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The Transcripts of Venus

The Transcript of Venus, Laura Solomon, Short fiction, short story, literature, Matt Mahon design, illustration, alien abduction story, funny story -
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My lover Venus and I were sitting on our front porch, enjoying a gin and tonic and staring at the sky, when we saw a small speck moving across the face of the sun. I didn’t think much of it at the time. However, later that evening, the two of us were watching the evening news when an article about the transit of Venus came on the television. There must have been some sort of problem with the reception. The voice of the announcer was barely discernible through the static.


The last transit was 243 years ago, in 1769, the same year that Captain Cook and his crew reached New Zealand. Theirs had been an epic journey. They had sailed around the world, discovered new races of humans and catalogued many thousands of different species. They had braved storms that had sprung up from nowhere and encountered strange creatures of the deep – giant squids, killer whales and great white sharks. Cook’s mission had been to reach Tahiti before 1769 in order to build an astronomical observatory. England’s Royal Academy, who were Cook’s sponsors, hoped that he would be able to observe Venus gliding across the face of the sun and therefore measure the size of the solar system. Determining its size was one of the foremost problems confronting the eighteenth-century scientific community – an equivalent problem facing today’s scientists is the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Unfortunately, the observations of the 1769 transit from 76 observatories around the globe, of which Cook’s was one, weren’t precise enough to determine the solar system’s size. This feat wasn’t achieved until the 19th century, when astronomers used photography to aid them.          


Venus flicked off the TV with the remote.

“How exciting,” she said. “We have witnessed a special event. A rarity.”


I poured us another gin and we retired back to the porch.




The second, much larger speck didn’t arrive until the following week. It was far more frightening than the first arrival. A luminous entity on the far horizon, it drew ever closer. It blocked out the sun. Birds fell from the sky; cattle in field next to the house started lowing.

Venus and I walked outside and watched the object descend.

“It’s like War of the Worlds,” hissed Venus.

The object drew closer, growing more ominous by the second.

The Transcript of Venus, Laura Solomon, Short fiction, short story, literature, Matt Mahon design, illustration, alien abduction story, funny story -
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Six spider-like legs descended. It came to land in the field next door to our house. It was eerily silent. Venus was terrified and ran inside, slamming the porch door shut behind her. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the scene. A door was lowered from the side of the ship and two aliens strode down the gangplank, as bold as gold, bug eyes bulging from their bulbous heads. They made curious clacking noises. I expected some kind of greeting, something clichéd – We come in peace, or Salutations, earthlings. The silence seemed louder than sound.


I ran inside and grabbed a bottle of bubbly with which to greet our guests. As the first earthling to come face to face with these extra terrestrial visitors I wanted to make a good initial impression. I popped open the cork of the Veuve Cliquot and poured three glasses. It didn’t occur to me that they might not like champers, or, more likely, not even know what it was. Nor did it cross my mind that it might not be part of their culture to greet arrivistes with drink. They didn’t stop to sup, they walked straight past me. It was almost as if they didn’t see me, as if I was invisible or perhaps didn’t even exist at all. Venus had locked the front door, but the aliens were oblivious to the bolts. They charged inside, pushing down the door as if it was made of air. I followed them into the house. Somehow they seemed to know where the food was kept. They went straight to the fridge and began their raid. They must’ve been starving on their intergalactic flight, because they started stuffing their faces with smoked salmon, camembert cheese and quince paste. They made themselves at home. Flicked on the TV (which was still static-riddled), put up the footrest of the La-Z-Boy armchair, helped themselves to Venus’s cigarettes and started smoking, not bothering with the ashtray, just casually flicking ash onto the floor. It was a strange invasion.


Even though they had been extremely rude to Venus and me, barging inside the house without asking, I still had to be polite back to them. If I pissed them off and they went postal and started killing off the country’s inhabitants I’d be in deep trouble. Venus, a fiction writer by trade, had been working on a new novel for the gay porn market entitled Sixty Shades of Gay. One of the aliens spied the manuscript on the table and grabbed it. He opened up the black bag he carried with him and took out what appeared to be some sort of hand-held alien to English translation device. He must’ve bought it somewhere on Earth because it had a sticker reading Babel on the side. I doubt that the wider alien community would have been familiar with the Tower of Babel. He read the first page of the hand-written manuscript and started laughing hysterically, nudging his buddy. His friend grabbed a few pages of the script and cackled along. The first alien pushed the manuscript into his black bag and the two of them made for their spaceship having secured their bounty.

“Hey,” shouted Venus. “That’s my novel, my transcript!”

