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General

*****

I.

Two am this morning, a raid on a Texas home found six – TV in the lving room

“He is a normal kid, Janet – for fuck sakes!”

“Really? You can’t keep your voice down, Daren? He’s in the living room.

“Well, I am being told that my kid needs to be evaluated, of course I’m going to raise my voice. What the fuck do they know at that damn school, anyways!”

“Daren! Stop it. I can’t talk to you when you’re like this. Just forget about it… We will talk later.” Turns towards living room.

“No! I want to talk about it, now! Don’t start walking away, Janet.”

“I said later, Daren” Janet turns her way to the living room, again.

“Get back –”

           A boy that is about five years old with short hair, holding a teddy bear and still wearing what looks like clothes he wore from school: jeans, jacket and a green power rangers t-shirt. His shoes had little spider-man faces on them.

Daren straightens up and attempts to relax his face to hide his anger. Janet does the same, but hides it much better.

“Daddy – mommy, am I retarded?”

           Holding back tears, they both immediately go into defense mode. Janet lunges at the boy and gives him a huge hug. Daren rushes over, too and kneels down to put his hand on his shoulder. Both of them then launch quickly into saying reassuringly at the same time; but said two different sets of assurances.

           Janet went on to say “My baby alien, oh no, no, not at all, honey.” While, Daren said “Champ, why would you say that? No, son, not at all.” They both gave him one more hug and then got up slowly, but still made sure to keep their hands on him to make him feel better – making themselves feel slightly better in the process by taking the heat off of the argument, they just had. 

“Rodney Harris sai–”

Hearing the name sets off Daren and abruptly says “That damned Rodney… What did he say this time?”

Janet sees that he is set off and gives him a glance to shape up, in front of their son, “Daren, relax. What did he say, Luke?”

“He… um,um… said that I have retard strength and that I belonged in a nut house – I do like nuts, I like how they crunch when you bite them. Can I have some, Mommy? Is dinner ready?”

           Daren and Janet looked at each other with smirky smiles. The innocence of their son has brought them to the memories of him being born and the first time that he looked in each of their eyes and smiled. The memories flooded back from the past five years. His first steps, words and that chuckle he would crack them up with when he heard the quacking of ducks. Janet touches Luke on the shoulder and smiles big while hiding her teeth.

She thought to herself, that she remembered hearing similar fights going on in her household – maybe not about her being evaluated, but more about how much her parents despised one another. She could recall one evening where they got into the biggest fight yet and the cops had to be called – twice. The second time, they took her away and she had to live with her grandparents for a little while. She remembers how alone and unwanted she felt. How much it always seemed that their fights sparked off when she was around and when they were on family outings. Knowing how that felt, she would always shut out Daren when he got to riled up; out of fear of putting Luke through the same thing, she went through.

It may not seem like a big deal to them now, but kids are like sponges and any trauma felt now, will be much worse later in life – or so it said in a book she read when she was in college studying for her psych 101 class. When she first read that part of the book it made her self-evident to the pain she went through – the loneliness.

She felt as though she were an alien (which she calls Luke as a subtle reminder, but would never admit openly to be the reason why) from another planet and that there was no way that this was her life, her parents – her. She slowly got over her trauma, but she finds it hard to balance when Daren gets angry. She has tried to talk to him about it on numerous occasions, but stops short of telling him the “real” reason. 

“Let’s go upstairs and get you changed, Lukey. Dad will get those nuts for you and maybe – you can even have some before dinner!”

“Yay!” Luke said while he jumped in the air.

“Run upstairs, sweetie. Ill be up there in a minute.”

           Luke ran out of the kitchen and up the stairs towards his room. He looked back quickly to see if they were watching him – they were. He let out a giggle and then ran all the way up the stairs. Janet watched him go all the way up with a smile hiding her agony. Yet again, Daren was doing the same, but not doing a very good job at it. After he goes into his room Janet and Daren’s faces turn low and then at each other. Janet has her right arm crossed over, holding her the right arm. She is visibly uncomfortable.

