Friday, June 12, 2009

River Aliens: Angie's story

“Sweet Home Louisiana . . .”

Okay, so these weren’t the actual lyrics. Yet Angie hummed them anyway while fish playfully nibbled at her splashing toes. The boat dock creaked under her bum as she leaned over and filled her bucket with more water.

“Get away, fish,” she said, her voice barely a whisper of breath. If she had wanted to go fishing, she would have brought along her poles. But she had other creatures in mind today.

Angie was going alien-hunting.

When the bucket was half full, she placed it on the dock next to her alien-hunting gear: a snorkel and goggles. Could anyone think of any better gear to go a-huntin’ with, especially against aliens? Phasers? Photon Torpedoes? Gigantic Death Stars like in those sci-fi movies? Pshaw! Angie didn’t think so.

Her body slipped into the cool water. She stayed close to the shoreline, her body face down with her whoosh-whoosh of long breaths sounding through the plastic snorkel pipe. Clear water stretched from the surface to the muddy bottom. Her eyes gazed at the waving water plants as she relaxed her body, floating peacefully. She felt the gentle waves lapping against her ears. Angie’s arms stretched out at sides, drifting on their own at the slight current. Her thoughts began to wander, as daydreams played within the hazy sparkles of underwater sunlight.

Dark. Quiet. Then giggles rose from under the blanket. The flashlight clicked on, showing scrunched features with eyes crossed and lips curled in a demented guppy pose. Angie stared at the face and flopped over onto the sleeping bag, laughing.

“Shhhh . . . don’t laugh so loud. The aliens will hear us,” Angie’s twin sister warned. She twirled the spot of light on the blanket, moving it so fast that it made both of them dizzy while their eyes strained to watch it.

“What aliens?” Angie angled her body under the chair. She slipped toes under the blanket edge as they tapped unseen from the outside.

Her twin sister made a menacing claw with fingers. The flashlight cast a giant shadow over their heads - a gaping mouth reaching down. “The Pincher People who snap off little kids’ toes.”

“Eep!” Angie yanked her feet close to her body. Her knee hit the chair leg. The blanket slipped a little, threatening to send their makeshift tent crashing over them.

“Don’t worry. They only live in the water and snap off swimmers’ toes.”

“But,” Angie bit her bottom lip, “we’re taking that trip by the lake this weekend. Won’t they get us there?”

Her twin sister shook her head. “Not if we get them first.”


Her sister leaned in closer. Angie scrambled up to her knees as she felt her sister’s lips press against her ear. “We EAT THEM!”

“EWWWW!” Angie placed her hands over her mouth. In the living room, they heard footsteps approach their tent. The blanket edge lifted and two plates scooted underneath. One had four “Big Mama’s biscuits” - a secret recipe from their grandmother. The other plate had a large helping of small, red, bug-looking things with shells and tails.

“PINCHER PEOPLE!” both girls screamed. Then their giggles mixed in with their “yums” while they devoured dinner.

The daydream faded. Angie’s attention focused on the tiny movement below. She took a deep breath and dived, snagging the unknowing creature in her fingers. Then Angie popped up through the water’s surface and blew water from her breathing spout in whale fashion. She swam back to the dock and climbed up on the creaking boards.

Before she placed her find into the waiting bucket, Angie held the creature before her face, watching the crawdaddy’s little antennas weaving through the air in confusion. Angie scrunched her features into her meanest glare.

“Pincher person, you’re not snapping off anybody’s toes anymore!”

*Like I said, blame Angie Ledbetter (Gumbo Writer) for giving me this story idea. Go on, deluge her blog with comments. That will teach her!*


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