Unconcerned, the aliens sped up the gangplank and into the safety of the ship. The gangplank receded, the spaceship’s motor revved and the ship disappeared into the inky vastness of the solar system.


Venus slumped back onto the couch.

“Oh God,” she moaned. “All my hard work and talent. Eight months I’ve been working on that novel and now it’s gone. I knew I should’ve used my P.C., but there’s just something about ink.”

Venus had always insisted on writing her books in longhand with her grandmother’s fountain pen.

“Never mind,” I said. “Sixty Shades of Gay is sure to be a hit amongst the gay alien community.”

“Oh great. My agent probably could have sold my masterpiece for a six-figure sum and instead it’ll be used to entertain aliens. Good to know that somebody’s having a laugh.”

She took a cigarette from her pack and lit up.

“You’ll be famous throughout the solar system,” I said. “Who cares about Planet Earth? We’re just a tiny blip. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Conquering outer space is far more important than our puny old third rock from the sun.”


Nobody but us two had seen the ship descend – our hick town was in the middle of nowhere, and our nearest neighbour was three miles away from our cattle ranch. There would’ve been mass hysteria if pictures of the alien craft had been released onto the internet and to the media. Venus wasn’t much consoled by the fact that she may have had a hit in the alien gay community. She sank into a deep depression from which she refused to budge. She lay in bed for three weeks, lamenting the loss of her precious manuscript.


During her convalescence, I tended to the cattle alone, feeding them bales of hay, shifting them from paddock to paddock when they had consumed all the grass in their current enclosure. At night I cooked meals for Venus and took them in to her. She ate them sitting upright in bed.


When the three weeks was up she emerged from her cocoon. She showered, dressed and prepared herself to re-write the entire novel from scratch, this time giving a name to her formerly nameless hero – Clifford Forsyth.




NOTE: The following transcript has been translated from the Alverian. 


He’d carried it off. He’d secured for himself the most precious possession in the entire universe.

With the valuable goods tucked safely under one arm and a megaphone in hand, Zador strode purposefully into the crowded bazaar, fully prepared to hustle.

“What fools,” he cackled. “Such a precious item to be so insufficiently guarded. I must secure the best possible deal.”

Already a small crowd was gathering. Somebody tried to steal the manuscript from under Zador’s arm, but he snatched it away. It would not be stolen. It would be sold for a hefty sum, enough to keep him fed, clothed and watered for the rest of his life. He needed to generate interest, an air of excitement. A feeling that he had in his possession an item of value that would not be selling cheap. He raised the megaphone to his lips.

“For sale to the highest bidder. A genuine 100% authentic super-duper quality earth manuscript, freshly err…acquired.”

Three fellow Alverians gathered around him along with a Brigian or two, nostrils quivering with excitement.

“I’d like to look at it,” said a young female Alverian.

“Only from a distance,” said Zador.

He didn’t want anybody’s grubby fingers smudging the ink.

“Could you tell us a little bit about the plot?”

“Gay sex, gay sex and more gay sex,” said Zador, who had scribbled out Venus’s name and written his own on the cover. “Sure to be a hit throughout the solar system and possibly also on an extra-solar scale. Couldn’t have been written on this planet. It’s really out of this world.”

Already, his mind spun with the thought of all the money that could be generated from merchandising. Gay porn action figures, posters, coffee cups – the works.


A rather aloof-looking alien stood apart from the rest: Xorian, managing director of Uni-Solar Books, one of the most powerful publishing houses in the solar system. He wore a pinstriped grey suit teamed with a ruffled red shirt and paisley cravat. One dwarf alien stood either side of him. He did not approach Zador himself. Instead, he sent one of his minions to speak with him. He offered a hefty sum for the manuscript, and Zador snapped it up, holding out his wrist, microchip-side up, so Xorian could zap his cash card over it. The manuscript was his.


Once word got round Alveria that a precious piece of gay porn was about to be released onto the market, the government came down heavy. They were an oppressive bunch – staunch anti-homosexuals. They jailed anybody displaying homosexual tendencies. Sixty Shades of Gay was banned throughout the solar system, but the Gay Alien Liberation Front had been gathering force for some time. This cherished manuscript was booty in their war against oppression. The government could stop the manuscript from being released onto bookshelves, but they couldn’t prevent it from hitting the solar-web, where it would spark a revolution. Gay Alverian Pride. Homosexual aliens, who had once been forced to cower indoors, could walk boldly down the street, shoulders back, heads held high, fluffy pink feather boas wrapped around their necks.