“Why do you have to yell like that? You know I don’t like it. You know that it shuts me off and out of the conversation. Why? They just told me that he may need to be evaluated – they didn’t –”

“I know. I’m sorry, babe. I just… I don’t want him to have any stigmas and get bullied more than he already is. I mean did you hear that little shit, Rodney? I oughta talk to those fucking parents of his and really!” He stops himself from getting too mad. “It just pisses me off, Janet.”

           Janet gets closer to him and takes his hand, looks him in the eye with her green eyes and said “I know. Me too, babe. I just don’t want him to see us fighting like that… we need to just –”

Mom! Where are you!

           Still holding each other’s hand, they both turn towards the stairs. Daren puts his hand on her cheek and said “go upstairs. I’ll get dinner started.” A creak in the floor boards above sounds off. Daren Looks up confused and said “Damn, this house is so damn creaky. I swear, lately, it’s been sounding like they made this house with soft clay.” Janet laughs and so does he. She then makes her way up stairs.

Coming! My little alien!

*****

II.

The Raids are consistent with the law – and frankly, Tom I believe the Dem– is heard on the TV before Daren turns it off.

“That kid sure eats a lot of food. Maybe we shouldn’t have taught him where the food is” Daren says to Janet. They both laugh while sitting in bed ready to go to sleep. A large lamp is the only light being lit in the room; it is sitting in the corner nearest the window to the left of the bed. Janet puts down her book on the night stand next to her and turns off a head lamp light strapped to her head.

“Why don’t you get another lamp or something? Isn’t that thing uncomfortable?”

“Eh, not really. I just don’t feel like buying something else – specially a book light.”

           Daren plugs his phone in the charger that is on his night stand. “Why do you call Luke your little Alien? (chuckles) Don’t you think he already feels like one, at school?”. Janet was checking her emails on her phone but sets it down to respond. She does it slowly because she cringed a little at the fact that he even asked her and just doesn’t let her say it. He always has to say something about what I do, she thought. However, the question was pretty harmless at its face, so she took a mental breath and said “I just do. He’s like my cute little Alien! He’s got a big head and little body – so cute!” She forces a laugh after finishing in hope that answer would satisfy Daren’s unconsciously annoying question.

           Daren chuckles along with her but then stops short to say “but an Alien though? You don’t think –”

Dad … Mom, can I sleep with you. It’s cold.

           They both look at Luke as he stands in the front door holding his blanket and bear. Janet gets out of bed and walks towards him. “You don’t have enough blankets, sweetie?”. He twists a little, back and forth then softly says “I do, but … Can I just sleep with you guys! Pwease.” Daren and Janet laugh while Janet gets up from being eye level with Luke.

“You want your mommy, huh big guy?” Daren said as he makes room in the middle for them.

No!

Daren lifts Luke into the bed and Janet puts the comforter over them as she positions herself on the other side of the bed.

           “Are you comfortable – warm, hon?” says Janet.

           “Yes, mommy.”

Daren gets out of bed and turns off the lamp.


Luke looks over to his left and then his right; both of his parents are dead asleep. He hears a buzz on the side of his mom’s nightstand. It’s her phone and the name of the person who texted her is “Tom”. He can only see the name and time which shows, 3:30 am. He puts his bear in the air and pretends to make him walk.

           A squeak in the floor board can be heard and he pauses and looks up at the roof. Then, what sounds like tiny foot steps make their way to the left and a distant creak out in the hall can be heard. Luke looks again at his mom and dad, pauses for a second – and another. Then, gets up as slowly as he can and walks out into the hall. The floor is wood so he steps and makes the same creaking noise as he tips toes out to where the stairs are.

           A flash of shadow races across the wall as he appears at the top of the stairs. Still holding his bear, now tightly grasps it in his arms. He takes a step on the first step and hears a creak behind him. He flashes his head over his shoulder and sees another flash on the wall over by his room. He takes his foot off of the first step and then slowly walks over to his room’s door. He is silent and doesn’t make any creaks as he approaches the door and hears voices and some rustling. He pushes open the door which was still slightly ajar. He turns on the lights as soon as he opens the door because he was starting to get scared of the dark.

