Thanks everyone for putting up with me indulging my summer fantasy of being an action adventure heroine. I promise I’ll be back to some real life Snarky soon. Now, let’s get to the part about the aliens.
It was freaky pedaling the bike through my neighborhood around cars that have just stopped in the street and lawn mowers that had been abandoned mid mow, but the worst was seeing bikes laying on the sidewalks, next to jump ropes, and backpacks. What had happened? The only thing keeping my heart from thumping out of my chest was ABC. I knew she was just as scared as I was, but in times of stress ABC brings the ridiculous. The best way I can think to describe her is to have you imagine the comedienne Kathy Griffin if she was the mother to three hyper boys and her husband had just left her for a guy. She’s a just a delicious, hysterical, feisty, hot mess and I love her.
I got into my house easy enough because lucky for me I always forget to lock the French doors into my family room. ABC beelines for the fridge and the Franzia. She takes the entire box of wine out of the fridge, leans her head back and puts the nozzle right in her mouth. I’m not one to judge so I gave her an elbow in the ribs and she hands over the box to give me a turn. It’s then that we hear footsteps and a rustling sound. ABC cuddles the wine box like it’s a newborn and we dive behind my kitchen counter. I open a drawer and take out my marble rolling-pin and wait. Five seconds later I hear my son whispering, “Mom, mom are you in here?”
I pop up from behind the counter and say, “What the hell son? I told you to stay at the school.”
To make matters worse he’s got Hyatt and Grace with him and Bella who upon seeing me immediately lets go of her brother’s hand and bolts to me.
As I’m hugging Bella he says, “I’m sorry mom, but we couldn’t just sit there. We thought you might need our help, plus Hyatt is a Boy Scout.”
I just sigh. It’s not like I was going to send them back to the school. They knew they had me.
ABC takes a break from sucking on the Franzia and says, “I thought Kelly and Nikki would have been better at keeping an eye on everyone.”
Will bites his lip and before he can say anything Grace blurts out, “They kind of had their hands full with your boys. They were all over the place.”
ABC takes another gulp of the Franzia and says, “Well, there is that.”
“It’s okay, really it is,” I say in my best commanding yet soothing tone, “But from now on everybody stays together and listens to me and ABC got it?”
The kids look over at ABC who’s still nursing on the boxed wine nozzle and I correct my previous statement and say, “Make that everybody listens to me. Now all of you down to the basement.”
We all clump down the basement stairs and I pass the Christmas and Halloween decoration boxes and head straight for the three plastic tubs tucked in the far corner of the room by a window. They’re labeled with a black sharpie and read, “Less Fat Clothes,” “Kind of Skinny Clothes” and “Maternity Clothes.” I open up the “Kind of Skinny Clothes” box first and start digging. After about 30 seconds I find what I’m looking for – “Little Miss Texas.”
“Hello old friend,” I say to the Ruger Red Hawk Snub Nose 44 Magnum. I look at ABC who has uttered a “WTF,” shrug my shoulders and say, “My grandpa gave me guns instead of dolls.”
My son sees me pull the gun out the clothes box and indignantly exclaims, “What?! We have a gun in our house? You wouldn’t let me get an air gun and you have that hiding in our basement!”
I ignore him, stick Little Miss Texas in my fanny pack and go over to the “Less Fat Clothes” long plastic bin. I pry off the top, throw out some shorts that would currently cover about one of my butt checks and lift out “Queen of the Rodeo” – A Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 Gauge shot-gun. Oh my, she’s still a beauty with her walnut woodwork and dark navy polished barrel. I give her a kiss and then hurry over to the box marked “Maternity Clothes”. I open it up, dig through some maternity jeans and recoil when I see the worst fashion creation since Eve grabbed a fig leaf – the maternity overall which has the magical powers to make you look like carrying your ass is pregnant and pull out two boxes of ammunition. My son is still staring at me as I sit down on the floor and start loading up Little Miss Texas and the Queen of the Rodeo with ammo.
He finally says, “I don’t get it Mom. How come you have guns?”
