The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 1
The Moonstaliens bounced along the underground tunnels to the cavern at the centre of the Moon. They had lived inside the Moon for thousands of years, but now they were in trouble. Big trouble. Lake Milk had dried up and their lunar grey skin was turning blue.
The Moonstaliens gazed up at the stone statue of Bovinia - their ancient moon cow goddess. A tiny metal door creaked open in her belly. The Moonstaliens bounced three times and bowed as King Cream appeared at the entrance of his home. “I have terrible news my people.”
The king’s ping-pong body glimmered in the candlelight. He pouted his fat lips and wobbled on his udders. His sad cow eyes stared out at the crowd. Apart from his crown, King Cream looked exactly like the other Moonstaliens. He was turning blue too.
“Our precious lake is dryer than a witch’s toe,” the king said. He prodded a row of inflating self-portraits with a stick. “If we don’t get our yearly milk bath we’re doomed. We’ll turn from blue to purple, purple to pink. Deadly pink.”
The Moonstaliens booly-hoolied and rubbed their sore skin. They prayed to the great statue.
“Praying to Bovinia won’t refill our lake now. Soon our throbbing pink bodies will inflate until...” King Cream took the balloon floating by his side and stuck a pin into it. It exploded into nothing. A deafening pop ricocheted off the stone walls and rang in the Moonstaliens' ears. They began to scream. Tears of slime drooled from their eyes.
“Calm down this minute!” the king shouted. “Being mad as handbags won’t help. Now listen – there’s one place in the universe where there’s splashings of milk. The planet’s stupid people even drink the stuff. It's called Earth and it’s only next door. Well kind of.”
A gasp of hope hissed into the air.
“But we’ve only got two days left. By morning we're purple as baseball bruises. The day after that, the Moonstalien race explodes into extinction.” King Cream bounced on his udders. He somersaulted high above the crowd and landed next to his people on a boulder. “I need two Moonstaliens to travel to Earth. Your mission..? Locate a marveluscious
milk bath and send a signal back home. We can then join you and we’ll all be saved. Now who wants to volunteer?”
The Moonstaliens cheered and sprang upwards. “Me! Me! Me!”
“One thing I forgot to mention,” the king said. “The mission could be very dangerous. Earthlings aren’t the friendliest aliens and the Sun might sizzle you like a sausage.”
Within half a second, every Moonstalien had hidden behind a rock or underneath a pile of moon dust. Silence filled the centre of the moon.
Well nearly silence. Somewhere in the darkness, right at the back, King Cream heard giggling.
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 2
King Cream stamped one his udders. “Who’s there? Who’s that giggling?"
Behind an enormous rock, two young Mooonstaliens were playing. Kezo and Yax hadn’t listened to a word King Cream had said. Grown ups made as much sense to them, as footballs made of fried eggs. The two brothers poked their heads up and ducked down again quickly. “No use hiding. Get yourselves to the front.” Kezo and Yax hopped through the crowd. The king bent forwards and picked each boy up by his bendy horn. “So you’re volunteering to go to Earth?”
Kezo and Yax looked at each other and shrugged. King Cream growled. “I said - you’re volunteering to go to Earth!”
The children saw a galaxy of squinting eyes. They gulped. “OK, we’ll go to Planet Birth.” Everyone cheered.
The king sat the boys down. “Now, repeat after me... Pla-net Earth.”
“Pla-net. Earth,” they said proudly.
“And you’re going to find us a lovelicious milk bath.” King Cream said.
“And you’re going to find us a lovelicious milk bath.”
The king grumbled and prodded each boy in turn. “No! YOU are going to find a lovelicious bath.” Kezo nodded and explained to his younger brother. “You’ll be Moonstalien heroes.”
“But how do we get there?” asked Yax.
“Using The Moonstalien Munch-Magic of course," said the king. "Don't they teach you anything at school these days?” Kezo looked at Yax and shook his head. “It’s simple - whatever you gobble gives you gloritastical powers.”
“So, if we ate a black hole,” said Yax, “we’d be able to suck up stars and light and maybe the whole universe until nothing is left - not even a moondust mite or a doughnut hole?”
“Well... erm... I suppose so. Follow me and I’ll show you.” King Cream bounced through the winding tunnels. Kezo, Yax and the Moonstaliens hopped behind until everyone was gathered on the moon’s surface.
