The Aliens are coming

There haven’t been this many Alien Genre movies and TV shows since the 1950s. And I’m not talking illegal aliens either. Although you could say that all the aliens in this media are here illegally. If it was up to Stephen Hawking he would bundle these folks up and send them back to where they belong “billions and billions” of light years away.

He has stated that if extraterrestrials ever make it to earth, it will be a bad thing. He has looked at human history and seen that almost always the advanced civilization wipes out the indigenous folks. When it comes to these kinds of aliens, we’re the indigenous. So Hawking would have us shut off SETI and other programs of this ilk and try to develop something which will make us unlikely to be seen by the far-faraway people. Because they will “not come in peace.”

A recent forage into this genre was the terrible “I Am Number Four”. But this genre seems to have been dropping from the sky regularly since “Independence Day”. There were alien genre movies and television shows before that but nothing like what’s come lately. It’s enough to give the zombies heart burn.

We’ve gotten “V”, “The Event”, “Invasion”, “Falling Skies”, “Stargate”, which started off as a movie and all its offshoots, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Roswell”, “The X-Files” (and the two movies based on the show),”Taken”, “First Wave”, “Lilo and Stitch: The Television Series”, “Dark Skies”, “Invasion America”. Pretty soon we might even get a show called “Baked”.

And when it comes to movies, here’s just a sample. a bunch of “Transformers” (the aliens this time are big-assed trucks), “District 9”, “Men In Black” 1 and 2 and 3, “Signs”, “Battle Los Angeles”, “Cowboys and Aliens”, “Super 8”, “The Arrival”, “Alien Vs Predator”, “Mars Attacks” (boy, are the aliens gonna be mad about that one), the remakes of “War of the Worlds” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, “Prometheus”, “The Darkest Hour”. And that’s just a few.

It does make you wonder. Are we being prepared for something? Maybe lunch or a midnight snack. ‘Cause I can’t see any other reasons why somebody would come billions and billions and billions of miles to this dinky little place in the middle of nowhere. Certainly not to glow in our wisdom. It does make me wonder if Hollywood has been taken over by extraterrestrials and we’re about to become somebody’s afterschool snack. Hey, that would make a good movie or TV show.

All I know is that it’s enough to make me wanna say “Nanu-nanu”.

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SomeThing

A tale of horror

Something moves. Or does it? Del isn’t sure. He looks and listens hard. For an instant, the thin, wiry man sees a motion, a movement among the trees at the edge of his back yard. Holding his shotgun with both hands, he readies himself to aim and fire. His eyes again search the trees and the marsh beyond the trees.

All is quiet. Nothing stirs, only the troubled whimper of a wind. Strange. Usually the marsh is alive with chirps and buzzes and all kinds of splashes. But now, not a sound. He listens harder, more carefully. Slowly he begins to hear the normal, marshy voices that grow louder as the afternoon light fades and evening approaches.

“Nothing here,” he decides. “Must be her imagination. She’s always thinking up things.”

He turns and steps easily across the wet grass, drenched from a sudden afternoon downpour that ended only moments ago. Returning to the house, he enters the back door and walks into the kitchen. Ginny stands waiting by the sink. She clenches a large butcher knife.

“Well, d’you see anything?” she asks, her eyes filled with terror.

“Nary a thing.” He sets his gun in a corner by the stove.

“You think I’m making it all up. Well, I’m not. I did too see something sneaking outside the bedroom window. Heard its growls too.”

“Now, now.” He takes his wife into his arms, then eases the knife from her hand and lays it in the sink. He holds her close to him.

“You must’ve heard the noises yourself. They were loud enough.” She settles into the sanctuary of his broad shoulders for a long, lingering embrace. Her whole body is shivering. He runs his hands gently through her hair and whispers soothing words into her ear until she is calm. After a few minutes of silence pass between them, he lightly kisses her lips.

Releasing her from his arms, he asks his usual, “D’you fix my supper for work?”

“You still going to work after what I seen?” She holds onto his arm.