One of Xorian’s minions typed up the novel and made it available for download. It was a huge hit amongst the gay alien community who related to the frankness with which the book was written. Zador’s life was forever changed. He couldn’t walk down the street without being mobbed by screaming fans. At first he enjoyed the attention, but after six months of complete strangers banging at his door and begging for an introduction, he longed for nothing more than to be left in peace, to be anonymous. They hounded him with questions. How long had it taken him to write the novel? Was any of it based on fact, or was it all completely fictitious? Were there to be any sequels?


The fans weren’t satisfied with just the book. They wanted a piece of Zador, they wanted to touch him, to maul him. They wanted more words, sequels. Zador, who, to be perfectly frank, had only read the first third of the novel anyway, was unsure about how to solve the problem of producing more work. It was his father, Tritan, who suggested he revisit earth in order to capture for himself the woman who had produced the first tour de force.


Zador descended to Earth in the dead of night. Silver-tongued though he was, he knew that he wouldn’t be able to persuade Venus to go with him of her own volition. He peered in through the living room window, pressed his nose up to the pane, his large eyes prominent in his forehead. She was sitting up at the dining table, reading. He could even see the title of the novel – To The Lighthouse. Her laptop sat in front of her on the table. The other biped, whom he assumed to be her partner, was nowhere in sight. Zador smashed the glass pane with his fists, which were steel plated, like those of all Alverians. Venus screamed as Zador climbed over the sill and then picked his way across the glass fragments. He gagged her with one hand and dragged her out through the front door to where the motor of his spaceship revved.


Once they landed on Alveria, Zador took Venus into his house and fastened a chain around her ankle. The other end was secured into the wall. Using his translation device, he explained his modus operandi to her. She was big throughout the solar system, he said – even if it was his name on the novel’s cover. He would be the front end of the operation and she would be the back end. When he said this to her, she imagined one of those pantomime cows – with one person in the rear end of the costume and another in the front. He was dependent on her literary brain, he said. Food here came in the form of a small orange-coloured pill. That’s why Zador and friend had hoed into the earth food so greedily. Real food was not unknown on Alveria, but it was a scarcity and therefore available only at special ceremonies such as the Queen’s birthday (the Alverians didn’t call her a queen, of course, they called her a Rocadam, but she had the same functions as an earthly monarch such as Queen Elizabeth.)

You will be allowed out for two hours of exercise per day, conveyed Zador via his Babel translator.


Venus had mixed thoughts about being Zador’s literary slave. She had struggled for years to get a manuscript accepted for publication on Earth. Now, according to Zador, she was big throughout the solar system, on most of the planets apart from Earth. For her, writing had always been about reaching readers, rather than becoming wealthy or famous. So, at least she had achieved that goal. On the other hand, why should Zador get to put his name to her work? She was the one with the talent, she was the one who’d done all the hard work – why should Zador take all the credit? Still, that’s how it was for now. She’d just have to accept it.


Venus had seen some of the planet as they had descended from the skies. There was no grass, but rather a sort of light pink astro-turf that covered the ground. There were multi-coloured trees and odd-looking animals with long fur that had wheels instead of feet. She learned from Zador that they were called Pinooks. The air was warm and smelt faintly of jasmine. Alveria had three suns and so the climate was hot and dry. Most of the aliens wore burka-style garments, so as not to get too burnt. It might not be the sort of world she would choose for herself, but she could probably get used to it. At any rate – she didn’t see that she had any choice. She wasn’t too sure what the Alverians did for entertainment – apart from reading gay porn. Gravity here was heavier than on earth. When Zador took her out for walks, Venus’s limbs felt as heavy as lead.


Although Zador tried to keep it a secret that the true author of the treasured gay porn had landed on their planet, word soon got out, having been leaked by one of Zador’s many servants. Fairly soon, Zador’s bungalow was surrounded by fans eager to catch a glimpse of the author. Zador was forced to tape black paper to the windows in order to secure their privacy. Venus was hard at work on her sequel to Sixty Shades of Gay – Sixty Shades Gayer. When Zador took her out for their evening stroll – with Venus on a harness – she was stared at by the locals. Nobody can stare like an alien.    


Zador’s father, Tritan, took an instant liking to Venus and treated her like a second daughter. He understood that she might be suffering culture shock, and he slipped her tidbits of information that might help her get along in her new environment.

“Always keep your burka on when you go outdoors. Not only will our three suns fry you if you remove your outer garment, but the alien men will lose their minds at the sight of bare human flesh. You should try and get along with Zador. I know he’s holding you captive, but he’s not such a bad sort underneath it all. It’s just that he doesn’t have any marketable skills himself and so he had to find somebody else to…exploit.”


