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Friday, 31 July 2015

Spies, Lies and Mysteries - Part 2

This is Part 2 of 'Spies, Lies and Mysteries Episode 1', for Part 1 click here.

Hello there!!

Today is the second part of Spies, Lies and Mysteries Episode 1.

Part 1 Recap


From Part One.
Last we read, Aleksandra, the Russian spy, was being told to lay low by her superiors because of a notorious nazi spy killer had taken out all the other Allied Spies in Paris. 

However, despite her best efforts, this spy killer has come upon her and taken a liking to her, or perhaps he is onto her secret... either way he is giving her a little bit too much attention.

Then, after having a chat with a friendly artist in the park on the way home, she comes home to a nazi raid... and what's worse, she has her suitcase with all her spy stuff out from under the bed!

We join her as she tries to somehow survive this situation.

Weekly Shout Out!

I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who has shared this story on Twitter, Facebook, email and just telling their friends to check out this blog.  Sharing my stories and art with those who enjoy them is what I live for!

I would like to especially thank (and give a shout out to) ...

Mini, Russ, Knight1986, Kauis, Pebbles, James, Rocio and Anabel!  

I appreciate you checking out my work, spreading the word and being my VI-peeps in my corner :-)

------

I hope you enjoy the end to this story! And if you like it, let me know and I'll make Episode 2 soon.

Daniel
Daniel Grant Newton
DGN Productions

P.S. Handy tip.  If you are having trouble reading the text, you can click on the images and scroll through them like an e-comic.






















































































I hope you enjoyed the first episode of this series.  As with all my stories, if you - my favourite person - and my other readers - my other favourite people - like the comic, I will make more for you.

I have some interesting ideas about what will happen as our spy hunter tracks down his last target, and falls in love with her alternate identity at the same time...

As well as what will happen with the growing rebellion in downtown Paris.

Until that episode is ready however, you might enjoy reading my first novel, and the first book the character Aleksandra appeared in.  You can check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/Shambhala-Akashic-Records-Series-ebook/dp/B007TNHQ5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360422072&sr=8-1&keywords=the+last+king+of+shambhala

Or read a preview by clicking here.

That was Part 2 of 'Spies, Lies and Mysteries', for Part 1 click here.

Friday, 24 July 2015

New Comic! Spies, Lies and Mysteries - Part 1

Hello :-)

Today I wanted to share with you, since you're one of my awesome subscribers, a comic I created last year.

This comic is the first issue in a series I am planning to develop, depending on the response I get from you.  I have broken the issue into two parts, sharing the first part today, and the second next Friday/Saturday.

At this stage I won't say too much before you read it, but for those who have read my novel The Last King of Shambhala, you will recognise Aleksandra, the Russian spy from that book... 

And so in a sense, this series serves as a prequel to her adventures in that novel.

I hope you enjoy.

Daniel

P.S. If you enjoyed reading part one of this comic, you are welcome to share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Twitter, or write me a message in the comments section below.

















































Oh no!  Is this the end for Aleksandra?  Is she going to get caught? ...

CLICK HERE to read part 2!


You also might like to read the book the character Aleksandra comes from.  You can do so by clicking here.

Or, if you'd like another comic, and ever wandered what would happen if the doodles you draw in your notebooks ever came alive... well, then click here and go on a funny, freaky, fantastical adventure!

P.S. If you enjoyed this comic, remember to share it with your friends and leave me a message below, or on Facebook/Twitter-land.


Saturday, 18 July 2015

Spot the Difference II - back by popular demand...

Hey reader!!

Back by popular demand, another 'Spot the Difference' game I created for a funky magazine.

If you missed the last one I shared, you can see it by clicking here.

