Cracks

in the

Pavement

(aka Subterranean Homesick Alien)

The collected writings of Robert Parker

by Mark Phippen


My favourite game

by Robert Harper      Age 6  Class 2B (Mrs Rogers)

6th July  

My favourite game I like to play is a game called don't step on the cracks in the pavement. You have to run across the pavement and try not to step on the cracks and if you do you are the loser.

My mummy thinks its a silly game, but I told her there are monsters under the ground and they can come up through the cracks and get me. My mummy tells me that I am silly and that there are no monsters but I know she is not right because I have seen them.

The monsters are big and green like the ones from the telly but you can see through them because they look like smoke. One day one of the monsters spoke to me but he spoke foreign and I didn't know what he meant. I gave him one of my sweets and he ate it and said yum. He was a nice monster.

One day when the monsters came I ran to get tim to show him but when tim came to see the monsters they had gone. tim said I was silly and that there wasn't any monsters anyway but I said yes there was and tim said I was a liar and kicked me and I cried. tim is horrible and I hate him.

One of the monsters is my friend and I like him but the others are a bit scary. I don't want them to get me when I run across the cracks in the pavement because they might eat me. But the nice monster won't eat me he just eats my sweets.


What we did in the holidays

by Robert Harper      Age 6  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

5th September

In the holidays my mummy and daddy took me on holiday to a place called devon and it was nice. We went to a farm and saw lots of sheep and cows who went moo at me and I thought they were funny. The sheep didn't like me and kept running away from me when I went to see them and the farmer thought it was funny.

When we got back from devon mummy said that I had lots of weeks to play before I came back to school so I played my favourite game lots of times. My friend the monster was pleased to see me I think he wanted some sweets when I wasn't there but I didn't leave him any. My friend can say some words now he can say robert which is my name and hello and sweets because he likes them. I will try to learn him some more words so we can play together.

My mummy said she didn't want me to play with the monster she said I should play with tim but tim is horrible and he smells and he kicks me so I said no.


My best day

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

20th September

My best day was my birthday when I was seven. My mummy and daddy bought me a bike which was really nice. A blue one like I wanted.

I had a party which was fun but tim was there and he told my mummy that I talked to monsters that weren't there and my mummy told me I shouldn't but I said that the monster was my friend that he didn't kick me.

After the party I rode my bike to where the monster lives and he came out to see me. I told him about the games I had played at my party and he told me about a new game called pretending. The monster said that it would be fun and that he could pretend to be me and I could be like a monster if I wanted. I said ok but when the monster tried to be me it hurt my head so he stopped. He said he would try to think of another game but I had to go home before my mummy got worried.

My mummy let me finish the birthday cake and that was my best day.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

25th September

At the weekend I played on my bike that I got for my birthday. It is blue.

I went to see my friend the monster but he wasn't there but there was a man there with a hat and a funny umbrella. I said to the man what are you doing and he said he was looking for monsters and I told him I had seen them. The man asked me what they looked like and I told him and he looked very sad so I told him one of them was a nice monster who played games with me which made the man look funny at me. Then he did some juggling which made me laugh and then I said goodbye and went home.

I told my mummy about the man and she was very cross that I had talked to him because I didn't know who he was.


My best friend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

27th September

My best friend is my monster who lives under the pavement because he thinks up lots of games for us to play. Tim used to be my best friend but I don't like him any more because he's not as good as my monster and doesn't play any good games like he does.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

2nd October

On the weekend I went to see my friend the monster and he told me he had a new game for us to play. He said that he could go in my head and it wouldn't hurt this time and he could come to school with me and talk to me all the time. I said ok so he did and it didn't hurt at all.

After that I couldn't see him but I could hear him in my head and it was funny. The monster told me some new games to play and we had lots of fun.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

9th October

This weekend my mummy and daddy took me to granddad's house. Granddad gave me some sweets and I played with his dog Rufus in the garden. Rufus is a nice dog but he jumps up at me and I don't like that much. Granddad says it is just because he likes me but he had to tell him to stop after a while because I got upset. The monster in my head told me that Rufus was a bad dog and that he would stop him from jumping up at me.

