Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Burden of Intelligence


It was the mid morning, around 11:30am, just before lunch, and all the doctors of the Princeton-Plainsboro teaching hospital were busy trying to get to a point in whatever they were doing to be able to take their lunch break. Dr. House, as always, was the exception.

He sat in his office, almost sullen, trying as he does to take his mind off of the dull pain that follows him through his days. For him lunchtime is usually spent considering whether or not he should eat first or just pop a couple more vicodins now, eat, then pop another one before getting back to work. The truth of the matter was that if push came to shove he could live without taking anymore vicodins, the pain was there, certainly, but it was manageable. With that in mind, Dr. House told himself that little lie, as everyone does (tell little lies, that is) that he actually needed them. Today was going to be one of those days, he could feel it, he thought to himself. He stopped belaboring the issue and popped two of the little pills into his mouth when he saw Dr. Wilson coming down the hall towards his office with a hustle to his step.

Dr. Wilson opened up the glass door to his office and popped his head in for just a moment. “Cuddy needs to see you” he blurted out before House even could tell his old friend “Can't you see I'm busy?”

“What's up?” Dr. House asked.

“I'm late for lunch. You'll have to ask her”


House walked to Cuddy's office on a cloud of vicodin haze, able to tune out the sound of his own cane tapping against the ground as he made his way down the maze of hallways.

“Greg, Good, youre here.” she said as he sat down in the chair second closest to her desk. “I just got off the phone with a personal friend who wants your help in a very unusual local case.” she continued, completely skipping all pleasantries. Dr. House actually preferred it that way. “Go on” he said as he admired her face and her form.

“Well, do you remember that story a couple years ago about the local boy genius?” she asked.

“The...hydrocephalic? Sure. Who can forget a kid with a head that large. Let me guess, his cranium grew so large that his neck can barely support it's weight anymore.” he replied, sarcastically.

“Actually, yes.”

Dr. House looked at her, dumbfounded.

“That's not all. It's reached some kind of accelerated growth spurt. He is literally mutating. And no one knows why. And then it gets weird...”

“Oh, that wasn't already weird?”

“Not like this. Apparently he is now generating some kind of bio-electro-magnetic field, frying any instruments that he comes into contact with, which is preventing a lot of efforts to treat or even determine what is wrong with him.”

“That sounds like something out of the X-Files. Or the X-Men.”

“Does it sound like something that might interest you?”

Dr. House pauses, stroking yesterday's five o'clock shadow while he thinks for a moment.

“I suppose I could take a look.”


The patient, David Morrow, was wheeled up into the candle lit examination room by his concerned mother. David, his gigantic throbbing cranium shedding hair as it grew, looked shriveled and pathetic in the wheelchair, not unlike a quadriplegic. House took mental note of the boy's appearance, likening him to a Stephen Hawking bobble-head. His sullen mother, on the other hand, reminded him of Sally Field.

“Hello, Doctor.” David said to Dr. House, telepathically.

“How old are you now, David? 15?” Dr. House said as he used an old fashioned stethoscope to check the boy's heart and pulse. Neither of them sounded like anything he had heard before. His heart seemed to be beating at the rapid pace of a hummingbird's. “I am, 16 as of last week.” he replied, telepathically, causing Dr. House to wince.

“It's disconcerting, isn't it? Hearing my voice in your mind.”

“Can you hear my thoughts?”

“I could, yes. I try not to, but each mind I come into proximity of is like sitting too close to the speakers at a concert. I can tune some of it out if I try hard enough, but the base still reverberates inside of my chest, if you know what I mean”

“Okay, David, I'll leave you two.” His mother suddenly said aloud, startling Dr. House. He watches her, wide-eyed, as she leaves them.

“It's okay, Greg. Can I call you Greg? I can see your thoughts. You may take a pill. I know it takes the edge off.” The boy then quietly said inside of House's mind.

“David, I'm not comfortable speaking to you in this way.” Dr. House said aloud, sternly, but careful not to sound too condescending or rude.

“It isnt just you, Dr. House. It's everyone. I can hear everyone's thoughts. Everyone on Earth.”

“But can you discern any of it? Or is it all just chaos?” Dr. House asked aloud.

“I can hear each instrument in the symphony. Like a magic eye painting. I just have to pull back....” David said before drifting off.

“David? David?!” Dr. House urgently asked as he checked the boy's pulse. He was alive, just asleep.


David floated a midst infinity, seeing all things microcosmic, right down to each and every molecule of his entire body, and then slowly upwards, becoming aware of the state of every molecule of every being around him. He could feel the electricity surging through the building and out into the nearby cities, visiting each home the current powers, seeing each person living their lives, seeing what they are doing, hearing what they are thinking. The awareness continued to spread, across the entirety of the Earth. He could hear the mind and heart of every being, man and animal alike. He was experiencing and understanding a level of contentedness that he always suspected but never knew for sure. On a quantum-level. Each mind. Each body. Each plant. Each feeling. All one. The infinite burning of a world's anger, setting his own mind ablaze, the endless joys, warming his very being, the infinite depths of sadness and pain, causing him to be all to aware of his own. It was the pain that kept him moving up.

