by Ian Rochford
I don’t like to think of my fellow men as sheep, but if that’s how they want to behave then I guess that makes me a shepherd. This lot look like all the others as they get into the trucks; sad, beaten and willing to subject themselves to anything for a bowl of food and a mouthful of water. People have always submitted in return for their creature comforts; down through the centuries you went to school, to work, to your grave if you were lucky or you went to war, to prison, to Hell if you weren’t, so I went to all three and when the aliens finally came, I went to that War too. We won, but the People voted to leave us out there on the frontier - too expensive to bring us home, they said, we need every penny to rebuild Earth - so we did desperate things to survive; we changed our habits and forged a whole new outlook. Well, we made it back, thanks to the guys who eventually figured out the alien technology and flew us home, but we didn’t exactly get a welcome home parade; the fools fired on us, told we were undesirable, we weren’t welcome; we were no longer considered People. These... sheep, they don’t even protest because they think they’re going to be our slaves but I can’t wait to see their faces when they find out they’re going to be our dinner.
Ian Rochford, author of New Year's Eve, is an unemployed Australian screenwriter (ostensibly of comedy) who recently rediscovered the pleasures of writing short stories. He is now plundering his fading memory for all the good ideas that came and went unrecorded, which probably accounts for the maddening inconsistency of his output.