There's 10 differences to be found, and they are slightly harder than the previous game.  Answers below the pic.  Happy hunting! :-)

Daniel

P.S. This coming Friday/Saturday (depending on where you are in the world), I'm sharing the 'Spies, Lies and Mysteries' comic #1 with my subscribers.  So keep an eye out for that friends :-)


















The 10 differences are:

1) No rock in the foreground
2) No clouds
3) An extra pelican in the water
4) There is a ship
5) Flower petals are a different colour
6) Sun is in a different place
7) Sea gulls in the sky
8) Girl's singlet is white
9) Girl's flip flops are pink
10) Girl is wearing a watch



If you'd like a sneak peak at the comic I'm sharing with my subscribers next week, see the trailer below:


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Donatello fan art - originally a picture I drew for my nephew that came upon some artistic ooze and mutated into something worth sharing with you!








































Drew a picture of Donatello for one of my wonderful nephews, and then I thought I'd colour him in and share it with you, my wonderful reader! :-)

I've given him quite muted colours, a simple background that makes him pop out ...

... and taken inspiration from all the depictions of Donatello since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird brought him to the page to the ones we have today.

I hope you like my homage to the world's smartest ninja-trained turtle... perhaps the smartest turtle full stop.

Until next time, cowabunga and peace out, my friend.

- Daniel :-)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Spot the Difference - a funky, fun, eye-feast game with my art...

Hey my lovely reader!!  How are you?! :-D

It's been a while since we've chatted, hope you are having a freaky fantastic time and not been missing me too much :-P ... 

(I'm working on some very exciting stuff for you, and so haven't had a chance to say hello on my blog, but don't worry, I'll be a better blog friend).

Below is a 'Spot the Difference' game I created for a magazine out of my art (I did a couple, and if you like it, I'll share another).

See how many differences you can see (there are 10), and then scroll down to see whether you were right :-)

Your blogging friend, Dan

P.S. Feel free to Twitter me, Facebook me or Comment below to tell me how you rocked at this game and how many you spotted correctly.


Spot the Difference Game - Art by Daniel Grant Newton



















ANSWERS
  1. There is a pot plant
  2. Butterfly on the left is a lot lower in the sky
  3. Crescent moon has gone down and the sun has come up
  4. The water can has changed colour
  5. Flower in her hair has changed colour
  6. Bottom right butterfly has changed colour
  7. There are no clouds in the sky
  8. There are no stars in the sky
  9. Shirt has blue coloured stripes now
  10. Forth line of flowers, 2nd from the left, is not yellow anymore

Monday, 8 June 2015

Batman v Superman Fan Art ... by Daniel Grant Newton

From the desk of:
Daniel Grant Newton
DGN Productions

Okay, so it's about ten months away, but I am super excited about seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  As anyone who knows me knows, I love Batman, the Justice League and all DC Comics.  

If the movie is even half as good as the comics or DC animated movies/series, it'll probably become one of, if not my favourite movie.

So in anticipation of its release in March next year (in the USA), and in celebration of seeing the beginning of a series of live-action Justice League movies, I decided to create DC fan art for your viewing pleasure.  Plus, I just love drawing Batman, so there.

Below is the first of these pictures.  I hope you enjoy my version of Batman and Superman's epic battle, with Batman wearing a kryptonite ring because it evens the fight, makes for an epic chiaroscuro lighting effect, and...

BECAUSE HE'S BATMAN!


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fan art by Daniel Grant Newton.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Freaky Freaky Fridays Crossover Episode 2 with Nik and Mike

A Shaman Sunflower summoning a fire djinn... one way to
travel inter dimensionally.  Drawn by yours truly.
Happy Friday!

In fact, happy freaky Friday.

Today I have part two of the Nik & Mike and Freaky Freaky Fridays crossover adventure.  And today's episode is a fun one :-)

(If you want to skip my introduction, I won't be offended.  The comic starts after all the words.  But be warned that if you do you'll miss all my hilariousness!)

If you missed the first episode of the crossover, you can read it at the link below:

http://thelastkingofshambhala.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/freaky-freaky-fridays-crossover-episode.html

Also, if you'd like to check out Nik & Mike, and their creator Pebbles, she has just opened a store up which has some cool merchandise like magnets, notebooks, posters and stamps.  Yep, stamps.  You can send your mail with the Nik and Mike seal of approval.

You can check the store out here: http://www.zazzle.com/nik_mike_toons

Maybe I should open a store up for Freaky Freaky Fridays.  But that might break the Internet because there would be too much freakiness.  

