Relee the Squirrel's Domain
The Giggling Invasion
by Relee the Squirrel
It all happened so suddenly. In the midst of a normal afternoon, when my room-mates and I were quietly eating dinner, all hell broke loose. A knock-knock-knocking at our door sent me from the table to answer it. I opened the door and standing in front of me was a tall, muscular man with a shotgun slung over his shoulder.
“What is it? And what’s with the shotgun?” I asked, clueless to the situation. I looked the man up and down, he was haggard and overworked. Sweat dripped from his brow and his chest heaved as if he had been running for hours.
“You’ve… got to… get out of here!” he said, his voice rasping and out-of-breath. “They’re coming!”
Confused and concerned, I heard my room-mates Kate and Allen slip into the foyer behind me. “Who is coming?” I asked, not sure I should be taking him seriously.
“You don’t know? There are these THINGS out there! They’re getting everybody! They already shut down the TV and radio stations!” he said, with all the fervor of a madman. Kate slipped into the living room and turned on the TV to pure static, while Allen turned on his pocket FM radio and turned his dial over the endless null-signal. I gulped, concerned.
“Well what ARE they? What is going on?” I asked, secretly wondering if this wasn’t all an elaborate prank like on TV.
“There’s no time now, come on we have a truck and we’re getting out of here!” he said, “Just get on some shoes and grab any weapons you’ve got and come on!”
This was nuts, but I felt I had to go along with it. Kate and Allen agreed. Kate picked up a baseball bat, and Allen grabbed his hockey stick. I didn’t take anything; I just put my shoes on and hurried outside.
It was eerily quiet. The sounds were muted in the house, but outside I could hear occasional distant screams and gunfire, and a constant droning sound like the chirping of a thousand birds from everywhere around us. The man led us to a pickup truck full of people. Men, women, and children were in the truck many of them with guns. I recognized some of my neighbors, and realized they were rounding up the people here. Kate, Allen and I climbed into the back with the man, and we sat in the middle as it drove off.
“Come on,” I said, “tell me what’s really going on!” my whole body was shaking with fear. This was too many people, too much was happening; it couldn’t just be a prank.
Carole, the woman who lived next door was in the truck with us, and she turned to me to say “There are these things, and they’re invading. You can hear them if you listen, they’re everywhere!”
“But what are they?” I demanded to know, raising my voice. Suddenly the truck screeched to a stop.
“The army base!” shouted one of the men standing up against the truck’s cab. “It’s empty! The tanks and planes and everything! And all the soldiers!” I stood up behind him and held onto his shoulders for support. He was right! The whole base was abandoned, and there wasn’t a soldier to be seen.
“Let’s use the base and protect ourselves!” shouted one man.
“It obviously didn’t help the soldiers!” cried out a woman.
“We have to get back to the warehouse, even if the army is gone, the others need reinforcements!” said the man in the passenger seat. The truck started up again, and we turned around. I sat back down on the truck’s bed and held my head in my hands.
“What was that about a warehouse?” I asked, trembling.
“When this all started, a bunch of folks took shelter in a warehouse and fortified it.” said the man who was standing behind the cab. “They sent us to get reinforcements from the military base.”
My trembling only intensified. This was madness, sheer madness. I sat in the back as the truck drove across town to the industrial park. I listened to the sounds of gunfire and screaming growing further and further apart. When we arrived, driving through the chain-link fence surrounding the warehouse next to the auto-parts factory, the sounds were all but gone, and only the chirping remained.
The truck stopped near one of the personnel entrances, and the driver got out. The rest of us climbed out of the back, and the man from the passenger seat told us to file into the building. I listened, and the chirping seemed so close now, from just beyond the shrub-lined chain-link fence that blocked my view. This close, it almost sounded like the giggling of children.
We hurried inside, following the leader through a maze of desks and small rooms to the warehouse floor itself. The floor, however, was totally empty of people. Only stacks of crates on pallets waiting for delivery.
“Where is everybody?” asked Allen, confused. Suddenly the giggling was everywhere!
“IT’S A TRAP!” shouted the leader, who fired his shotgun into the warehouse floor. “Everybody, get to the shelter!” he said, and the driver and the man who stood on the cab started shuffling us all towards a back room on the side of the warehouse. I was pulled along, through the door and into the utilities room.
As I was dragged from the room, however, I caught sight of them. I saw a glimpse of the invaders. They were nothing like what I expected. They looked like children! Small girls with large heads and huge soulful eyes, and dressed not like soldiers, but like they were having a tea party!