“Course I am. How could I not?”

“Please stay home tonight. Just this once.” Her hand squeezes tighter and tighter.

“Shush.” He wrenches her hand from his arm.

“Sure wish you would stay home with me tonight.” She reaches again for his arm.

He forces her hand away. “Finish my supper while I get dressed,” he says, ignoring the supplication in her voice.

She chokes out the words, “It’s ready. ‘Cept for wrapping up a piece of that chocolate cake I made special this morning.”

“Look, if you get scared again, have George come on by,” he says, referring to their only son. “You can go stay at his house tonight. I’ll pick you up in the morning.” These are his last words on the subject. It is time to ready for work.

Del goes off into the bedroom and changes into his security guard uniform and is back in the kitchen just as Ginny is placing the cake into his gray lunch box.

Her eyes plea with him to stay with her and not run off to work. But he takes his supper from her hands and pulls his Atlanta Braves cap off the hat stand by the outside kitchen door.

Flipping the cap onto his head, he kisses her cheek a goodnight kiss. Then he is through the door and gone.

Ginny walks into the living room at the front of the house and watches Del through the large picture window as he drives away in his Ford Explorer. Then she drops into the large comfortable chair, Del’s chair, and trembles. Soon her entire body shakes. Tears well up into her eyes. Her face, wrinkled and sagging, appears to be much older than her fifty-seven years. The room darkens as the night fills it with its blackness. Ginny sits alone, afraid to fall asleep because of the nightmares she’s been having. She fights off the sleep. It is too much for her. She’s so tired from her lack of sleep over the last few days that she’s soon dozing off.

Asleep, she starts drifting in and out of her subconscious. It is then that a something eases its way out of the shadows of her sleep and into her dreams, those worlds of gray and fog and unhappiness that inhabit her slumber. Through these lands of mist and uneasiness, of phantoms, specters and dark, ugly things, this SomeThing walks, consuming everything in its path.

Thunder shakes her awake. Her clothes are drenched with sweat, the kind of sweat that only comes from fear. Out the window, a storm rages with a hard, driving rain pelting the grass. Again, the thunder grumbles and a tree crashes in the distance. Lightning streaks the sky and brightens the room.

Just for a moment, she sees it. A shadow, or at least what she, at first, believes to be a shadow. It isn’t. It is the SomeThing that had haunted her nightmares for days, the SomeThing that had made those awful growling noises, the SomeThing that had escaped into nothing earlier that afternoon, the SomeThing that had come from some hell of an evil place.

And a wicked looking SomeThing it is, its eyes cold and cruel with a hate that can only come from another world, its mouth dripping a mixture of white, rabid fear and dark, red blood, its huge body a black silhouette outlined against the lightning flashing in the distance.

Ginny cowers into her chair, struggling to breathe. She wants to scream, tries to scream, but the scream does not come out of her mouth. The Thing, the SomeThing reaches for her, its long talons grasping to tear open her neck.

*****

The house is unusually quiet when Del gets home. It is four o’clock in the morning of a cold, clear February night. The storm earlier has passed, leaving everything drenched and a full moon to fill the sky. Guided by the light of the moon, he hurries through the living room and into the dark bedroom. He leaves the light off so as not to wake Ginny and quickly undresses for bed. He crawls under the clean sheets, then turns to give his wife of thirty-seven years a goodnight kiss.

Ginny is not there. She is gone from her side of the bed where she always sleeps.

He starts to get out of the bed, but then decides, “Must be at George’s.”

He is relieved. Within minutes, he is snoring. His dreams delve deep, deeper and deeper and deeper into that subterranean underground that is his inner consciousness until he is struggling through a swamp, legs hip-deep in water. Cypress trees everywhere, and a heavy, red fog closes in around him.

Alone. No other life in the swamp, but the flies. Those damnable flies circling his head, making no noise. An eerie silence breathes on him as he forces his way through the muck and the mire. Feeling eyes following him, stalking him, he turns and sees…nothing. He looks back to where he is going. A necklace, his wife’s necklace, drops into his hand and opens. His photograph smiles back at him. He looks up. There she is, Ginny pinned to a tree.

