As he pulled in the drive way the 2nd thing he noticed was that his house was gone. It’s not often something as large as a house gets ripped off its foundation, but tornados can do it. So can hurricanes but neither of those things were mentioned on the radio weather report he heard while on the freeway. What he did notice before the house that wasn’t there was his 3 year old son standing at the edge of the fused glassy parabolic hole that was once 12 East Maple street. No, it wasn’t his son that he noticed – it was the silver and black futuristic rifle thingie he was dragging behind him which was blinking in odd patterns in odd locations and the small spiral of reddish steam coming from what must have been the barrel.
“Gordon. Buddy, Where’s Mommy?” He asked as he exited the car.
“Gone where?” He slowly walked over to where Gordon was standing and the two of them peered down into the hole and his eye followed a trickle of water that was snaking its way down to the bottom from what must have once been the water main.
“Think Gordie, where did Mommy go? Can you tell me?” The 3 year old simply shrugged in the way that 3 year olds do when they know the answer but would rather not say. As in “I got a poopie in my pants but I don’t know how it got there”.
“That’s quite a….toy you have there Buddy, can I see it?”
Gordon shrugged again but did not resist when He took it from his hands. It was feather light, and cool to the touch. He plunked it with his finger and it rang metallic. “Where’d this come from, buddy?”
“Found it. Found it near the ship. In the meadow where Boomer chased the monkey. He dropped it.”
“The monkey? Tell me about the monkey, Buddy.”
Gordie was preoccupied by the hole and the way stones slid down the smooth surface of the hole so He had to repeat the question.
“Mommy and Boomer and me were on a venture to the park. But the sun hid when it landed and Mommy and Boomer were kinda stuck and the Monkey came over to talk to us. I got scared and knocked Boomer over and that work him up and he, and he chased the Monkey back into the ship and it left but the monkey left this on the ground.
“Where’s Mommy Gordie” He said sensing a new level of dread.
“Gone” with a shrug.
“Tell me what happened next Buddy”. He could hear a crowd beginning to mull behind him and the sound of electronic police chatter as well.
“I showed Mommy the toy and then she was gone. I showed boomer the toy and he went gone too. I got scared and ran home and couldn’t get in to go potty and then the house went away and then you got here.”
In the background he could hear the sound of fear, excitement and shock. He heard snippets of words. Aliens. Radiation. Martians. Anal probes. Dissection. And it began to make him angry. He stood, holding the toy so that the steaming end was pointed at the ground, but in the general direction of the crowd.
“Anyone who thinks they’re going to lay a hand on my son is going to get themselves Gone. Understand?”