Monday, October 27, 2008

Leslie and the Aliens

(Lots to say, no time to say it! For now, I thought maybe you'd enjoy a true story I wrote a couple of years ago.)

Because my sister was older than me it was only natural that she was smarter. I learned a lot from her. For instance, I learned that I was adopted. My parents had never told me about this, and in fact denied it when I asked, but then my sister had warned me that would happen.
"They don't want to upset you," she explained. "So they'll never admit it. But I remember it well! My parents and I went for a walk one day." Here she paused and looked at me to see if I realized the idyllic life she'd given up for me. "And there you were, floating in the sewer."
"How could I float if I was so little?" I questioned breathlessly, picturing my pitiful little self drowning in a sewer as a baby.
"Oh, you were floating on a log," she said airily, "and I found you. We all felt sorry for you so I fished you out with my umbrella and we brought you home. I've had to pretend like you were my sister ever since!" she finished with a sigh.
Naturally I appreciated the sacrifice she'd made for me. But just in case I wasn't grateful enough, she let me in on a weighty secret that burdened her young mind terribly.
"There are aliens, you know," she confided in a nervous whisper one day, as our kitten streaked across the bed.
"Really?" I quavered, making a grab for my sock just as the kitten attacked it and getting scratched in the process. "What are aliens?"
"Oh, they are monsters from space," she told me, "and they are mean!" I let go of the sock to suck on my scratched finger and the kitten disappeared under the bed with it. "If you don't do exactly what I tell you to do, they'll come and you'll have to go to space with them and be mean, too!"
"Why do I have to do what you say?" I inquired indignantly.
"I'm only telling you what they said," my sister said, hurt. "I'm warning you!"
"How do you know this stuff?" I inquired skeptically.
"Because I'm the only one who can understand them. So I'm useful."
"Well, I just won't go with them," I decided, but she shook her head sadly at my futile defiance. "They'll turn you in to one of them. Then you'll have to go."
"How?" I demanded shortly, a little fed up with these persistent aliens. I looked under the bed, but the kitten was up in the mattress springs destroying my sock. I got back on the bed and began bouncing, hoping to drive her out.
"There's something you have to drink," she started to explain, but I interrupted her.
"I won't drink it!" I avowed.
"Sure you will," she predicted, "after awhile, when you get thirsty enough. They won't give you any thing else to drink."
And that, it seemed, was that. Leaving my other sock on the bed, I went off barefoot to play. Leslie suggested we play "princess," That sounded good - until she informed me I had to be the prince! I started to argue, but then I remembered the aliens. I played prince. Later, she got to be Batman and I had to be Robin. It was a long day.
The next day, I suggested we play Mousetrap. "No, we're playing Chess," she announced. "Let's play jump rope," I'd beg. She'd get out pick-up-sticks. Eventually my mother began to notice my cheerful acqueisance to everything my sister wanted and one day she took me aside privately.
"You know, you can do what you want once in a while," she said, trying to pull my hair ribbon out from under the coffee table where the kitten was tearing it up. "You don't always have to do what your sister wants." She pulled her hand back quickly and reached for a magazine.
"No, I want to do what she does," I quickly answered, watching her poke at the cat with the magazine. "Especially since I'm adopted, you know."
"Tracie, you are not adopted," my mother said through gritted teeth.
"Mom, you know I'm not a baby anymore," I said. "You can tell me the truth."
"I think I hear your sister calling you," she said. She laid the tatters of the magazine on the table and left the ribbon to the kitten.
This went on for quite a while. One night, after our story, prayers, our drink, a trip to the bathroom, the bonus story my sister always shared with me about monsters, another drink, a swat for refusing to stop talking, and another trip to the bathroom, we settled down to sleep. Our backs were touching all the way down to our cold little feet to prevent anything from grabbing us from behind. We'd jumped into the bed so quickly and from such a distance that even the monster under the bed that waited each night to grab us by the ankles and drag us under for his dinner, had given up and gone to sleep. Aware of my parents on guard in the living room and the kitten closed up in the bathroom for the night, quietly shredding toilet tissue, I drifted off.
"Ow," I yelped. I'd been startled awake by something sharp poking me in the side. I tried to turn and look, but got poked again. "Leslie," I hissed in a whisper, but got no response. Sleepily rubbing my eyes, I got up and pushed the curtain aside. Moonlight poured in and I turned to the bed. My sister had vanished! In her place a small fury was twisting and turning, all claws and teeth and strange, hissing sounds.
I stared in disbelief for a moment, and then it dawned on me. The aliens had gotten mixed up! They'd missed me and gotten her by mistake! I burst out laughing and laughed so hard my parents came running from their room to see what could cause such mirth in the middle of the night. The light went on and the alien turned into our kitten! She'd been sprung from her confinement by none other than my sister, failing to shut the door tight after her last visit. My sister herself appeared, having been taken in to my parent's bed after a bad dream.
The spell was broken. I no longer believed in aliens. I no longer waited on my sister hand and foot. She didn't have a willing slave any more. Instead, we grew to be friends. One day she even admitted that I hadn’t been adopted after all.
“Nope, it was really me that was adopted,” she confessed with a melancholy smile. “I was a princess in Egypt, and you were my loyal servant. One day my kingdom was attacked by enemies. You managed to escape, and...”