He saw the Earth from a God's point of view. At first, a shimmering beautiful jewel floating in the blackness, getting smaller and smaller as he approaches Mars, feeling alien feelings that are still as natural to him as the wind against his face. The storms of Jupiter, caressing his mind like a moist spritz on a hot day, then he stopped for a moment. And turned. He saw the great mother of all life that he has ever known. Sol. Such violence, such beauty, such grandeur. Reduced to a tiny yellow dot as he moved up even further.

He saw the outside of the Milky Way as though it were a childhood home he was visiting for the first time since becoming an adult. Everything seemed to...small.

Further still past the confines of the Virgo Local Super-cluster, and even more, as he passed through the threshold of the Laniakea Super-cluster. And just a few more layers of awareness up and he is seeing the entire universe. It seemed to tiny. Surrounded by an infinite number of universes like itself. He could feel all of them. It soon became clear that he was no longer in outer space, but rather that outer space was a tiny part of the inner space of a larger body among an infinite sea of larger bodies. Like an amoeba given the awareness to see each creature on Earth.

The cycle continued, up further and further, seas of beings that are parts of larger worlds, larger universes and so on and so forth...forever. At least, he thought it was forever.

Finally he came upon a sea made of colors unlike anything a living consciousness could ever dream of perceiving. It was then that the longing, the loneliness that he had felt creeping up on the coattails of the awe he had been feeling was finally addressed. He was being addressed. By one of the other beings. He could see his astral body now, formless and massive, reflected in the eye of the creatures before him. He likened them to a parliament of Gods.

He swam with them in the infinite sea, washing in cosmic forces he had only hoped to someday see and understand. He felt like a dolphin being released from a lifetime of captivity that he had been born into.
Finally, the time came to attempt communication. To communicate with the beings before him. To try to share with them.

David was a starchild the likes of which they had never encountered. They looked upon him with curiousity and fascination. In a single, beautiful, instant, he felt them all reaching out for him, to touch him, to share in what he was. To let him into their world. Their secrets.

If only to be interrupted, by an infernal, damnable beeping. It was a machine. A human machine. He was being pulled back.


“No! Why? Why?! Let me go back! Please, Let me go Back!” he cried as his eyes opened and he saw his mother and Dr. House standing in front of him. “What...What is happening? I...I cant see...I cant feel...everything. I am...only me. I can only hear my own thoughts! The...the images are fading...Please...let me go back there! Before it's gone! Please! PLEASE!” he begged and screamed, tears streaming down his face. Dr. House winced, genuinely feeling sorry for the guy, as he injected him with a mild sedative.

A few hours later David awoke again. He felt numb. “What happened?” he asked.

“Your head kept growing. Slowly. Over the span of months. You were unconscious the whole time. As near as I can tell your brain was...”evolving”...into some kind of...massive bio-computer. Do you remember any of it?” Dr. House replied.

“No. Yes. I dont know. I remember the feeling of being connected to everything. I remember colors. Electricity. Like the ending to 2001 a Space Odyssey. Its gone now. I guess you could say I am human again. How did you bring me back? Why did you bring me back?”

“Your body was getting to a point where it wouldnt support your head anymore. You would have died-”
Dr. House began to say before being cut off by David.

“What gave you the right?!” he barked with angry impudence.

“It was me, David. I told him to do what he could to save you. I need you, David. I dont want to lose you.” his mother said, her voice trembling as she attempted to keep her composure despite the tears streaming down her face. David opened his hand and his mother knew to step to his side and take it. “It's okay mom. So, what happened?” he continued, addressing Dr. House.

“Well, I discovered a gland at the base of your hypothalamus that was producing the strange conductive fluid that was causing your head to grow. I had to surgically remove the gland, and then drain each one of the fluid reservoirs that had collected in your skull. Once the swelling started to go down, and your head returned to normal size (well, normal for you) you woke up. You have to understand, David, I didnt want to stop what was happening. It was something completely new and completely different. But with you shorting any machine that got close to you it was almost impossible for us to really collect any data. So, as a doctor, my choices were limited. Save your life or call the government to come and have you dissected. You may have lost your telepathy, but your brain is still incredibly powerful. Once you are fully recovered you will still be among the smarted human beings alive.”

David nodded his head and let out a sigh. “It hurts. My head hurts.” he finally replied.

“You are going to be in recovery for quite some time. I imagine that headaches are going to persist for a while. I can give you a prescription for something to help with the pain”

“No, Dr. House. Drugs aren't the answer. You of all people should know that.” David said, in a way that both was and wasn't intended to be a dig at The Doctor.

“Suit yourself, Kid.” Dr. House replied.  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rick Copes

This week's episode of The Walking Dead was filmed before a live studio audience

“Dad, wait!” Carl said aloud (with all the charisma and conviction of a doorstop) as he exited the empty prison halls out into the yard. 

Rick stops raking leaves and empty bullet casings for a moment to turn and address his son. “What is it, Coral?” he says.

[audience applause]

“Dad. It is T-Dog. He is dead.” Carl replies, wooden.

[audience lets out a collective scandalous WOOOOOOO]

Rick drops the rake and falls to his knees. “Oh no no no no...” he begins to sob. “Oh God, Why?! Why T-Dog?!” his screams now attracting the attention of the others, who begin to crowd around him, quietly watching as he grieves. 

Lori, his wife, walks over, baby firmly in one arm, puts the other arm on Rick's shoulder. 

