Derek's Knife by Ann Effes



Derek was on duty. The others had fun. Somewhere. They didn’t tell him, only giggled when he asked. As they always did.
Derek blamed his name. „That’s not a name“ Peter once said. Derek asked his dad about his name and that he liked to be called Peter too.
„Peter? How boring“ was all his father said. He never talked much.

Not that Derek had the time to be with the others anyway.

He was on a mission. A very important and of course secret mission. He could not tell them anything about it. „Let them laugh. I have work to do.“
Derek went to the river to his secret command base.
It was not a river of course - only the ditch behind the old barn.
And it was not a secret command base - only the last remains of the old trailer which rusted away for years now.
But Derek was five and for him it was a river and his command base.

He had made first contact with an alien life-form.

The earth’s fate depended on his actions.

The life-form’s name was Zkreen.
Zkreen stood right behind the command base, just where Derek left him yesterday, looking a bit like the bushes surrounding him.
Although Zkreen did not talk, Derek could guess what he was telling him. It was a bit as if the alien talked to him inside his head.
„Vessel broken“ it said in his head.
The Alien was pointing to his vessel some 10 feet away. The vessel looked like an old oil tank.
„Need to repair“.
„Need ortoxal injuster.“
Derek had no otto-combuster.
But he had a pocket knife. His father gave it to him as a present for his last birthday. It was a tiny thing, only two inches long and blunt.
Derek waved the knife and said „Maybe you can fix it with my pocket knife!“
Zkreen looked at the knife as if he would think the offer through. He said nothing.
Derek was too afraid to give the knife to Zkreen.
He put it on the ground and slowly moved a few feet backwards.
Zkreen did not move at all..
Finally Derek went home, maybe Zkreen was afraid of him too.


The next day Peter asked Derek if he would join them. They wanted to go to the playground where this awesome new seesaw was. But it didn’t sound honest and Derek had more important things to do.

He ran to the command base. Zkreen was gone. The oil tank was gone. He found his knife where the oil tank had been.





REPORT 2234-RRT32-W
SCOUT SHIP XNATLAON33 - ZZCRIN
HAD MASSIVE SYSTEM FAILURE. NO SENSORS. ENGINE DAMAGED. SYSTEMS
LEVEL 4-7 NON FUNCTIONAL
EMERGENCY LANDING ON BODY 435-33-23544 CLASS44
PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT:
- INHABITANTS MIND PROBE SHOWS LOW INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
- INHABITANTS MIND FLOODED WITH DELUSIONS
- LOCAL ARCHITECTURAL STRUCTURES POOR/NOT MAINTAINED
- PROVIDED TOOLS VERY LOW STANDARD/USELESS
- DUE TO MALFUNCTION OF SENSORS NO IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS POSSIBLE
WAS ABLE TO JUMP AFTER TEMPORARY REPAIRS
RECOMMENDATION: NOTHING TO HARVEST, DO NOT INVADE
END OF REPORT