the short story project


renate schiansky



Martin looked at the picture critically. Wasn´t it still hanging a little askew?

„Hi, uncle Martin!“

He turned around to see his niece, Sarah, 7 years old, small and blond and pretty like an angel, standing in the doorway.

„Is Annie home?”

„She’s in the garden.“

The girls were of the same age and spent most of their free time together.

„Can I leave my bag here on the couch?“

Martin nodded, applied the picture to the wall one final time and stepped back.

„It is very beautiful“, Sarah remarked.

Martin nodded. „It shows Galaxy NGC346 in the Magellanic Cloud“, he explained, „which is some 210.000 light years away.“

The girl studied the picture for several seconds.

„Do you think there are people living there?” she asked.

„Of course“, he answered with a smile. „People, or animals, or something similar. But whatever they are, I’m sure they’re not half as pretty as you are!“

Sarah nodded seriously.

„Annie says that there are aliens already living on our planet.“

Martin shook his head mildly. „The two of you sure watch too many science-fiction movies! – What about a chocolate bar?” He crossed the room to the kitchenette. Sarah accepted the sweets, thanked her uncle dutifully and ran outside to meet her cousin.

Martin exhaled deeply. He grabbed two more chocolate bars from the fridge, locked himself in the bathroom, and opened his shirt.

„Guess I better be more careful in the future“, he murmured thoughtfully, zipped open his belly from the navel to the right and presented the chocolate bars to seven thin white tentacles, which clasped their prey greedily and retreated with an almost inaudible chirping sound.