Well, hello, hello reader. Welcome to our shack. Pick your pleasure. We have rainbow hand grenades, clown tears, pangolin sandwiches. Or perhaps this is more of your liking. If you would come here at the back, we can show you a treasure that can change your fortune. Come happy and leave rich. It’s a box of scenarios by young European scriptwriters. Each of them is priceless, each of them is a door to a universe that may exist. But maybe none other than Candy Choo Choo Train, the Cowboys and Aliens prequel. 2 dollars, yes. Thank you.

Pitch 6: Candy Choo Choo Train

by Karl Steinbugger

Billy Bradley is a lone wolf self-isolating at his remote ranch down Iowa. Billy has had trouble with the law in the past, so he is laying low, savouring his pampered beard, Doc Martens, skinny chinos, and pair of impeccable lumberjack shirts.

Rumour has it that he killed men before. Many men. And he did not pick sides, he wouldn’t spare the buffoon, the ugly and the meek. He would shoot indiscriminately, sometimes unable to figure out why. Such were the times, first shoot and then inquire about the wellbeing of the three gentlemen reposing on the floor.

Billy Bradley in his prime | Photo: Nomina Dubia, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (Flickr)

His wild years behind him, Billy now grows rapeseed and produces eco-friendly diesel. Bradley’s only two friends are his revolver Harriette, a piece as big as a 10-year-old’s forearm, and his old blind terrier Grate, who he feeds with dry wood.

One day while busy sacrificing a tourist in a harvest ritual, Billy hears an awful noise coming from something big that drops from the sky straight into his yellow flowers. He grabs Harriette by the nub and heads towards the site of the impact. The more he approaches the more he senses an unusual aroma, as if a giant cow has just laid a dung heap the size of Arkansas.

Bradley reaches the rim of what appears to be a huge crater. A peak insight reveals an unexpected vista – what lays at the bottom of the crater indeed looks suspiciously like a humongous heap of fresh cow dung. Billy starts scratching his head. That certainly defies explanation, no alien spaceship, no glowing orb, not even a little red pyramid.

Billy faces the ugliest creature he has seen since he got swindled by one-eyed Shelly Moville in that damn brothel of Shivers, Mississippi.

He turns around to go his way. Doing that Billy faces the ugliest creature he has seen since he got swindled by one-eyed Shelly Moville in that damn brothel of Shivers, Mississippi. A giant cow-like monstrosity, smiling at him with big rectangular teeth. The creature says, “It is what it seems, sorry”.

It is at that moment that Billy let’s Harriette express her opinion. And to her credit, she is quite eloquent and convincing. But she stands no chance against a vastly more superior entity from outer space. Still smiling, the creature continues “Pardon my manners. My name is Roberta and you must be Billy”. Billy drops and loses consciousness.

When he come to his senses, Bradley realises that there have been some slight changes to the surroundings. The sky is now pink, and the vegetation blue. Trees have strange phallic shapes and it smells like dairy cornucopia. He realizes he is resting against the creature’s udder. And is utterly unable to move, covered in some slimy sticky curd.

The space cow then states her case. Roberta has come from Bovarion, a small planetoid near Jagu, mostly inhabited by yatraks, beings of supreme intelligence and metabolism. The creature explains that the universe is a tender ecosystem. Or was until about two years ago humans let out such a potent virus that it wiped out half the good stars.

an army of brels, the omni baboons running the universe, is coming down to Earth to clear the garbage, which may unfortunately entail disposing of mankind.

Which brings Roberta to the point, an army of brels, the omni baboons running the universe, is coming down to Earth to clear the garbage, which may unfortunately entail disposing of mankind. And they will start from this very quadrant, as they believe that Billy caused it all by copulating with a deceased possum.

Alien cow | Photo: flikr, CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

Roberta has come to warn Billy, as the creature believes that everybody has the right to enjoy a decent existence, a healthcare package and various social nets. The being has disinfected Billy and altered Earth a bit so she could endure the foul environment.

Bradley admits he indeed had a slight incident with a possum about two years ago. But then again, there were also similar incidents with a horse, a marmot and a…cow, at about the same time. It is lonely out here. Roberta replies that she does not need to know the details and that nothing he says would change the creature’s mind

Unbeknownst to Billy, but foreseen by Roberta, there are also at least 300 hundred people approaching the former’s ranch as they speak. They are a motley crew, some want Bradley’s head because he killed their families, others because his name was mentioned in relation to a particularly outré train robbery. At least forty are former consorts seeking alimony. There are also native tribesmen, whose totem Billy has desecrated, military attracted by the blast, priests, taxmen, lawyers, random bystanders and a band of fakirs.

It seems that judgement day has finally come for Billy Bradley.

Warned about the unhappy fate about to befall him, Billy frees himself from Roberta’s bosom and runs towards the house to unlock his gun arsenal. He picks sixteen rifles, several crates of ammunition, a good amount of dynamite and a paring knife from the kitchen.

He has barely set his defenses around the ranch, when rifles start shooting from the side and multiple flying objects begin pouring hot liquid from above.

He has barely set his defenses around the ranch, when rifles start shooting from the side and multiple flying objects begin pouring hot liquid from above. Billy could swear it’s chilly. Bradley attempts to fire back, but something has happened to his weapons: instead of fine bullets they shoot hard candy. Billy throws dynamite but instead of bangs he hears “Molly Malone” sung in a coarse drunken voice. His enemies also seem to be throwing mostly meatballs, which plop in the chilly.

Billy knows he is done for. He shoots himself in the head, but only gets warm licks, realizing that Harriette has morphed into Grate. Bradley attempts a few more shots.

A train arrives and Billy scrambles to get on, despite the incessant flack he gets for running unpopular policies. Little does he know that this train does not stop anywhere, it rolls in circles for eternity.

The hubbub eventually subsides. The survivors go home or leave. A door opens in the air next to Billy’s house and a bunch of bipeds in white costumes come out and start sweeping the mess on the floor with their noses. They are hrips, the undergods managing the inter-galactic sanitary facilities.

Cover photo: Andrew Malone, CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

  • retro

    Alex is Bulgarian and is currently stationed in Poland. He did Politics & Security at University College London and specialised at Charles University in Prague for a year. He is an analyst with interests in the region of Central and Eastern Europe.

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