“How was the movie, Will?” William’s mother asked in a sunny tone as he arrived home.
“Good.” William responded, not making eye contact or even looking in her direction. He walked past her and climbed the stairs before she could speak again.
William’s younger sister Nora walked into the house behind him, carrying two bags of groceries. “Hi, mom,” she said as she pushed the door closed with her foot. She set the bags on the counter and her mother helped put the groceries away.
“Did William behave himself at the movie this time?” Mother inquired, shelving a box of pasta.
“He behaved himself the entire time!” Nora responded.
“And you made sure he took his medication?”
“He… refused to take it. But he seemed just fine without it!”
Mother frowned. “You both know he needs to take it.”
“I know, mom. But he didn’t act up once today! Maybe he doesn’t need it anymore.”
Mother sighed. “We’ve been over this many times before. He needs his medication, even if there are no symptoms. I’ll give it to him.”
Nora stopped what she was doing for a second to look her mother in the eye. “I just don’t think being on that drug all the time is good for him.”
Mother rolled her eyes, waving her concern away. She picked up William’s pill bottle and studied it. “So, are you supposed to double up the dosage if you miss one, or…”
William sat in his bedroom, alone with his thoughts. Finally free from his medication, he felt like he could think clearly. He resented his mother for keeping him here; he was almost thirty years old now, but his mother had filed for — and was granted — legal guardianship for him since his early twenties. “It’s not fair,” he thought to himself, “Nora gets to move away, go to college, drive a car… and I’m stuck here with my oppressive mother, kept under house arrest, on medication… all because of some kind of supposed ‘mental illness’.”
“I’m not the sick one,” he muttered under his breath. He had tried to prove that he could be a normally functioning adult for several years now, but his mother would never entertain the idea. He needed parental supervision like he needed an extra hole in the head.
He made his way over to his second-floor bedroom window and pushed the curtain aside. He took a look around and out of the corner of his eye he saw… a little green man? It was just staring up at him with large, black, shining eyeballs in its smooth, green, hairless head. It had no nose, but a wide mouth plastered with a crooked smile. He watched as the creature picked up an acorn and chucked it at his window. He instinctively dodged as it plinked harmlessly off the glass. He flipped the thing the middle finger and it ran off.
He shouted down the stairs, “Mom, Nora! There’s something outside our house!” After a short pause, he heard the sound of his mother climbing the stairs. She sat down on the bed next to him, a couple of pills in her cupped hand, a glass of water in the other.
“Come on, Will. Time for your medicine.” She extended her arm to drop the pills into his hand.
“NO! I don’t want to! And you’re not listening to me! There’s something roaming around outside!” He couldn’t have those drugs making him complacent, not when there was something strange happening.
Mother was insistent though. He put the pills in his mouth, drank the water while holding them under his tongue, and even successfully hid them as she did a mouth inspection. Satisfied, she kissed him on the cheek and took the water glass downstairs.
William almost gagged as he spat the foul-tasting medication into the trash can. He moved back to his window to catch another glimpse of the creature, but it was starting to get dark out. Even in the low light, he could see not one, but MANY pairs of reflective eyes milling about outside. When they realized Will was looking at them, they all stopped what they were doing to stare back at him, their wide eyes reflecting brightly in the twilight.
William closed the curtain and hurried downstairs to the landline telephone. He dialed 911. “Hello? Please send help, our house is being surrounded by alien creatures…”
At first, there was silence on the other end of the line. Then, a female voice spoke up. “William?”
William was stunned she knew his name, but responded, “Yes?”
The voice continued, “Have you been taking your medication?”
William slammed the receiver down with a growl. Nobody would believe him. He would be on his own.
He pulled out his flashlight and flicked the switch, but nothing happened. The batteries were dead. He considered asking his mother or Nora where the batteries were, but they wouldn’t be any help to him now. He snuck into the basement and found an antique glass oil lantern, the red oil still sitting in the bottom. It had been used in emergencies when the power went out on several occasions, so he knew it would work. He found a box of matches and lit the lantern. He grabbed an ancient wooden baseball bat and armed himself. Taking great care not to alert his family, he silently exited the back door of the house.
William crept through the back yard, his eyes peeled wide for any roaming creatures, but there were none around. It was almost as if the entire group had vanished. Suddenly, from behind a nearby tree, a small horde of green-skinned creatures began charging toward him, their arms flailing, their eyes gleaming, their black, toothless mouths agape in a cacophony of high-pitched screeches.
William screamed himself, dropping his bat as he ran as fast as he could away from the squealing mob.
The vicious little creatures chased him unrelentingly, seemingly enjoying their chase, as some of their wailing resembled high-pitched, sinister laughter.
William was chased into a nearby cemetery. He weaved between the stones to try to lose his assailants, but they seemed to be catching up to him. Finally, he found a tall mound of loose, black dirt and climbed his way up. When he got to the top, the loose dirt gave way and he slid down the other side, managing to just barely avoid plummeting into an open grave. The creatures had the same problem he had, reaching the top of the mound, then sliding down the other side, but they were not as lucky, falling into the deep pit below.
He approached the edge of the grave cautiously, the wailing cries of the little green men making him sick, and his ears hurt. He peered down in, lighting the hole with his glass lantern. They were trying to climb up the sides, grabbing onto roots and clumps of dirt. It was only a matter of time until they were out. He looked down at his lantern, seeing the red oil swirling around the bottom and back at the grave. He tossed the lantern in.
The lantern shattered into a million pieces on impact, the oil splashing everywhere, immediately engulfing the grave in flames. The creatures' screams were horrifying as they echoed through the cemetery, carrying all throughout the town. Their flesh melted in the fire and gave off a noxious black smoke as it blazed. William covered his ears and stepped away from the grave, holding his breath to avoid letting the fumes into his lungs.
As he watched the tall flames from a distance and heard the screams die off, he breathed a sigh of relief. He had won. He saved his family, maybe the entire city, from those horrible little things. Who could know what they would have done if he hadn’t stopped them. He slowly walked home, knowing that his mother and sister would never believe him anyway. But he would know he was a hero, and that was all that mattered.
When he arrived home covered in dirt and sweat, his mother immediately ran up and hugged him. “Where were you? When did you leave?”
William looked away. “I was just in the backyard, mom.”
“Well get washed up, it’s time for dinner.”
As the family sat down to a lasagna dinner, they tried to have a polite conversation over the echo of police sirens outside.
Mother spoke up, “So, which movie did you go to see today?”
Nora said, her mouth full of lasagna, “It’s called 'Little Green Men'. It’s been so popular, all the kids in the neighborhood are dressed up like them tonight for Halloween.”
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
Written by Glisario