Paradise Ranch

In the United States, in Nevada, there is a lake. Beside this lake is an airfield with its buildings and sheds, warehouses, hangers, garages and yards. Inside are the dead bodies of grey humanoids, stretched out as if asleep on gurneys. And a giant ring which, when stepped through, will take you to the stars. Also, a machine the size of your hand that will show you your past; a crashed UFO that our fine engineers are still examining; the offices of a shadowy cabal that was brought together by Harry S. Truman to hide the truth.

These are secret things. We keep them hidden from you because knowing them will harm you. All the things which are a danger to society and the world, those things are here: the Ark of the Covenant, the true map of the land-surface hidden under the Antarctic ice-shelf, drawn circa 500 – 550 CE.

We ensure that nothing escapes. For your protection.

Inside yourself, in your heart, is a box. This box is locked with your mind and with your emotions; inside is the person you first loved and first lost. There is the Alsatian you grew up with, who you held while the vet put down. And that is your fear that your legs are too thin, your gut too large, your eyes too big, your lips too small. Those are the people who laughed at you when you were growing up; and dead grandmothers; broken homes; alcohol.

Hiding in the corner, under the blankets, are your forgotten dreams.

The locks around your heart are mostly strong. They ensure that nothing escapes. So we think only of the aliens who are coming — or who are perhaps already here. That God is about to call us up, that the sinners will be punished, and that the government should stop hiding the truth from us.

Sometimes we think of where our Alsatian is buried, although we no longer live in that house.

Everything else is rumour and conspiracy.

2 thoughts on “Paradise Ranch”

  1. Oh, my. I loved this – delicate, subtle, evocative, poignant. Rather characteristic, in fact :>. Alien conspiracy as metaphor works beautifully, and the tone – gentle, considered, matter-of-fact – is extremely effective. Thank you, very happy reading experience.

    If I’m going to nit-pick, the box “locked with your mind and with your emotions” is perhaps a little obvious and flatly stated, in contrast to the nuance of the rest of it. But it’s an extremely minor niggle.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you liked this. I’m oddly happy with it myself, and I think it worked out much how I wanted. You’re right about the “locked box” bit. If I was editing this again, I might leave that sentence out and do some minor rewording around it.

      Am feeling guilty about the general lack of commenting that’s happened for the last two micfics. I’m glad that we’ve gone through to the end of the volume, though.

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