The Spiders of Mars

I’d seen a lot of things in Magic Dance, but nothing like this. I sat at the bar, sipping a Moonage Daydream, no different to any other night, when she walked in. Legs like pins, and a head of the thickest blond locks you’ve ever seen.

She took the stool next to me. “Space Oddity,” she said in a voice deeper than Sinatra’s. The bartender placed a blue-green drink on the bar in front of her.

“I’m Ziggy,” she said, Adam’s apple bouncing up and down.

I gave a small nod. “John,” I managed. The next words just slipped out. “What are you?”

She smiled and winked. “Whatever the world needs me to be.”

I was saved from making further conversation when the door swung open again and a young couple entered. The guy stopped half way across the bar and threw his arms up. “Why, if it isn’t our own Lady Stardust,” he cried.

“Take a seat, love” Ziggy waved him over. “Jareth, Jean, this is John.”

All three turned to me. Jean swept around and draped an arm across my shoulders, half sitting in my lap. “Hello, Johnny,” she whispered in my ear.

Before I could answer, Jareth had moved to my other side and looped an arm around my back.

“Uh, yes. Lovely to meet you.” I tried to extricate myself from the pair, before someone could see.

“Down, sweethearts,” Ziggy ordered, and the couple backed off. “You’ll have to forgive my Spiders. They’re Martian, and their manners are a little slack sometimes.”

“I should be off,” I said, heading for the door.

I was stopped at the door by another entrant. This one in full military dress, but for the rosette pinned to his shirt. It took me a moment to recognise him as a candidate in the upcoming election. “You’re…”

“Major Tom.” He saluted. “Please return to your seat.”

I backed away from the Major and was accosted by Jareth and Jean again. Shrugging them off, I turned to Ziggy. “What’s going on here?”

“Let’s wait until all the Spiders are here. I hate repeating myself.” She sipped her drink again. A moment later we were joined by a wandering cloud of smoke, bringing with it another man.

He sauntered towards us, straightening his embroidered vest. He kissed Jean first, then Jareth, leaving both looking slightly dazed. When he smiled at me, I saw his teeth were pointed, and an amber liquid beaded at the tips of his fangs.

“Aladdin,” Ziggy breathed.

Jean moved to the centre of the room and began to sway by herself.

“What are you doing? I asked.

“John, I’m only dancing,” she sighed, doing a twirl.

“Will somebody please tell me what’s going on?”

Ziggy stepped forward and placed a hand on my shoulder. She was at least a head taller than me. “John, we’re here because of you. Because of the confusion that fills you.”

Jareth and Jean spoke together, “Because of the repression you feel.”

Major Tom puffed out his chest. “Because of the lies you tell.”

Aladdin exhaled a puff of sweet smoke. “Because of the temptations you refuse.”

I looked at each of them in turn. “Where will we go?”

“Mars,” Ziggy replied, holding out a hand. “It’s time to leave the capsule, if you dare.”

I stared at it for several seconds. With a final breath, I took her hand.

FFM Day 28

Challenge: Score a minimum of 150 David Bowie points. Find the scoring criteria here.

Total score: 240

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