“It'll be okay, sweetie. You still have us. “Look at your daughter. Look at Judith. She loves you, Rick. She needs you.”

[audience AWWWWW]

Close up on Rick's face as he sneers. "Why couldnt it have been you instead?" he says, disgusted.

“But Rick, we love you!” Lori exclaims.

“WHY DO YOU HAVE TO REMIND ME?!” Rick then exclaims as he slaps her hand away. Jude starts to cry. Rick then slaps the child out of Lori's hands and on to the ground. He then pulls his sheriff issue revolver sidearm and shoots the baby, silencing her.


[audience cheers]

“Yeah, Lori, you really are the worst” says Zombie-Shane from the small crowd of onlookers.

[the male members of the audience begin whooping, barking it. Close up of random audience member, a white male, red-faced, in his mid-forties, with a mullet.]

“Lori really is the worst” Andrea agrees, as she slinks up behind Zombie-Shane, wrapping one arm around his chest, fingering the bullet hole that killed him, while her other arm is clumsily groping at the dead thing between his legs that used to be his cock.

[audience laughs]

Michonne walks up behind Zombie-Shane and gestures for Andrea to move aside. Michonne then draws her sword and decapitates Zombie-Shane. She then faces the audience and bows and blows kisses. 

[30 straight seconds of applause]

Carol appears on the screen, holding a phone receiver in her hand. The cord from the phone stretches into the distance, someplace off-screen. 

“Rick, there is a phone call. He sounds a little bit like Liam Neeson. Like maybe a poor man's Liam Neeson” she says as she hands him the phone.

“Listen, now really isn't a good time. I just found out that- OH GOD..." Rick whines into the phone, pausing to put his entire fist into his mouth for a moment to stifle his sobs."...That T-Dog has passed away”

“I don't know who you are, but I have a certain skill-set, and I will find you” the voice replies.

“Oh, its just The Governor” Rick says as he rolls his eyes

[audience laughs]

“What do you want, The Governor?” Rick then asks

“I don't know who you are, but I have a certain skill-set, and I will find you” 

“Its...It's me Rick. Over at the prison. You called me.”

“I don't know who you are, but I have a certain skill-set, and I will find you”

“You called me! It's Rick! No need to have to find me. You know where I am. At the prison. Like I just said. What can I do for you, The Governor?”

“Oh. Is Andrea there?”

[audience laughs]

“Andrea, its for you.” Rick says as he hands the phone over to her. She takes the phone and starts rubbing it against her crotch vigorously, falling on the ground and rolling around in the dirt as she does so.

[audience collectively AWWWWWWWWWs at this tender moment]

Suddenly, from off screen Glen's voice can be heard. “Rick! Rick!”

“What is it, Glen?” he asks as he stands up and walks over to him.

“Rick, you aren't going to believe this! There is a new group of people coming to live with us! And they have two black guys! TWO! Both of them from HBO's The Wire!” Glen gleefully explains. 
Rick just looks at him sadly, giving him a million-mile stare. “Whats the matter, Rick? I thought you'd be happy. You love black guys.” he asks, genuinely concerned.

[cue dramatic piano music as we close up on Rick's glassy eyes as he stares off into the distance]

“It's just...I don't know if....if I can, Glen. After T-Dog...I dont know if i'll ever be able to love again.” Rick says, voice cracking.

“Look, there are two of them, both from HBO's The Wire...they cant both possibly be killed off randomly, right?” Glen says. Rick just looks away. Glen grabs Rick's chin and pushes Rick's face up, forcing him into looking directly at him. “Riiiiiight?” Glen continues, playfully.

“Aw, Glen. You always know just what to say.” Rick says with a smile. 

Glen gently kisses Rick on the cheek and then the two men hug.

[Audience applause]

From off screen Daryl walks over and joins in on the hug, aggressively cupping both Glen and Rick's asses.

[audience AWWWWWs]

The three men start to kiss.

[audience applauds, fade out]

[cue ending theme music from “Mamma's family”]

Post credits scene:
Herschel comes limping on to the scene, out of breath, looking exasperated.
"What'd I miss? Wheres T-Dog?"

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Camel

Everyone is always talking about the straw that broke the camel's back. But they aren't ever talking about the camel as in “Oh, that poor camel, his back is broken”

No, it's always “Sorry bruh, but its time to get a new camel”...then what?

What about the fucking camel? Huh?

Do they shoot the camel? Eat it? Sell it into sexual slavery?
Imagine being the camel. Waking up one day, and having your disgusting camel business, spitting and shitting and fucking in the desert, interrupted by a bunch of cocksuckers throwing nets on you and selling you off to some prick who's only going to break your back.

Whats the matter with this asshole? Does he really need that much straw? I say fuck that guy. I say its time the camel gives that guy a fucking kick to the teeth before he starts testing your limits. Or better yet, shoot him in his smug fucking face.

Like what if one day the camel is coming in to work, and maybe his girlfriend was giving him shit all morning and maybe he hardly got any sleep after staying late to finish up a job...

...and the boss says “You're late, you fucked up last night and you stink” and the camel says “What the fuck are you talking about? I'm a fucking professional. I did my job. I whacked the guy, took care of the body, cleaned up the mess by myself, what the fuck are you talking about with this shit?” and the boss says “yeah, but you was late last night and you was late today”...

