It was assumed Patience Humble took pride in her art. As the only sky carver in business, she had worked with some of the grandest event organisers providing a unique back drop to whatever extravaganza was being designed. Every rock concert, political rally, royal wedding and space launch these days was accompanied by one of Patience’s bespoke ‘holes in the sky’ as she modestly called her atmosphere slicing, allowing glimpses of the ‘Great Infinite’ peak through whatever patterns the clients wanted.
Environmentalists expressed concerns that, having spent decades lobbying to have CFCs banned to reverse the destruction of the ozone layer they really didn’t need some wannabe stenciller cutting bloody great holes in the whole shebang and not just one layer. But since every scientist said that the temporary displacement of the atmosphere caused no damage either short or long term, they were made to limit their grumbles to their own conferences. Too many people loved the idea that at points of communal hope (perhaps excluding the political rallies) they could share a glimpse into something so much bigger than themselves.
Early on in her career Patience developed her unique signature, assumed by many to be an ironic homage to the once popular China flying ducks that soared over many fireplaces, though in Patience’s case the birds were magnificent swans that appeared to lead whatever carving was to be the centre piece of the specific firmament installation.
Patience was naturally reclusive, perhaps not as protective of her personal space as a Banksy but keen that her art did the talking and as few people as possible met her. And that position was respected by both the art establishment and the public as a small price to pay for such wonderful, unique experiences. Of course some inquisitive journalists probed into Patience’s private life, her background and her training but inevitably drew a blank.
Which was because Patience Humble didn’t exist. The holes in the atmosphere, however were very real and provided an opening for the Frngg, an aggressive band of alien colonisers who needed a way to invade without the irritation of trying to beat their way though our abrasive atmosphere. Every time another installation was constructed, another group of Frngg entered undercover of darkness and took up residence in every drain and other moist dark corner, waiting for the sign from high command to step out of the shadows and demand fealty and subjugation from the peoples of Earth.
Everything looked promising until one fateful day when a Frngg was checking the sky for a sign and a small incontinent cockerpoo chose that moment to urinate on the small, mean spirited alien. Canine urine did what countless armies on countless planets had previously failed to do. It turned the Frngg from an elite fighting force to a small heap of mush the colour and consistency of hummus.
While the Frngg were all for egregious aggrandisement, they objected to the idea they might be pissed to defeat by a bunch of mutts and took a quick decision to withdraw from Earth.
Patience’s abrupt and unforeshadowed retirement caused a small frisson for a few months but generally no one was really surprised. That was apart for the cockerpoo who saved the planet. It ate the repurposed Frngg, became determined to take over the world but lacking any concept of strategy and opposable thumbs, had to settle for a less than satisfactory life trying to eat the postman.
This was written in response to Sue Vincent’s latest #writephoto prompt