Mom called, “Put Sugar in her cage and come down for supper!”
I looked up from my book. My Guinea pig continued to race around manically, as she’d been doing for the past hour. The plush carpeting beneath her tiny pink feet had taken on the image the little creature seemed determined to imprint.
It took a bit of effort, but I finally managed to catch her. She oinked and squealed, squirming in my grip.
I looked down at what she’d made and sighed. “Not again.”
Using my toes, I rubbed out the pentagram.
I booped her nose. “Bad, Sugar.”
Author’s Note: I had a Guinea pig when I was a teenager and she may have been named Sugar. Whether or not she worshipped demons is a matter up for debate.
Anna climbed the ladder, basket at her hip, and began picking. Down the row, Miguel was singing, low and sweet, the way he had. Chasing away the gloom of the workers’ conversation in the field house before setting out that morning.
They were silly to worry. There was no contamination.
The sun was in her eyes as she peered between the branches to the gleaming roofline of the chemical plant just beyond the farm.
What were they afraid of?
The cherries were never larger. Brighter.
Miguel had stopped singing.
Her stained fingertips began to burn, skin peeling away.
Author’s Note: I’m a conservationist at heart. And also a bit on the paranoid side when it comes to agriculture vs. corporate ‘progress’.
He stumbled inside, dripping, a manic look on his face, gesturing madly.
The three of us followed him outside, into the storm. Lightning flared silent above us, followed by the grumbling roll of thunder.
Dr. Marcus ran in a circle, giddy, laughing. We exchanged looks.
“Doctor,” I said, pleading. “Come back inside.”
“I can’t miss this!”
The look on John’s face mirrored my feelings. The doctor had lost his senses.
The thunder crashed again.
“A once in a lifetime event! The last one! The invasion has begun!”
And that’s when I noticed the slick black raindrops sported multiple, tiny legs.
Author’s Note: I’m a fan of scientists, brought to the brink of insanity for discovering something or some dread knowledge before anyone else and being shunned, mocked, or isolated for it. It’s especially wonderful when the ‘crazy doctor’ turns out to be right.