Friday, August 10, 2012
Story: The Day the Saucers Came
This is another of Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenges. I hope that you enjoy it!
Everyone else remembers it as the day the saucers came, but I remember it as the day a man in a suit shot my father. First, let me back up a couple of days. It all started Friday afternoon. My mother was in the kitchen and I was in the living room, reading. My father came in the front door and I heard him cuss. This was surprising to me, since he rarely swore. I looked over and saw a large bird fly into the house through the open door. My cat, Onyx, jumped off of my lap and started jumping at the bird, trying to catch it. She chased the bird into the kitchen and I hear several crashing noises, coupled with the shouts of my mother.
I jumped up and ran into the kitchen to see a lot of shattered glass on the floor. Onyx was on top of the bird, laying amongst the ruined dishes. I grabbed a nearby kitchen towel and stole Onyx's prize from her. The bird was badly injured and I carried it towards the front door. My father saw me coming and said, "Darn bird. Startled the heck out of me."
I could tell that he was making an effort not to cuss now, which put a smirk on my face. The smirk faded as I said, "I don't think that the bird is going to make it, Dad. Can you take care of it?"
He nodded and took the towel from me. He opened it up a little and I heard him cuss again, under his breath. "What's wrong now?" I asked.
"This is one of Mr. Trundel's racing pigeons," he said. "He's not going to be happy about this. Well, he's out of town until Monday. I'll leave him a note."
My father left with the towel and bird and I went to go help my mother clean up the mess my cat had made. She had already broken out the broom and dustpan. I took them from her with an apologetic smile. I swept up the broken dishes and tossed the bits into the trash can. It was full, so I took the trash out.
The rest of that day and the weekend went by without any further incident and I'd totally forgotten about it all until Monday. That morning was similarly uneventful, and it wasn't until after my father got home from work that things got interesting again.
The excitement started when the UPS man came to the door. I answered it and signed for the medium sized box he delivered. The box had my mom's name on it, so I called up the stairs for her. She was in the kitchen, so I brought her the box. She was so excited for what was in the box that she called out to my father who was changing into casual clothes after work.
"Simon, they've arrived! The saucers have come!" she yelled down the hall towards their bedroom.
I rolled my eyes. At that age, I didn't understand how a little thing like teacup saucers could make someone so happy. Another knock came at the door, so I went back down to the entry way to answer it.
It was Mr. Trundel, our neighbor, standing on the other side of the door this time. He must have just gotten home from work, too, as he was wearing a very nice tailored suit. I knew that he was a business man of some sort. "Is your father home?" he asked.
I nodded and said, "I'll go let him know you're here."
I ran up the stairs two at a time, as was my habit when I was younger. My father was in the kitchen with my mother, who was unboxing her saucers. "Mr. Trundel is here, Dad. He's waiting at the front door."
My father nodded and walked out of the kitchen. My mother said, "These are replacements for the saucers that your cat broke a few days ago."
Suddenly, I felt a strong surge of anxiety. "Oh, no, that's the day that Onyx killed one of Mr. Trundel's birds!"
I heard a funny popping sound coming from the entry way. I ran to the top of the stairs and saw Mr. Trundel lowering a peculiar looking gun. I looked in horror at my father who appeared to be covered with strange blue and green spots. It took me a moment to realize that the gun had been a paintball gun. "That's for Frenchy," Mr. Trundel said. Without another word, he turned and walked back towards his house.
My dad turned to me and we both started laughing uncontrollably.