As I’m shoving shells in the shotgun I say, “Listen up, I don’t embrace gun violence or the current hipster, gangster gun culture, but these guns were a gift from my granddaddy, may he rest in peace, and let me tell you something even though I’ve only aimed these girls at targets and tin cans right now, with the blessing of the second amendment that gives me the right to bear arms, I’m fully prepared and dedicated to doing whatever it takes to protect each and every one of you sitting in my basement.”
And with that I put down the fully loaded shotgun and start feeding bullets into Little Miss Texas.
He was still confused and asked, “Why did you hide the guns and bullets in the boxes that say skinny clothes and maternity clothes?
“Because I knew there was pretty much no chance, barring medical intervention, that I was going to be wearing those skinny or maternity clothes again so the boxes, made the ideal hiding place.”
“Can you even shoot the guns?” He asked.
“Oh yeah, I can shoot, no worries there.”
“It’s like I don’t even know you.”
I winked at him and said, “Now where would the fun be if you knew everything about your mom?”
With that I put Little Miss Texas back in my fanny pack, grabbed the bag that holds the folding chair we take to soccer games, dumped the chair out, put the shotgun in the bag and slung the strap over my shoulder. I was locked and loaded. I spied the large lawn cart and told the kids to carry it up the basement stairs. I turned to give ABC something to do and panicked when I couldn’t find her. I shouted her name and she screamed back, “I’m up here in the kitchen.” I take my daughter’s hand and sprint up the stairs to find ABC with my old Babybjorn, last seen in the basement in a box marked “To Donate,” strapped to her body. She had somehow managed to squeeze a brand new box of Franzia into the Bjorn. On her back is my son’s old Thomas the Tank Engine backpack, also from the basement. From the looks of it I betting she’s got another box of Franzia stuffed inside. She looks at me and says, “Let’s Roll.”
I shake my head at her and say, “Not yet. I need to grab a few more supplies.” I ransack my kitchen for candles, matches and lighters and run upstairs to the bedrooms to get my daughter’s favorite blanket. I figured she might need it to get through the night. I also grab a couple of pillows for the kids back at the school.”
“Okay!” I shout, Let’s go!”
With the shotgun it was too hard to ride a bike so the four kids, ABC and I walked to the Fire Station. Along the way we checked houses and saw no sign of life. It was the same story at the Fire Station – deserted. I wanted to get back to the school before dark so we decided to take the shortest distance back. The bad news was it took us closer to the dark cloud.
“What do you think that is Mom?” my daughter asked.
“I have no idea. It looks kind of like a tornado, but there are no high winds.”
My son added, “It could be a weather anomaly.”
Or Grace said, “A visual break in the space-time continuum”
“Maybe it’s the portal to a black hole.” Hyatt eagerly added.
ABC interjected, “Or maybe it’s Captain Kirk having Scotty beam him up to the Starship Enterprise. Come on kids, it’s some kind of weather weirdness, that’s all.”
Hyatt looked at ABC and said, “It’s not weather weirdness that made everybody go poof!
“No, most definitely what’s happening is much larger than a force a nature event,” Grace said very authoritatively.
As the kids and ABC argued about what was making the grayish cloud I kept scanning the area for signs of life. We were close to my beloved Super Target and I wondered if I should check to see if anyone was there. Before I could ask ABC what she thought of that idea we all heard a weird, humming sound and I told everyone to run and take cover behind a hedge of overgrown holly bushes.
“What the hell is that?” shrieked ABC.
I don’t know, but it’s the first definitive sound we’ve heard since the sirens went off. I slid the Queen of the Rodeo out of the folding chair bag, stand up, cock the gun, and say, “Everyone stay here. I’m going to get a little bit closer and see what’s up?”
Will says, “Are you sure Mom?”
“Yeah, don’t worry. I’m just going to snuggle up to that sound and see what’s up. Stay here and I mean it – Stay!”
