The only thing stronger than Mr. and Mrs. Stultus' love for each other was their altruism. Until not too long ago there had been a third target for their love; the love of their only child, their daughter Rustica that was a result of the former.
They raised Rustica to love all, and the Stultus's friends said Rustica had her mother's beauty, her father's intelligence and the couple's undying compassion for all. As the time passed their daughter grew through childhood, then schooling, then her higher learning where to no one's surprise she studied social welfare work and earned her degree and place in the world. During her internship, Rustica was murdered by one of the people she looked after. The law enforcement and the other authorities deemed it best to not disclose to her parents that she had been brutalised and raped before her lengthy murder. The Stultus's would blame poverty, ignorance, and misunderstanding for Rustica's departure from their world.
Their planet of Mundo had been welcoming visitors who had escaped from the planet Externum, a distant world of tyranny. The authorities of Mundo would express their sadness for the totalitarian regime of Externum, but words and wishes were their only interplanetary communication. Externum warned Mundo to mind its own affairs, but would only mildly object to Mundo giving sanctuary to Externum's fugitives.
The ruling regime of Mundo had similar feelings of selflessness as the Stultus's. When the guest hostels for the incomers from Externum were filling up, the Mundo media begged for the help of those of the planet to take an Externumite into their own homes.
'Our house is your house, Salutor!'
'Thank you. Please call me Sal.'
Mr. and Mrs. Stultus smiled at Salutor, their new boarder. He had been taught a working knowledge of the language, customs, social benefits and financial entitlements of Mundo at the regime's guest hostel. He would live in Rustica's former room. Mr. and Mrs. Stultus were once again a family, treating Sal in a kind paternal and maternal way.
Sal had no interest in the main recreation of Mr. and Mrs. Stultus, walking through the nature areas of their planet's forests and water features.
It was a pleasant day as usual.
'Look at the small insect, my beloved. He looks so lost and alone.'
'The insects that look lost and alone are actually scouts for their hive. They search for food and the lay of the land and report back to their community.'
Sal had no work, he received remuneration from the regime. Sal would tell his hosts stories of the misery of Externum that sounded a truly horrible place, and the tragedy of the murder of his wife and children by the cruel authorities of his planet.
One day when the Stultus's returned from their nature walk there was a new female face in their house.
'Mr. and Mrs. Stultus! A miracle has happened! This is my wife Uxorem! I thought her dead, but she was merely enslaved and she escaped as I did. Will you please let her live with me?'
'Our house is your house, Uxorem!'
All those in the Stultus's House were happy.
* * *
The Stultus's went on another nature walk.
'Look at the beautiful foliage on that tree, my darling.'
'Those are creepers, love of my life. They grow upon a tree and cover it with wonder. Sadly, the original tree dies from want of nutrients and atmosphere.'
The pair returned to their home and Sal and Uxo, as they called her, beamed in delight to say that they had a wonderful surprise. Their three children that they had believed to have been murdered in a cruel captivity had not only remained alive, but they escaped from Externum. The Mundo regime sent them to be with their parents.
'Our house is your house!'
All was joy.
The only difficulty was that Rustica's former room would be too small for the family and their children. The Stultus's looked at each other and nodded, for the pair seemed to have the gift of telepathy.
'Let us change rooms! We will move in to your old room that belonged to our daughter. Sal and Uxo, you can move into our room, and we will convert our study and office into your children's rooms!'
There were hugs and smiles all around.
The children were noisy and damaged some of the house, but the Stultus's convinced each other that when Rustica was a child she did the same thing, though both of them knew that she really hadn't.
* * *
This time on their nature walk they noticed that the grassy areas were covered with weeds.
Upon their return home, Sal, Uxo, and their three children announced that they had a wonderful surprise.
'I thought my brother and his wife and their two children were dead, but they have arrived here to live with us!'
'Our house is your house!'
Mr. Stultus added,
'But where will you all stay?'
'We have another surprise! You have taken care of us, now we shall take care of you! Please close your eyes and come up to our room to see!'
The Stultus's were guided up the stairs and they were laid on the bed together.
'Now look up at the ceiling, Mr. and Mrs. Stultus!'
The Stultus's looked up, their wrists were held by their two male guests, their children held a blanket over the Stultus's bodies as the female guests placed pillows over their faces, muffling their cries and suffocating them. The last thing they heard was their guests voices,
'This is our house! This is our house! This is our house!'
Author Notes: I am the author of three Extra Dimensional/Ultraterrestial military science fiction novels MERCENARY EXOTIQUE, OPERATION CHUPACABRA and WORK IN OTHER WORLDS FROM YOUR OWN HOME! as well as two travel books THE MAN FROM WAUKEGAN and TWO AUSTRALIANS IN SCOTLAND (all from Lulu.com). I live happily ever after with my wife in paradise (coastal Kiama, NSW Australia).