The Scare Crows Of Mars.

Mum said that I had to be back for tea, which is just enough time to get to Mars and back.  It is about twenty miles from Earth.  Or twenty five.  Plenty of time.  We packed all of our supplies and set off.  Halfway there, Sam got bored, so he left the spaceship and went home.  (But really, he died in space, where there is NO AIR.  There is just the vacuum, like in vacuum cleaners, except it kills you.)  That is what happened to Sam.

But Donny and me, we made it onto the surface of Mars.  The spaceship was dented because Sam was supposed to help.  We’re the first men on Mars.  That means it belongs to us now.

We stepped out onto our new world.

On Mars, there is no air.  Here, it is all red.  The ground is red, the air is red, the sky is red.  That is because there is no air.  Also, it is hot because it is summer on Mars as well as Earth.  We should have come in the winter, but Donny said that there are monsters here then.  Scare Crows.  So we came in summer, even though it is hot.  But better than having Scare Crows.

We picked a spot that was the best place to claim Mars as our own planet.  There was a field of grass (red) that looked nice, so we picked that.  To celebrate, we ate the lunches our mums had made for us (except Donny’s sister Laura made his because his mum works in the hospital and isn’t home in the mornings).  We had sandwiches and apples and crisps and cola.  We managed to eat them on Mars because you don’t suffocate when you’re having lunch.  You can’t eat and breathe at the same time, mum always tells me that.

After lunch, we explored for most of the afternoon, running around just to make sure of Scare Crows, and seeing that any Martians were dead and wouldn’t mind us taking their planet.  It was so hot that we took our shirts off (which you can’t do over your helmet, so you can take your helmet off if YOU HOLD YOUR BREATH and do it quickly and put your helmet back on before you die like Sam in a vacuum).

Then it was night time, which is just as bright as daytime because Mars is a different planet.  Donny thought that the Scare Crows could come out at night and he said they looked like crows.  There were some crows in the trees (red) so we had to make our camp safe.  Donny tied his shirt to a Martian stick and it flapped in the wind.  There is wind on Mars, but no air.  Mars is a different planet.  But it scared the Scare Crows away.

Before we got the camp ready, I wanted to collect some Martian soil in a matchbox.  While I did that, Donny disappeared.  He wasn’t anywhere to be seen.  He even left his shirt behind, which was good because the Scare Crows had come back to the trees and were watching me all alone.

I shouted for Donny as loud as I could.  But he didn’t answer.  I remembered that Dad once told me that sound only travels because of air.  Donny couldn’t hear me, no matter how loud I shouted.  There is no air on Mars, it is a different planet.

I don’t know how to get back home without Donny.  He flies the ship really.  I just sit in the back and make the engine noises.

That was a long time ago.  I sit down cross-legged under Donny’s shirt and feel it move against the back of my head.  Whatever took Donny wasn’t a crow.  I mean, a Scare Crow.  There must be Martians.

I take off my shirt and tie it up a few feet from Donny’s.  Now it looks like more of us.  The Scare Crows fly away.

I am the only one left alive, the others are all dead.  I am alone on a different planet.  Mum will be cross that I won’t be home for tea.

I sit here and wonder how long it will take for me to become a Martian.

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Andrew Cheverton
Andrew Cheverton is currently the writer of the western comic West (drawn by Tim Keable) and the science fiction comic The End (drawn by FH Navarro), and the writer - and soon-to-be illustrator - of horror comic The Whale House. Thank you for reading.
Andrew Cheverton

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