I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight
By James Hold
[Copyright 2017 James Roy Hold
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I WONDER WHAT SHE’S DOING TONIGHT
The Great State of Texas has seen many invasions over the years. One of the lesser known incursions involved an onslaught of spiders from the Aranas Infernales globular cluster. As the UFO passed over Huntsville, the saucer occupants could not help but notice the humongous 67-foot-tall statue of Sam Houston on Interstate 45.
“Goodness!” Tommy pointed a hairy appendage out the porthole. “Would you look at the size of that sucker! I hope all Texans aren’t that big.”
Bobby shook his head. Like all alien invaders, they diligently monitored Earth’s radio signals and more than once heard the phrase “long tall Texan.” Still the square-cube law would not allow for anything that huge to exist. “No,” Bobby manipulated his slide rule, “I’m sure it’s an exaggeration. Reducing the statue to scale, your average Texan should be no more than eight, maybe ten feet tall.”
This was not much solace to the golf-ball-size galaxians.
“Let’s see what BORIS has to say,” Tommy suggested.
BORIS, an acronym for Bunch Of Really Intelligent Spiders, was their onboard computer. It was directly linked to all the great spider brains on their home planet. It was Tommy’s opinion they should learn more about Texas before launching an attack.
“How?” asked Tommy.
BORIS blinked his lights, made a lot of relay noises, and recommended abducting one of the newscasters they heard jabbering on the tube—since they seem to know everything. It went without saying that the abductee be female, this being Rule Number One of the Alien Abduction Handbook. Besides, male broadcasters were old and stern while the females looked cute and bubbly.
So Tommy and Bobby, setting their spacecraft down in a field on the outskirts of Houston, set out with a squadron of soldier spiders on their quest
KBFD-TV news anchor, Reida Prompter was a tall, leggy blonde possessing a honey-sweet voice that rendered charming the way she mispronounced any word containing more than three syllables. The spiders waited for her in the parking lot, having piled one atop another until they resembled a human physique. Walking proved a problem as they tended to list to one side, but it was a seedy part of town so passers-by just took them for a wino.
Now spiders, despite having multiple eyes, cannot make objects out very distinctly. Like many creatures, their eyes serve mainly to detect movement. Hence, it was understandable that they mistook Jo for their TV anchorwoman—despite her being under five-feet tall with black hair cut extremely short. She was paused before a military recruitment poster that said SIGN UP TODAY—this striking her as odd since the sign was up every day—when the creepy crawlers crept up behind and carried her off. The tiny waif resisted as best she could, pounding her little fists against the body of her attacker. This led to a lot of squishing noises, with the result that fewer returned to the UFO than had set out.
“Would you please stop struggling?” Tommy complained, scrambling atop a console. “Can’t you see we mean no harm?”
“Not for now, anyway,” Bobby hinted, rubbing his pedipals menacingly.
Tommy told him to shut up.
Jo meanwhile, stared at her surroundings. Everywhere except down. Squish, squish, went the spiders at her feet, and Jo voiced a dubious “Oops.”
“That was my Uncle Ernie,” Bobby told her.
“Oh well,” Jo cleaned her sneaker against the console, “serves him right for looking up my skirt.”
A whirr of lights and circuitry erupted as BORIS told her not to kick his peripherals.
Jo fingered the pendant at her throat, gauging her options. “Is it okay if I sit down?” she asked. From the bowels of the UFO popped an office chair. Jo wheeled to the console, crushing more spiders in her path.
“Not very swift, are they?” she observed, resting her heels on the cushion.
“It’s your Earth gravity,” Tommy lamented. “Back home, they’d be zipping along.”
“Which is why we keep our guest chairs in the basement,” Bobby added.
“Gotcha,” Jo nodded, calmly flicking spider parts from her socks. “So, what’s next?”
“Let’s see,” Bobby consulted his notes. “When capturing an Earth female, aliens usually strip her naked and conduct an exhaustive anatomical probe.”
Jo straightened. “I’d rather you didn’t, me being underage and all.”
“Drat!” They backed off, unaware she was bluffing. “You do lack the obvious mammary development of an adult female.”
“Lucky me,” she granted glumly. “What say we skip ahead to where you reveal your insidious plan?”
The spiders traded uneasy glances. “Actually, we…” A clatter of circuitry interrupted them indicating BORIS had finally devised a plan. “Oh, right!” they chorused. “Our plan!”
“First we shut down all power on the planet: nuclear, electrical, chemical…”
“You can do that?”
“Of course we can. We’re aliens, remember? After which we broadcast our demands for Earth’s surrender.”
“Umm,” Jo raised a hand, “if you switch off the power, how will anyone hear you?”
Tommy and Bobby fell silent, waiting for BORIS to answer. BORIS however said nothing.
“You could try the direct approach,” Jo suggested.
“Such as?” they asked.
“Well, if it were me, I’d melt some Arctic icebergs. I’ve heard that would raise ocean levels twenty feet or more.”
The spiders, being from an arid planet, were unfamiliar with that sort of thing. “You think it’d work?”
“I don’t see why not,” Jo reasoned. “Numerous supermarket tabloids have run articles on it. Of course, you wouldn’t need to melt all of them. A dozen or so should suffice.”
“We’ll do it!” Tommy and Bobby high-eighted each other, and within minutes fired their destructive incendiary ray at the North Pole.
At which point BORIS fell to whirring and clicking.
“Now what?” asked Jo.
Tommy and Bobby cast doleful eyes at the computer screen. “He says if we flood the world’s surface, how are we supposed to live on it?”
They stared at Jo, waiting for an answer. Jo, in turn, pounded the console in frustration. “Well don’t blame me! You’re the ones with the computer!” Then, seeing she had accidentally gone and smushed Bobby, added yet another “Oops, sorry” apology.
Thus, one of Earth’s least noted invasions came to an end. Faced with imminent worldwide inundation, Tommy and the remaining spiders beat a hasty retreat—although not before releasing their prisoner to share the fate of her race. Jo found herself in an open field, staring heavenward as the UFO split the starlit sky. A familiar, multicolored cat, perched on a tree limb, looked down at her. A momentary smile crossed Jo’s face. Even though it was only a cat, it nevertheless felt good to know she was not alone. Then, fearing they might come back, she high-tailed it back home, her sticky sneakers leaving a squishy trail of squshed spider with every step.
As for melting the dozen or so polar icebergs, well, as any schoolchild knows, those things float freely in the ocean, displacing their weight; hence, they no more raised the water level than dissolving ice cubes would make a tea glass overflow. Still, it was not a total loss as sightings of the UFO allowed news anchor Reida Promter to mispronounce the word “extraterrestrial”—albeit with such bubbly charm that no one thought to complain.
It was Thanksgiving 2006, and I was reading Bob Cotter’s The Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography entry on Aranas Infernales, a 1966 Blue Demon movie about alien spiders that fed on human brains. At the same time, the oldies station played Boyce & Hart’s “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight”—to which I thought, well, for all you know she could be thwarting an invasion of alien spiders. The rest was easy.
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I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
- ISBN: 9781370879915
- Author: James Hold
- Published: 2017-03-26 00:05:15
- Words: 1399