16 comments:

nikkipolani said...

Tracie, a great telling of a triumphal story! So does your sister write "nonfiction" for a living now?

Connie said...

You really are adopted and I am your real sister :) I totally enjoy your many stories!!!

Rosezilla said...

Lol, no, but she did curb her imagination over time. She never did much writing - I did the writing and she was the artist of the family. Now 2 of my sons are artists (one a graphic artist and one draws and does custom carpentry), and one of her daughters is developing quite a talent for writing.My sis and I are good friends, too.

Rosezilla said...

Connie, I would adore being your sister! Cyber-sisters, eh? (That way we don't have to do the messy blood sisters ritual!)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

What an amusing story. Did you ever tell your mom what your sister had done?

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

Hi Rosezilla! What a FUN story! Makes me wish even more that I had had a sister to 'play' with growing up (I was an only child). I remember my friends and I told each other stories and had sleep overs. "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..." Your blog is fun. :o) ♥ ∞

Cherdecor said...

Your sister had me convinced that you WERE adopted! That was a great story!

My brother told me that I wasn't born like most children. He said that a buzzard dropped me. I ran crying to my mother and asked her if that was true and she said, "Now if you kids are going to fuss, get outside!" To this day, I don't know if a buzzard dropped me or not!

Charli and me said...

I also love reading your stories! Guess what? You have been Boo-Ed! Come over to my place to see what you get.

daffy said...

Just wonderful.... you should write a novel! :o)
I needed a nice story after a rather testing day so many thanks xx

jenniferw said...

I think she has a bridge to sell you! Don't fall for it.

Lavinia said...

What an amusing tale! And all it took to burst the bubble was one little kitten! I had an older sister too, so I could relate to some of this. However, in our version, we both ganged up on my younger brother and told him he was adopted! ha ha ha ha....

thedailydish said...

What a wonderful story! Each one better than the last. I don't know how you do it - but keep it up!

Wanda said...

What a great story.... I was on the edge of my chair...

I love childhood stories... they are the best.

That reminds me of a story in my life I will share sometime.

LOL:Wanda

rhymeswithplague said...

Tracie, what an absolutely delightful and well-written story! You should think about submitting it to Garrison Keillor's website, www.prairiehom.publicradio.org -- just scroll down until you see "First Person: Stories From Home" near the bottom of the right column, copy it in, and don't forget to write a few words about the author. That would be you).

I'm serious. Your story is very good. (Full disclosure: Two of my pieces were published there a while back.)

rhymeswithplague said...

Glad to hear you submitted your story! Come back over to my blog, to the post on my blog where you left your comment, and I'll tell you how to access my two stories on that website...

Jay said...

Good story! And very well written, too!

I had no sister, but I had an older brother. He did much the same kind of thing to me as your sis did. I think it's obligatory when you're the older sibling. LOL!

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