Da’s Are Bad (Story by Risa Peris)

Da brought home an alien killing machine. It had the length of a rifle but was curved at the end like a musket. I had seen pictures of them in the library. The killing machine didn’t shoot bullets but lasers. The handle got extremely hot so you had to wear a specific type of gloves. Da stashed the gun and the gloves in the roof of the kitchen where tiles were easily removed. Ma didn’t like it. The gun hovering near where she cooked.

The aliens came in 2030. It was now 2033 and nothing had really happened except a few humans had been killed trying to breach the starships. The aliens hovered over the ground. I saw a few once in Runyon Canyon. Humans scattered like roaches exposed to light and pesticide. I stood my ground on my bike and an alien glided past me. They were beautiful. They were too alien for human words. A journalist called then sicklegrubs. I have no idea where they got the word from. But it seemed to fit them. They roamed the Earth and no one seemed to know what they were doing. They weren’t violent. Yet. But someone had developed a gun to kill them. And that’s what Da had brought home. He was a janitor at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. The gun had been developed there.

“I’m not waiting for scientists to save us,” he said. Later that night Da got in a fight with Ma and the right side of her face was puffy. She spat out blood and a tooth.

“Go to your room,” she yelled and then cried. Things settled down but I could hear Ma crying in the bathroom. I went out into the hallway and crept to their bed. Da was passed out. A Whiskey bottle was by his bedside. I went into the kitchen and got the gun and gloves. The gloves were big on my hands but I figured they could do the trick. I went to my parents’ bedroom, pointed the gun at Da and pulled the trigger. His head exploded. The gun was very silent but his exploding brains made ‘thunk’ sounds on the headboard and walls.

Ma came in. “What have you done?”

“Da was an alien in our family. He had no respect for us. For you.” Ma’s black eye was shimmering in the bedroom light.

“Now what?” she screamed.

I shrugged. “Da was becoming an alien.”

That’s what we told the police but my act of saving our family led to a ripple of other family deaths. Each family member was accused of being an alien.

By 2035 the aliens left after humans began opening fire on them. I started it. I killed my horrible father and eventually the aliens left because humans saw them as a threat and not something curious to learn information from.

I waved at their spaceships departing with a smile. Ma grasped my hand. “This is our secret,” she said.

“Yes, an abusive husband chased away life from other planets. Domestic abuse is worse than anyone thinks.”


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