I’ve been a little busy working on the debut of my novel. As Tuesday draws near, I get more and more excited. In the meantime I wanted to post a short story I wrote for a local contest. I did not win unfortunately, but I had fun writing the story, We had to choose a work of art from around the Tampa area and write a short story using it as inspiration. I chose street art of course and went a little out of my comfort zone. I hope you enjoy:
It was a beautiful spring night when my husband Mark and I decided to go to the movies with our friends, Judith and her husband Tom. We had already spent the early evening watching the sunset from the window of a waterfront restaurant, and decided we were not ready to go home. The orange and yellow sunset shimmered over the calm waters of the gulf. Looking at the water made me feel tingly inside, and I snuggled closer to Mark holding his hand. We were far from newlyweds, but enjoyed each other’s company like it was our first year together. We had no children, a choice we made together when we first got serious, and enjoyed the quiet life we were lucky enough to have. Judith and Tom were quite the opposite. Their marriage was young compared to our fifteen years, and they started having children right away. Four children in seven years was something that horrified me. I don’t know how they did it, but they always seemed to have smiles on their faces. I guess some people are just meant to be parents.
We decided to see a new thriller type movie that stared one of my favorite actresses, Ja’net Fenty. She always played a strong, memorable role and I was excited to see this new one. We purchased tickets, got popcorn, drinks, and candy, and proceeded to choose our seats halfway up the stairs. I sat in my normal end seat with Mark next to me, then Judith, and finally Tom next to her. The theater had a few other people, but there were plenty of empty seats for the early showing. We were enjoying the movie until an elderly couple entered, with about twenty minutes left. The loud and obnoxious lady was clearly from New York from the sound of her accent, and she refused to shut up. I couldn’t believe how rude she was, and then she did it. The lady dragged her decrepit husband up the stairs, and they sat directly behind Mark and me. I couldn’t believe it. First of all, it was obvious they did not pay to see this movie; secondly they were loud, probably because she was sporting a huge hearing aid, and lastly she had the audacity to sit directly behind me, when there were a ton of other seats just waiting for her. This woman had a total disregard for everyone in the theater, and continued fussing about her bunion and several other bodily functions, that no one needed nor wanted to hear about. I had enough of, and turned around to ask her to be quiet, after all I paid to be there, and I was enjoying the movie. The old bat refused to be quiet, and in fact, spoke louder just to annoy me. After several attempts on my part to silence the lady, Tom jumped up and sped off to get the manager.
Once the manger was able to remove the squatters, I thought I would be able to enjoy my movie, but I guess that’s what I got for thinking. Tom called over to his wife and told her they were leaving. At this point, I was still very annoyed about the old couple, and now these two were moving around and talking. To say the least, I was not in the mood for their shenanigans. Judith stood up and exited the aisle, then she did something very peculiar; she stood over me smiling and staring with an almost glassy stare. At first I was startled, and then I realized she must have wanted something. She actually thought Mark and I were going to leave the movie before it ended. She beckoned for us to come with them, but I whispered to her that we would be staying till the end of the show. My goodness, I wondered if people actually enjoyed going to the movies anymore or if it was just a place to gather and be social. Well, I was enjoying this movie, and no one was going to make me miss the ending. I told her I would call her later, but she kept hovering over me looking confused. Just then I felt my husband kick my ankle; that was his signal not to move. After being married over fourteen years, we knew each other’s signals. He did not want to leave with them, and neither did I. Finally after what felt like an eternity, Judith gave up and she left the theater with her husband. Mark leaned over, whispered a thank you, and giggled about not wanting to run into those god awful children that always seemed to appear out of nowhere. We giggled some more and then I finally was able to see the ending of my movie.
Traditionally Mark and I waited until everyone else had left the theater before we exit, and that night was no different. We sat in our seats laughing and enjoying each other; just talking about the events of the night, and how glad we were to be alone. As we entered the lobby to leave the building, I felt Mark slow down. Suddenly, he pulled me backwards. When I turned to see what was wrong, he pointed as he ducked down. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There in the lobby stood Judith and Tom. Before I had a chance to move, their children materialized out of thin air. It was like they beamed down from the Starship Enterprise. I knew we drove separate cars to the movies, but I also knew the kids were not in their car. How in the world did they get there? Better yet, why was the entire family still there? It was like they were waiting for us. Mark grabbed my arm and pulled me back towards the hallway where we exited via a side door. As we made our way to the car, we saw them exit the building and try to catch up to us. Mark drove out of that parking lot so fast I thought I might lose my dinner.
