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AlanAngelLogan van Engelen

'They're back again Miriam. They just pulled into their driveway.' Leo stood to the left of the living room window pushing the curtains just a little to the side so he could peek out onto the street and the neighbors house across the street. 'Would you stop constantly spying on them, they will see you! Get away from there.' Miriam said in a commanding voice as she walked into the living room from the kitchen. 'They won't see me. Don't worry. I don't trust these people.' Leo carefully moved the curtain back into its regular position and moved away from the window. 'They went inside. Miriam, these people moved in two days ago and did not even bother to come and say hello. Something is off with these people. Their kid hasn't....' Miriam interrupted Leo mid sentence. 'Just take it easy. They are just busy settling in. Give it some time. We can also visit them you know?' Leo turned and took another quick peek out of the window with a look of distrust on his face. 'Oh, you.. Hopeless...' Miriam mumbled. 'I made lunch. Come and eat.' she said while walking back into the kitchen. Leo, having nothing to spy on anymore as his new neighbors had not come back out, turned and followed his wife into the kitchen. While taking a seat where his lunch had been placed, he asked Miriam: 'Have you spoken to Zack or Linda lately? Maybe we should ask them about their new next door neighbors.' 'Eat your lunch' Miriam spoke with a sigh while making her way to the chair opposite of Leo. 'If it makes you feel better we will give them a call and see if we can have dinner with them tonight.'

'Tonight? Sure, sounds great! Ye... Yes, I am sure Zack will love it too. Thanks for inviting us!' Linda turned her right-hand turn signal on planning to take the next exit off the freeway. 'Speak to you later Miriam. Thanks again!' Quickly pressing the call button on her steering, disconnecting the call, she instantly found herself contemplating how to convince Zack to come along. Zack and Leo had never really become friends, especially not since the incident. When she and Zack had moved in some years ago Leo seemed very interested in her. If you would ask Zack, a little too interested. Zack had caught Leo peeking out of his front window while Linda was washing the car one day. The confrontation that followed was never fully resolved. I better not call Zack while he is still at work she thought. He might go out with colleagues just to avoid our little dinner date. I will just send him a quick message that I need to talk to him about something important when he gets home. Taking the exit and 2 following turns put her on the main road to Noluso and the house she was so fond of. I have to convince Zack to come tonight raced through her mind. It would be as good a time as ever to talk about what she and Zack had witnessed over at their new neighbors, Ann, Dave and Emily's house. Their meeting had been quite awkward and short. They had not exchanged much more than their names, a handshake and a smile from their daughter Emily. Linda decided not to get too distracted by her planned evening gossip. She switched her radio to her favorite album on her connected USB stick and relaxed the last kilometers on her way home.

Slamming the door of his truck shut, Zack raised his hand at his neighbor Ed sitting on his porch across the street. Ed, the grandpa of the street as some would call him, regularly sat alone on his porch usually reading his newspaper and smoking his daily cigar. His wife, who had passed away some years ago, used to sit in the chair right next to him. After she died, Ed decided to leave the chair. He had mentioned once that it was like she was still there with him in the now empty chair. 'Hey Ed! How are you? Who's your friend?' Zack called out. Ed looked up at Zack with a friendly smile. 'I am fine, thank you. This here is Max, my sons' Dog. He is out of the country for a while working on some project.' Taking his box of tools and putting his keys in his pocket Zack replied: 'I heard him a couple of days ago. I was wondering who had bought a dog. So it was your buddy over there.' Ed folded his newspaper up and put it on the empty chair beside him. He relit his cigar while looking at Max laying on the porch next to him. 'Yeah, it was him. You know, my son always told me he's like the quietest dog ever. He never really barks at all. Except since he has been here apparently.' 'Probably just the change of scenery' Zack said while turning to walk to the front door. 'Well, I got to go. Wife wants to talk to me about something. Good luck with Max, Ed. See you!' Ed raised his hand in reply. Carrying the box in one hand Zack opened the unlocked front door and walked into his house curious about what Linda wanted to speak to him about.

