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The Astral Cricket Match
by Dave Price

Lighting a cigarette, Keating studied the mass of rubble that had once been New York City. On Liberty Island, a headless statue stood before the ruins of The Empire State, its torch still held aloft.

“Sure made The Big Apple crumble this time, huh?”

Keating had tried to warn them, but would they listen? That meteor is heading straight for us, he’d said; but The White House, desperate to avoid a panic, had placed a moratorium on the data coming out of NASA control. Thankfully, they’d relented, and an orderly evacuation had kept the casualties to a minimum.

Now it was just a matter of rebuilding an entire city.

“Never saw a meteor moving so fast,” said his young assistant, Shirley, handing him a carton of strong black coffee.

“Let’s hope we never do again. Still, there’s plenty of extraterrestrial material for us to study. I just wish that darned thing had crashed into a desert.”

The scientific work now done, it was time for the construction workers to move in. An hour later, his findings incomplete, Keating was packing away his equipment. The origin of the meteor, however, was still a mystery; it came, as they say, like a bolt from the blue.

“Ah well,” he said, “I guess that’s one more mystery we’ll never solve.”


Satan took a firm hold of the bat and faced Jesus, who had just bowled out one of His Daemons with a Chinaman. St Peter, the wicket keeper, spat on his hands and went into a crouch.

“Right,” said God, the umpire, “Good luck. And Satan …”

“Yes God?”

“Try not to whack it in the direction of the Earth again; they’re still cleaning up after that last match we played.”

Satan just smiled. “As if,” he said, and assumed the position.