This startles him awake. His body is unable to move, frozen with fear. Rain beats against the rooftop. Thunder groans nearby. Lightning lights the room while the shadow of a SomeThing covers Del’s face.

Hair

Today I want to write about hair. Or the lack thereof. I have lost most of the fuzz up on the lawn that is the top of my head. Seems much of it is missing in action. One could say that it has gone Hamlet on me. It just can’t make up its mind. Either go bald or grow some grass up there, I yell. I’m tired of maybe some hair.

Unfortunately my yelling, cajoling, pleading hasn’t helped. There are still a few weeds sprouting up on top of Ol’ Smokey. Mostly there’s nothing. At least, nothing to write home about. But I haven’t gone completely Yul Brynner. Yet.

A long time ago back in the way back yonders, I had hair dangling down to somewhere else. You know where, but I’m not saying. It wouldn’t be right in mixed company. I was one of those who could sing the anthem to “Hair”. The song that came out of the musical, celebrating the fun the hippies were having and all the rest of us were not having. Either we didn’t have the courage or the good sense. Now that I think back it was probably a bit of both.

As far as my hair goes, I think what happened is gravity took over, pulling the grass downward. My hair started going south. I shave and ten minutes later I have a faceful again.

So now I’m singing, “Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair. Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen. Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer.” Man, I miss all that hair flying in the breeze in a convertible with the top down. But don’t worry. I am not going George Castanza and wearing a toup. I’d be embarrassed to show my face in public. I do have my pride.

If the gods are not going along with my prayer of a song, the least they could do is complete the job with the head. I am ready for a Telly Savalas make-over. You know, completely, undeniably bald. Pretty soon, you would see me with that Telly lollipop he used to suck on in “Kojak”.

It might even increase my sex appeal the way it did with T. S. and Yul. A little sex appeal can only help a writer who wants readers for his blog and his books. That’s right, I have books and more books a-coming down the road. And it would be nice to have readers for them.

By the way, why isn’t there a theme song out there, celebrating baldness. It’s only right that we get both sides of the story. Sinéad O’Connor could sing it. Just one is all we ask. There are a lot of us who could use the encouragement.

And come to think of it, our beards could use a little of that support too. Need I remind everybody that one of our greatest Presidents had a beard. ‘Course that was after he went off and killed all those vampires. Guess all that vampire hunting made him too tired to shave.

Mr. Gecko and the Picnic Basket

An adult faerie tale not for kids

One Wednesday, the heavens opened up and the Great Gecko in the Sky on his mushroom perch looked down upon all his creatures. He was not happy. He saw way too much fornication going on down there on earth. So much fornicating that it got his blood boiling. He had to do something, and what he had in mind was something hard and destructive.

Since it was such a pleasant day up there in gecko heaven, the sun shining all nice and warm unlike a week earlier. His heaven had been all gecko hell with the snow and the blizzard. Down-right freezing it was. Not being a fur-bearing kind of god Mr. Gecko hated the cold. But this particular day was a nice heavenly kind of spring day and Mr. Gecko looked around and saw his favorite tree just a bit of a ways off.

It was a tree all fluffy with cherry blossoms. The kind of tree that Mr. Gecko loved to siesta under when he was taking a break from his gecko-god duties or doing his chores assigned to him by Mrs. Gecko, his wife for nigh-on eight and a half eons. A rather long time for a heavenly pair to stay coupled together but still they were as happy as any two middle-aged gods could be under the circumstances. But enough of that. Mr. Gecko had work to do, coming up with a destructive methodology for those fornicating fools, and the day wasn’t getting any longer. In fact, it was getting shorter.

He strolled over to the cherry blossom tree and sat himself down on the green grass and leaned back to do some thinking. But thinking being what it is, Mr. Gecko could only do it so long and then he was famished. This particularly day in April, the “so long” was about fifteen minutes long and he still had not come up with anything of the destructive ilk yet.