'Absolutely not Linda! Is that what you wanted to talk to me about? You know I can't stand that man! And on top of that, we will probably end up playing board games again. I really do not want to see his smug face once again when he wins.' Zack was speaking to the locked bathroom door as Linda was in the middle of her regular after work shower. 'Sorry honey' Linda shouted, 'I can't hear you, the shower is too loud. Why don't you go pick out some decent clothes to put on tonight. We are expected at 7.' Wisecracking Zack replied: 'Sorry honey, I can't hear what you said. The shower is too loud.' He walked back down the steps while opening the first envelope in his hand which he had picked up from the shoe rack when he came in. Bill for the electric, on the pile he thought. Sitting down on the couch he opened the last of the mail. The last envelope caught his attention. After folding the inserted sheet of paper open he paused a second baffled by what he saw. A set of short lines at different rotations were spread out over the front of the sheet. There appeared to be three colors, all intersecting each other in some way, like they had been printed over one another. The whole collection of lines seemed to form a circle. Is this supposed to be art he wondered. Still looking at the mysterious page he walked back up to the bathroom door. The sound of the shower had gone quiet as Linda was nearly done with her daily ritual. 'Linda, were you expecting some, euhm, artsy drawing in the mail or something? We seemed to have received something. Well, I do not know what it is.' After a couple of seconds the door opened and Linda walked out to greet Zack. 'Hi honey' she said, as she gave him a little peck on the lips. 'No, I wasn't expecting anything' she said while looking at the sheet Zack was still holding. 'Who sent it? Does it say on the envelope?' Zack, still holding it in his right hand, looked at the backside of the envelope, which appeared empty. Turning it around he suddenly blurted: 'Oops!' Linda, who had disappeared into the bedroom asked: 'What do you mean with oops?'

'It was not for us, but for our new neighbors. What's their name again?'

'Ann and Dave. You opened it?'

'Yes, sorry. But this is some strange drawing. I have never seen anything like it. What do we do? Put it in a new envelope and reseal it?'

Linda looked at Zack who in the mean time had ventured into the bedroom shaking her head. 'We don't have any. We'll take it along tonight. Maybe Miriam still has some.' Before Zack could reply she quickly added: 'I promise we will definitely not play any board games, ok? Sore loser.'

Miriam had just taken the potatoes out of the cupboard when the doorbell rang. 'Could you get the door? I'm busy in the kitchen' she said in the direction of the living room where Leo was sitting watching television. He had been contemplating phoning his friend all day, but he knew it was risky. Only when he had no other choice would he take that risk. 'One second' he replied, turning off the television. Leo made his way to the front door at a leisurely pace. Just before he got there the bell rang again. 'Hold your horses, I am coming!' Leo shouted. Zack and Linda stood side by side in front of their neighbors' door as Leo unlocked the bolt and slowly swung the door open. 'Leo, nice to see you' Linda stepped forward as Leo received a quick hug from her. 'Zack', Leo extended his hand toward him. 'Leo' Zack replied giving him a short handshake. There was definite tension between the two, already known and noticed by Linda. 'Can we come in?' She interjected to interrupt the awkward moment. 'Yes, of course, come in' Leo stepped aside allowing Zack and Linda entry. 'Zack, Linda, thanks for coming! Linda can you help me in the kitchen?' Miriam called from the kitchen. 'Sure' Linda, walking behind Leo towards the open door turned her head and gave Zack a silent message. He knew what it meant. Be nice.

Right after their preparation work was done and Miriam closed the oven, she turned to Linda with a worrisome look, speaking in a soft voice: 'Listen, Linda. I am worried about Leo. Remember when I told you about what had happened when you two moved in?' Linda answered with a sound of acknowledgement. 'Well, he is at it again, but this time it is even worse. Ever since your new neighbors moved in he has been acting paranoid about the whole situation. Constantly checking the street. I even heard him call the school. At first I thought he was just checking in if they needed more of his help but he was asking about new students.' Miriam looked in the direction of the kitchen door, through which the sound of the television was clearly audible. Linda tried to calm her down a little. 'Don't worry. Those two will not come into the kitchen. We might make them work for their food.' Miriam let out a little smile. 'Zack and I have met them already. They seem fine! A little strange maybe..'

'Strange?' Miriam wanted to know more.

