A SPACEMAN’S FIRST CHRISTMAS
By Hannah Skipper
Word count: 1123
Summary: Based on the song “A Spaceman Came Travelling”
Marvin Martian sped through the galaxies in his spaceship, Flying Saucer X-2, as he thought about his mission to rule every universe. As he drove around planets, dodged comets, meteors, and asteroids, and crossed through constellations, he realized that tonight was the perfect night to set it all in motion, and his gaze hardened with focused excitement.
It had taken him light years to plan every detail, so he was confident that he would succeed!
Reentering his home galaxy, the Milky Way, he spied Earth—that accursed planet that always blocked his view of Venus—and began circling it, taking in afresh its multiple colors, surfaces, and weather systems. Slowly it dawned on him that this weakling planet would be the perfect place to set his plan into motion.
He descended through outer space quickly, but slowed as he approached his landing site, sensing a great commotion on the ground below. Jamming on the brakes, he skidded to stop as he gazed in astonishment at the goings-on.
His spaceship hung, suspended in the sky, just like a star.
Below him was a tiny village, and its surrounding hillside seemed to hum with activity as humans and animals rushed about. Marvin could only guess the reason why.
Then the spaceman’s gaze jerked upward—high in the sky he saw magnificently large beings, their faces shining with radiant joy. From his position suspended between these magnificent beings and the lowly humans, Marvin assumed that the Earthlings would be more terrified than himself at such a sight but, to his great astonishment, this was not universally the case. Yes, some were indeed terrified, but others were ecstatic, and most were indifferent, as if they didn’t even see the great heavenly hosts.
How absurd, he thought—the humans act as if they don’t even see them, but everything about them commands attention.
Watching closely, he noticed that all the magnificent beings and some of the most enthusiastic humans were moving toward a small shed, and he decided to take a landing craft down and investigate. Perhaps they were going to pay homage to their leader…
That’s a funny place for a leader to live, he noted, as he trudged up to the little building, warily watching the splendid beings. To his surprise, no one even glanced at him.
Stepping softly inside the little straw-filled barn, amongst the huge beings and curious animals, the spaceman’s wide, wondering eyes locked on a mother and her child lying on a bed. The mother’s face was a beautiful blend of the serenity that comes with age-old trust, and the fresh young innocence of a teenager. It was a contrast that Marvin found striking.
Creeping closer, he peered into the child’s face; a bright light of silver shone around his head, and He had the face of an angel.
Then, suddenly, the spaceman was seized with cold fear and he backed away, accidentally stepping on one of those great joyful beings. He spun around, ready to defend himself.
“Do not fear,” he gestured his apology, assuming that the incredible being would be afraid of him, but also doubting that he could pull his trusty weapon, an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, fast enough to destroy it. “I come from a planet a long way from here.” Then, thinking that he should let the splendid being know what his intentions were, he added, “And I bring a message for mankind to hear–”
But suddenly, he was interrupted by the sweetest music. “Peace and goodwill to all men,” the heavenly hosts sang from the starlit sky, “and love for the Child…”
The lovely music penetrated the ground, making it tremble, and Marvin sensed that many people’s consciences were awakened by the sound. Gazing about, he noticed that some other travelers were hurrying towards them, and he realized that they’d arrived in the village by following the light from his ship in the sky.
Turning back to the heavenly being, he indicated the baby, asking, “Is he your leader?”
“He is,” the being stated reverently.
“Whoever heard of a baby being a leader?” the spaceman scoffed. “What’s his name?”
“Right now, He is called Jesus,” the being said, “but He is to be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”
The being motioned toward the wide world beyond the stable, continuing, “This world has its share of problems, but the Child came to save everyone from eternal death. One day the government will be on His shoulders, and its greatness shall know no end. Once He comes into His Kingdom, peace, justice, and righteousness will be established forevermore.”
“You mean once he grows up?” Marvin asked, thinking that a baby would be easiest to defeat, and mentally calculating the years before the child could become a threat to his plans.
“Many things must happen before the Child comes into His Kingdom,” the being concurred.
“What things must happen?” Marvin asked, both curious and suspicious.
“He must die for the sins of this world,” the being responded stoically, reverently bowing his head. The history of humanity’s downfall and the terrible price for its correction always left him in awe. “Then, after three days in a grave,” the being continued, “He will rise victorious over death. Anyone who believes that this has happened, and opens his or her heart to Him, will be saved from eternal death.”
“That’s his plan?” Marvin asked skeptically.
Still uncertain, the spaceman glanced at the baby. But suddenly he felt sure that His plan was far better than his own, and dropped to one knee before Him. Then, looking up, he noticed that the sky was paling; it was just before dawn.
Rising, he refocused his attention on the powerful being. “Now I must fly,” he stated with some strange inner knowledge, “but when two thousand years of your time has gone by, this song will begin once again.” Nodding to reaffirm his statement, he added, “To a baby’s cry.”
As he blasted off toward his spaceship, the heavenly hosts sang on. “Peace and goodwill to all men, and love for the Child.”
Leaving the village behind, leaving that time behind, Marvin pressed his throttle to its stops and raced to infinity and beyond, but always, echoing in his ears, was the song in the sky.
“Peace and goodwill to all men, and love for the Child.”
At the end of the time that the spaceman had stipulated, the people began to gather; thousands stood at the edge of the earth, remembering what Marvin had said.
“The star is moving,” they told one another. “The time is nearly here.”
“The song will begin once again,” they reminded everyone, “to a baby’s cry…”