So last night, I lay in bed, finishing up the last few chapters of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Greening Cup, a very good book, and definitely my favorite of the eighteen Potter books that she’s written (absolutely love the conclusion!). I was pulled from Rowling’s world by a strange wheezing sort of sound. Well, naturally, I thought my roommate must have been kept up the latest episode of one of our favorite TV series. I was just at the part of the book where one of my favorite characters is killed (in case you haven’t read the book, I won’t tell you who that is, only that he is a fan of Harry’s), and having no real desire to cry the tears that usual accompany that scene, I put down the book, knowing that my favorite Doctor would probably provide me with some well-delievered witticism to drive away my book-born sadness.
I was surprised to find my roommate’s bedroom door closed and light off. I put my ear to the door, wondering if she was just watching in the dark for movie theater effect, but the sound seemed fainter here than it had in my bedroom. Giving up on the idea that my roommate would provide me ready access to repartee that could banish my grief, I crept back to my room, moving more quietly now that I had ascertained that my roommate was asleep.
My own bedroom was not unoccupied. The closet door had been pushed open, and a strange, blue creature was jumping on my bed, talking in a garbled language that I didn’t recognize into a small, handheld device. His back was to me, but his bat-like ears must have alerted him to my entry, even though I tried to be quiet. The creature turned around, stopped jumping, and regarded me with large eyes for a moment, before fiddling with a watch on his wrist. He gestured to me, seeming to say, go away, but of course, it was my bedroom, I was tired, my book was on the nightstand, and I was going no where.
“Who are you? And what are you doing in my bedroom?” I demanded.
He grinned. His teeth were pointed and a bright white against his blue skin. He tapped the clock face and said in very plain English, using my own hard-to-replicate-for-being-a-gallimaufry accent, “My name is Earth-worker (I can only assume that the translator gave me the meaning of the creature’s name rather than his name in his own language), and I come in peace.”
Well, I had to laugh, didn’t I? What a cliche! Especially as I happen to know that the name “George” means “Earth-worker” too. “Are you an alien, George?” I asked him, because I could think of no other creature from whom his greeting would be so cliche.
“If you mean,” George said, “to ask if I am a foreigner to your planet, then, yes.”
I laughed again, and pointed to my closet. “And you came through the wardrobe?”
He looked to where I pointed, and said, “Yes, through the portal.”
I laughed, but he asked me, “What’re you called?”
“If you’re George the alien who came to my world through my closet,” I said, still laughing, “then I must be dreaming or the Queen of England.”
He didn’t understand my cliche. Instead, he bowed, his little hands on his forehead, and said, “It is good to meet you, Dreaming. Or are you the Queen of England?”
“Oh go on,” I laughed, “I can be the Queen of England.”
George the alien told me then that he was glad to hear it as my position as queen, which he understood to be a title of leadership on my planet, would mean that he could treat with me directly rather than asking to see my leader.
By now of course, I was gasping, but when George held out his hand, and asked me to accompany him to his planet, where I could meet the High Councilor and Councilmen who governed his people, I thought I was far more likely Dreaming than a queen, so I took his little hand, which was cold, and allowed myself to be led into my closet.
Except I did not find the back of my closet. I pushed aside the clothes and stepped out into a room with tiered rows of seating on which sat hundreds of small, blue creatures like George. As George introduced me in my own English accent to one of them, who wore a crown and cloak, I muttered, wide-eyed, “I guess I am the Queen of England.”
Well, given such an opportunity, I could hardly stay here on Earth, could I? George helped me to get back to my bedroom for just a few hours so that I could leave you all, all of you Earthlings, this message. I am on Gravitaea, and I will represent you to the best of my ability. I will tell the Gravitaean Council about all of our greatness, and try to keep the Gravitaeans or their neighbors from becoming greedy and seeking to take for themselves the riches of Earth. I hope you all enjoy what’s left of the planet. Perhaps sometimes George will help me back to Earth to give you updates on my time among the Gravitaeans, but the portal takes a lot of energy to open and even more to keep open for any extended period. Then besides it took us three tries to find my bedroom a second time. The Gravitaeans are only just developing portal technology.
For perhaps the last time, friends, I love you. I’m sorry I don’t have time for more personal messages to some of you. Think of me when you look at the stars.