High Crime?


Zing and Zang had spent a great deal of time of Zerkon, being debriefed on their experiences on Earth. Now, they had returned to study what Earthlings called Christmas.

They were confused.

“What terrible crime did these poor things commit?” said Zing.

“What an awful tradition! I thought their Christmas was a time of joy and love. Not for these poor creatures!”

Hearing footsteps, they blinked to invisibility.

A kind-looking woman squeezed each toy, decided they were dry, and took them down. “Tommy will be happy to have you back,” she said.

Zing and Zang felt a little sheepish.


Earth People are Weird


Zing and Zang shivered in the snow. “Why did we have to come here?” whined Zing. “What is that thing, anyway?”

Zang, who had done his research, explained that it was a place built for humans to deposit their personal waste.

Zing was appalled. “That’s beyond primitive! It’s just disgusting! You mean, one person does that right on top of another person sitting underneath him? Yuck!”

“Well, I imagine the top place isn’t actually used. It’s what Earth people call a parody.”

“If they feel that way, they should flush their politicians!”

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Scary Place

PHOTO PROMPT © Anne Higa  

Zing and Zang trembled in the darkest corner they could find. Their surroundings were dismal. Dark, bleak, cold, musty. Water poured from a pipe into a deep cistern. Moisture clung to the walls.

“What on earth. . . ” started Zang. He couldn’t find any more words.

“Well,” pondered Zing, “They’ve sent us back in time, as they warned us. Good thing we’re invisible.”

As they watched and listened, storing everything in their memory banks, they sensed the fear. They watched the furtive glances, and heard the murmuring voices. Whatever was going on here filled them with terror.

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Blurred Vision

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

(I’m heading to the hospital in about ten minutes. Having a cataract removed this morning. That mean I have drops in my right eye that blur my vision, and my left eye is far-sighted. So? So I’m probably not seeing what you’re seeing!)

Zing and Zang had gone invisible. What they saw outside the cafe doors was enough to scare them into invisible mode.

The park across the street was full of blue-coated soldiers, all carrying rifles upright on their shoulders.

“Zang, should we teleport home? It looks like things are getting really ugly here in America. I don’t want to be collateral damage.”

“Not yet, Zang. I think they’re just drilling, not actually going into battle.”

“This is tragic. Such a beautiful country, with such a record of incredible success. I hope they can settle this without bloodshed.”

“Me too, Zang. Me too.”

Traffic Lights

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehudah

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!”

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The Gazebo

Image courtesy of Dale Rogerson

“Zing, this is so strange! A house with no doors, no windows. No furniture. No rooms. Who would build a house like this? Who would live there?”

“It truly is strange, Zang. No running water, no beds, no lights.”

They were disturbed by footsteps crunching down the path to the gazebo. A human man and woman, holding hands, came into the structure. They brushed snow off the benches and sat together. They started kissing.

“Ahhhh! What are they doing!” whispered Zang.

“It’s a strange custom among humans. They show affection by eating each other’s mouths. Unsanitary. Disgusting. Not like us. “

The Janitor


Zing and Zang read the words on the marquee, but they didn’t understand.

“Do you think it’s where you go to purchase a box?” questioned Zang.

“I don’t know. Maybe a factory that makes boxes. Let’s ask someone.”

“Don’t forget, we’re invisible. We’d better hide before we switch.”

They found a dark corner and flicked into visibility. They opened the door under the BOX OFFICE sign and saw a man sweeping.

“Right, youse two. Think you’re funny, huh? I’ll show you funny!” He raised his broom. They flicked back to invisible.

“Gotta stop drinkin,” muttered the janitor.

The Tree


“Aaaaagggggh!  Zang, don’t look!  Someone is KILLING this poor tree!  It’s horrible! Skinning it alive and carving designs on its insides!  Oh, we have to leave this place!”

“Zing, the tree was already dead. Can’t you see, it’s only a stump?  A tall stump, but still. It’s dead.  It has no nerves.  It cannot feel what is being done.”

Zing calmed down. He began  to examine the carvings more closely. “Zang, I can’t make out head or tail here. Do you have any idea what the carver is saying?”

“Nope. It’s not what you look at.  It’s what you see.”

A Cold Assignment


Zing, I want to go back to where the water was warm and the sun was hot,” muttered Zang.  “This is unbearable.  What a strange place is this Earth!”

Zing shivered, too.  His antennae quivered from his shaking. But their assignment had been clear. They must analyze “snow” to see if it could be weaponized and used against them.

“Zang, do you remember the little girl who watched us from her window?  I wonder what she’s doing now.”

“Enjoying the warmth of the sun, of course. Splashing like a fish in the warm water. Not freezing, like us.”