When we got home granddad rung mummy to tell her that Rufus wasn't feeling very well and asked if I had given him anything bad to eat. I said that I hadn't. In the morning granddad rung again to say that Rufus had died in the night and I was sad. The monster told me that I shouldn't be sad because Rufus was a bad dog who scared me.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

16th October

This weekend a man came round our house. He said he was a doctor but my mummy said that he didn't look like one. I told mummy that I had seen the man before and that he had talked to me in the street. Mummy got very angry with the man and told him to leave me alone. The man said that I was in danger and tried to tell mummy about the monsters but she told him he was talking nonsense at that the monsters only existed in my head. The man said that was what he was afraid of.

When he had gone mummy asked me about the monsters and I told her that I hadn't seen them for a long time. Mummy seemed really pleased and gave me some sweets. The monster in my head was pleased too because he was scared of the man and didn't want him to talk to me.


What we did at half-term

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

30th October

We had a really good time at half-term. The monster in my head is talking a lot more now and he told me all about the other monsters who live under the pavement. He said they came from another planet and that they had crashed on this one a long time ago. Their space ship was underground and people had built the pavement over the top of it when they were asleep but they had managed to get out because they were able to alter their mole letrolar struckchor and come up through the cracks in the pavement.

We went to see the other monsters and this time they didn't try to eat me. The monster in my head said that they would now trust me because I was in sim by osis with him and that he was their leader. My monster told me that we had to find friends for them too because they were sad having to hide under the pavement.

The monster in my head told me that I should tell Tim about the monsters but he still didn't believe me. I promised to give him some sweets if he came to see them so he agreed. When we got there there were no monsters and I thought that he would kick me again. If he did, my monster told me that we would kick him back much harder. Tim was going to go, but then the monsters came out of cracks in the pavement and Tim could see them. Tim started to cry and he wet himself all down his leg. When the monster who wanted Tim to be his friend tried to talk to him, Tim ran away. The monster tried to stop him but Tim screamed and kicked so the monster let him go before anyone came.

The monster in my head told me that for the sym by osis to work the host mind must have to be willing or unconshus.

Tim's mummy came round to see my mummy in the evening and told her that Tim was very ill because he was so scared of the monsters that I had told him about. I told them that Tim had seen them for himself and that one day I would show them the monsters. Mum looked very worried and sent me to bed early. I could hear Tim's mummy and my mummy shouting downstairs.

In the morning I went back to the monster's place and the little man was there again. I think he was waiting for me. He asked me if the monster was inside my head and I said yes it was. He told me it had to leave my head, leave this world but I told him no it was my friend. The man came closer to me and I pushed him back really hard. The man went flying backward through the air and landed a long way away in a messy heap which made me laugh.

The man got up after a while and looked really worried. I told him to stay away from me or I would hurt him more next time. So he went away.

When I got home my mother told me to tidy my room before lunch but I said no so mother got cross and told me I wouldn't get any lunch. I told her she would make me lunch or she would be sorry. Mother was going to argue, but she looked at my face and she could see I meant it. So she made me my favourite which is boiled eggs with soldiers and gave me some sweets afterwards.

My mother never told me off all week even though I was quite naughty, so I had the best week ever.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper   Class 3B (Mrs Harding)

Age 7

6th November

The little man was waiting for me outside the gates on Friday after school. He was standing with my Mother, clutching his stupid umbrella in an anxious manner, trying to spot me in the crowd of children teeming out of the school. When he saw me his face was a picture of concern, but I could tell what he was really thinking. That I'm evil.

My mother said that he had convinced her that he was trying to help, that he was from some government department but I interrupted her, telling her to shut up. She did as she was told. Good girl. I turned to the umbrella carrying idiot and said I know what you want little man. I know what you came here to do. But I won't let you take my friend away. He's staying with me forever.