I start creeping closer to the sound which got louder the nearer I got to the cloud and the Super Target. My hands were sweating so badly I stopped to wipe them off on my shirt and that’s when I saw it. The cloud was directly behind the Super Target and hovering above the cloud was something that resembled the world’s largest Dyson. I’m not talking about any old Dyson, but that the new, purpley one that’s called the Animal because it’s supposed to be able to suck up anything. In fact, it looked like the flying gianormous Dyson was sucking up the grey cloud. No, scratch that, the grey cloud seemed to a twisting strand of flaky, dust particles, like the stuff that’s inside your Ped Egg after your exfoliate your feet. I kept walking closer and then I heard a sound behind me, like I was being followed, I quickly turned around, my finger on the trigger of Queen of the Rodeo, and there’s every person I told to STAY – staring at me.
My daughter spoke first, “We were scared” and my son added, “You left us no means of protection. You should have left us a gun.”
“Why? So you can shoot yourself? God, ABC you suck at crowd management.”
“I’m with Will” says ABC, “You took all the bang, bang with you and we wanted to be with the bang, bang. Is that so wrong?”
“No, what’s wrong is that thing that looks like a Dyson vacuum cleaner parked up in the sky. Do you see it?”
ABC squints her eyes and stares up at the cloud. “What the hell is that?”
“I told you what it is. It’s the worlds largest freaking Dyson.”
“Hmm,” ABC mutters, still staring up at the sky. “It’s the new Dyson too. The really expensive one – fancy.”
Hyatt says, “Maybe it’s some sort of experimental military aircraft.”
Will, jumps in with, “I heard you talking with the other moms back at the school about a terrorist attack. It could be North Korean or maybe it’s from Iraq?”
“No,” says Grace, “Based on my knowledge of security intelligence it’s certainly not North Korean. They don’t have the expertise to make something of that magnitude.”
Before I could ask Grace about her “security clearance” my daughter screams, “Mom, mom, mom, MOM! What is t-h-a-t!”
I look where she’s pointing and six square shape figures, each about the size of a toddler, are approaching us. They have no head or extremities, just a torso. In fact, they looked like those new Tide pod detergent packs for your washing machine. They each have an orange and purple swirl and seemed to be self-propelled, like miniature hover crafts. I calmly, kind of, tell everyone to get behind me and aim The Queen of the Rodeo at the closest pod. I didn’t shoot – yet. I’m running a million scenarios through my head – are these pods friends or foe? Are they cutting edge American military thingamabobs or the latest thing in drone warfare? As I’m thinking, thinking, thinking a pod starts spewing something that looks like airborne toothpaste gel at us. I take that as a sign of definitely not a friendly and fire. The shotgun shell goes straight through the pod like I’m shooting through pudding. It doesn’t phase it all. It keeps coming towards us. I get off three more shots and still nothing. I give the now empty shotgun to ABC and take Little Miss Texas out of my fanny pack. This girl has the power to bring down a bear. It sure as hell, I think, should stop a three-foot high Tide detergent pod. I squeeze the trigger and the bullet sails through the pod. By this time the six pods are getting really close. ABC has gotten the kids further back. It was just me and the pods. My fanny pack was open and in a fit of panic I grabbed the first thing my hand touches – my travel size Gain Febreze – and spray. The pod closest to me goes down. The other five retreat and hover off in the direction of the Target.
“What happened?” hollers, ABC.
“Well, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve just killed or stunned an alien with freaking Febreze, which leads me to believe that were under an alien attack by some sort of pod life form. They appear to have traveled here by space ship or whatever you want to call that Dyson looking thing, but worst of all, it looks like they’ve staked out my Super Target as their base of operations.”
“What do you think we should do?”
“They only thing we can do – take back the Super Target and see just what the hell those Tide gel pods are up to.”
ABC starts to laugh in a weary, semi-hysterical way.
“What’s so funny?”
“You,” she sighs, “The world as we know it could be coming to an end and your pissed off that some killer pods are perched in your Target.”
“Damn, right. Those freaking aliens picked the wrong Super Target.”
Snarky Saves the World Part 4 Coming Soon.