5/31/16

The True Story of how my Grandfather met an Alien - A Flash Fiction

Today I want to do something a little different. I am going to recount something my grandfather, I called him grandpappy, told me while I was growing up. Let’s just put this up front here: it’s about how he first met an alien...like, an outer-space-from-another-planet alien. I know it sounds hokey, but I sure believed him. And, when you think about it, he told me all this before alien conspiracies and science fiction conventions were the norm. I’d never known him to be one to make something up, but he died when I was twelve, so I only have my child-like belief in him to reflect on. Either way, here goes, the best I can in his voice (slow and in a southern accent), how grandpappy told me he first met an alien:


You want to hear about them aliens? Alright, then; here’s how it was.
I was a farmer in those days (fair warning: my grandpappy went off on tangents). Well, I tell people I was a farmer, I was really just a farm hand. Your ma didn’t raise you up in the country so you wouldn’t know the difference I guess, but people looked up to the farmers and down on the farm hands. All the landowners wanted hands, but they didn’t want to associate with them when the work was done. Second rate citizens we were.

Anyhow, I was a farm hand workin’ at Frampton Farms. I think it was hay season, but I ended up birthin’ a calf that morning. You ever birthed a calf? No, you wounldn’a. Let me tell you, it’s a messy, messy business. Now, after it was over, I needed to clean up. Old man Framton’s wife, Harriett, oh she was a beauty if ev’r I saw one, she wasn’t ‘bout to let me in the house proper to clean up. I washed up best I could at the well and rode home for some fresh clothes. Boy, the smell of birth always set my horse, Shiloh, off, too. I had to wash the saddle down pretty good before he’d let me head back to the farm.

So I get back to the field and check on the calf, I called him Frank, after Sinatra himself ya know. Frank was as strong as you would expect on his first day. I went back out to the hay field to see how far behind I was with all the excitement and all. I was lucky the old man was out coon huntin’ a good fifty miles north. Otherwise I’d been replaced for getting so far behind. Figured I could make it up tomorrow before he got back. Shoot, he’d be gone a week at a time for those hunts. I didn’t mind, though, the more work I did, the more he relied on me, and the more I had a steady job. A lot of people would have given a right arm for a steady job back then. Of course, how’d ya keep your job if you had no right arm?

(Right here he’d start laughing. It was, seriously, his one and only joke, but he told it all the time. Sometimes he’d tell in twice in one conversation…but back to his story.)

So the sun was gettin’ along and I had to head back to my place while Shiloh could still see the path. On the way out of Framton Farms, I stopped by the outhouse to take care of business. I was just about done finished when I heard a terrible ruckus outside. Thought the steer had started a stampede. I heard Harriett scream, too. I pulled up my britches and hoped I had time to get outta’ the way ‘fore I was trampled myself. My buddy Mel got trampled a few years later. Ended up lookin’ like he’d been through a meat grinder. Tough guy, though. He couldn't walk no more, his bread and butter was just plum gone. But you know we all looked out of each other back in those days. The bull sale hired him on to track the cattle, then he picked up running the auction proper. Made a right good livin’ at it, too.

So where was I? I was just pullin’ up my britches and I stepped out to see a big pile of snot, the size of three hogs stacked one on top of the other. It was kinda glowin', too, ya know. Well, I’d seen enough John Wayne to know you don’t show nothin’ bothers ya, even when it do. I run my fingers through my hair and walk up to this thing. Course, I don’t know it’s alive yet. I start looking it over and all of a sudden it starts talkin’ to me, but the voice isn’t coming from the snot, it’s kinda tinny sounding, like it’s coming from the console. Finally found a little metal ball polished within an inch of it’s life that the voice was coming from.

“Take me to your leader.” That’s what it said. Well, I figure Mr. Frampton is out of town and Harriett didn’t want nothin’ to do with whatever was going on so I stuck a piece of straw in my mouth, put my thumbs in my suspenders, stood up tall, and said “you’re lookin’ at him.” I couldn’t tell if it had eye’s but what else is a guy gonna say?

The thing says to me, “I’ve traveled a long way.”

I said, “I figured.”

Turns out he just wanted to set an appointment with me. I told him he could’a just sent a message on the wire, but he said it was a formal occasion. I thanked him and told him I’d see him next day ‘round noon.

And that’s that.


When grandpappy said, “And that’s that,” he meant he was done with his story and you weren’t getting any more out of him. Of course I did get more out of him, but not right then. Seems like a good place to stop, too. After all, I promised to tell you how he met an alien, and that is exactly what I’ve done. What happened next is another story entirely.



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