You know how the sky looks right at the end of summer when the heated haze has cleared? The blues and whites are crisp and clear. They are well defined and no longer blend together the way potatoes and gravy do when you have squished too much food on your plate. I love watching the sky when it looks like that.
That’s the kind of day it was. The air was as crisp as the colors of the sky. I walked through a town that looked like it came right out of the past. All the houses were white, and they were all 2 or 3 stories. The front porches were wide and long. I stopped in front of a house that had 2 rocking chairs and several ferns arranged on the neatly swept front porch. It looked like a picture postcard. The life of the house, though, was around back where there was another porch. This one was screened. It wasn’t as neat as the front porch. The glider was covered with an old worn quilt and 4 discarded throw pillows. It looked mighty comfortable to me. A small basket of apples sat perched on one of the wooden steps to the back porch. A larger basket was full of potatoes . Each side of the screen door was decorated with strings of fresh onions and garlic hanging out to dry. A large pile of purple hull pea hulls was right beside the steps. The gentle wind teased the dried and hardened hulls and threatened to blow them all over the back yard, which was decorated with bikes and trikes, as well as ball bats and other remnants of childhood.
The houses seemed to belong to another time, but the people living there were familiar. I saw friends, family, and a few acquaintances from work. Beyond the happy chirping of birds, I could hear children laughing as they played around the corner. It was a happy day. A lazy happy day.
Then I saw something strange in the sky. It looked like a train of hot air balloons. Very odd balloons, though. A covered wagon and team took the lead. A castle brought up the rear. The balloons in the middle looked like an apple tree and a boat. I told you it was strange!
It looked like the balloons were going to land, so I cut out running in that direction. They were descending over a freshly cut rice field just outside of town. I stood watching them in awe as they slowly came closer and closer. Can you believe no one else was around? Where were all the people? Surely someone besides me had seen this curiosity in the sky! No one else was about, though. I was all alone, but it never occurred to me that I should be frightened.
Until they landed.
It turns out that they were not hot air balloons at all. They were alien spacecraft. The doors to the castle opened first. Out stepped Dorothy and Toto. I wanted to rush towards her in excitement, but something was not right. Dorothy’s face had no emotion, and her eyes were dull - like a robot She was quickly followed by another Dorothy and Toto. And then another. Soon there must have been 50 of them standing in the field, facing the town.
The Scarecrow stepped down from the driver’s seat of the covered wagon and team. Immediately after Scarecrow joined the first Dorothy, many more robot-like Scarecrows disembarked from the back of the covered wagon. Dorothy, Toto, and Scarecrow were soon joined by Tinmen jumping from the apple tree and Cowardly Lions climbing out of the boat. As soon as the group assembled in teams of 5 (Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion), they began a slow march towards town. All of them had emotionless faces and dull blank eyes. They advanced with a slow methodic pace.
I don’t know how I knew it, but I knew they were evil. I knew they were coming to kill us all, and I knew it would not be painless. I ran back to town harder than I have ever run in my life. My legs were shaking. My chest ached with every single breath. My throat burned from screaming.
Now let me ask you, how easy do you think it is to convince folks that the town is being invaded by aliens from the Land of OZ?
I wish they would come loosen these straps. My arms are aching.
I never have any visitors . . .
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