'I will tell you all about it when we are together at the dinner table. Let's go see what they are watching that has them so quiet. Come on!' Linda made her way to the living room with Miriam close behind her.

'A great meal! Thanks Miriam!' Zack had just finished his plate. Miriam gave Zack a friendly nod and smile in return. 'So, we met our new neighbors a couple of days ago' Linda broke the silent moment attempting to share her gossip. 'Ann, Dave and Emily Wilson. We did not speak much. Something kind of peculiar happened right Zack?'

'You mean the letter I opened?'

'No, not that.' she replied, 'When we saw them from the upstairs window. Right, I will tell the story.' The dialog had definitely caught Leo's attention as he sat up straight in his chair leaning forward, clearly noticeable by everyone at the table.

'Zack and I were in the bedroom when I saw Emily riding her little bike into their garden. She leaned her bike against the tool shed at the far end of the lawn and started walking towards the house.'

'Yes, all very exciting. Kids parking bikes.' Zack added, as he thought nothing of the happening Linda was describing. Linda gave him a quick look, showing her displeasure with his little comment. 'Anyway, as she was walking towards the house, Ann opened the backdoor and just stood there. She then just pointed at the tool shed, without saying a word and Emily just turned around, went into the shed and came back out with a small box. She walked into the house with Ann just standing there as she shut the door behind her. They both didn't say a word.' Zack had to add his two cents. With a huge smile on his face, shaking his head side to side, he said: 'Linda, our neighbors are not telepathic. You just couldn't hear them with the dog constantly barking and all. By the way, the dogs' name is Max. He belongs to Ed's son but he will be keeping Ed company for a while until his son comes back.'

'Zack, I could see they were not moving their lips.' Linda replied irritatedly.

'We already talked about this. But, fine, believe what you want. Maybe Miriam and Leo here are into mystical powers.'

Leo relaxed his posture, apparently more at ease after what Linda had to say. 'That is weird, Linda. Maybe Zack is right and the dog drowned out what they were saying.' Miriam chimed in. Linda was not amused by the course of the conversation. She reached inside her purse hanging over the backrest of the dining chair she was seated on. Pulling her hand out, she produced the envelope Zack had opened on accident. 'Then there is this. We accidently opened it. It was meant for the Wilsons. Here, have a look, strange isn't it?' Linda passed the envelope to Miriam after which she pulled out the strange drawing. 'That is strange. I have no idea what this could be.' She passed the drawing on to Leo who scrutinized the paper for a couple of seconds. Not saying a word, he passed it on to Zack. 'I don't think we should be analyzing their mail' Zack said. 'We were hoping you would have another envelope so we can reseal and resend it.' he said to Miriam. Leo interrupted the conversation: 'Excuse me.' as he got up from the table and made his way to the hallway. Miriam, Linda and Zack paid no further attention to him as Miriam attempted to convince Linda and Zack to just give the letter to Ann and Dave and apologize.

When he got to the upstairs master bedroom, Leo locked the door behind him. Pulling open his sock drawer, he took the pair tucked all the way in the back and unfolded them above the bed. A SIM card dropped unto the top cover. After changing his regular SIM with the sock SIM, he punched in the number he had memorized. With the phone to his ear, one beep sounded. Leo waited patiently until the same beep had repeated 5 times. Then, he entered another memorized number. The number of his old friend working at national security. The phone rang three times after which he heard a click followed by silence. 'I need you to check up on some people for me. It is urgent.' Leo spoke with a firm voice. The other end of the line remained silent for about ten seconds. Leo sat down on the bed meanwhile also listening for any footsteps on the stairs. There were none. 'Purpose?' a voice responded to his phoned in order. 'I need to know if they are controlled.' he stated. The line fell silent again. Leo knew the agreed upon procedure. One last question. 'Have you been compromised?' Leo paused for a second as he thought he heard someone in the downstairs hallway.

