Frustration, guilt, and anger gnawed away at him every time he had to drive down that road. So much so, before he had even turned right at the traffic lights in front of the small row of shops he felt a small ignition of indignation.
“Where does man get off thinking they have the right to act in such a way?” He knew the answer.
It was an industrial part of the town. It was dirty from factories dumping loads of excess plastic, wood shavings, metal remnants, and fabrics. This area was never clean.
“It’s inexcusable.” he told himself before he started to understand the reasons for such terrible behaviour.
“Can we not drive a different way for once?” Kim said.
As a matter of fact, there were actually two ways that they could have driven. The other way had way too many speed bumps for Brendan’s liking, plus the shock absorbers on there 20 plus year old car had gone. It was very uncomfortable.
This way, the road took them past a Chinese Cemetary, where for as far as the eye could see you had countless graves built into the incline of the hillside; filled with loved ones, sleeping, waiting. This route is the most convenient way but also the most disturbing.
Brendan ruminated in his mind. Space invaders must have been one of the first computer games that came on the market, decades ago.
“You shot yourself through levels of levels of small pixelated, smiley, colourful Martians who had the aim of trying to make their way to earth, and take us over. They were not welcome, so we need to obliterate them, before the next level.” He said to Kim.
“What are you talking about?” She said.
“Zap! Zap! Zap!” he said. He took his hands off the wheel and made his thumb and forefinger into a laser gun that would have got him a memorable high score. “Zap! Zap! Zap!” he did it again.
“Put your hands back on the wheel please,” Kim said.
How the poor and defenseless monkeys must have wished this was all part of a game that they could easily turn off.
“Yes, we are the Kings and Queens of Space Invaders!” he said.
“I still don’t understand what that ancient computer game has to do with these monkeys,” Kim said.
The road which ran alongside the cemetery had become a dumping ground for every selfish, no conscience man, woman and teenager around. Adjacent to the cemetery was what should be a beautiful small plantation packed tightly with palm trees and rubber trees. It was the home and resting place for many Long-Tailed Macaque monkeys.
Over the past decade and a half, the monkeys had been forced to downsize. Their small residence now was maybe 50, maybe 100 times smaller than a decade ago. Then, they were spoilt for choice for trees to swing in, bananas to pluck, and mangoes to peel. They were happy and content in their solitude. Today, they were spoilt for choice of what rubbish to rummage through, what diaper to smell , which abandoned sofa or wardrobe to perch on and think of the “good old days.”
Yes! We are the Space Invaders!
As he drove down the hill before turning left onto the Cemetary road, the what should be the natural relaxing shade of green welcoming you had been disgraced by a mixture of colours and tones that were far from appealing, more repugnant. The whites of diapers, plastic bags, and polystyrene glared at him as he drove past. The reds, blues, oranges and purples just laughed and scoffed at his helplessness.
“These poor monkeys,” his wife said.
“The price of development.” he replied.
He remembered the other week when he had been returning on this road. The monkeys had come out to be entertained by particular “Space Invader” who drove a red flatbed truck. The “Invader” had blocked the road with his machine. It was evening time, so obviously just clocked off work. He was pneumatically lifting the flatbed, and delivering to the monkeys via the slippery slope of the hillside broken up wardrobes, shelving and off cuts galore.
The red flatbed truck was blocking all on coming “Invaders” machines, so we needed to slow down before turning right to go up the hill, and leave this place behind us. As Brendan slowed, he caught the monkeys looking at him.
“What you going to do about this?” monkey no 1 roared. His compatriots hollered in agreement.
“Are you going to stop your fellow man from invading our space?” monkey no 2 said, throwing his two hands up in the air.
“It’s one thing feeling sorry for us, it’s another getting up, off your backside and telling this “Space Invader” to clear off, and take your rubbish with you.” monkey no 3 said. Suddenly it was if the mangrove of monkeys were staring directly at him. He felt so guilty.
He knew the monkey was right. He was useless! He was helpless.
“I think we’ll suffer the speed bumps next week” he quietly said.