From day one, Venus began to plot her escape. She didn’t intend to be Zador’s word slave, stuck in his sweatshop forever. She decided to write Sixty Shades Gayer as badly as possible so that Zador would let her be released. Sixty Shades of Gay had been targeted at gay men – the sequel would target gay women.


Katie licked the last remnants of whipped cream from around Monica’s nipples, wrote Venus.

Patricia smoothed coconut butter over Henrietta’s rotund buttocks.        


Sixty Shades Gayer was released via the solar-web and was even more successful than Sixty Shades of Gay, selling over 10 million copies. The lesbian aliens were lapping it up. Parades were organized; proud female aliens dressed up in purple strutted down the street. It was a revolution. Hordes of screaming gays were to be found lined up outside Zador’s house. They smashed the window panes; they tore away the black paper. They forced their way inside. Venus was terrified. They weren’t satisfied with the manuscript; they wanted a piece of her. The fans bombarded her with questions, just as they had done to Zador. Is the novel autobiographical? How long did it take to write? Where had she got the main plot idea from? they asked. Venus had felt like replying What plot idea? but she didn’t speak the words. The novel was just lesbian sex from start to finish. The Rocadam was even reported to have a copy of the feted manuscript in her possession. At first Venus had thought that this was just hearsay, but then the Rocadam invited Venus to her castle in order to have her read to her. Venus thought twice about accepting the invitation. She was a little intimidated. She was a writer, a recluse, she wasn’t used to dining with queens. However, the Rocadam had a reputation for barbequing alive those who refused to do her bidding, so she thought she had better obey. Zador set her free for the evening. He, too, did not dare disobey the monarch.                                                  


The palace sat atop a high hill near Alveria’s South Pole. It was a foreboding building and Venus trembled a little as she approached its moat. In her hands she clutched tight the invitation she had received.


Dear Venus,


Please accept an invitation to dine at Hilltop Castle

Saturday 22nd December 2012


Little was known about the Rocadam’s private life. Nobody knew whether or not she had a partner. Nobody knew if she’d had any education (although probably she’d had a series of tutors as a girl). As Venus crossed the bridge to enter the castle, the alligators in the moat beneath her feet snapped their jaws at her. She drew her maroon velvet cloak more tightly about her person, as if fighting off a cold wind.


The doors to the palace were made of material similar to oak and were two metres high. Venus gathered her courage and knocked to announce her arrival. The doors swung open and the valet greeted her. He escorted her down the hallway and into a large dining room set with crystal and fine china, then pulled out a chair. Venus sat down and the valet exited the room, leaving her alone for a good five minutes. Finally, a woman whom Venus assumed was the Rocadam entered. She walked with an air of authority. By Christ, she was ugly! There was a gigantic wart, with a number of large hairs sprouting out of it, positioned at the base of her nose. Her forehead protruded from her face, even more prominently than in a typical alien. Her ears were enormous and she walked with a lolloping gait. She was obese; her stomach hung out over the top of her jeans. She, too, carried a Babel translator.

“Hello, I am Moreda, the Rocadam.”

Her translated words came worming up out of the machine.

“N-n-nice to meet you,” replied Venus.

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The Rocadam sat down at the other end of the enormous dining table. A roast goose, surrounded with potatoes, was brought out on a silver platter, along with two bowls of steaming green vegetables. The two of them dined in an awkward silence, which was broken only by the clacking of cutlery on china. When the meal was finished, Moreda bought forth her copy of Sixty Shades Gayer for Venus to sign. Venus signed. The Rocadam tapped the pen against the page and indicated that Venus should place a lipstick kiss upon its inside front cover. Venus didn’t dare to disobey. God only knew what lesbian fantasies were flitting through the monarch’s mind as she looked at her. The Rocadam walked her back to the edge of the moat and bade her goodnight.

These dinners with the Rocadam became a monthly, then a fortnightly and then a weekly occurrence. Venus started work on Sixty Shades Gayest. This new friendship with Moreda was putting the lead back in her pencil, the ink back in her pen. The new novel was flowing from her fingertips as if it was being dictated from on high. Venus did something she’d never done before; she shared drafts with another person – Moreda. She expected Moreda to slam her efforts, but instead she was gently encouraging. She egged Venus on when she was flagging. Gave her bunches of tulips to take home after the dinners. Venus did not care that Moreda was ugly. She had lovely manners and a winning smile. When Moreda smiled the ice around Venus’ heart melted. And, although she hated to admit that her heart had been won this way, Moreda was a way for Venus to get real food, rather than just subsisting on the orange pills. Moreda was grateful to Venus for liberating her, for allowing her to come out of the closet. She hadn’t openly admitted her sexuality to herself until Sixty Shades of Gay had hit the alien market.