The king pointed his corkscrew tail at the blue planet in the distance. “Earth,” he said. “The milky planet that may save our lives.” He stood in front of the brothers. “So you understand your mission? Find milk, send us a signal, and we’ll join you for the most awesational milk bath ever.”
“But what if there isn’t any?” asked Yax.
The Moonstaliens stared at the craters beneath their udder boots. King Cream bit his bottom lip and searched his brain. All he saw were cobwebs and an old sock. “We’ll worry about that later.”
“But what about the Earthlings? You said they might be dangerous,” said Kezo.
The King grinned and opened a small cow-hair box. A puff of sparkles escaped from inside. The crowd gasped. “Behold! Two ancient dung-nuggets.” King Cream twisted them onto the boys’ corkscrew tails. “Keep them very safe. Their magic is said to make wishes come true. If there’s trouble, chuck one into an Earthling’s gob and run for it.”
Kezo peered at the lump spiked onto his tail. “Why can’t we just eat one and wish for a lake of milk.”
The King gritted his teeth. “Because they don’t work on us!”
“But how do you know?” asked Yax
“I tried one!” the King said. “All I got was an afternoon stuck on the toilet. Believe me, it wasn’t a wish come true. Now enough with the questions.”
King Cream bounced high into the starry space. He twisted his tail and unscrewed a cork of passing cloud. He landed and pushed two candy-floss clumps into the boys' mouths. Kezo and Yax started to float as the munch-magic tornadoed around their bodies.
The Moonstaliens bounced onto a nearby crater. “Good luck. We know you can do it.” King Cream yelled. “Eat these too.” He lobbed two, massive Earth dictionaries over the edge. As the boys chomped, billions of words and pictures flashed through their brains.
The boys locked horns as they floated away. The clouds inside them turned grey and then black. A storm brewed and exploded in their tummies. Each clap of thunder sent them spinning through space. Every strike of lightning sent them zooming closer to Earth.
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 3
Kezo and Yax landed with a splat. “Pooh! Earth stinks,” Yax said. They were surrounded by fields.
“What is that smell?” Kezo asked. He looked down at the muddy hill. He scanned the words and pictures in his brain. “This isn’t a hill. It’s a pile of cow manure!”
The boys screamed. They somersaulted into the air and landed in a forest of green. They heard a sound in the distance, “Mooooo.”
“Fantastic,” Kezo said. The Mooonstaliens fought through huge blades of grass.
Yax moaned as soil-splodges splattered his eyes. “Why are we following that silly noise?”
“Think about it. What makes a moo sound?”
“How the hoof should I know?”
Kezo sighed and turned back to Yax. “Everything we needed to know was in that Earth book we ate. Remember? Do a search and find out!”
Yax beeped and scanned his brain. “Got it! Hamster! A hamster goes moo.” Yax scanned some more. “A hamster is a kind of fish that you get wool from. Wool is used on Earth to make cakes.”
“No! No! No! A cow goes moo! And you know what comes out of a cow?”
Yax eyeballed his brain. “Manure?”
“No!” Kezo said. “Well yes. But what else. What did we come here for?”
“Because King Cream told us to?”
“MILK!!!” The boys bounced on top of a fence. They spied a farmer attaching a metal sucking-machine to the cow’s wobbly udders.
“How come milk doesn’t come out of our udders?” Yax whispered.
“Legs aren't that useful on the Moon. Over thousands of years, Moonstalien legs got shorter and shorter until they disappeared completely. As we evolved, our udders became our transport - perfect for bouncing around on the Moon. But our ancient ancestors would have looked just like Goddess Bovinia. Well not so big and they weren’t made of stone, but you know what I mean.”
“We used to look like that thing!” Yax stared in horror at the smelly cow. “Urgh. Imagine milk coming out of our udders. We’d have to keep emptying our boots.”
“Shush Yax!” Kezo pulled him behind a bail of hay. “Once the farmer’s gone, we can remove the machine and take a shower in the milk. A shower’s as good as a bath. There are hundreds of cows. If it works, we’ll contact King Cream.”
The farmer left the machine running and wandered off into another building. Kezo and Yax bounced towards the cow. The two Moonstaliens pulled the silver suckers hard. They fell off with a pop. The boys flung their bright blue bodies under the fattest udder. But nothing happened. Not even a drip. “You’ll have to squeeze it,” Kezo said.
“Why don’t you squeeze it?” Yax said.