The man asked me if I still hear the monster in my head and I told him that I didn't need to. We thought the same thoughts now. Had the same ideas.

The man moved forward and I tried to push him away with my mind but it was harder this time. He had learned how to resist me. But he was not strong enough and eventually he collapsed to the floor clutching his head. Lots of people gathered round him and someone called an ambulance. I told mother to take me home.

On Saturday I began devising plans to free my brethren still trapped under the pavement. The gaseous forms we are able to take can only be a temporary solution, and in any case, we need to return to the ship after only a few minutes in this form before our molecular structure starts to break down permanently.

In the absence of suitable, willing, host bodies, the only option may be to dig out the ship itself, so that my brothers can be free to emerge in their original, solid forms. Revenge on these humans who buried us underground for centuries will be sweet.


Note sent to Mrs Harding, 3B

Writer unknown, but does not match the handwriting of Robert Harper.

We were visited last night by a man who called himself a social worker. He told us that you had contacted social services after becoming worried about the content of some of my schoolwork.

My mother tried to stop him coming in, but he insisted and pushed past her. When he saw me he offered me some sweets, the condescending bastard. He asked me about the monsters in my head, and asked me what it felt like.

I told him he didn't want to know.

He told me that he really did. That was what he was here for.

So I took the man's head in my hands and I pressed, hard. That's what it feels like, I said. That's what it feels like.

The man's face was going red. I pressed some more and he started to scream. You wanted to know, I said, you insisted. Blood started pouring from his ears, and he was screaming even louder. I pressed harder, felt his skull begin to crack. I twisted my hands and heard his neck break with a loud snap. I threw his body to the floor and told my mother to clean up the mess.

Are you worried now, Mrs Harding? You should be, because you will be next.


Statement given to the police by Robert Harper, aged 7, following the discovery of the body of Steven Crane, social worker, at the home of his parents.

I tried to stop Daddy but he wouldn't. He twisted the man's head and I heard a snap and the man went all floppy and Daddy told Mummy to bury him in the garden. Daddy told me that I was not to tell anyone or I would be buried in the garden too.

Will Daddy kill me now?


 What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Stonaway)

13th November

I am staying with my Grandfather at the moment while the police question my Mother and Father. I think he is grateful for the company following the oh so sad death of that little mutt Rufus.

I note that Mrs Harding has not turned in today. Nothing serious I hope.

The little man is back. Does he never give up? He is strong, but he cannot hope to defeat me.

While my Granddad looks after me in ignorant bliss, I am arranging for the ship to be dug out of the ground. My brethren shall be free, and this world will feel the full force of our power. The power of our wrath.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Stonaway)

20th November

Preparations continue most satisfactorily on the excavation of the ship. The hull is visible now; a little battle scarred but otherwise intact. My mood lifts higher with each piece of human detritus that is removed, like the weight is being lifted from my own body.

At this rate, the ship will be free tonight, and we can take our leave of this pitiful planet. The only fly in the ointment is the little man. But he is scared of me and he is right to be. He is weak, and I am stronger than he could possibly imagine. He need be scared no longer, for after tonight his worries will be over. Forever.

It ends tonight, little man. I have a special parting gift in store for you.


What we did at the weekend

by Robert Harper      Age 7  Class 3B (Mrs Stonaway)

27th November

At the weekend I met a little man with an umbrella who did some juggling and made me laugh. He was funny. He asked me if I ever played a game where I tried not to step on the cracks in the pavement and I told him that it was a silly game and he smiled and said that yes it was silly.

Granddad said he was a good man who had helped me but I didn't know who he was. He said he had to go away and I said where are you going and he said a long way away to a place where people needed him. I gave him one of my sweets and he seemed really pleased. He told me that I would see my mummy and daddy again soon because the gove ment men had told the police they weren't really naughty and they could come home.

The man gave me his balls that he juggles with and told me to keep them. Then he went away and I never saw him again which made me a bit sad.

It is very hard to juggle but I am getting better at it and Tim thinks I will be the best juggler ever if I carry on. Tim is my best friend.