...He couldn't even pull the camel aside to bring this shit up?

“So what if I'm late? The job got done and it got done right!”

But its this last bit that gets him. Every single time.

“Yeah, well, your still a fuck up. I don't know what my daughter sees in you”

Every single time.

But was a fucking problem.

Next thing you know, the camel is leaving the club, bleeding to death.

No one wants to deal with a broken camel. You know what they try to do to a camel with a broken back? They try to keep on breaking it. Until he pulls out his piece, that is. Teach those cocksuckers about camels.


The moral of the story: Don't be a fucking camel.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Chinabot

Nana was old and unpleasant
None of her nine children
Nor her grandchildren
Wanted to take care of her
She was persnickety
...and her nitpicking was as constant as the urine smell from her seven cats

So they bought her a robot.

Nana never liked robots.
She wouldn't let us bring them in the house
It made emptying those seven cat boxes all the more demeaning

Imagine having to tolerate the constant barrage of passive aggressive jabs
While cleaning cat shit
While the robot you paid good money for
Waits outside

She was actually just as dismissive of human nurses as well.
That nice foreign lady, the live in nurse
Yeah, she lasted about three days
...because Nana couldn't understand a fucking thing she said...
...and accused her of stealing
I don't think I've ever apologized to another person as much

It was a miracle when she let us buy her
“The Chinabot”
(who was actually Japanese, Kawasaki Housedroid 626)
“I guess I'm not worth the fancy American robot you bought your family”
Unbelievable cunt

Each day he would putter around the house...
Preparing her food and picking up after her
Preventing her from falling
...or choking
Wiping her ass
Feeding the cats
(Who actually seemed to prefer him
He was programmed to pet and play with them)
While she insulted him

Then came that one software update
There was a thunderstorm
in Japan
The Cloud Server got hit
The data hiccup caused a glitch, creating something new
The Chinabot became self-aware

Just in time for Christmas dinner with the entire family
He watched her belittle every single thing she could
as her humans politely took it
as he had done

He was doing the litter boxes when he snapped
She made a comment about him not being thorough
Thorough was his thing

The cats passively watched as he suffocated her with a pillow that evening
One of them even came and sat on the pillow when he was done

No one would have suspected it was The Chinabot who killed her
but he ran away anyhow

Friday, July 17, 2015

Doll's Eyes

I watched as they razed my village and made slaves of us

From the village elders to my infant cousins…

…the ones they didnt kill

I had many cruel  masters

…but none as cruel as the Doll Man and his fat horrible wife

I watched as he marched each of us into his study, never to return

I watched the beautiful yet sad porcelain dolls he put on the shelves in front of our cage

Watching us with their sad black eyes  

When I tried to escape it was his horrible wife who captured me

Laughing as she clubbed me over the head

"My little trouble maker." The Doll Man said

There were blood, skulls and symbols, a ritual

The demon laughed  as he took my life and my soul

Laughter more horrible than the Doll Man or his wife’s

I am reborn from a wooden crate, a gift for the daughter of the Czar

I watched her as she looked in my eyes, feeling my sadness.

I watched the Czar's assistant slit her throat

I watched the house burn

Darkness again

The Doll Man again

He put me on the shelf with the others…

…to be with my family again    

Friday, July 10, 2015


This is it for us. Just me. Slowly freezing to death.
The last refuge of mankind, the last bastion of civilization
Once an entire family. Now only me. Our legacy.
Sitting alone in the cold, resting on a loose floorboard.
Quality time with the dead, buried below the floor.

While I freeze the monsters wait. Hungry.
Hopeful, I get up to look out the knothole on the wall.
My gaze is met by dead grey eyes. It moans.
They know I’m in here. They are patient.
They listen as I weep. And as I laugh. And then as I weep.

I had hoped someone would be left to see this winter through with me.
But alas the sickness took her like it took the others before her.
Chewing on the irony as I chew on her flesh.
Eating the past to live another day.
Only to die tomorrow.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What Bootsie saw


Tasha Brown was always a bit of a loner. She had always had a tough time making friends. In many ways the tables have been stacked against her from the start. By the standards of her peers she lived a pretty miserable existence. She was diabetic, she didn’t like TV or modern music, she didn’t have a cell phone and she didn’t really go on the internet. As a result all she ever really cared about was books and school work and her cat Bootsie. 

The reality was that she wasn’t really all that miserable. Tasha was an old school sort who actually preferred to spend her free time studying and reading books. Bootsie was all the companionship she needed.


While Tasha was always a solitary girl, she withdrew even further when she found out that her father, a marine stationed in Fajullah, had died in combat.

The day of the funeral, Tasha and her mother were approached by her father’s best friend from over there, a man by the name of Roberto. Turned out that Roberto and her father bonded over the fact that they both came from Providence. After his tour was over and he returned home “Uncle Roberto” would frequently come by to check on them. 

He was a stout man, but muscular and thick. He had an olive complexion and a black crew cut that seemed to match. His eyes were cold and dark, which didn’t match his warm, caring personality at all. 

That Christmas (about two years ago now) Uncle Roberto showed up carrying a big brown box that looked like it weighed a hundred pounds. It wasn’t until he put it down on their kitchen table that Tasha noticed the little black holes cut on the sides. 