           He scans the room and sees nothing. He furrows his eyebrows in confusion because he knows he heard voices. He looks under his bed and does not see anything. He opens his closet and still sees nothing. He turns away to close the closet but then he hears a shhhh and some other muffled words that were inaudible. He pushes aside some clothes that were covering where the noises were heard. There is a small hatch door that slides over to the side. He cautiously slides the wooden panel and sees a chain hanging inside of the discovered door. It was not easy to reach.

           He stretches as far as he can and realizes that maybe holding onto his bear was not helping; so, he sets it the side and says “stay right dere” before attempting to reach for the chain again. As soon as he pulls it down the light turns on; two children, a girl and boy are holding onto blankets and shivering while holding each other. All three of them are petrified with a youthful surprise that always leaves the face looking stunned with the mouth open.

           The boy who seemed like the older of the two shakenly says “hola, amigo… mi llamo, Fernando.”. Luke still looks at them without saying anything. He continues to make a weird face because he did not understand Spanish.

Amigo?

           Luke looks on again not understanding and then suddenly on his face it looked like when a mathematician had just figured out a complicated equation.

Aliens! you are aliens! Like E.T! Why do you look like me?

           The older boy looks at his sister and hesitantly responds with “si – yes.”

Oh boy! Real live aliens! Do you guys want to be my friend? I have some trucks, trains, cars, planes – whole bunch of stuff!

           Both of them look confused and still trembling with fear. Luke goes and grabs one of his toy trucks and then hands it over to the boy.

Play! Let’s play!

“Luke… who are talking to? What are you doing out of bed? Did uncle Tom sneak in again?”

Mom! Mom! Aliens are here and they are going to be my friends!

*****

III.

[cold open]

[Male news caster reporting]

Male Reporter

Days of reporting the news usually yields bad stories, but our today’s exclusive is about a family that has doubled – and not in any traditional sense. A boy and girl; the children of a family taken in an I.C.E raid have been found in the attic of a family living in the area.

[montage of photos of Mexican families and children being escorted by I.C.E and border patrol agents are shown on the right corner of the reporter.]

The children were reported missing after running away when the raids commenced. Their parents were taken into custody and were identified by this station as local farmers. They are currently in custody and being held at the border. However, the family that discovered the children have told us that they would be adopting them and would work closely with the parents to help them reach citizenship. We have a clip from an early interview where we can see the beautiful innocence of youth at play.

[house living room. The three children are sitting on the couch while the parents are standing together on the side. A women reporter is sitting on a chair facing the couch]

Luke

They are my friends and we have been playing every day. I do not know what they say, but that’s ok. We play for hours and hours. I am glad they flew here from their spaceship.

Female Reporter

Spaceship? What do you mean Luke?

Janet

[interjecting] He thinks they are aliens from space… We have tried to tell him, but I think he’s too young to understand.

[cuts back to male reporter]

Male Reporter

There, you have it folks – aliens are living amongst us! Beautiful story. To see the full interview, check in at six pm, eastern time.




March 24, 2020 19:32

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8 comments

Sammie A.
15:06 Apr 10, 2020

Wow, I loved all the descriptions and twists in this one! As well as the word play and the different dimensions of a child's world.

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Troy Chavez
16:18 Apr 11, 2020

Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the child dimensions! It was initially tough to incorporate.

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Fred Aiken
13:26 Apr 04, 2020

It was a nice read. Needs to be cleaned up grammatically and stylistically, but overall it had a nice arc to the story.

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Troy Chavez
21:32 Apr 04, 2020

Thank you, I appreciate that! I definitely always have struggled with the grammar portion of writing. However, stylistically I am curious to what you mean? Cause you make a good point and I just want to see what you see.

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21:26 Apr 01, 2020

Amazing. Has a wonderful plot line!

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Troy Chavez
01:16 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you so much, Meenu!

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Liz Chavez
03:09 Apr 01, 2020

I love it, such a cute story

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Troy Chavez
11:07 Apr 02, 2020

Thank you!!

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