“All right! You better do it when it’s my turn.” Kezo bounced up and swung on the wobbly udder. He wrapped his horns around it. A tiny jet of milk spurted on top of Yax. It wasn’t nearly enough. Kezo squeezed again. This time nothing happened.
“You’re not doing it right,” Yax said. He jumped up to join Kezo. They swung like shrunken monkeys, pulling the udder hard as they could.
The cow let out an angry moo. The boys let go and scarpered. But as they ran between its front legs, the cow bent forward and licked Kezo and Yax clean from the floor. Suddenly, the boys were trapped in slobbery darkness.
“Grab on to a tooth,” Kezo said. “And don’t let go.”
The two boys wrapped their udders and horns around a molar. The cows tongue lashed against them as it tried to swallow.
Yax squealed at the dangling tonsils in the distance. “I can’t hold on much longer. Use your magic dung nugget.”
“I’m not sure a cow’s an Earthling. It might not work.” Kezo stretched his horn to try and hook his brother.
“It lives on Earth doesn’t it. Just throw it!” Yax lost his grip. “Aaaaargh!”
Kezo whipped his tail. The dung nugget whizzed past Yax and shot down the cow’s throat. Its tongue went limp. Saliva rained on the boys as they skidded towards cracks of light. They used their horns to pries open its teeth and leapt to safety.
They turned round to see if the dung nugget was working. “Look Kezo - its wish is coming true.”
A bow tie flew from nowhere and slid around the cow's neck. Seconds later, he was completely dressed - head to hoof in a tuxedo. A huge veggie feast appeared on a table in front of him – pyramids of pasta, cauldrons of lentil curry, squadrons of soya sausages, nests of nut cutlets and a skyscraper of bean burgers.
“I guess he’s sick of grass!” Kezo laughed and pointed to a building beyond the field. “Come on, maybe there’s milk in there.”
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 4
“Race you,” Yax said. “Last one’s a Bumtickle Bang.” (The Bumtickle Bangs were a stupid race of alien-rabbits. Their brains were made of ketchup and worms.)
The Moonstaliens bounced through the grass, past a pond and into the back garden. “I won. I won,” Yax said.
“Only because I let you,” said Kezo. “Anyway, we’re not here to play.” The boys sneaked towards the door. They leapt through the letterbox and landed in the kitchen.
“Look,” Yax pointed his horns. “Milk!”
Beyond the half-open wooden door, a family were sitting at a table. “Let’s get a better view,” Kezo said. “But don’t make a sound.”
Yax squealed immediately. The family peered in their direction. Kezo dived on top of Yax and they rolled under the fridge. “What the hoof are you doing? I said don’t make a sound.”
“But look at you Kezo. Look at your skin.” Kezo’s body was purple as a plum. “I wonder why I’m still blu...” Yax looked down and yelped.
“Shush Yax. At least we’re not pink. We’ve still got time. We have to be brave and we’ve got to be quick.” Yax lifted an udder and wiped his snuffles away.
They crept into the dining room and hid behind a chest of drawers. They counted six people. The farmer, his wife and four children. “Maybe Earthlings aren’t so bad,” Yax said. “They’re pouring milk into baths.”
“They’re not baths! That’s their breakfast. But imagine we could get into those bowls. Our bodies would hiss with bliss. We’d be lunar grey and safe again.”
“Come on then, what are we waiting? Let’s go,” Yax said.
“Oh yeah, let’s leap onto the table and say, ‘Morning everyone! Hope you don’t mind - we’re aliens from the Moon and we need to take a dip in your Coco Pops!’
Yax stuck his three tongues out. “So what are we going to do? We could explode any minute.”
“Stop panicking. We’ve got until tomorrow morning.” A grin stretched across Kezo’s face. “Tomorrow - that’s it! Tomorrow morning we can sneak into the bowls. There’s about sixty Moonstaliens. It’ll be a bit of a squeeze but if we split up we should be OK. We just have to find a way of distracting the humans.”
“My body feels like its had a bath in a bonfire. Can’t we sneak in now?” Yax blew cool air onto his skin.
“That’s not a bad idea. We’ll need our full strength to help the others.”
Suddenly chairs scraped across the slate tiles. Three kids fled the table and ran outside to play. The farmer and his wife took the dishes into the kitchen. But the youngest girl didn’t move. She just sat there scooping cereal and pouring it back into the bowl. Her eyes were blank. A metallic birthday balloon bobbed above her in the fresh silence. It had a number 9 on it.
