always starts when he says “it’s not that simple.” he is, in his way, as impatient to be rid of the disguises and subterfuge as his bride. Unlike her, he understands the complexities of the situation. The Plan provides little room for manoeuvre against the vagaries of fate.

Who could have foreseen that the drugs used to keep the monkey-girl quiescent before her wedding to The Heir would render her not just borderline catatonic, but unreceptive to the cross-species mating for which she had been so carefully chosen? The mutant offspring on which much of the final stages of The Plan depended would not come from her.

The Heir had to be restrained from taking out his frustrations on the poor drooling creature, who was fed and cleaned but otherwise ignored. His dreams of leading an army of second-stage Lizards to end the reign of the monkeys were just that, and he was forced to console himself in the midst of a harem that was starting to tire of his sudden rages and equally abrupt shifts into melodramatic spates of woe.

That portion of The Plan had failed, but The Plan itself endured. Survival of The Race was paramount. If that meant wearing the monkey-suits and smiling and waving and all the other shit, then so be it. No-one said taking over the planet was going to be easy.

With one last struggle, the back zipper of the Queen’s suit closes and she grins at him, pink and pale and wobbly. With clothes on, most of the obvious patches and repairs that the suit has suffered over the years are invisible. The rest of the wear and tear could be put down to the monkey trait of ageing. The skin sagged, blotched and stretched over time in the same way as the synthetic envelope the Lizards used as disguise.

 

“Your turn,” The Queen says, nodding at the hanger on the back of the changing room door. The Consort’s skin hangs from it, flaccid as a used condom. For a moment, the urge to “don’t wanna” boils up in The Consort’s throat.

 

It rains all day, and that was the best part. The Consort knows that monkeys don’t like rain, and watching them huddled in miserable ranks under drooping umbrellas gives the grinding tedium of the day a tiny flash of brightness. But for the most part it was exactly as soul-murdering as he’d feared. Stuck on a fucking barge for five hours, surrounded by monkeys in boats, while other monkeys cheered and waved flags from the bank-side. The Consort tries to imagine something worse, and gives up when he realises that the removal of his eyes with sharpened spoons would at least have the advantage of improving the view.

The Queen is not helping matters. She had unexpectedly (and, The Consort thought, in all likelihood out of spite) gone into oestrus, fogging the air around the barge with a cloud of pheromones. Every male of breeding age on the barge is cross-eyed with lust, and trying not to show it.

The Queen, eyes aspark with mischief, leans over to The Consort and offers up a suggestion of quite astonishingly pornographic detail. It takes all his power to resist tearing off her monkeysuit and doing her over the hand-rail of the barge right there and then. She knows it, of course, and regards him with hooded eyes before moving off to chat lightly with Daughter-In-Law Prime. She was taking him to task for that morning’s infraction, making damn sure that if she was suffering, so was he.

The Consort sighs, and casts a worried look at the monkeygirl. If he had his way, she would have been quietly retired. But of course, there was the matter of The Blonde to consider. Decades after the “unfortunate accident” in a French underpass, and the monkeys loved her more than ever. They could not afford to make the same mistake with the new addition, however useless she had turned out to be.

Here she was then, her every move pre-programmed, locked to a simple schedule executed by the exo-skeleton she wears under her clothes. There are issues with the programme. There had already been a close call when she had abruptly turned and marched straight for the stern. It had taken a quick move from The Son to stop her plunging into the rain-lashed river.

If indeed it had been an accident. Monkeygirl’s drug regime had needed to be relaxed to keep her on her feet, and The Consort is certain that he’s spotted glimmers of self-awareness in her normally clouded eyes. If she comes to and starts yelling about lizards and kidnap and breeding programmes in front of a TV audience in the hundreds of millions…

The Consort suppresses a shudder, and peers at the monkeygirl. She is rigid, waving with a fixed smile on her face. For now, at least, the programme and the drugs seem to be working. He seems to be the only one that can see the single tear that runs down her pink, smooth cheek. If the cameras noticed, it would be simple enough to blame it on the rain.

The Consort gazes down at the foamy wake of the barge. It stirs memory in him, ancestral reminders of an aquatic past. How easy would it be, he muses, to simply tell the captain to keep going, past East India Docks and Tilbury, and down to the sea? There he and his family could shed their skins once and for all, and take on a new life, hugging the coast, frolicking in the choppy waters, hunting any monkeys foolish enough to stray into their hunting grounds. A simpler, more primal existence. It made all kinds of sense to The Consort, trapped on a barge, surrounded by despised monkeys in an illusory cage of privilege.

The Queen glances over at her Consort, and surreptitiously runs her tongue over her top lip. The Consort shudders. Perhaps he will put his suggestion to her, while she is dozy and compliant after the 36-hour fuckcluster that will be the family treat after this water-bound ordeal. Forget the Plan, and the flawed dreams of conquest. Embrace a simpler life, truer to their savage natures.

For now, though, the trial would have to continue. The Consort sighs, then points his attention at the far bank and the flag-waving primates stacked along it. He smiles at them. It would have been a fortunate accident indeed for a cameraman with a long lens to catch a glimpse of that smile, and the way it stretched just a little beyond the bounds of humanity. A little too wide. A little too toothy.

 

 

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Published by

Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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