Author : J.D. Rice

There’s an alien in my kitchen, and I’m not quite sure what to do. My wife stands by the stove, humming quietly to herself while chopping away at some vegetables for the stew. My son sits at the table next to the alien, trying to teach it how to play his favorite card game, but I don’t think it understands. Its big, blue head just nods along an awkward imitation of our own mannerisms, its big, dark eyes looking back and forth between my son and the little pieces of paper he’s setting down on the table. Meanwhile, my dog sits curiously at the base of the alien’s chair, sniffing at its dangling feet.

And here I am, standing the doorway, briefcase in hand, with no idea what to make of the situation.

“Honey…” I say, walking slowly and methodically around the outer edge of the kitchen, keeping my distance from the alien. “Tell me again where you found it?”

“I already told you,” she says, still smiling at her chopped vegetables. “He was out in the garden. Poor little thing is all alone and hungry.”

“How can you even KNOW that?” I ask, my strained voice betraying my attempts at remaining calm. “Why is it in our house?”

“He’s hungry,” my wife says again, using her knife and hand to dump the finished vegetables into the pot of hot water on the stove. “I can’t turn away a stranger in need.”

“A stranger in… you can’t… it’s…”

But words really do fail me. My son is now trying desperately to get the alien to play a game of cards with him, grabbing the alien’s four-fingered hands and practically stuffing cards into them. I almost call out for my son not to touch it, but I know it’d be futile. They all seem to think this is perfectly normal.

“Why don’t you sit down and have some soup,” my wife says. “It’ll be ready in a few minutes.”

“I… I’m calling the police,” I finally manage to say. “We can’t keep him here. This is absolutely ridiculous.”

“He’s just hungry,” my wife says again in a sing-song voice. “Just have a seat and we can call the police after.”

“No,” I say, more definitively. “I’m calling them now. We don’t know what this thing is or what it could mean to the world. We can’t keep him here.”

Suddenly my wife’s hand shoots out, grabbing my wrist and forcing it down into the counter top with freakish strength.

“No.” she says again, all joy having left her voice. I stare up at her, eyes wide, and watch as she slowly raises the knife over her head. “He’s just hungry.”

Before I get a chance to scream, the knife drives into my chest, piercing my heart and sending blood gurgling into my throat. As my body hits the floor, my family doesn’t move, not even the dog. My body twitches, once, twice, then goes still as the feeling leaves my limbs. Just as my vision starts to fade, I see the alien stand up from its seat at the kitchen table, kneel over my body, and sniff at my blood as it flows steadily from my chest..

“Ah…” a voice says in my head. “A-Positive, just what I needed. I’m really sorry about this, but I was simply famished.”

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