That was all I saw, and flashes of white light through the door frame, as the men hurried me through a small access pipe and into the utility tunnels beneath the industrial park.
We ran and ran through the tunnels, trying to escape the giggling behind us. Only the driver and the truck’s point man were with us, now. Several of my neighbors had stayed to fight with the leader; only the five of us made it out. Allen, Kate, the two men and I were all that was left, and our time was running out. Suddenly Kate let out a shriek! I turned around, expecting the worst, but saw nothing. Kate had twisted her ankle, but we were alone save for the sound.
Allen and I helped Kate to stand, but she could not walk on her own. “You guys go on without me!” she cried, “I’ll only slow you down!”
“No way!” I said, shaking my head. “Do you think this is some cheesy TV show? They’ll get you for sure!”
Tears rolled down Kate’s face and she said “Thank you, you guys really care about me…”
“Of course we care about you, Kate!” added Allen, but the two men quickly turned and reminded us of the danger.
“We have to keep moving.” Said the driver, his right hand clutching a pistol. Allen and I nodded, and we helped Kate continue down the utility tunnels. We came to an intersection, and as we turned the corner, there they were! There were three of them, looking like little girls, and they were giggling and smiling at us like a child given its favorite toy. They wore frilly party dresses and ribbons in their hair, and shiny buckled shoes on their feet, but none of them wore gloves.
The two men shot at the girls, but the bullets went right through them like a stone through water! One of the bullets hit a hot water pipe, and scalding steam shot out through the three of them, but it was like nothing to them. It didn’t even wet their dresses or mar their perfect skin-tone. What sort of monsters WERE these, I wondered.
Suddenly they jumped into action! The two of them closest skipped up and hugged the driver and his partner, and what happened next only added to the madness of the situation. The men were engulfed in white flames at the touch, burning and screaming in agony! The flames were bright but gave off no heat. I couldn’t watch as the light burned my eyes, but when it faded I felt a cold shiver run up my spine. Where once there were three girls, now there were five! All of them giggling like they were in on some secret joke.
But when they turned to us, Allen and I began to run. We carried Kate in our arms, and ran as fast as we could down the opposite tunnel. I dared not look but I could hear the soft taps of their shoes as they skipped along behind us. They danced and giggled like they had all the time in the world, and perhaps they did. We ran and ran until we could run no more, and could no-longer hear the footfalls of little girls behind us. We sat down to catch our breath in the tunnel, next to some discarded cardboard boxes.
“SURPRISE!” cried out a little girl as she jumped out of the box behind Allen, hugging him. I felt like my heart was going to burst from my chest, and could only watch as white fire consumed my friend and room-mate! From this close I could see what was happening, I could see it all! I could see his face contort into a scream as his clothes were consumed by the flames. I could see his body shrivel up into that of a small girl, though his head seemed to only grow larger as his eyes blossomed like crystal blue flowers. The burning fire only grew brighter, and blinded me!
In my shock I stumbled to the side, crawling away and hiding under some metal grating. I heard a woman’s scream; they got Kate! I was alone! All alone… I shivered and whimpered in my hiding place, tears running from my eyes as I waited for my vision to come back. I could hear them, giggling and looking for me. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!” cried a voice, a voice like Allen’s, but lighter and coated with saccharine sweetness. He… she giggled, then, a tinkling of bells just feet from me, on the other side of the metal grating and pipes. I heard their footfalls, all three of them, standing just on the other side, giggling. They knew exactly where I was.
Then I saw it, that hand, that perfect hand with its pure skin and tiny fingers. It was the transformed Kate, I was sure of it. She was reaching in, reaching to touch me. And she did.
The world became fire; a burning white fire that consumed me, burning my body and evaporating my clothes; a pure white flame that burned away the impurities of my body and changed me; a divine white light that cleansed even my soul in flames. I felt myself slipping away, all the pain, all the anger, all the fear; it was all gone. I felt myself filling; filling up with softness and happiness and light.
I opened my eyes, and my long eyelashes fluttered before me. I crawled out of my hiding place and brushed the dust off my dress. My friends Kate, and Alice, and Sarah were there. They found me!
“Awwe!” I cried, giggling. “You found me. I guess that means I’m it!” I said, my friends giggling along with me. “Let’s see if we can find where the other girls are hiding!” I said, and the four of us skipped along through the neat tunnel we found, to continue our game of hide-and-go-seek.
All Content Copyright Arthur Payne, AKA Relee the Squirrel
Last Update: January 6, 2009