Venus had been dining with Moreda for six months when she popped the question. Filled the dining room with roses. Went down on one knee and proposed. Venus knew that Zador would be consumed with jealousy. She suspected, although of course Zador would not admit it, that he had a crush on her. All the little signs were there. If she was late home from Moreda’s he would start questioning her. Why are you late? What has Moreda been talking to you about?    

Why did he care…unless? If it boiled down to a choice between the two aliens, she would choose Moreda. Zador just treated her like a slave, an object to make him rich. Moreda treated her properly, like a queen, which is indeed what she would become if they married. Two queens reigning happily over their subjects.


The happy day was set for the following spring. Xorian hadn’t been too worried when he first heard that his precious tomes weren’t being written by Zador, but by an earthling called Venus. As long as the material kept getting produced he was happy. However, now that Venus was to marry Moreda, thus freeing herself from Zador’s grasp, how would his cash cow keep producing milk? Not a man given to panic, he sent one of his minions around to visit Venus in order to negotiate working directly with her on the sequels and cutting out Zador. Venus was more than happy with this arrangement. Zador was miffed, but powerless. Venus delivered the final novel in the trilogy, Sixty Shades Gayest, to one of Xorian’s dwarves. Sixty Shades Gayest featured gay aliens and was packed with insights into the alien psyche.

The grand day dawned. The trees were in bloom, bursting forth with blossom. Venus didn’t have any friends amongst the aliens, just fans, many of whom turned up for the wedding. The wedding day was also the launch of the third in the trilogy of novels – Sixty Shades Gayest. Gigantic cardboard covers were displayed at random around the palace. The wedding was beamed around the universe via satellite, watched by millions of alien viewers; all those who had not been fortunate enough to be invited to the wedding.


Venus was glad that she finally had a chance to meet and talk with some aliens other than Moreda and Zador. An Alverian wedding is a strange affair. Most of the aliens were salivating at the thought of real food as they crossed the moat. A number of Pinooks had been recruited as waiters. They moved around the room, the wheels that supported them creaking as they did so.


The Transcript of Venus, Laura Solomon, Short fiction, short story, literature, Matt Mahon design, illustration, alien abduction story, funny story -
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There was a gigantic cake in the shape of a spaceship – complete with flashing lights. There were several different types of meat and plenty of roast potatoes and vegetables for all. Zador received an invitation to the wedding. Nobody on the planet dared to refuse an invitation from the Rocadam. Moreda was too butch to wear a crown to the wedding, but she’d had one especially fashioned for Venus – it was hot pink with jewels set into it. Moreda wore a sombre black suit, but Venus was dressed in shiny gold satin with a prominent silver sash.

Because real food was such a valued commodity in Alveria, at the end of the wedding the guests began to throw food at Venus, in a parody of the Cypriot custom of pinning money to the bride. The wedding ended with a special highlight, which Venus and Moreda had been planning for months. The two lesbians beckoned to Zador. He followed them across the moat and towards a nearby hill. Scantily clad female aliens were lined up either side of the path. They were foot soldiers – not important enough to have been invited to the event. They beat drums in time. In defiance of Alveria’s three suns, they wore ragged leather dresses, which were slanted over one shoulder with a single strap. The dresses only just covered the buttocks and they had a row of tassels around the hem. Suddenly, Moreda lunged at Zador, pushing him to the ground. She tied his hands and his feet and put a gag into his mouth to muffle his high-pitched screams.


High atop the hill sat an alien made of wicker. Queen Moreda hoisted Zador up onto her right shoulder in a fireman’s carry, and walked with him up the steps and into the wicker man. She deposited him on the floor of the effigy. The effigy was set alight and the women cackled and cheered as Zador burned. The novels were re-released under Venus’s name. They were downloaded onto e-readers throughout the solar system and were a surprise hit back on Planet Earth.


The two women were kind monarchs – a gay Kate and Wills of the alien world. They enjoyed ruling over Planet Alveria. The aliens, in turn, treated them properly, even though Venus wasn’t one of them. Because the two rulers were not oppressive, there was no uprising, no backlash. Unable to produce children of their own, Venus and Moreda adopted two young twin female aliens who were the result of an unwanted pregnancy. Alien sex was a strange affair, with the relevant organs being located in the middle of the back. Aliens, once born, were carried around in a marsupial-style pouch located in the front centre of the body. The adopted children were born premature and underweight, but Venus fed them real food and they soon grew strong and healthy. Their names were Juna and Leka and following the deaths of their adoptive parents they ascended to the throne and reigned in glory. In time they read to their own children from Venus’s books, making appropriate adjustments for age as they went, and later they read to their children’s children too.