The Freaky factor of that would be like Friday the 13th landing on the Winter Solstice with two full moons eclipsing the sun and all the planets aligning and every wolf barking at the same time at the resonance of the Earth creating a magnetic tsunamis coming out of a vortex in the Bermuda Triangle and a million shooting stars hitting the pyramids of Egypt and every radio in the world mysteriously beginning to play Michael Jackson's Thriller.  That sort of freakiness.

... and right now I don't think we're all ready for that! :-)

Anyway, without further ado, here is the crossover episode!

Your friend, Daniel.

Daniel Grant Newton











































Click here to read the first episode of the crossover adventure.

Click here to read the first episode of Freaky Freaky Fridays, and here how the three girls ended up here.






Monday, 1 June 2015

'On the Eve of War' - artwork by Daniel Grant Newton (DGN Productions)

'On the Eve of War' - artwork by Daniel Grant Newton

A new art piece I created to share with you.  This Friday I will have the next episode of the Freaky Freaky Fridays crossover ready for you.  Click here if you'd like to read the first episode of the crossover.

- Daniel

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Battle of the Rising Sun - artwork by Daniel Grant Newton

'Battle of the Rising Sun' by Daniel Grant Newton
Hey friend!! 

I've created a new art piece for you!.. and this one comes with a mystery.

I call it "Battle of the Rising Sun", because the samurai and the warrior depicted are both in the Land of the Rising Sun, and are also literally battling at sunrise. So the name seemed fitting.

Now for the mystery... 

It appears that both warriors could simultaneously have struck the final blow of their combatant, or been dealt their final blow (or a third option, they have both taken each other's lives at the same time).

My question for you today, who do you think has won and who has fallen on the battle field?  And if you are feeling very imaginative, which if you read my blog I hope you are, what do you think the story could be that brought these two together?

I hope you have enjoyed my picture for today, and if you are a Freaky Freaky Fridays fan, watch out for episode 2 of the crossover series with Nik & Mike that will be up on my blog in the coming days!!

Your friend, Daniel :-)

DGN Productions

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Something That Fell From The Sky - short story and art piece created by Daniel Grant Newton

'Death on a Cow' - artwork by Daniel Grant Newton
Happy Friday!!

I've got two cool things to share with you for the price of one.  Oh, you're not paying?  Well, this is awkward. :-/

Anyway, today you can enjoy both my new drawing to your left, aptly called 'Death on a Cow'... because it is a picture of Death.  Riding a cow.  In the Countryside.  Naturally.

And the short story (below) that relates to that picture.  Yep, I drew this picture to complement my story... even though at no stage do I describe Death riding a cow in the actual story.  But you never know, it could've happened, if you read between the lines.

I hope you enjoy!

Daniel
Daniel Grant Newton
DGN Productions

The Something That Fell From The Sky
By Daniel Grant Newton

It came from the sky.  

There was no flash, or clap of thunder.

It just plopped down in amongst the daisies with less sound than the buzzing bees it scattered.

It glowed momentarily, and if you had equipment that could measure sounds below that of human perception, you would see that it did in fact make a sound too for a few moments.

But whatever it was, this UFO - Unidentified Falling Object, had run out of battery or fuel or whatever energy source it ran on.  Or perhaps died if it had been alive.  For there has never been anything like it on Earth before or since.

However, as it faded away, something strange happened.  One of the daisies beside the object gave a little quiver.

If you had seen the movement you no doubt would’ve decided that the wind must’ve caught it.  But then it gave a shake.  A definite shake.  And then it stretched down its petal head to the ground, before stretching it toward the sky that seemed to shimmer in the heat.

Its petal head moved about blindly, for it did not have eyes, and its leafy arms patted at the flowers by its side.

A gate swung open with a creak and a clatter as it hit the fence.  Through the open gate plodded a cow.

The cow moved towards the strange lifeless object and began pulling up the flowers and chewing on them.  Her heavy jaw moving in a circular motion as she had her daily graze.

Then, out of the blue, came a squeak.

The cows glazed eyes came alive, and it froze.

“Murderer,” came a little voice.

The cow’s tail and eyes flicked back and forth in unison, but it did not continue to chew.

“Every day you come here and slaughter more of my kind without a second thought,” came the voice.

The cow’s ears twitched, trying to locate the owner of the wispy voice.

“Where are you?” mooed the cow.