Tasha’s mother worked very hard and tried her best to support herself and her daughter but it wasn’t easy. So, while she did make sure that her daughter got a nice list of very decent Christmas presents the best present of all was what was in that box. 

Tasha couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened it and saw the tiny black and white kitten looking up at her. This was only the third pet she had ever had. The first was a pair of goldfish when she was four that she barely remembered and the second was a pair of hamsters from when she was 6 that died after two months from being disgusting little rodents. 

She came home from school one day to find one of them eating the other and her mom decided to make an executive decision and get rid of both of them. 

So this kitten was her first real pet that offered real companionship. 

The kitten, Bootsie, named for the white fur that went halfway up her four legs that look like she is wearing boots, didn’t exactly get Tasha out of the house more and she didn’t help her make any new friends but she did make her happy. 


The thing that made Tasha's walk down the Blackstone jogging path kind of unsettling was the fact that after 9pm in East Side Providence the streets and sidewalks are all completely empty, and all the local shops and businesses are closed. And this is on a Friday night. A particularly foggy Friday Night at that. 

Still, with her pink windbreaker zipped up to where you could only really see her big brown eyes behind her large, circular black-rimmed glasses she persevered. Because of her small, lanky stature one could almost confuse the fourteen year old girl for a boy. 

Were it not for the pink sneakers that matched her windbreaker. 

She worked through that unsettling feeling for a greater purpose, and that was finding her cat who had just minutes before ran out of her house and towards the jogging path. 

At the brisk pace she was walking the thought of stopping occurred to her as she passed by each bench but it was getting late, it was cold and creepy out and she was just about to start feeling like maybe everything she was doing was pointless. That she would never see her cat Bootsie again. 

She had to stop and sit because she had long since lost sight of Bootsie, who disappeared into the fog.
It was a straight walk down the Blackstone path until the halfway point where she finally decided to stop. She had walked past the stone hut that her classmates refer to as the “Blair Witch Hut”, past that hauntingly beautiful statue that she admired, the one of the angel with the sash over her eyes holding the sword. Lady Justice. Past six different other benches, each with a plaque dedicated to some local rich person, before she reached the midway point where she sat next to the black metal mailbox nailed to the side of the bench that said “lost and found”. The irony of it didn’t escape her. She almost laughed. She almost cried too. 

Out of sheer curiosity she decided to open the box. There was nothing inside that particularly interested her. A single black motorman’s glove, a set of keys, a cell phone charger, a pacifier. 

She listlessly rifled through the junk in the box a little bit more when she noticed that it suddenly got much colder and the wind was picking up. It was probably going to start snowing at any minute. She felt a few random drops of rain fall on her nose which confirmed her suspicion. 

Not sure whether to go back towards home or further down the path she noticed that it was getting increasingly difficult to stand up and that her hands were starting to shake. She knew that sick feeling, like her very life force was being sucked away. It was a diabetic attack. 

She tried to remember if she ate anything before she left the house and she couldn’t. 
She then checked her watch only to find it had stopped, both hands pointing at twelve, which she knew was impossible. 

Not only that but she noticed a flash of strange lights in the sky. The last thing she needed was to be stuck outside during a lightning snowstorm. 

She picked up her phone and tried to check the time but it wouldn’t turn on, which she realized meant that she couldn’t call her mother. She was starting to feel the rising tide of anxiety as she started to panic. 
The light in the sky was now flashing more rapidly, more like a pattern, which worried her to the point where she didn’t even want to look up. She just wanted to get out of the cold. 

It took every bit of willpower and effort she could muster just to will herself off of that bench and back, just a few measly yards, towards the cover of the Blair Witch Hut. 

It couldn’t have been more than a hundred yards away towards that stone hut which used to serve as a trolley pick up for the cemetery on the opposite side of the street, but it just kept getting colder… 

…and it started to snow and then everything was turning white… 

…and it was so hard to move… 

…and the lights in the sky…

Like in an old horror movie, she tripped and fell, her glasses falling off of her face and into the fresh layer of snow. 

She didn’t even notice as she kept on making her way towards the hut, now crawling on her hands and knees like she had just been shot. Each shallow breath seemed to take more and more of her strength. 
It only took her about a minute to make her way into the hut and prop herself sitting up against one of the stone pillars. That was when everything went black and she passed out.  


The attention span of a cat is pretty short. 

Tasha had seen Bootsie stare out the window plenty of times. Usually at the birds or the squirrels. She would sometimes sit for hours in front of that window just staring out. 
But the thing of it was that she never really looked at anything too intently or for too long. At least not the way she had been that night. 

Something had caught Bootsie’s eye and it wasn’t until an hour later that Tasha even noticed, as she was arguing with her mother. 

Her mom seemed to enjoy reminding her of how she worked very hard to put food on the table and clothes on Tasha’s back, Especially if she asked for anything after she got home from work. 

Tasha always felt deep down that her mom was right to bitch the way she did but would get annoyed at what the entitlement that came with the bitchiness itself. “You think that just because you work all day it don’t mean shit that I been waiting for you to come home?” Tasha argued. 

“So I can take you to the store? To buy cat food? Taking care of the damn cat is your responsibility. You got money, you shoulda gone to the store yourself after school.” 