Kezo and Yax sprang onto the table and hid behind the box of Coco Pops. They peered around the corner and saw Jenny a metre away. Next to her bowl, on a scrunch of silver paper, stood a giraffe.
“An elephant! It might eat us.” Yax curled his tail in front of his eyes to make sure the dung nugget was still attached.
“It’s not an elephant - it’s a giraffe. It’s only a cuddly toy." Kezo said. "Look! She's staring out the window. This might be our only chance. After three, we go for it. Ready?”
“One, two, three, bounce!”
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 5
The Mooonstaliens hurdled over a toast rack and dived into the milky bath. They swam to the bottom of the bowl. Their hot purple bodies faded to blue and then cooled to grey. An almighty siren of pleasure bubbled up through the cereal. For Moonstaliens, it was no louder than a snake hiss. But to humans, it sounded like a thousand swimming schoolgirls in a squealing competition.
Jenny dropped her spoon. Her dad ran into the room. “What’s that noise?” Jenny forced her hands against her ears and shrugged. “It must be the barn alarm.” The farmer ran outside with his wife groaning behind him.
Jenny stayed at the table. As the squeal died away, she held her nose and popped her ears. She noticed bubbles bursting between her soggy Pops. She scraped her spoon along the bottom of the bowl.
“Ow!” moaned Yax.
“Ow!” groaned Kezo. “Let’s get out of here.”
But as they bounced, two upturned glasses forced them back to the table. They were trapped. Jenny’s big eyes peered at them. “Coooool,” she grinned. She picked up the cereal box and scanned the front, back and sides. “It doesn’t say anything about free toys.”
“We’re not toys,” Yax said.
Kezo banged the inside of his glass and stared across at Yax. “Shut up!”
“You just spoke!” Jenny face’s hovered outside Yax’s glass. He froze and stared at her huge eyes. “You blinked too! Who are you?”
“I’m no one. I’m just a toy that doesn’t blink or speak,” he blinked.
“Tiger... Come here Tiger.” Jenny patted her lap.
“A Tiger!” Yax tried running up the side of his glass. “Heeeeelp!”
A fat ginger cat leapt onto the table. He spied the trapped Moonstaliens and flicked his claws at the glasses.
“All right!” Kezo said. “We’re aliens from the Moon. Our people are in serious danger. You’ve got to let us go.”
“What!? There’s no such things as aliens. You’re not even green.” She shooed Tiger from the table. “I won’t hurt you but there’s no way I’m letting you go.” She picked up the cuddly giraffe. “Last year they bought me a hamster. This year, they got me this! I want a real giraffe. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’m sick of being surrounded by smelly cows and pigs. I want a giraffe that I can ride like the wind.” She leaned in and studied their strange bodies. “You’re definitely not giraffes but you’ll do for now.”
“We’ll give you this if you set us free,” Kezo pointed at the dung nugget on Yax’s corkscrew tail. “It’s magic. You just have to eat it.”
Jenny scrunched her nose up. “Do you think I’m stupid? I’m not eating that – it looks something a cat would bury in the garden.”
“Let us go!” Yax drummed his horns against the glass. “The Moonstaliens will explode!”
“Don’t be silly,” Jenny said. “Creatures don’t explode.” She opened her pencil case and emptied the boys inside. She fastened the zip, shoved it in her school bag and ran upstairs. “Let’s go and have some birthday fun. You can play in my hamster ball and roll wherever you like. But don’t even think about escaping.”
“We’re going to die!” Yax prayed to Bovinia as they were flung from one side of the bag to the other. “And the Moonstaliens will explode into extinction.”
“Maybe not if we eat this.” Kezo shoved a rubbery lump into Yax’s mouth.
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 6
Yax chewed. “What is it?”
Kezo swallowed. “It’s a bit of Jenny’s rubber.”
The munch-magic took hold and their tummies tornadoed. Yax shook his head and let out a tiny burp. “Where have you gone Kezo? I can’t see you.”
“Good - I can’t see you either. We’ve been erased. The munch-magic worked. Now don’t make a sound and I mean it this time.”
Light beamed into the pencil case. Jenny jumped back, as though her pens had morphed into snakes. “There’s no way they could have escaped.” She emptied the contents onto her bed. She sifted through the topless felt tips and multi-coloured sharpenings. “Grrrr!”
Kezo grabbed Yax’s hand and started to bounce. Jenny saw a trail of strange dents moving across the duvet and dived on top of them. Next, her karate trophies toppled over on the window sill. She leapt up and slammed the window shut. But it was too late.