'Maybe they had already told her to get something from the shed and she forgot to bring it.' Miriam took a sip of her glass of water. 'But it was seriously strange Miriam. Just pointing without saying a word. It just looked so harsh.' Linda and Miriam continued to discuss what Linda had witnessed from her window after Zack had left the table. 'Leo told me that when he asked the school, the girl had not been registered yet. It got him all worked up.' Linda collected the letter and envelope and slid them back into her purse. She sighed. 'We really don't know anything about these people and we are already speaking about them as if they are criminals or something. I think we should go to them for a neighborhood greeting. Sound good to you?' Linda tried to change the mood of their now grim sounding gossip. 'That sounds like a great idea! How about tomorrow? I will get Leo to come along.' Miriam stood up from the table and started collecting the empty plates and cutlery left scattered on the table. As Zack reentered the room he addressed Miriam standing at the dinner table: ' After that, I definitely have some room for.. desert maybe?' Miriam flashed Zack a smile while continuing to gather the dirty plates. 'Yes, I have just the thing.' As Zack sat down at the table, Leo made his appearance, walking into the dining room reenergized with a look of relief on his face. 'So, Miriam and I had a great idea! Tomorrow, we are going to greet our new Neighbors, right Miriam?' From the kitchen, Miriam shouted: 'Yes, it will be fun!' She poked her head out through the kitchen doorway. 'Anybody else up for some desert?'

Ann and Dave sat face to face in their living room when the doorbell rang. Not expecting any visitors, they both got up to see who their uninvited guests were. As the door opened they saw their neighbors, Linda and Zack, who they had met before. Behind them stood Leo and Miriam which they had only seen from across the street. Linda once again quickly took the initiative. 'Hi! Ann, Dave. After our short meeting the other day we decided to come by for a neighborhood greeting! This are Miriam and Leo, your neighbors from across the street.' Both Dave and Ann said hello to them while standing in the doorway after which all fell silent. Seconds passed with the two groups just kind of staring at each other. Linda, wanting to get the worst out of the way thinking the situation could not get more awkward than it already was, reached into her purse and pulled out the open envelope. 'We are very sorry. This letter was delivered to our house and we accidently opened it. It is for you.' Dave took the the envelope from Linda and looked at the contents. The silent moment that followed was suddenly broken when Emily made her appearance walking down the steps from the upstairs hallway waving at them. 'Hello!' she said, causing both Ann and Dave to turn around and face her for a second. Ann, putting on a little smile, turned her head back to face their surprise visitors. 'Well, thank you for delivering our mail. Why don't you all come in?' Linda and Zack, both relieved with the invitation after the mail fiasco, made their way inside with Leo and Miriam following, shaking hands with both Dave and Ann on the way. 'I brought some beers. You want one?' Zack mentioned to Dave. 'I don't drink.' Was Dave's reply. 'You better like playing board games!' Miriam said jokingly. 'Leo brought his favorite game. It's called invasion. Ever played it?' Both Ann and Dave shook their head. 'I guess we can try.' Ann answered. Dave guided the group to the living room with Emily following and shutting the hallway door behind her.

All seated on the sofas around the coffee table in the living room, their game of invasion had led to some intense battles, leaving Leo far in the lead. Emily, not playing, was sitting at one end of the table fiddling on her phone, with her pink little backpack next to her on the wide seating cushion. Zack and Leo had commandeered the beers, leaving only one. 'So, how come you moved all the way out here from Moisin? That is quite a move.' Linda was curious. 'Work related.' Dave answered shortly. 'You both work in Ensville now then?' she added. Ann took the next turn in the little Q&A session they were having. 'No, we both work from home.' was her contribution. 'That sounds great! Wish I could do that. Dave, I am attacking you. Here, take your dice. You are going down this time.' Zack's competitive nature had gotten the better of him. After some heated rolling and grunts, victory was his. 'I finally got your little island. I was wondering for a second there if you were psychic or something. Or what was it, telepathic, right Linda?' Caught off guard, Linda hastily tried to shoot down Zack's alcohol infused sense of humor. 'I think the beers have gone straight to your head.' She definitely was not going to discuss what she had seen with Ann and Dave. She inconspicuously tapped Zack with her left foot, hoping he would get the message and drop the subject. The conversation had drawn Emily's attention, who was no longer concentrated on her phone but looking straight at Linda and Zack, also noticing the slight foot tap. With an angry look, she turned her focus to Ann and Dave. Leo, completely absorbed in the game, did not notice the girl. Neither did Miriam, preoccupied with the hope Zack would not divulge more. Dave let out his first visible smile as he answered. 'You could not be further from the truth Zack.' Zack started laughing. 'Of course, I was joking. We all know none of that exists. It's your turn Dave. Want to battle me for the island?' Dave took the other set of dice from the table. 'I think I will, yes.' After his throw, the dice came to a full stop showing the highest roll possible. Three sixes. Zack, still in his humorous mood, could not resist. 'Oh, I see. You are actually the devil. Very spooky.' Dave's smile increased. 'No, no, wrong again. I have to tell you Zack. You will never guess. We are actually what you people call, aliens. Well, no, to be exact, interdimensional beings. Very spooky indeed!' Zack, Linda and Miriam all started to chuckle at Dave's proclamation. At the same time, Leo's face had panic written all over it. With his eyes widened almost as big as saucers he stared right at Ann who matched his stare with a stern look. While attempting to hide his demeanor, he quickly turned to Miriam. 'I, I will be right back. Excuse me for a second.' She instantly saw something was wrong and worryingly asked: 'Are you alright? What is going on?'