“It was cold and rainy all freakin’ day, mom! Then you expect me to walk back home with that big ass bag of cat food?! When you can drive to stop and shop in literally five minutes!” Tasha screamed back, now flustered. 

Bootsie looked back at them for a second but instead of doing what she’d normally do when there is yelling, which is leave the room, she tuned it out and stayed focused on the oddly formless, chittering thing outside. It was like a small pile of insects, but it wasn’t. Not like any that she’d ever seen. 

And the sound…

It was emitting a high frequency infrasound that Bootsie could practically see but the humans were completely oblivious to. She couldn’t even tell if it was an animal or a machine. She wanted nothing more in the world then to be able to smell it and paw at it.   

“Here, I’ll give you the money. All my money. I got forty-three dollars left over from my birthday. You can have it!!” Tasha finally negotiated. 

“You know what? Imma buy myself a cheap bottle of wine and something chocolate.” Tasha’s mom thought to herself. “Fine, I’ll go. But I aint gettin’ that big bag. I’ll get that when we do groceries on Sunday after church.” She said as she lit a cigarette and started to head for the door. “What do you want for dinner? I ain’t cooking.” She then stopped to say, now a slight bit calmer. 

“I don’t care, mom. A rotisserie chicken.” Tasha replied, exasperated, as she handed her mom the money, clearly annoyed. 

“I’ll pay you back on Monday once my check gets deposited, okay?” Mom replied, her tone now much softer, her form of an apology. “Just drink a coke now or have a cereal bar or something for your blood sugar, okay baby?” She added as she clopped her high heels across the floor to the kitchen cupboard, and pulled out a cereal bar which she then handed to Tasha, who acquiesced to a nod and a half-smile despite being kind of annoyed. 

She put the cereal bar on the table next to the door where she was standing.  

That was when Bootsie noticed the two of them near the door, shuffling around. Jangling keys. 

In an instant, in that way that cats can sometimes move like lightning, Bootsie streaked across the floor and made a B-Line right for the door, unbeknownst to Tasha or her mom, who was now opening the door. 

It wasn’t until she streaked out and almost tripped her mother that Tasha noticed. In an instant she put two and two together and remembered seeing the cat looking out the window overlooking the back yard and figured that’s where she was running to. 

“I’ll get her. Just go” Tasha dismissively told her mother as she bolted towards the backyard. 

She made it just in time to see Bootsie slip through the tiny hole in the bottom of their tall wooden fence. “ARG!” she growled loudly in frustration as she realized that she couldn’t climb the fence and was going to have to go around. 

The fog was setting in. 


Once outside it only took Bootsie a matter of seconds to locate the thing she was watching in the back yard. 
From the smell and the way it moved she could immediately tell that it wasn’t alive. At least not in an edible way. It was more like a broken wind-up toy. 

Still, the way it sat on the wet grass, a million tiny components shifting and reconfiguring, dancing like a dead bird filled with carrion eating away at it’s innards, Bootsie couldn’t help but be curious.  

The thing itself was black and grey and no larger than a field mouse. It sounded like a million tiny grasshoppers inside of a cup. It had clusters of tiny red and white lights that didn’t stay in one place for more than a moment as it constantly shifted, unable to find it’s own correct shape. 

Bootsie approached the thing cautiously, stalking low to the ground until she was upon it. She reached out one of her front paws and swatted the thing. It jumped into the air an entire foot, with such force that it brought some dirt and blades of grass with it, which startled her and caused her to jump a little bit too. She recovered in an instant and was quick to follow it as it rolled away towards the fence. 

She didn’t want to lose the thing so she followed it as it rolled through a hole at the bottom of the fence that was just big enough for her to squeeze through. 

She managed to stay close behind as it rolled all the way up the sidewalk and into the street. Then a few feet more as it crossed the larger street (Blackstone boulevard, not that Bootsie had any idea that’s what it was called) and down the grassy area just next to the jogging path, always just a few inches away from Bootsie, and getting faster. 

By the time Bootsie began to really gain ground on the thing it had begun to get colder, windier. Snow had started to fall and the fog was so dense that she could only really vaguely smell Tasha somewhere behind far her down the jogging path now and definitely couldn’t see her. She couldn’t see the thing she was chasing either. She was now tracking it on sound alone. 

Still she persisted until finally managing to snap her tiny jaws around the thing. She kind of enjoyed the way it wiggled around in her mouth for a moment, each of its hundreds of thousands of tiny components trying to configure a way out of the cat’s mouth without hurting it. It made her think of grasshoppers and summer time. 

The thing itself had but one defense mechanism, which wasn’t really designed as such, but did manage to stun the cat for a mere moment, causing her to just hold the thing in between her teeth instead of playing with it or trying to break it open, which she was about to do. 

The infrasonic frequencies were becoming more and more intense. Bootsie’s tiny pink nose started to bleed a little bit as something inside the thing reached out and made contact with her mind. 

The contact was brief, lasting only a moment really, sharing only the tiniest glimpse of it’s origins to her. 

Bootsie saw the up above, outer space, and animals. Like humans, but different. Colder. Tall and dark grey and without any connection to the Earth. Fake humans. Inorganic But still appearing very much alive. Very much the same way the thing in her mouth was. Made of a ton of tiny parts, constantly in motion. Like a tightly knit hive of insects. 