He reached over and pulled his picnic basket closer. A picnic basket Mrs. Gecko had risen up early that morning before sunrise and prepared for him. It was like she could read his mind. Like she knew that he was going to have some hard thinking to do that day, knew that he’d need a good nutritious, delicious meal so he could come up with just the right destruction for his fornicating creation.

Mr. Gecko opened up that picnic basket, and lo and behold, what he saw was good. Very good. There were three watercress sandwiches with mustard…oh, yes and a pickle. One of Mrs. Gecko’s prize sweet pickles that she had grown in her vegetable garden behind their lovely white cottage. In the basket, there was a thermos of his favorite green tea and a bag of Indonesian chips, the chips that made Jakarta famous. And there…no, it just couldn’t be. But it was. A large slice of key lime pie. If he hadn’t known better, he would have believed that he was in hog heaven. But he was a gecko god and he was in heaven just the same.

Then it hit him. If he consumed all that food, he was going to need a siesta. A long siesta. He was not going to be in any kind of destructive mood for quite some time. This was Mrs. Gecko’s way of preventing what he was about to do. First he would come up with The Plan, then he would eat.

When he would comment to Mrs. Gecko on what a fornicating crowd he’d created, all she could say was, “Well, dear, you know that’s how the eight ball bounces. It is in the nature of creation to be about itself creatting. And how exactly do you expect your creation to create with nary any fornication?”

Mr. Gecko took another look into the basket. Those chips looked enticing. Well, maybe he would eat just one…no, two…just two…ah, shoot…three then. Soon he had completely consumed not just the chips, but the sandwiches, the pickle and the key lime pie, tossing it all down with his tea. And he was snoring the afternoon away, dreaming of Indra dreaming of Gecko dreaming.

Be careful what you ask for

The light from the windows of her hundred-year-old house streamed out onto the lawn late that night in February. The light reflected the shadow of her silhouette behind the curtains of her second story bedroom. She was watching me, I knew, as I stood next to the fence across the street and waited. I had been here every night for one hundred days, in rain, in fog that came up off the nearby sea, and on clear nights. It was the key to the door of her heart.

I wondered if she would ever recognize my love for her. At first, I had sent her notes, then candy, then flowers, first one, then a half dozen, then a dozen. But she ignored them. When we had last spoke at our high school, she had urged, “Please don’t.”

But I loved her too much to give up and I knew she would come to love me. It was fated to be and only a matter of time.

Each night I watched her father arrive from some late night appointment and go into the house. He was always going and coming at night. But why? Why did he do this? After all, he was a successful lawyer who had an office downtown, open for appointments all day long. Why did he need to be out this late every night?

One night her father walked out of the house and headed for his car. I looked at my watch. Eleven o’clock. I decided to follow. I hurried around the corner and jumped into my old beat-up green Buick. I started it, then sat there. Her father backed out of the driveway and headed east.

I pulled in behind him, about twenty car lengths, and tailed him. We drove for thirty minutes or so until we came to an old rundown warehouse. He parked in its parking lot, next to the three or four other cars there. I pulled to a stop a block or so away and watched him enter a side door into the building.

I got out of the car and walked over to the partially lit parking lot. I went around to the side and listened in through a half-broken window. All I could hear was the sound of barking dogs in the distance. I pushed my ear closer to the window. Then I felt it. The cold metal in my back. It was a gun.

“Come with me,” the man behind me demanded and grabbed me by the neck and shoved me forward. Before I could turn around to see who it was, I was forced through the side door and into the warehouse. Before me stood several men.

“I caught this outside,” the voice behind me said.

“Welcome, Mr. Benedaro,” her father greeted me with a smile.

I was pushed toward the group of men and forced to drop onto my knees. I was in the center of a circle of these men.

From behind me, I heard her voice. “Now, Father?” she said.

“Yes, Daughter,” her father said.

I turned to see a large wolf, charging me with its teeth bared.

“What the he…,” I screamed as she bit into my neck.