“Down here!”  It was the little daisy that had become animated.

“How can you communicate?  Daisies can’t moo.”

“Some warm, humming object fell down beside me, and as its warmth and humming faded away, I realised I could speak and move.”

“I see,” said the cow, deciding against challenging this theory because there was no better explanation she could muster.  “And now you would like to use that little voice you have gained to stop me eating you.”

“Precisely,” said the flower, straightening its stem.

“Well, you are still a daisy, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t eat you.”

“You shouldn’t eat any of us daisies,” the flower retorted, two leaves mimicking hands on hips.

The cow chuckled softly, assaulting the air with its stale breath.  “And why is that?”

“Because daisies are living things that grow and feel pain.”

The cow shook her meaty head.  “But daisies are not really alive.  You do not feel the longing for a friend, the excitement of fresh grass, the grief of losing a calf.  You do not have personalities, or anything that could differentiate you from the next daisy.

“You just grow and die.  You don’t wander the paddocks, enjoying the sun on your hide and appreciating the mountain ranges about you.”

And before the flower had a chance to give a rebuttal, the cow pulled the flower from the earth and added it to the flowers grinding under her back teeth.

The cow continued to graze and gaze at the distant hills from under her long eyelashes, until she heard a familiar voice.  It was the human, and she could understand the human’s voice.

Her head craned around to see the human approaching her.

The human was young, with long brunette hair tied in a bun, jeans that clung to her slender legs, and a flannelette top tied in a knot at the bottom.

“Alright Cassie,” said the human cradling her rifle, “you’re going to be dinner tonight.”

“Excuse me, Suzie!” the cow exclaimed, sending the human tumbling backwards.  “Did you say I’m going to be dinner, or I’m going to join you for dinner?”

The human cocked her head to the side.  “You… you just spoke… in my head.  I must be going crazy.”

“No, it is quite okay, I was shocked when the flower spoke to me.”

“How are you..?”

“I don’t know really,” said the cow turning her body around to face the human.  “But I came upon a flower who spoke to me.  The flower said it was able to speak to me after a strange object fell from the sky.  Then when I ate the flower, the ability to talk to other creatures was passed on to me.”

The human massaged her chin with her dirty slender hands, and after a few moments of consideration, leapt to her feet and dusted off her pants.  “You don’t feel sick or anything, do you?  Just smarter, right?”

“I don’t feel sick or smarter, I can just communicate with everything around me.  Well, anything that had the brains to communicate.  Only that one flower could talk.”

“I guess we can still eat you then,” said the human raising her gun to the cow’s snout.

“Hold on! Hold on! Hold on!” the cow pleaded.  “I thought we had a bond, a kinship, an understanding.  I fed you my milk like you were one of my young.  You were there for me when my own young were taken.  You found me new pastures to eat, and knew I loved eating daisies.”

“We do have a relationship, but now it is time for you to become beef: beef pie, beef lasagne, beef and cheese, beef curry, steak and chips, the meat in a hamburger, and so on.”

“You… you can’t eat me… I’m a cow.  I’m a living thing,” protested the cow, and it then occurred to the cow that the flower had tried defending its life in a similar fashion.

“Humans eat cows. That’s the way it goes,” the human shrugged, before cocking her shotgun.

“But cows feel emotions, we have societies with leaders, we explore the fields appreciating the sun and the mountains, we grow and breathe and think.”

The human wiped a bead of sweat slithering down her forehead from her mousy hair, and then decided to humour the cow.  “Cow brains are just clusters of instincts that wander aimlessly in a small stretch of grass with no awareness of yourself or any individual identity.

“Humans are different.  We explore this entire planet on machines we have made, go to the very depths of the ocean, and can even land on the moon.  

“We build cities, create art, change the environment around us, learn and build on this knowledge, and create experiences for ourselves you could not even comprehend.

“We also create ourselves.  We have different cultures, beliefs, ways of life, can recognise ourselves as ourselves in a mirror, and importantly don’t have to follow our primal instincts if we want.”

That night the human and her male offspring ate the cow with a delicious helping of gravy, peas and potato mash.  The human recounted most of the story of that day to her offspring, but was interrupted by a bright light seeping through the blinds.