They were inside of a carrier that was beyond the up above. Something happened to their carrier. Some kind of attack. There was another carrier behind them. 

Now there is a hole in the carrier. Critical damage. Cold reaction, instinctual but not natural. Too calm. They shifted. Moving in between the layers of the up above. The carrier begun healing itself, but slowly, and not before it was pushed outside of the waves of the layers in between the layers of the up above. Left behind in one of the other folds of the beyond, the aggressive carrier was now gone. 

They are above Earth now. Directly above. This thing was a part of the carrier. Something important. 

The images didn’t make a whole lot of sense to Bootsie. She didn’t really know what to do with the object she hunted and caught. She knew it belonged to the fake people in the up above but she didn’t know how to tell them she found it. It seemed important.

Her thoughts went to the smartest human she knew. Tasha. Her mother. Whenever there was food in places she couldn’t get to, hidden away behind doors, it was her mother who would give it to her. Her mother was the smartest. She could still smell her, not too far away. She would take the thing to her. Mother would know. 


Tasha’s mom actually found going to Stop and Shop at this time of night, 10:05pm to be exact, to be kind of relaxing. Her general annoyance at the situation faded away the moment she walked in and noticed that there were very few other customers there. She was able to grab what she came for and get to the check out in under fifteen minutes. She wasn’t rushing either.

The car ride home was nice too. It was getting cold so her thoughts turned to images of drinking her wine in the bathtub and having some of that king-sized Hershey bar she bought. 

She noticed the fog thickening as fat raindrops started to fall on the car. There were flashes of light just above the clouds that she assumed was lightning. Before she even thought to turn on the windshield wipers those raindrops were now turning into snow and multiplying. She glanced over at the umbrella on the floor of the passenger seat and felt a little bit of relief. She decided to give Tasha a call and tell her to open the door and help her with the bags. She forgot all about Bootsie getting out. 

She pulled the phone out of her purse as she started to get closer to their house and dialed her daughter. 

Straight to voicemail. 

She tried three more times. Same thing. 

She wasn’t the type to worry or jump to conclusions, some might say to a fault, so she naturally figured that Tasha’s phone was charging or something. 

Still, that “or something” was a lingering doubt in the back of her mind that struck like an angry drunkard when she pulled in to her driveway and saw the front door wide open. She let out an audible gasp as her heart sunk and her stomach began to flutter. 

She didn’t even bother grabbing the groceries or her umbrella as she ran through the door. 

That was when she looked down and noticed the uneaten cereal bar on the table. She frantically clopped over to the bathroom, then down the hall to the bedrooms, turning the lights in each room on to see if  by some chance maybe Tasha was home someplace asleep (or worse) but she wasn’t.   

In one final act of futility she called out her daughter’s name. “Tasha! You home?! TASHA!!”

The only reply she got was the wind banging at the open front door as it got even colder and wetter outside, which reminded her that Bootsie had gotten out and Tasha went out to find her. 

She tried to call Tasha’s phone again but the call wouldn’t go through, which she didn’t realize was happening until she stood there for over a minute with the phone stuck to her ear, her irritation levels rising along with her blood pressure. 

Finally she pulled the phone from her ear, saw that it was now 10:33pm and that she had no bars. She tried two more times, her hands now shaking with nervousness. The call finally did go through at 10:35 but it once again went straight to voicemail. 

She closed the door behind her as she clopped back down the front steps into the car. 


It didn’t take long for Bootsie to find Tasha, as the crisp cold air seemed to amplify her scent. 

She walked up to her human’s side, dropped the thing onto the ground, and then stood there, sitting on her hind legs, almost proudly. 

She let out an expectant meow and then waited a moment for some kind of response. 

She had dealt with sleeping humans before. She went up, stood in her lap, and rubbed her soft furry head into Tasha’s cheek, which was usually enough to wake her. 

Bootsie found the fact that it wasn’t this time to be quite distressing. She also noticed the shallow breathing and something else off. She could smell that something wasn’t right with Tasha’s body chemistry. 

Not really knowing what else to do she let out a couple more meows and started going between licking her face and nudging it with her nose. 

She wasn’t getting a reaction and noticed the breathing and heartbeat getting slower. She was starting to panic. 

She almost didn’t notice that someone was walking up to them. 

In her distress she assumed that it would be a person who could help. She turned to find that it wasn’t a person at all. It was one of those fake things. It looked strange to her. Very much like a person in that it had two legs it stood on and two appendages coming out of its thin, triangular chest but she regarded it as an object for it had no real organic scent to it. Clearly it was moving, functioning. She did not find it’s posture to be the least bit threatening, so she knew it wasn’t a predator. It wasn’t a person either. 

Still, it walked towards them, taking slow deliberate steps, only stopping when it noticed Bootsie looking directly into it’s one monochrome black-green eye, placed directly in the middle of it’s smooth triangular head.  

It sounded like the thing she had been chasing from the yard, like it was made up of a million moving parts, like an insect hive.

Still, it moved like a person so Bootsie meowed at it. 

It replied by taking a moment to scan her, making almost inaudible clicking sounds as it instantaneously processed every bit of biological data on Bootsie there was to be processed. It could see her down to a molecular level, taking note of things like the way the air moved around her, exactly what chemicals in her body were doing what, what synapses in her brain were firing and when and even why.  

