by William Holmes
Copyright © 2013
WARNING: Rated “R” for language
Gilmore “Gil” Coleman and his wife Marlene (née Coleman) — no relation, as far as he knew — lived in a tiny little trailer in a tiny little trailer park in Dumont, Oklahoma. Theirs was at the entrance. His wife hated that. It made her feel vulnerable. Gil loved it. It was easy in, easy out. And it afforded them the largest front yard, of which he was quite proud.
Gil was a teller at the Fourth National Bank on the outskirts of Tulsa, about 30 miles south of the trailer park. Marlene did absolutely nothing for a living and got paid just slightly less than Gil, who worked 40 hours a week, thanks to those welfare checks that kept on coming. Gil didn’t mind that so much. It wasn’t fair, but so long as it kept her from complaining about his paltry salary, he was fine with it.
It was a muggy summer night, and Gil was in shorts and a t-shirt, sitting in a lounge chair in the front yard. A Thermos full of lemonade and an empty glass sat on the table to his right. To his left was his telescope. He had been stargazing, but was now fast asleep.
Marlene was inside watching television while tending to their dog Liberace’s newborn pups. Their next door neighbor, Harold, slithered up from behind Gil and sneaked into Gil’s trailer. When Marlene saw Harold, she smiled, carefully stepped over Liberace and her puppies, and led Harold by the hand to the bedroom.
Gil was awakened by an unusual sound. It was not until he opened his eyes that he realized it wasn’t so much a particular sound as it was a complete absence of sound. No dogs barking. No traffic noise. No crickets or frogs. Well, there was the occasional creaking sound coming from the trailer, but he just figured one of the neighbors was banging his wife again.
A moment later, a large spaceship landed in the trailer park’s gravel driveway. Gil sat frozen in his chair, staring straight ahead, completely oblivious to anything else.