The boys fell onto a gazebo outside and were catapulted skywards. They shot through the air and landed inside a big plastic plant pot at the back of the garden. The munch-magic wore off and they saw each other panting in the shadows.
“We’ve got to call King Cream quickly. If they don’t get here by morning, the Moonstaliens are doomed. Kezo and Yax twirled their horns into one long spike and pointed it to the sky. They began to flash and bleep. “Earth to King Cream... Earth to King Cream... Milk baths located... You must get here by dawn.”
Minutes later, the boys' horns flopped like rabbit ears. They huddled under a leaf and fell fast asleep.
“Wake up Kezo. I think we’re back home.” Yax poked him with an udder. They lay looking up at the stars.
“No we’re still on Earth.” Kezo pointed his horn to the shining Moon in the sky. “That’s our home.”
Everything was so quiet. They had no idea what time it was.
Yax jumped up. “The stars are falling out of the sky.” A shooting cluster of purple lights scorched across the sky.
“It’s King Cream and the Moonstaliens!” They bounced into a dark field and flashed like sirens. The Moonstaliens travelled closer and closer until they landed in a circle around Kezo and Yax.
The boys bounced three times and bowed. King Cream stepped forward weakly. “We don’t have much time boys. Our purpley-pink bodies are sore and ready to burst.”
A strange silhouette flew onto the fence. “Cock-a-doodle-do!”
“It’s the night penguin,” Yax said.
“He means the dawn rooster,” said Kezo. “It’s nearly time.”
The throbbing Moonstaliens followed Kezo and Yax through the grass. They gathered behind the dustbin and waited for life to stir in the farmhouse. Every now and then, the Moonstaliens groaned as their overblown bodies stretched and creaked.
“Get down,” Kezo said. He saw Jenny at the window filling a glass with water. She seemed to look straight at them. “She’s very dangerous.”
“Phew she’s gone,” Yax said and leant against the bin.
Suddenly, the back door flew open. It was Jenny in her pyjamas. “I saw you! Come here you little weirdoes.” She hurtled towards them cackling like a witch.
“Ruuuuuuuuun!” The Mooonstaliens bounced as fast as they could behind Kezo and Yax. In no time they were panting like fat old dogs. Jenny was getting closer. Kezo saw a cage. He undid the latch. “Quick, hide up there.” At the back of the cage, a ramp led to a little wooden house. But as the Moonstaliens filed in through the entrance, they were immediately chased out again. A gang of mad pecking chickens squawked them into a corner.
“Shush you crazy baboons,” Yax said. “I’ll get you bananas if you’ll just be quiet.”
“They’re not... OW! baboons... OW! they’re chickens... OW!” Beaks attacked Kezo from every angle as he protected the Moonstaliens and fought off their vicious pecks.
Jenny heard the tremendous kerfuffle. The Mooonstaliens tried to escape, but it was too late. Jenny wedged her foot against the door and locked the latch. “Got you!”
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 7
“Let us go.” Kezo pulled the chicken wire but the door wouldn’t budge. “Look at them. If they don’t get a milk bath soon, they’ll explode.” The Moonstaliens looked like a gang of ready-to-burst gum bubbles as they quivered in the coop.
“Creatures don’t explode and aliens don’t exist.” Jenny said. “Tell you what - prove you’re from another world and I might let you go.”
Yax bounced forward. “OK, close your eyes and open your mouth.”
“Forget it then. You’ll never know what you missed,” said Yax.
“Oh all right,” Jenny said. “But try any funny business and I’ll pop each and every one of you myself.” She scrunched her eyes and opened wide.
Yax stuck his corkscrew through the wire and aimed at Jenny’s tonsils. He lassoed his tail until the dung nugget rocketed off the end. “Yuk!” Jenny swallowed and choked. “That better not have been what I think it was.” She shrugged and looked down at herself. “So where’s the proof? Nothing’s changed. Right, you’ve had it.” She picked up a sharp stick.
Kezo and Yax smiled. Something long and slimy curled around Jenny’s face and blindfolded her. “Aaargh! Get off me.” She tugged the tongue away and turned to see what it was. Her jaw dropped like a drawbridge. Her eyes bulged like a blowfish. “A giraffe! A real, live giraffe. She wrapped her arms around its leg and hugged. She darted back to the chicken coop and freed the Moonstaliens. “You were telling the truth. I feel so bad. Tell me what to do.”
