Noises in the back yard.
Whispering. couldn’t make it out.
Last winter something broke into our shed and ate a bag of sand.
Unusual things were happening.
People behaving oddly.
This was familiar. I’d seen this kind of thing before.
I was suspicious, green-eyed, uptight and ornery. Doesn’t take much to get me riled.
Did I mention someone or something ate a bag of sand out of our shed?
Strangers appear at our door. a man and woman.
Asking me if I accept Jesus Christ as my savior? Looking left, then right. I slowly step outside onto our porch.
Who are these two characters?
They appeared to be alone?
One can never tell, can one?
I grab the man by the lapel of his suit.
WHO SENT YOU!
His eyes widened, his female companion backed away cautiously.
Why? Jesus Did. the man said.
OKAY. Good Answer, Good Answer.
I release him. helping to straighten his coat, brushing lint off his shoulder.
You think you could come back next week? I have sinned repeatedly today and I am in desperate need of a shower.” I said winking at him.
The man looked down and away, moving to where the woman now stood in a defensive posture on our front lawn.
A word of caution my friends. be careful, the house next to mine has some bad hombres living in it. if I were you sir? I would not let the woman approach the door. their teenage boys will surely tear through her like locust. let her wait the next one out in the car.
The man nodded.
The woman, balled up her fists ready to tussle if necessary.
Neither appeared to be intoxicated or concealing a weapon. was the lord truly what they wanted?
I thanked both of them politely for stopping by. finally reassuring, discreetly. so they would know. and not worry.
I have nothing but good intentions. should you try to tell anyone differently? well? No one will ever believe you.
Maybe they were up to something? I had good reason to be cautious.
Suspicious visitors, curfew violators and backyard fornicators have me in a heightened state of alert.
I would stand watch tonight in the garage with a shovel. anyone who thinks they can infiltrate our security perimeter. Is in for a surprise.
I wedge a chair up against the garage door and go to bed.
Not sure how long I slept. wasn’t long.
Was that the doorbell?
What time is it?
I look over at my wife who is sound asleep.
Bright light fills the room from our window outside. I hold my arm up to shield my eyes.
Shadows move in the backyard. the glass to our backdoor shatters.
Something is in the house.
Floors creak. then stop. in the hall, outside our bedroom. whispering.
Our bedroom door opened. I couldn’t move. the fear. paralyzed me.
Something throwing shapes entered the room.
Next to the bed. it moved into view. 4 feet tall, pale, almost translucent skin. head too big for its body. small mouth. big old creepy fish eyes with long skinny arms and Nosferatu crablike fingers.
Rolling his large fish eyes at me, Johnny Fishbone slapped his noggin with his creepy little crab leg fingers. trying to communicate.
I couldn’t make out a gurgle.
The visitor pointed to the window. then at the ceiling, then turned to the bed.
It didn’t look like he wanted to be pals.
Staring into my mind. I could hear it’s thought’s.
The Shrimp , Crab And Lobster you so love to eat? They’re beings from my world. we came here many years ago. seeking refuge. settling in your oceans. never meaning you any harm. yet? you hunt us for food. we left our planet to preserve our species. we asked only for a place to be safe. to live and raise our young. instead you cover us with hot butter and lemons, cocktail and tartar sauces. serve us as appetizers to fat people who could afford to skip a meal.
Your Doctors warn you that eating us will give you high cholesterol which leads in some instances to early death in adults. matters not. you just keep shoveling it in. Shell Fish as you call us. can’t you hear us scream when you cook and kill us? We obviously underestimated the numbers who would find us delicious. in hindsight we should have been more careful, we thought the oceans would be safe. until your fishing industries became more relentless. tell your leaders. to stop now. before we are forced to defend ourselves.
He waved his left hand in front of my face.
Then it was over.
Johnny Fishbone vanished. his bright light was gone.
Darkness returned. along with it silence.
I wanted to wake my wife, take her in my arms, look into her eyes and tell her everything was going to be alright.
I chose to let her sleep, she looked so peaceful. I would tell her in the morning.
There would be no sleep for me until I knew we were safe. I went back out into the garage and stood guard until sunrise.
Look to the skies. imagine what’s out there.
Now? imagine that one day, it shows up, breaks into your house and tells you how it’s gonna be going forward.
Hopefully? you’ll just get a lecture. a word of warning from Johnny Fishcakes.
Why Me? Why did he choose me to deliver this message? who are my leaders anyway? are they in the phonebook? will they pick up the phone if I call? what if I get the answering machine?
Do I enjoy those Shrimp, Crab and Lobster delicacies? wellll? yeah.
I’m suppose to speak out for Johnny Fishsticks and his tasty little friends?
Somethings coming. something with an agenda.
Do this, don’t do that, act this way and not that way. listen to this and listen to that. you should do this and you shouldn’t do that. this is how you should be, how you should do things. I have the answers you need. know it alls. some wearing overalls, clipboards in hand, looking to have you take a stand. do you have a minute? no? well then? I’ll come back later.
Lock your windows. Do not answer the door.
Was that the doorbell? At this hour?
This is it.