( When bite-sized aliens invade the planet, humans are amused, but are the tiny beings really as harmless as candy?)
On day 1, nobody even noticed that it happened. It wasn’t until day 3, when a farmer in Iowa reported seeing them all over his cornfield, tucked inside the stalks, that the national media picked up on the story. I didn’t see anything until day 7. In fact, up until that point, part of me believed it was a hoax – April fist was around the corner.
I was sitting on my back deck with Maxi, our Yorkshire terrier, while my wife sulked inside. She was the one who had wanted a dog, and was irritated that Maxi followed me around instead of her. Maxi barked, and I looked up from my newspaper. A tiny, silver, saucer-shaped spaceship landed on the deck railing. I watched in amazement at the ant-sized beings that crawled out. I laughed out loud. The rumors were true! And who would have thought, right here, in my hometown – aliens.
On day 11, national news corps started showing enlarged images of the beings. Their bodies were brown and bloated. They had teeny legs and arms and buggy eyes. TMZ nicknamed them “Raisinets.” The Raisinets wore no clothing, only golden helmets on their neckless heads. A Harvard historian concluded that the larger, more elaborate helmets indicated a leader, a Raisinet in charge.
On day 15, a co-worker told me that she saw them in her hot tub. My boss butted into the conversation and speculated, at some length, about how they reproduced. I wondered for the thousandth time this year how he kept his job.
During a press conference, on day 17, the President said, “… no present danger.” On “Nightline,” a NASA representative said, “The discovery of extraterrestrial life is the greatest discovery of mankind.” Later in the interview, he said, “… innocuous …”
Each day, Maxi barked at the sliding glass door, watching as the tiny creatures in our backyard carried out their daily routine of walking along the deck rail, down the side, and into the grass.
On day 18, a scientist in China reported that he believed the Raisinets were studying our language. That night Jimmy Kimmel had people dressed in Raisinet costumes dancing during his intro. Nestle started putting images of silver spaceships on the boxes of their chocolate-covered Raisinets with the slogan – “They’ll invade your taste buds.”
Day 19, I was driving down I-65 and passed gas stations selling Raisinet T-shirts and gifts. I stopped to get gas, and bought a measuring shot glass etched with marker lines of Raisinets, Humans, and Big Foot. That night I had a couple of “Big Foot” sized Tequila shots. My wife frowned as I drank.
On the 29th day, I read a blog by a man who built a terrarium and claimed he kept pet Raisinets. Similar to an ant farm. He believed they enjoyed it.
The 21st day gave us all pause. That was the day we heard their leader’s voice for the first time. The head Raisinet wore a giant helmet with a crimson plume, and spoke on the evening news. He claimed they had created a device that amplified their voice for human ears. He said they had been studying our race. He used words like “assimilate,” “surrender,” and “mind control.”
I watched late night television that night. Jay Leno said to arm yourself with a fly swatter. The audience laughed, but I looked in the pantry and garage. My wife found our fly swatter on top of the refrigerator. We set it by our bed.
In the wee hours of day 22, I awoke to several Raisinets sitting on my chest. They used their amplifiers to tell me that they enjoyed staying in my garden. They said Maxi was a pest, but he could be useful – I had no idea what that meant. They told me that the time had come for all humans to perform their duty. They said they already had my wife. I didn’t protest. I wasn’t even frightened.
Today is day 25, and things couldn’t be better. I work in a squad that gets to dig ditches. The masters say that if we are good, tomorrow we can fill the ditches with the bodies of the ones that didn’t survive. This morning I passed by the bodies lined up along Main Street. My former boss’ was on top. It’s a shame, really, that he won’t be able to live in the new world. Already things are better. I don’t have to worry about my family, my mortgage, or my job. All I think about is serving the masters. This is my dream, and they have given it to me. I hope to move up to the squad that moves the rocks around by summer.