“Make it new,” he muttered, sliding the final pin into the top right corner of the banner. He let it go and watched as it sagged downwards like a giant white manta ray. Written across its surface, in large, bright lettering was NEW NEW NEW! LIMITED TIME ONLY !
Patrick Murdoch stood back and admired his handiwork. “Make it new indeed!” he laughed, spitting onto the hard tarmac as he did so. He didn’t know where he remembered the saying from. Maybe from one of the chapters of the ever growing pile of self help and business acumen books his wife had bought him. She often left them deliberately next to his cigarettes or favourite tea mug. She wasn’t exactly subtle.
A faint wind ruffled the banner and Patrick watched the lettering warp and expand. Under the banner lay his small show room, the windows were still dusty and a SOLD sign was still propped lazily against the door. The estate agent had shaken Patrick’s hand and taken his money, but hadn’t even bothered removing the sign.
Bastard. He thought, rubbing his hands together as the wind picked up from a faint breeze to a more aggressive frozen gust. If the weather carried on like this, he wouldn’t be able to entice anyone for the grand opening. He had even paid for a radio advert with the last dregs of his savings, which should be airing at 10:30 AM. Patrick checked his watch. If that fat bugger at the radio station hadn’t screwed him over as well. He’d also taken Patrick’s money, gleefully stuffing the cheque into a small metal box, his chubby hands sweating bullets.
Now Patrick stood on the freezing tarmac, staring blankly as he thought about all the money that had been siphoned out of his account and into the building which now stood before him. MURDOCH’S MOTORS, AUTO TRADING BUY AND SELL! Soon his bank account would be ticking up slowly but surely, in the steady manner of a petrol pump metre. As he watched his banner sag and sway a smile crept onto his face and set up camp.
Patrick Murdoch’s new business was not the only new addition to the world that day, and as the wind died out, the human race collectively held their breath. At 10:30 AM Patrick turned the dial of his radio sharply to the left and listened carefully as the static gave way to the first inklings of comprehensible sound. The smile he had happily amused on his face left suddenly with no intent on coming back. Instead of the upbeat jingle promoting MURDOCH’s MOTORS, he had been promised, the static gave way to a sombre message.
“The people of Britain are a brave people, a courageous people, however there is no shame in surrender, there is no shame in accepting the odds. In doing so we preserve a semblance of peace and of…”
Patrick had always hated the PM. Gutless leftie, he thought and tweaked the nob.
“President Trump has welcomed the arrival of the new visitors. ‘I love the way they are doing things. Great things I might add. Tremendous plans with our new friends. I’ve always said it!’ His comments are in response to the…”
His hand twitched once more and the radio dipped in and out of static.
“So what are we calling them Chris? Surely not Aliens, because I’ve seen E.T and these guys look more human than the guys down my local!”
“Well that’s the thing, as of yet we aren’t too sure…”
Patrick Murdoch switched of his radio and looked outside. He sat in his car, parked just in front of his new show room, one of the only cars actually in the show room. He huddled up close to the steering wheel and exhaled loudly. They picked today of all days to try some type of prank, some sort of idiot-brained YouTube video for teenagers to drool over. Surely that’s what it was. Surely.
“Excuse me sir, is this your shop?”
Patrick turned to look. Outside his car was a young man. Broad-shouldered, blonde and muscular, his eyes glowed like embers. He gestured to the show room. The skin tight black top he wore clung to his outstretched arm. Patrick’s eyes narrowed.
“It’s closed, haven’t you heard, aliens have landed!” Patrick wiggled his fingers in mock terror.
The young man smiled a sickly crescent.
“We come in peace,” his eyes glowed red.
Patrick Murdoch sat on the cold tarmac, now a pile of smouldering ash.