“Is somebody here?” asked the small male from the table, as the fully grown female opened up a gap in the blinds and squinted through the window.

“It’s not a car, Tommy,” she responded.  “It looks like an alien space craft or something.”

Outside in the frosty grass a small figure wandered the field, and behind the figure was a large craft with bright lights that lit the grass in an eery rainbow of colours.

The figure’s skin was silky and shiny, and its large eyes glistened in the moonlight.

“Hey Alien! You looking to mutilate my cattle or just draw crop circles?” asked the female human, a shot gun in one hand, and the other hand ensuring Tommy was still shadowing her.

The alien cocked its head to the side.  “I’m looking for my food source.  It fell from my ship, and I located it here.  I must find it.”

The human woman sighed quietly, let her boy come out from behind her and lowered her gun.  “I haven’t seen any alien food around here, not that I know what you eat.”

The extraterrestrial nodded.  “You can’t see my food.  It doesn’t have a physical form.  But it was here.”  He picked up a piece of the object that had fallen from the sky.  “It was trapped in this container ready for me to consume.”

The female human swallowed a lump forming in her throat.

The alien paused to note this curious mannerism, before continuing.  “I must find it because this food source is incredible rare in the universe, but the only thing that can nourish my body.  Once I have consumed it however, I can continue my explorations for 1,000 of this planet’s rotations of the sun before needing more nourishment.”

“Well, if it has escaped,” started the female human, “it’s probably long gone now.  It could be anywhere.”

“You are right,” called back the alien, entering his spaceship and searching for equipment.  “This food source is of simple mind, but it has fantastic survival instincts.  It can become invisible to our eyes and can hide in living organisms.  Mind you, it cannot exit an organism it is hiding in, so to use your earthly expression, that strategy ‘paints itself into a corner’.”

The little alien returned with a tiny device in its nimble webbed fingers.  “Ah, my device says the food source is hiding in your bodies.  What luck!  No more need for searching.”

“If you think you are going to operate on me and Tommy you got another thing coming E.T.,” warned the female human, raising her gun and peering at the little being.  “I can shoot a rabbit through the brains from 100 yards, you’ll be no sweat.”

“I’m not going to extract the creature, that would be impossible.  It has infused itself to your DNA.  No doubt why you are speaking in my language and why your skin looks so healthy.”  The alien glided forward a few paces.  “I’m going to have to eat you.”

“Like hell you are,” she retorted, firing a shot at the being.  However instead of killing the alien, the bullet lost any forward momentum about three metres from the creature, and harmlessly fell to the ground.

The human female gasped and fired again with the same result.  And again and again.

“Run Tommy,” she screamed, but neither could make their legs work.  Their feet were firmly planted to the ground.

“You can’t eat us,” said the human male.  “We’re humans.  We’re just like you.  We’re living things.”

“Well, I suppose you could be described as ‘living’, in a very rudimentary sense,” responded the alien pacing back and forth.  “And to be honest, your physical shell will be just waste in my body, but I need to eat the food source.  No way around it.”

The human female held up a shaky hand.  “Wait. Humans are intelligent self-aware beings like you. We feel emotions and innovate. We explore our world and learn. We change our environment, and build great cities.”

The alien tossed its head from side to side weighing up the female human’s argument.  “You’re not really intelligent, self-aware, emotional beings really though. 

“You are mainly following your mental programming. Programming created through mirroring your society, your parents, your peers.  Very little of what you do is consciously decided upon.  In fact, most of you are not self-aware enough to challenge even one of your beliefs, habits or patterns of thought.  You are more like prehistoric robots.

“And you are not explorers either.  A handful of you fly to the nearest rock circling your planet and suddenly you mean something in a universe that expands infinite light years.  That is less than a drop in the cosmic ocean.  My race hop between stars faster than you can buy your food supply at the local shop.

“As for learning, what good is learning when you just use it to find better ways to gratify your most primal instincts.  Besides, your technology is incredibly primitive.  I may not have even recognised you had tools if I hadn’t noticed all the pollution and radiation on my scanners when I first visited your planet.”

The two humans were about to argue further, but before they could they were vaporised into golden specs that streamed into the aliens open mouth.