A deafening sound filled the room. Miriam screamed as Leo clutched his left knee with both hands letting out a yell of pain. Emily sat, her arm stretched out pointing towards Leo, with her hand inside the little backpack. A small hole in the bottom of the bag showed the path the bullet travelled before entering Leo's knee. 'YOU, are not going ANYWHERE!' Emily shouted at Leo as she quickly removed the backpack revealing a small caliber gun in her right hand. 'DO SOMETHING!' Miriam screamed in panic, addressing both Ann and Dave, who calmly remained seated. Linda and Zack were both frozen in fear as they watched the horrifying scenario unfold. 'I have to get out! Miriam, help! Please! I need to die! Take the bottle over there, smash it and stab me with it!' Leo had trouble getting his words out because of the pain he was in. 'WHAT? NO! WHAT IS GOING ON? LEO, TELL ME!'

'Shut up and get back in your seat! It's the only way you are getting out of here.' Emily pointed the gun at Miriam, who hesitantly sat back down next to her husband. Dave turned himself to Leo and with a very calm voice stated: 'You are not getting out of this one Leo. It is over. Killing yourself will do you no good.' Leo, his pain residing, looked at Dave with torment in his expression. 'I have gotten away before. This time is no different. Just kill me now, huh? I will show you.' Dave shook his head. 'No Leo, this time is different. She's a descendant. There is no way out.'

'You LIE! I don't believe you!' Leo tried to get up from his hunched over, seated position. Ann quickly got up, speeded along the side of the table and kicked him in his injured knee, sending him falling back unto the couch, having to endure another spike of pain.

Still in extreme fear, Zack decided to gather his courage and open his mouth, his voice stuttering a little. 'This seems to be between you and Leo. Can my wife and I please leave? We have no idea what is going on.' He glanced at Linda who was still frozen on the sofa. 'No.' Emily trained her eyes on Ann and Dave without moving her head. 'Tell them. The whole story. I want all of Leo's friends here to know how much trouble he has gotten them all into.' Miriam, in complete tears, sobbingly added: 'Yes, please, please. Tell us.' Dave reseated himself. 'Very well.' With his gaze sweeping across the room, he started to explain:

'You may have chuckled, but what I just told you is actually the truth. It is a well kept secret. You see we, Leo, Ann and I, which are not even our names, are not from your reality, to put it simply. We are from a place completely different from this construct you find yourself in. As our history was passed on over many of our generations, we know that in the beginning we did not know of this place, this universe. Eventually, we discovered we could come here and on top of that enter into living beings essentially joining us, putting us in full control of the being we entered. The only catch, the body must die before we are released.' Zack, Linda and Miriam sat in disbelief as Dave continued to speak. 'For us, this reality is like a game. That is kind of how we treat it. We started hundreds of thousands of years ago changing the course of your history, all for the better. Without us you would not even have been able to manage fire, let alone build a skyscraper. As time progressed and with all the advancements we implemented, you still could not behave as civilized human beings. As a result, we gave you religion which, to some degree, made your animal like behavior more sophisticated, more bearable. To us at least.' Linda and Zack, both in complete denial of the information being passed to them, exchanged glances, hoping they would at least make it out of the situation alive. Miriam still sobbing heavily, turned to Leo asking him: 'This can't be real. Leo, tell me the truth.' As he started to accept the fact he would not make it out this time, all he said to Miriam was: 'Just listen. That is all I will say.' Miriam's tears intensified as Dave continued to speak. 'For the last couple of thousand years it has been, interesting to say the least. Our development of technology has certainly made this place a lot more fun. The fact our numbers have multiplied since the last fall has also made it a lot easier to control more of this planet. But, thanks to Leo here, that will be subject to change once again in the near future.' Leo gave Dave a furious look and interrupted: 'Shut up! Don't you blame this on me. I didn't call in a descendant.' He leaned back into the soft backrest, putting his now bloody hands on the the sofa seat and armrest. 'I want to know. How did you find me?'

'I will answer that.' Emily, still training the gun on Leo, looked him straight in the eyes. 'The dog.'

He did not understand the answer. 'Ed's dog? What about it?'

'Let me explain.' Ann jumped in. 'Unknown to you, Leo, we have made some significant leaps in certain fields. Like, genetics. Since we are bound by the capabilities of the bodies we control, we now have the technology to modify them. Ear and vocal cord modifications allow us to communicate with frequencies above regular human capabilities. Sometimes when we are not careful enough it might seem like telepathy to ordinary people.'

'Oh my god.' Linda couldn't help herself after what she just heard. Ann continued: 'The dog, my dear Leo, was actually sent here to help you detect us. It was a sloppy job and it caught our attention. We intercepted before he could contact you. After some persuasion we also knew where to find your other friend. They got him some days ago. Thanks again Linda for the letter.' Linda, completely flabbergasted by everything she had been listening to, carefully asked Ann a question. 'Who is she then? Emily? What is a "descendant"?' Leo interjected before Ann could answer. 'We don't know. We know just as little about them as you about us, ok? All we know is, a long time ago a deal was made. We can ask them for help when things get out of hand. In exchange, they take half of us. Half our population just disappears, never to be seen again. I never would of expected..' Emily, clearly agitated by Leo, started speaking over Leo in a louder voice. 'No, no, no! Stop it! You do not get to explain anymore. You also got it wrong. We renegotiated the deal.' Leo looked at Ann and Dave with a grave look on his face. 'What did you do?'

'Ten thousand years.' was Dave's answer to Leo. 'Before we are taken.' Leo remained inquisitive. 'how many?' Ann glanced at Emily and diverted her eyes back to Leo. 'Three quarters.'

'You are out of your minds.' Leo shook his head in disbelief. 'Why?'

'A special request. You will find out.' Emily had an almost evil smile while answering his question. In the meantime, Miriam had gotten a grip on herself. She just wanted to know one thing. 'What did he do to cause all of this?' she asked while looking at Ann, Dave and Emily. 'Good question!' Emily replied. 'I will tell you. Leo here went into hiding because he likes to play war games, don't you Leo? We enjoy watching your war games. But, apparently, Leo here started playing unauthorized war games. You have to follow the agreements Leo. They almost had you that last time but you already knew that, right Leo? They did not expect you to blow your brains out so soon. How's your German Leo?'

'SHUT UP!' Leo shouted. Miriam moved away from him as far as she could, unable to control her returning sobbing. Emily scanned the room looking Miriam, Zack and Linda straight in the eyes. 'Any more questions? No? Let's wrap this up then!'

Dave got up and took the gun from Emily. They walked around the back of the sofa where Miriam and Leo were seated. Linda and Zack, still in fear for their lives, continued to watch the ongoing spectacle. Emily placed the hand she had fired the gun with on the back of Miriam's head, startling her. Dave fired a shot at close range to Emily's hand. The bullet, ripping through her hand, instantly killed Miriam, who's body fell limp over the armrest. 'Good enough to cover the powder burns.' Emily exclaimed. The same instant, Zack and Linda realized they had just witnessed their own fate. In a panic, they both sprang up from their seated positions and lunged at Dave. Two more ear piercing sounds filled the room. Both Linda and Zack fell to the ground, just missing Dave. Emily turned to Leo who, in all the commotion, had remained seated. Emily placed her good hand on the back of Leo's neck. 'This time you are coming with me!' Emily fell to the floor. Simultaneously Leo collapsed, his unconscious body draping over the armrest of the sofa. A quick look exchanged between Ann and Dave followed, as they both nodded at each other, confirming their agreement.