“We need to get the Moonstaliens into a milk bath now,” Kezo said. “Can you distract your family?”
“Easy,” Jenny said. “Hey Raffa, give us a lift up.” Her new pet giraffe clenched Jenny’s jumper between his teeth and tossed her onto his back. Jenny yahooed as Raffa galloped towards the house.
Kezo and Yax led the Moonstaliens to the back door. They were too fat, sore and weak to bounce through the letterbox, so Yax went ahead. Once inside, he bounced on the handle and the door clicked open. Kezo pushed from the other side and the Moonstaliens trailed into the kitchen behind him.
Kezo and Yax peeped around the corner and could see the farmer and his family pouring milk into their bowls. “Where is Jenny?” Kezo said.
Just then, the farmer’s wife jumped up and screamed. Half a second later, the whole family was screaming. Outside, Jenny was riding her pet giraffe and waving. “Helloooo.” Raffa pushed his eel-like tongue through an open window and licked squashed flies off the pane.
“Where the heck did she get that from? Get the children upstairs while I sort this out.” The farmer shoved his wife and children out of the dining room.
“She’s done it, they’ve gone,” Yax said and bounced towards the table.
Kezo directed the Mooonstaliens across the tiles. “A few more bounces and you’re saved.” One by one, the Moonstaliens leapt onto the table with their last spec of strength. They dived into the nearest bowl of abandoned cereal.
The milk bubbled and steamed as their pink bodies deflated to purple, faded to blue and returned to lunar grey.
Outside, trees bowed and birds fled their branches as the Moonstalien sound of relief screeched across the farm.
The farmer ran back into the dining room, hands on ears. “What the heck!” Moonstaliens were bounding in every direction. Tidal waves of Coco Pops flooded from bowls. Mugs tumbled, coffee spilled and forks somersaulted into the air.
“Bounce!” Kezo shouted. Squirts of ketchup splattered the farmer’s face as Moonstaliens escaped over the toppled sauce bottle. Kezo and Yax raced outside. The Moonstaliens followed them to the back of the garden. “Quick, hide in here.”
Kezo, Yax and the Moonstaliens leapt into the big plastic plant pot. Yax searched the crowd. “Where is King Cream?”
“Oh no,” said Kezo. “Did anyone see him get into a bowl?” The Moonstaliens shook their horns and began to whimper.
A huge explosion shook the pot.
The Moonstaliens fell silent. Kezo and Yax stared at each other and grimaced. “Poor King Cream,” Kezo said. Yax’s bottom lip trembled. A tear trickled over it and splashed to the floor.
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 8
A second explosion thundered towards them. The plant pot jolted from the ground. “Hold on a minute,” Kezo said. “King Cream can’t explode twice.”
Yax bounced onto the rim of the pot. “He didn’t!” Yax waved his horns. “Quick King Cream, over here.” Kezo jumped up next to Yax. The farmer fired his gun and a bullet of turf shot up right behind the king. He made one final super bounce and ricocheted into the plant pot.
The boys saw Jenny and Raffa skid round the corner. “Dad! There’s more. I just saw them heading towards the pig shed.” Kezo and Yax sighed as the farmer spun and ran in the opposite direction. Raffa galloped over. Jenny jumped to the ground and peered into the pot.
“We need to get out of here,” Kezo said.
“But the clouds are way too high.” King Cream said. “We need to eat something else to make us float.”
Jenny, King Cream and the boys scanned the garden. Yax began to wail. “There is nothing.”
“I’ve got an idea.” Jenny ran into the house. Seconds later, the boys saw her sprinting over with the birthday balloon. She knelt beside them and tied the ribbon around the pot. It didn’t budge. Not even a millimeter.
“We’re too heavy,” said Kezo. “What about munch-magic?”
“Yes! We need to eat something to make us lighter,” King Cream said.
“As light as a feather,” Yax said.
“That’s it!” said Jenny. “You’re so clever.”
Jenny dashed to the coop and came back carrying a fat, squawking bird. “Sorry about this Chickitita.” She began plucking feathers and handing them to the Moonstaliens. As they chewed, their bellies tornadoed and throbbed. The plant pot tilted onto one side and slowly lifted from the grass. As the munch-magic swirled inside them, the pot zoomed higher and higher. Raffa tossed Jenny onto his back.