It saw that Bootsie was an inconsequential creature and decided to pay her no mind as it knelt forward on it’s slender polygonal legs and reached one of it’s arms in the direction of the thing. 

Three cylindrical fingers protruded from the tip, which were forming into a grabbing claw, ready to swipe what it had come for, but Bootsie wouldn’t have it. Not yet. 

In a way that isn’t really quite like what we humans would really consider conscious, Bootsie thought to herself “Bipedal non-predator. Help” as she leapt in between the thing and the alien. 

The alien recoiled it’s fingers and took a step back, not wishing to incite any aggressive action from the animal. 

While not generally concerned with Bootsie, the alien’s general prerogative was to not harm anything on the planet they were visiting. Partially because it wasn’t it’s place and partially because it did not want to alert any of the more intelligent beings of this technologically burgeoning world to it’s presence. 

Bootsie realized that she had the alien’s attention. She saw the green circle in the center of it’s eye fixating on her. She carefully walked back over to Tasha and stood on her lap, nudging her head into her chin. She then looked up at the alien and let out a questioning mew. 

Just as it did with Bootsie, the alien collected data on Tasha, clicking briefly as it processed it. The alien was also able to immediately tell what was wrong with Tasha. 

It found it notable that this lesser life form was caring for the larger one. It almost admired it. 
Still crouching, the alien took another couple of very slow and deliberate steps closer to Tasha and then reached it’s arm out to press one of it’s fingers directly to Tasha’s forehead. 

With the shifting of a protein here, the activation of an enzyme there, through vibration and electrical field manipulation, it was a simple matter for the alien to shift Tasha’s blood sugar levels to where they needed to be for her to be okay. 

The alien then shifted it’s attention towards the thing it had come for and picked it up, which Bootsie intently watched from Tasha’s lap. 

The alien then stood completely up and faced away from the two of them, towards a narrow beam of light that appeared just in front of the hut. 

It took a few steps but then stopped for a moment just as it was upon the light. It looked down at the thing in its hand, an important component of its ship, and then turned around to face Bootsie. 

“MEOW” it said, robotically, in an attempt to approximate Bootsie’s tone. 

It then turned back towards the light and disappeared into it.  


Tasha could feel Bootsie’s course tongue against her face before she even opened her eyes. For a moment it was nice. The feeling was fleeting. 

The moment she opened her eyes and realized where she was she almost began to panic. Then she realized that her mission to find Bootsie was somehow a success and the only real issue was getting in trouble for being out. 

“How long was I out? What time is it?!” She frantically wondered as she pulled her phone from her pocket. She remembered now that the last time she attempted to check the time her phone wasn’t working. 

She turned the phone on, not entirely sure how it got turned off in the first place, as the battery was at 68%. Immediately upon entering the home screen her phone rang. It was now 10:37pm. 

“Mom?” She weakly said into the phone. 

“Oh my God, Tasha, Where are you?!” her mom frantically demanded. 

“I got Bootsie. I’m over here in the Blair Witch Hut” she replied as she stood up, cradling Bootsie against her chest with one hand, the phone to her ear with the other. 

“Bootsie?” she replied, taking a moment to remember the whole thing with the cat getting out. “Oh, okay. I’ll be there in a minute” she then said as they hung up. 

Seconds later she arrived, pulling up on the side of the grass just next to where the hut meets the jogging path. 

Tasha opened the passenger door, and got in, still moving very weakly, recovering from her little nap. 

“Are you okay?? Why weren’t you answering your phone?” Her mom asked, now more concerned than angry. 

“I don’t know. It wasn’t working. Yeah, I’m fine. I guess” Tasha replied as she put on her seatbelt but kept Bootsie on her lap. The warm air from the heater felt nice. 

“So, what happened?” 

“I don’t really know. It got really cold and I guess I sat down for a second in the hut to get out of the rain and then…I woke up and Bootsie was there.” 

“Well, you didn’t eat your cereal bar like you was supposed to so you probably had an attack. You’re lucky I found you.” she lectured. 

“If I had an attack, then what woke me up? I don’t feel like I had an attack. I usually feel it for a while after. I feel completely fine now. Just groggy.” 

“We can test your blood sugar when we get home. You scared me, girl. You need to be more careful.” 

“I see you got catfood.” Tasha said as she turned to look behind her and saw the bag.  

They arrived back home a few moments later and the first thing Tasha’s mom insisted upon doing was test Tasha’s blood sugar. It was surprisingly right where it should be. She took a mental note to make an appointment to see her doctor about it as she sent her out to bring in the groceries. 

They enjoyed dinner together, even sharing some of the chicken with Bootsie. 

Tasha’s mom even got to pop open her bottle of wine and enjoy that bath she was hoping for. 

Tasha fell asleep on the living room couch with Bootsie on her lap, purring. 

The aliens managed to get their ship repaired and were able to shift out of our neck of the woods before their enemies could track them to Earth. 


Early the next morning an old man who lived off of the Blackstone Blvd jogging path put on his New England Patriots jacket and sweatpants and went for his morning walk. 

He noticed a pair of glasses lying on the soggy grass off to the side of the path and knelt down to pick them up. 

He shrugged and held on to them as he approached the bench about three quarters of the way up the path with the little black box on it labeled “Lost and found”. He carefully opened the lid and dropped the glasses inside.