The alien turned to return to his spaceship when he saw something in the corner of his eye and so he turned sharply.

There, in the field, stood a tall semi-translucent figure wearing a hooded robe that fluttered as if was blown by a wind the alien could not feel.

“I have no quarrel with you earthling, go away and I shall not vaporise you,” said the alien, but the figure did not move.  “Go away I say.”

“Curious,” spoke the figure in a deep distorted voice, “you speak the language of the angels, yet you are still in mortal flesh.”

The alien grinned.  “Our race has disproved your beliefs of angels and Gods millennia ago, human.  If your planet is lucky enough to evolve further, perhaps you will too one day.”

“I am no human, nor do I have a physical form,” said the figure leaning against the fence.  “I am Death, and I have come for you.”

The alien snorted.  “Firstly, I do not believe death has a form, physical or otherwise.  Secondly, my race cured the last disease centuries ago, and so I can only possibly die of starvation.  However, as you no doubt just witnessed, I am fed.”

“It has been one too many millennia of travelling the Universe for you, Mocha Nef-tav, and your soul must shed your physical form.  Personally I do not see why physical beings fear me so much.  I am your guide and welcoming party for the next adventure in your life.”

“How… how do you know my name?” asked the alien, his voice beginning to quiver.

“I am the manifestation of death.  I know the name of everyone about to transition,” spoke the figure.

The alien shakily held out a device.  “I do not like your game, whatever you are, but I’m about to vaporise you if you…”

And with that the alien decided to not take chances and fired at the being.  The blast however went straight through the figure as if he were not there.

“What technology was that?” cried the alien.  “Are you a hologram?”

Death knelt down and picked up a rock and studied the rock for a moment in his fingers.  Then he threw the rock and it hit the alien square in the head.

“Ouch!” yelled the alien, rubbing his head.  “How did you get that simple rock through my shield?  I’ve not been hurt for over four thousand years.”

“There is a beauty in nature and simplicity,” responded Death, although not really answering the alien’s question.  “Anyway, that blood coming from your head looks nasty, I’d tell you to get it checked, but you know, too late.”

“There is no blood coming from my head,” the alien growled, putting a webbed hand to his forehead and then lowering it to check it wasn’t covered in black blood.

“Your spirit doesn’t bleed, Mocha Nef-tav,” chuckled Death, “I mean your physical body.”

It became very quiet all of a sudden, as if all the grasshoppers had disappeared and the wind ceased to ruffle the branches of trees.

The alien turned slowly to see his body splayed over the moist grass.  It looked a shade bluer than it should, and its eyes stared blankly at the stars from where it had originated.

“Turns out,” started Death, “the human male was carrying a disease your medical scientists had not yet identified, and your body was too old and tired to fight it.  Plus you got hit in the head really hard with the rock I threw, which sort of put the nail in the proverbial coffin. 

“Although, to be honest, your death comes when death is called, so one way or another, you were going to die tonight.”

The alien fell over his body and clasped at it.  “No, I cannot die.  I’m meant to live forever.  I’m a living thing.”

“Not anymore you aren’t,” chuckled Death, turning his back and moving toward the barn across a couple of paddocks.

The alien chased after Death to protest, leaving his body to be covered in the heavy but sparse drops of rain that had begun to fall.  “I can’t die. There are not many of my race left thanks to the diminishing food supply, and we bring so much to the universe.  

“We are the most advanced race of anything that probably ever was.  We travel through wormholes, between stars, terraform planets so life can evolve, are masters of our body, prevent intergalactic wars, splice DNA to create new lifeforms, have tapped into the collective consciousness…”

“Great, so you’ve lived a happy life here and done some stuff, now you get to travel through time, dimensions and planes of existence as well as space; be part of the ever-expanding infinite universal consciousness; master your soul and unlock its power; promote the evolution of the multiverse; and other such things that marvel those who have just emerged from the physical into the non-physical.”  

Death stopped and turned back to the alien as they entered the barn and came to a kombi van adorned with paintings of flowers and peace signs.  “You will realise in one moment of absolute clarity that each life is fleeting and insignificant, and yet each life is the most important thing that ever was.  Like my sweet ride?”

