In Sickness And In Space

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The day had finally arrived. The day that Julia was going to tell her husband that she was an alien.

Some might say this was quite a big secret to keep from one’s spouse – on par perhaps with an unannulled marriage, or undisclosed links to organised crime. But some did not know what it was like to be a Gleekon from Jupiter living in disguise in a three-up two-down on the outskirts of Chorley.

Plus technically she was only half alien – her father having relinquished the throne of Clajanka to abscond with a human back in 1979. Her alien heritage, if anything, was merely exotic – like an Italian accent or a rogue red hair gene.

Julia had imagined telling her husband the truth on many an occasion. He’d chuckle, shaking his head in disbelief. “Oh, you,” he’d say, prodding her stomach. Then they’d laugh, put a load of washing on, take the chicken nuggets out of the oven and coo over the drawings their son had scribbled at nursery.

You see, Alfie was nearly three now and the signs of his alien ancestry were beginning to show. The blue skin that had thankfully skipped a generation for her had blighted him with a vengeance. She’d been fake-tanning him for two years, hiding the St. Tropez bottles in a gap under the bedroom floorboards.

But people had begun to get suspicious. Doctors, specialists, Hell even a medium had tried to diagnose the biscuit-y scent, but she had cold-facedly lied. Now there was talk of skin grafts. She had to say something – not just to save her own skin, but that of her son.

“Mark?” Julia coughed as she entered the front room. Mark was sat on the couch with his back to her, his curly brown hair poking over the couch.

“I have something to tell you.”

He didn’t reply, engrossed in the cooking programme on TV.

“Mark, there’s no easy way to say this. You know you and Alfie mean the world to me. I’d do anything for you. We’ve been through so much. And I love our life, our home.” Her breath caught in her throat. “But I’ve been keeping something from you.”

Julia stepped closer to Mark, stroking his hair softly. “Mark, I’m an alien.”

Overwhelmed by the silence, she continued. “I know you’ll need time to think this over. If you need a few days, if you need to stay with your parents, I’ll understand. Mark, please, talk to me.”

She grabbed Mark’s shoulder to spin him around, gasping in shock.

It wasn’t Mark at all, but a load of Waitrose bags with a wig on top.

THE END

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