Every possession had to be dealt with. The hardest were the ones that had been most beloved by their mother. Her photos: Family, Dad, things she wanted to paint some day. Her needlework: Hours of laborious cross stitch, crochet, sewing. Her numerous cookbooks and drawers full of recipes clipped from many sources.
Her paints and tools for painting. They reflected her love of color, of flowers, of seasons. The paintings would never make her rich or famous, but they reflected her joy in living.
She treasured everything she kept. Most of it had to be tossed.
The relentless sun baked the adobe house. It was cooler inside, and no one even noticed the box that had been delivered. Carriers no longer rang the doorbell or asked for a signature. “Drop and go” was their COVID policy.
As the hottest time of the day neared, the box began to move. It bulged, rocking and scooting against the locked gate. A persistent low buzz could have been heard if anyone had been there to hear it.
Finally, a corner tore open. Wider, wider still, until a reptilian head pushed through. No one saw it slither through the bars.
Zing and Zang perched on top of the yellow car. Invisible, they observed the drivers’ obedience to the traffic lights.
“How do you train millions of people to obey three simple colors? Look, they ALL follow the rules! Even the walkers wait for the green light before they cross from one side to the other.” Zang was amazed at the conformity of the people.
Zing thought for a moment. “You know, we should be able to use this system in some way when we take over. We need to make sure we report it!”
Elise opened her eyes, groggy from her afternoon nap. At first she thought she was still asleep, dreaming, as she took in the ladder propped against her window, and the feet and legs she saw.
Her eyes traveled up the legs. The rest of the–man?–was concealed by the curtain. The feet weren’t moving. Neither up nor down. Could he see her? She flipped the afghan over her legs, made sure her robe was closed.
Eyes wide, she watched as one of the feet drew back, hesitated, and then swung hard into her window.
Zing and Zang stood transfixed, watching the contraption slide slowly earthward. The bulging balloon canopy obviously worked like a massive set of brakes to slow the descent. The whole structure was just enormous, and compared to what they knew on their home planet, seemed rudimentary.
“Why don’t they just use reverse blasters?” wondered Zang.
“I guess they don’t know about that yet,” replied Zing. “Sometimes I can’t believe how backward they are. They seem somewhat intelligent.”
“Well, it’s colorful. I don’t know what it’s for, but it’s pretty.” Zang paused. “Practical isn’t always pretty.”
Brett was restless. The back seat contained a cooler that took up not quite half of the space. Brett’s legs were long and gangly. He stretched his arms across the back of the seat, touching the window frames on both sides.
Bored, he cracked open the cooler. Mom’s radar ears didn’t miss a thing.
“Close it, Brett. We just had breakfast an hour ago.”
Deep sigh. “When’s lunch?”
“Three hours. Read. Play a game, Sleep. No more whining.”
It was an annual event in Allentown. Music Fest was a delight for all sorts of things, including aromatic food, throbbing music, carnival rides, and multitudes of booths to investigate.
Not all was happy this year, though. It was hard to imagine staying six feet apart in the usual throngs. Harder still to sing through a face mask. Licenses for food booths were much more restrictive than usual, and most had been denied.
It just didn’t feel very festive, with only one stage and two food canopies.
Ineed to apologize. I almost always read every single post. But not this week. For a variety of mundane reasons, I just couldn’t get it done. Nothing earthshaking or life-threatening. I promise to do better this week!
Polynesia was first discovered in 1595 when Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira found the Marquesas Islands. The Dutch, (during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery (ca. 1590s–1720s), were the first non-natives to undisputedly explore and chart coastlines of Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and Easter Island. (Wikipedia). That’s part of the history. Now for the story:
“Kapitein Janssen, this is the most beautiful part of the world I have ever seen!”
“Ja, Bram. It is. I could live here for the rest of my life!”
“Even the people are–well—it’s hard to describe such beauty!”
“Indeed, Bram. But we must not take advantage of their friendliness.”
“You will have to keep the men on board, Sir.”
“I cannot. They need to get fresh water; they need to hunt to fill our hold for the voyage home.”
“But. . .”
“Bram, I am Kapitein. I can perform the marriage ceremony. I suspect there will be many.”