Opening his eyes, Ed found himself still in his comfortable recliner in front of the television where he had dosed off the night before. He looked to the floor beside him making eye contact with Max who laid his head back on the floor planning to continue his slumber. Ed's attention was drawn to the television as the daily news broadcast just started a new segment. 'This just in. We go live with Jenny reporting on a brutal and bizarre story near the center of Ensville. Jenny, what exactly happened there this morning?' Ed noticed a police car drive by through his window as it's lights lit up the white curtains which he had closed the previous night. 'Good morning Stacey. It all started this morning after a homeless man was brutally beaten in an alleyway near 7th street. Witnesses reported seeing three men chase the man into the alley after which the brutal attack commenced. Shortly after, the three men were seen entering a van which took off at high speed going south towards versa avenue. After paramedics arrived, the man was lifted on a stretcher to transport him to hospital. Witnesses say, and here is were it gets bizarre, the man resisted assistance while shouting, and I quote, "interdimensional beings have enslaved your planet. You are toys to them. You will never be free. Get a dog." But it did not end there. Police officials have reported that the fingerprints of the man in question match the prints on three different guns used in gang shootings just this last month. Police investigators say the man might be faking mental illness as to not be sent to prison. Specialists have been called in to investigate his mental state. If convicted and sentenced, the man will most definitely be sent to Ensville correctional facility.' The world is going crazy Ed thought to himself. Curious about the police car Ed walked to the window and opened the curtain to have a closer look.

'It's a mess in there sarge. Looks like a murder suicide.' Sergeant Borse stood next to his patrol car as the reporting officer continued. 'A colleague of Zack Serton drove by as he was not answering his phone. The Serton's live next door. The man apparently tried the neighbors house and could see the bodies through the window. He phoned the police immediately after.' Sergeant Borse took a cigarette out of his breast pocket and lit up. 'In the living room we found the Serton's, Zack and Linda, both shot in the head at close range. We also found the two neighbors from across the street, Miriam and Leo Lancaster. Also both shot in the head at close range. The man was also shot in the left knee. Then, the owners of the house, the Wilsons. Ann Wilson was shot point blank also in the living room. We figure Dave then had to get creative as he ran out of bullets. He drowned his daughter in the upstairs bathtub. She also has a bullet hole in her right hand. We found Dave Wilson in the shed. He hung himself. We also found some ashes in the garden. Looks like something was burnt. Possibly a backpack of some sort. We found some mostly molten pieces of plastic clips.' Sergeant Borse threw his cigarette on the floor and put it out by stepping on it with his right foot. 'I really need to stop smoking. Look, seems like an open and shut case. Tell forensics to wrap things up in there. Has anybody asked the man across the street looking through the window if he saw anything?'

'We have not taken any witness testimony yet.' the officer replied. 'Tell Johnson to come back outside. I am going to check on the old man across the street.'

Ed opened his front door as Sergeant Borse was approaching the house. 'Good afternoon officer. What happened over there?' he curiously asked. 'I can't divulge any information until our investigation is complete but I would like to ask you a few questions if that is no trouble.'

'Of course not officer' Ed replied. Suddenly Max, who was still inside, started barking loudly making his way to the open doorway and stood next to Ed. Sergeant Borse turned his head for a second and could see Johnson approaching the house. 'Max, be quiet! Sorry officer. You know, my son always told me he's like the quietest dog ever. He never really barks at all. Except since he has been here apparently..'

Author Notes: I read a story on shortstories101 about some aliens discussing the planet. I wanted to write my own take on it but then this happened. Tell me what you think. After this very serious story, on a lighter note: If there is any moral to this story... Do not open other peoples mail. It might get yet you into trouble. :)

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About The Author
Logan van Engelen
About This Story
12 Apr, 2020
Read Time
31 mins
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