The Mooonstaliens looked down at the farm. They saw the farmer creeping around the back of the pig shed. They saw a cluck of escaped chickens gobbling across the garden. They saw Jenny waving, galloping through a field of cows. “But what about our milky bath next year?” King Cream asked. “It’s way too dangerous to come back to this mad planet.”
Kezo pointed at the grazing cows. “It’s a shame we can’t take a few of them with us, to fill up the lake.”
“Why can’t we?” Yax said. “They’re our ancestors right?” The king and Kezo nodded. “Maybe the munch-magic works on them too.”
“There’s nothing to lose,” King Cream said. “Come on Moonstaliens, we need your help.” As they floated higher, they stuck their corkscrew tails over the edge into a cloud. Five at a time, the Mooonstaliens poked their tales through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and aimed. “1,2,3, fire!”
Corks of cloud rained onto the field. Kezo and Yax spotted a tiny Jenny herding the cattle towards the fluffy bullets. The cows gobbled the falling treats. One by one, the magic began to work. Confused moos sounded below as cows slowly lifted into the air. Minutes later, a whole heard of cattle hovered beside them as they floated above the clouds.
“No way! Look Kezo.” Yax pointed. “That cow’s lying on gigantic lasagna.”
“Yeah yeah, whatever!” Kezo peered over the rim of the pot, just as the strange sight disappeared behind a cloud.
“I promise! I’m not lying.”
Slowly, it appeared again - a bloated cow, covered in splatters of curry, reclining on a massive mattress of meat-free lasagna. It was wearing a tuxedo. “Mooooon!”
“It's the dung-nugget cow. It said ‘Moon’ Kezo!”
“No it didn’t. I told you before – that’s just the sound cows make.”
Suddenly, King Cream and the Moonstaliens cheered. Glowing in the distant sky, they saw their home. Yax stuck out his tongues. “Told you it said ‘Moon,’”
Kezo glared at him. Yax eyeballed back. But then they began sniggering. They fell onto their backs and their tonsil-twisting, udder-wobbling laughter spiralled into space.
The Moonstaliens: Mission Milk! - Chapter 9
The following day, the Moonstaliens bounced along the tunnels to the centre of the moon. Cows grazed on moon moss and Bovinia's statue was mysteriously covered with a massive white drape.
King Cream appeared from beneath the sheet. “Silence my people.” He bounced onto a boulder and peered into the crowd. “Kezo? Yax? Where are you?” The boys waved their horns. “Hiding at the back as usual. Come to the front please.”
“What have we done now?” Yax asked.
“I don’t know,” said Kezo. “Let’s just get it over with.”
King Cream ordered the boys to stand either side of him. “Your milk mission to Earth was magnifrillingly, incredstoundingly brave. You risked your lives to save us. We are forever in your debt.”
Yax’s grin stretched like a cat in front of the fire. Kezo trapped his proud smile behind his lips and stood up straight.
“You’ll go down in history as the bravest Moonstaliens who ever lived.” The crowd tossed them into the air like volleyballs. The boys landed dizzily next to the king “And so it gives me great pleasure to unveil our everlasting tribute to you both.”
The king twisted the corner of the drape around his horn and took an almighty bounce sideways. The sheet slid from Bovinia’s back. The Mooonstaliens gasped. Kezo and Yax gulped.
Underneath Bovinia, either side of her huge stone udders, were two new statues - one of Kezo and one of Yax. The boys stared up at the great moonstone versions of themselves. A golden plaque shone at the bottom.
They hopped forward to read it. “Here stand Prince Kezo & Prince Yax - Saviours Of The Mooonstalien Race.” The audience bounced like bingo balls. Their cheers shook the moondust mites from their beds.
“We’re princes!” said Kezo.
“Real princes,” said Yax. “Does that mean we can’t play anymore?”
“Of course we can’t play! We have to be grown up. We must set an example to our people. We must never play again. Ever!”
“Oh OK.” Yax’s horns wilted and his bottom lip wobbled.
“It’s just the way it has to be.” Sneakily, Kezo twisted his corkscrew tail into a mound of moon moss behind him. “But look at it this way.”
Just as Yax lifted his sad eyes, Kezo whipped his tail. A fat, splodge of moss torpedoed towards Yax and splattered on the end of his snout.
Yax twisted his tail into the ground and pulled out a cork of mud. He aimed at his big brother. “I’ll get you for that.”
Kezo scarpered into a tunnel. His giggles and screams echoed behind him. “Come on then Yax - I’d like to see you try.”