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They didn't come for the women

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

“Honey?” Sherry stood at the door, 8-foot shapes looming beyond her. Charles sighed.

“Let them in.”

The bugs clickety clicked through the foyer and into the den.

“Honored sirs,” he began, “how may we help you --”

“Stand aside, human scum,” the first hissed, “to have shown us your paraphernalia!”

Charles waved his arm. Two of the culture pirates headed to the kitchen, where they soon could be heard clattering pans and opening and shutting cabinets. There was really nothing you could do. Bullets wouldn't stop them.

One of the bugs sputtered like a tea kettle with a lisp “To have antique furniture in shed? Back porch?”

“The garage,” Charles said. “That's where all the, ah, antique furniture is.” He followed them out.

One bug picked up a wooden folding chair. The bolts screeched every time it was folded or unfolded. That was placed reverently on the concrete slab. Soon it was joined by a beach umbrella (broken), a bookcase that proved Charles did not know how to stain furniture, and an upholstered chair that had survived three generations of cats.

“To have more valuable antiques, puny human?” demanded a bug.

“No,” Charles protested, “this is our best stuff. Please don't take it.” You had to act aggrieved.

Sherry screamed. Charles ran back in the house. One of the bugs was stuffing framed pictures into a sack. There went Sherry's mother, her grandparents, two of her great-grandparents. She was wrenching at the bug's lower right arm, but it paid no attention.

“Sherry, stop it. There's nothing you can do. We'll replace them.”

She wheeled to face him. “Replace great grandma?! This is the only picture of her. They can't have it.” She ran before he could stop her. He had to get the bugs out before she came back with the shotgun. She couldn't hurt them, but they could hurt her.

“You know the big house two doors down on the left? With the columns?”


“They've been holding out on you. They have all kinds of antique china in the attic. They have knickknacks.”

“Knickknacks?” the bug asked.

“Yes, but you better hurry.”

The bugs conferred briefly, then scuttled out the front door, slamming it just as Sherry came leaping down the stairs.

“Sweetie, they're gone.” She headed for the front door. “I scanned the photos,” he shouted, “high-resolution.”

She stopped inside the door, breathing hard. He gently took the gun, stepped in front of her and hugged her tightly.

“I hate bugs,” she said.

The end


Very Clever! Living in a town with numerous antique shops, I'll never again be able to see the shoppers as anything but alien bugs.

Posted by: Dave Tackett | September 1, 2008 3:27 PM

Keith Laumer's groaci were the inspiration for the bugs' language.

Posted by: David | September 1, 2008 4:21 PM

Dave: thanks for your comment.

Posted by: David | September 1, 2008 4:54 PM

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