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by Nydas


Septimus Cleat


‘Spaceships in dock please Ben,’ Mum hollered up the stairs. ‘It’s seven o’clock, bedtime.’


Ben’s forehead creased in annoyance.


‘Just when Buzz was about to break the record for space travel by journeying to Aero Zeta, the furtherest planet ever found by man!’


He pulled the space dock out from under the bed and carefully placed his spaceships in their proper places.


‘Sleeping is such a waste of time for a ‘trepid explorer!’ Ben said when mum kissed him goodnight.


‘If you’re ever going into space you’ll need to grow a bit taller.’ Mum smiled, ‘sleeping time is growing time!’


Ben snuggled under the covers and was soon drifting through the stars towards Nod, his favourite sleeping planet.


Much later, or so Ben thought due to the darkness of the darkness, he was woken by a strange thump and someone grumbling very quietly.


Taking a deep breath for bravery, he quickly switched on his bedside light. Rubbing his eyes, he thought he must still be dreaming as he considered the creature standing at the end of his bed. About his height, with a shiny jet black suit and strange goggles covering the places where Ben was sure there must have been eyes. It was looking quickly around the room taking everything in.


‘Septimus Cleat!’ the extra terrestrial stood to attention. ‘First squadron, Vortal Elite junior division at your service.’ The little being bent forward as if bowing.


Ben, who was pretty sure an evil alien would not have bowed to him, leapt out of bed, ‘Ben Strang! Library monitor, MossField Juniors.’ He copied the alien’s bow. ‘What are you doing here?’


‘I’m having problems with my spaceship. The crackit valve has broken! Now the engine can’t fire properly and I’ll be late home and my educator will dock me seven sprockit points for not bringing a spare with me!’ Septimus stamped his right foot in annoyance.


‘Where is your spaceship?’ Ben’s eyes were wide with excitement.


‘Outside, I’ve cloaked it so no one will see it when they walk past, I’ll show you later if you like?’


‘What does a crackit valve look like?’ asked Ben, moving a step closer to take a good look at his new friend and nearly bursting at the thought of going in a real spaceship.


Septimus burrowed about under the foot of the bed. ‘Ah, here it is.’ He held out a small blue object. ‘This is the crackit valve.’


Ben took it from him, ‘It looks just like lego! I wonder if I’ve got one the same size. Does it have to be blue?’


‘The colour doesn’t matter but inside the valve is a tiny piece of carbon which allows the white light drive to fire up properly. My old one lost it’s carbon and I can’t find it.’


Ben had no idea what carbon was and didn’t want to look a fool by asking so he found his dictionary and looked it up.


‘Coal is carbon, would that do?’


‘Oh it might do, what colour is it?’




The alien’s face might have looked a bit sad, Ben wasn’t sure. ‘No, that’s no good it has to be clear in order for the white light drive to work.’


Ben looked again at the dictionary. ‘Diamonds!’ he exclaimed, ‘They’re carbon. I know we have some of those. I’m sure Mum won’t mind me giving you one.’ At this Ben slipped quietly from the room and after a couple of minutes returned carrying his mum’s jewellery box.


‘I’ll bet there’s something in here you can use.’ He was very pleased with himself.


Septimus opened the box and looked inside. He fumbled about for a bit and then ‘Ah ha! Here we go’ pulling out a diamond ring ‘this should do it. I just need a small screwdriver or knife to get the carbon out and then I will be able to fix my ship and be out of your way.’


‘I can help with that!’ Ben was on fire now, this was more excitement than he was used to in a normal night! He slipped out of the room again and a quick trip to the kitchen got him what he needed.


Back in his room he was disappointed to find that Septimus had gone leaving a scribbled note saying thanks and as soon as his ship was fixed he would come and show it to Ben.


Back in bed Ben thought over the night’s adventures, he felt very satisfied that he had been right about aliens, he wondered what his mum would say when he told her.


It was much later than normal when he woke next morning and he wondered if it had all been a dream as he walked downstairs to still the gnawing in his stomach with spaceraider cereal.  There were voices coming from the kitchen.


‘When did you last see it?’ The voice belonged to a large bearded policeman who was sitting in Ben’s place at the table.


‘Before I went to bed.’ Ben’s mum looked worried.


‘What’s happened?’ Ben asked, he hated it when his mum looked worried.


‘My jewellery box has gone’ she replied. Ben smiled, ‘Oh that’s ok. I gave it to Septimus Cleat last night.’


Both pairs of eyes turned towards him.


‘What do you mean son?’ asked the policeman. ‘Who’s Septimus Cleat?’


‘The alien from Vortal Elite squadron, his spaceship had broken down and I helped him fix it by giving him one of Mum’s diamonds. He’ll bring it back when he’s done with it I expect.’


Mum’s face was scarlet, ’I’m so sorry, he has such a vivid imagination, space mad he is.’


‘Not to worry Ma’am, can you describe the, the....alien to me please?’


‘He was about as tall as me, with jet black skin and..’


‘Did he have strange goggles on?’ The policeman interrupted


‘Yes he did! Have you met him too?’


‘Not yet son, but I know several who have, all with empty jewellery boxes!’




© Nydas 2011


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