We decided to stop off at a local coffee shop to avoid going home right away. It just so happened they were having open mic night, so we decided to stay and listen to the poets and the music. In between sets, we talked about the odd behavior of our new friends and realized they were stalking us. Mark expressed his need to rid himself of them, especially the children. He felt there was something almost evil about them, and we should find a way to put some distance between us and them. I did not have any issue with what he was saying, because I was freaked out by Judith after tonight. I also felt Tom was a little too controlling for my liking. I was usually able to tolerate children to a certain point, but their kids made me want to commit murder. I informed Mark that it should be easy to get rid of them because we had only known them for a month. In fact, this was only the third time we spent time together as couples. I first met Judith in the bookstore where she was buying a book by my favorite author, and we struck up a conversation. We found that we had a lot in common and decided to hang out. Later, we decided to bring our spouses together; the problem was they always had their four demon seeds with them. I don’t mind a well behaved child or two, but four unruly children just won’t do.
We stayed at the café until around 11:30pm, and when we arrived home we found a car in front of our house. Mark and I looked at each other in disbelief; Judith, Tom and their four kids were waiting for us to come home. This was just about the scariest thing that had happened to me. We thought they must have been insane to actually go to our house, park out front, and wait hours for us to arrive. I was weirded out to say the least as we parked in the driveway. My facial expression gave away what I was thinking, as usual, but sadly it made no difference to Judith. Tom and the kids stayed in the car as she stood on the sidewalk talking to us. At first I tried to convince myself something must be wrong, but Judith quickly dispelled that theory. She stated they wanted to come into our house, and hang out with us. By this time it was after midnight, and we were ready to go to bed. I promptly informed her it was too late for hanging out, and that her behavior was very much like that of a stalker; it was unacceptable.
My words were wasted on Judith; she was like a brick wall. Finally, after explaining that she and her family would not be coming into our home for the third time, Mark put his foot down. He yelled at Judith, informed her we would not be hanging out ever again, and pulled me into the house. We secured the house, but were afraid to go to sleep for fear they would break in. Thank goodness for the coffee we drank at the cafe. We took turns looking out of the window, and noticed the family was still out there in the car until we called the police at 5:00 am.
When the police arrived they found the entire family still sitting in the car waiting for us to come outside. I observed the patrol car pull up behind them and shine lights into the car. The officers sat in the car for a few minutes, which led me to believe they were running the tags on the car. Suddenly there were police sirens and several police cars arrived almost instantaneously. There were also several huge black SUVs that blocked off the street. There were men in combat gear all over the place. I decided this needed to be captured on video so I started recording it with my phone. There was an epic standoff happening in front of our house, and it was with people we had just spent an evening with at the pier and the movies. I couldn’t believe my eyes as Tom, Judith and the four kids jumped out of the car on the passenger side, closest to our house. They each had guns, and commenced to shooting at the officers. Mark tried to pull me out of the window, but I had to document this battle. I was careful and ducked down, but there was no way I was going to miss this. Good thing too, because it turns out those damn kids were not kids after all. I watched as they changed into these strange looking creatures with green skin, three eyes and six tentacles.
The men in the black SUVs were prepared for the transformation, and flanked them. One of the four was killed, and the other three were captured. It turned out Judith and Tom were victims of mind control, and were forced to befriend us in order to gain access to our house. Apparently, our house was built on an intergalactic nexus that would have allowed the creatures to contact their home planet. The feds informed us if they would have succeeded, the aliens would have launched a full on invasion of Earth. It was our instinctive dislike of those children that prevented the creatures from gaining access to our home.
According to intel obtained by the military, they were physically unable to enter the house without being invited, just like vampires. To keep us from telling anyone, the feds tried to erase our memories, but Mark and I were prepared. We blocked their attempts by wrapping aluminum foil on the ends of our eyeglass arms. We fool them into believing we had forgotten and hid the video recording. I wondered… What would have happened if we had liked the children? What they will come disguised as next? I doubt we will stick around to find out.