“What is that?” asked the alien, following Death’s finger to the van.

“Oh right, you’re not from around here.  It’s a vehicle I picked up in the late 60s.  I would change it, but it has more seats than a car so I can pick up more souls at once, and kind of says: ‘death ain’t that bad, dude’.  Plus I just love flowers.  They’re so complex, you know?” responded Death running a hand across its pealing paint job.  “Hop in.”

The alien cautiously stepped in and saw the two humans he had eaten in one of the front seats to the right.  They were both giggling and playing a game with each other’s hands.

Behind them was a cow sitting upright, licking its lips and overlooking the game the humans were playing.

Seated in the front seats to the left was the daisy and misty mass the alien assumed was the spirit of his food source.  They seemed to be communicating with each other, but without faces, it was hard to see how they felt about all this.

The alien cautiously nestled into the seat behind the flower and the misty mass next to a butterfly that whispered responses so quietly to any question it was posed the alien could not hear a thing it said.

Death squeezed into the van’s driver’s seat and made the engine purr with his keys.  “Alright you lot, everybody got your seat belts on.”  He paused a beat for everybody to notice there were no seat belts.  “Just kidding, you’re all dead.  No need for seat belts.  

“Said that joke once though, and made a little one cry.  He’d died in a car crash.  Gave him one of my fairy lollipops.”  He opened his glovebox and an avalanche of individually packaged lollipops tumbled out.  “So, swings and roundabouts.”

“Lollipops?” asked the little human, a crinkle forming on his spiritual brow.

“Yeah, where do you reckon sugar comes from, lad? Heaven, that’s where,” answered Death, popping a lollipop in his own mouth and handing the boy enough lollipops to be handed out to everyone in the van.  “Now let’s put the pedal to the nonphysical metal!”

And with that the van launched forward and zoomed out the barn doors and into the night sky.  Stars and galaxies whizzed past, and everyone, including the alien, was captivated by what was outside their window.

Suddenly, however, the van was halted by a bouncy net that was strung from two massive totem poles.

Death stuck his head out the window and a spirit wearing red fury slippers and a dressing gown approached the vehicle.

“Hey, what’s with the spirit web, lady?”

“I was knitting more time and space for the living,” she responded with distain.  “I have a real job to do.”

“These vans don’t fly themselves, lady.  Now let us through.”

“Fine,” she mumbled, “but if you create another Dark Ages in the 18th Century it is not my fault.”

And with that the van jerked forward once more and whizzed past more stars and solar systems, until finally it slowed to a halt in front of a glowing portal that was almost too bright to look at.

Death turned around.  “That my friends is the end of our journey.  That light is like a big spiritual bath that will wash you clean of any physical attachment, pain or belief that you picked up in the physical world, and return you to your true spiritual self.  When you’re done, you’ll see that you’re all the same in the spirit world.

“But don’t feel like you need to walk right in there.  You can take your time, because once you’ve been cleansed of lack there is no going back. 

“In the meantime, you are welcome to sit around outside and contemplate life or whatever you mortals do.  Anyway, I better go, there’s a war breaking out in the planet Goggi so I might be quite busy.”

The passenger spirits all exited the van in a single line and watched the van speed off with a puff of smoke and a grind of the gears as the hyperdrive was initiated.

The flower, the cow and the misty mass all meandered towards the light and disappeared without breaking their stroll.  The butterfly floated and flittered about a few steps behind them, before too entering the light.

The two humans and the alien however decided to sit down and peer into the expansive shimmering pool of light.  They exchanged stories from their life for some time.

The alien told of the many worlds and cultures he’d seen, and the adventures he’d had.  As the female human had only gone to London once, and most of her stories tended to be about waking up in various locations after a big night out or having maybe seen a celebrity at the town’s bank, she tended to embellish a little to keep the alien interested.

Strangely though, the alien appeared to be enchanted by the stories, particularly the parts she almost left out for fear they’d bore him.

Eventually however the young human stood and put out his hand to his mother.  His mother hesitantly took his hand and stood up too.  She looked down at the alien.

The alien took a deep breath, and also stood.  He gave one look back at the starry universe he had travelled for so long and grown to know so well.


Then, all three of them ventured into the light together.

- The End -