Zero Hour Part 2

The Aliens are coming! The Aliens are coming!

This probably would have been the title to my essay in my response to Caroline’s Martian piece. She told me she had given this as an assignment when she was teaching and it was the students job to either write their thoughts on it or continue their own story. So I will do both. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it reminded me why Caroline was an English and Theatre teacher. I could just as well see this being turned into a short play. Out of the many English assignments I had in my schooling I can’t remember one that would be this fun! My continuation is at the bottom of part two, be sure to read part one found below before reading this..

Part 2

I didn’t mean to,” said Mom. “Drill‘s a Martian?”

“No. He’s—~well—-maybe from Jupiter or Saturn or Venus. Anyway, he’s had a hard time.”

“I imagine.” Mrs. Morris hid her mouth behind her hand.

“They couldn’t figure a way to attack Earth.”

“We’re impregnable,” said Mom in mock seriousness.

“That’s the word Drill used! Impreg-—- That was the word, Mom.”

“My, my, Drill’s a brilliant little boy. Two-bit words.”

“They couldn’t figure a way to attack, Mom. Drill says–he says in order to make a good fight you got to have a new way of surprising people. That way you win. And he says also you got to have help from your enemy.”

“A fifth column,” said Mom.

“Yeah. That‘s what Drill said. And they couldn’t figure a way to surprise Earth or get help.”

“No wonder. We’re pretty darn strong,” Mom laughed, cleaning up. Mink sat there, staring at the table, seeing what she was talking about.

“Until, one day,” shispered Mink melodramatically, “they thought of children!”

“Well’.” said Mrs. Morris brightly.

”And they thought of how grownups are so busy they never look under rose-bushes or on lawns.”

“Only for snails and fungus.”

“And then there’s something about dim-dims.”




“Four of ’em And there’s something about kids under nine and imagination. It’s real funny to hear Drill talk.”

Mrs. Morris was tired. “Well, it must be funny. You’re keeping Drill waiting now. It’s getting late in the day and, if you want to have your Invasion before your supper bath, you’d better jump.“

“Do I have to take a bath?” growled Mink.

“You do. Why is it children hate water? No matter what age you live in children hate water behind the ears’.”

“Drill says I won’t have to take baths,” said Mink.

“0h, he does, does he?”

“He told all the kids that. No more baths. And we can stay up till ten o‘clock and go to two televisor shows on Saturday ‘stead of one!”

Page 4

“Well, Mr. Drill better mind his p’s and q‘s. I’ll call up his mother and —-“

Mink went to the door. “We’re having trouble with guys like Pete Britz and Dale Jerrick. They’re growing up. They make fun. They’re worse than parents. They just won’t believe in Drill. They’re so snooty, ‘cause they’re growing up. You’d think they’d know better. They were little only a couple years ago. I hate them worst. We’ll kill them first.”

“Your father and I last?”

“Drill says you’re dangerous. Know why? ‘Cause you don’t believe in Martians! They’re going to let us run the world. Well, not just us, but the kids over in the next block, too. I might be queen.” She opened the door.


“Yes ‘2”

“What’s lodge—ick?”

“Logic? Why, dear, logic is knowing what things are true and not true.”

“He mentioned that,” said Mink. “And what’s im—pression-able?” It took her a minute to say it.

“Why, it means—” Her mother looked at the floor, laughing gently. “It means—-to be a child, dear.”

“Thanks for lunch!” Mink ran out, then stuck her head back in. “Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

“Well, thanks,” said an.

Slam went the door.

At four o’clock the audi-visor buzzed. Mrs. Morris flipped the tab. “Hello,

Helen!” she said in welcome.

“Hello, Mary. How are things in New York?”

“Fine. How are things in Scranton? You look tired.”

“So do you. The children. Underfoot,” said Helen.

Mrs. Morris signed. “My Mink too. The super-Invasion.”

Helen laughed. “Are your kids playing that game too?”

“Lord, yes. Tomorrow it’ll be geometrical jacks and motorized hopscotch. Were we this bad when we were kids in ’48?”

“Worse. Japs and Nazis. Don’t know how my parents put up with me. Tomboy.”

“Parents learn to shut their ears.”

A silence.

“What’s wrong, Mary?” asked Helen.

Mrs. Morris’s eyes were half closed; her tongue slid slowly, thoughtfully, over her lower lip. “Eh?” She jerked. “0h, nothing. Just thought about that. Shutting ears and such. Never mind. Where were we?”

“My boy Tim’s got a crush on some guy named–Drill, I think it was.”

“Must be a new password. Mink likes him too.”

“Didn’t know it had got as far as New York. Word of mouth, I imagine. Looks like a scrap drive. I talked to Josephine and she said her kids- that’s in Boston–are wild on this new game. It’s sweeping the country.”

At this moment Mink trotted into the kitchen to gulp a glass of water.

Mrs. Morris turned. “How’re things going?”

“Almost finished,” said Mink.

“Swell,” said Mrs. Morris. “What’s that?”

“A yo-yo,” said Mink. “Watch.”

She flung the yo-yo down its string. Reaching the end it– It vanished.

“See?” said Mink. “Opel” nibbling her finger, she made the yo-yo reappear and zip up the string.

“Do that again,” said her mother.

“Can’t. Zero hour’s five o’clock: ‘By.” Mink exited, zipping her yo-yo.

On the audio-visor, Helen laughed. “Tim brought one of those yo-yos in this morning, but when I got curious he said he wouldn’t show it to me, and when I tried to work it, finally, it wouldn’t work.”

Page 5

“You’re not impressionable,” said Mrs. Morris.


“Never mind. Something I thought of. Can I help you, Helen?“

“I wanted to get that black-and-white cake recipe–—”

The hour drowsed by. The day waned. The sun lowered in the peaceful blue sky. Shadows lengthened on the green lawns. The laughter and excitement continued. One little girl ran away, crying. Mrs. Morris came out the front door.

“Mink, was that Peggy Ann crying?”

Mink was bent over in the yard, near the rosebush. ”Yeah. She’s a screbaby. We won’t let her play, now. She’s getting too old to play. I guess she grew up all of a sudden.”

“Is that why she cried? Nonsense. Give me a civil answer, young lady, or inside you comet.”

Mink whirled in consternation, mixed with irritation. “I can’t quit now. It’s almost time. I’ll be goo. I’m sorry.”

“Did you hit Peggy Ann?“

“No, honest. You ask her. It was something—-we1ll, she’s just a scaredy pants.”

The ring of children drew in around Mink where she scowled at her work with spoons and a kind of square- shaped arrangement of hammers and pipes. “There and there,” murmured. Mink.

“What’s wrong?” said Mrs. Morris.

“Drill’s stuck. Halfway. If we could only get him all the way through, it’s be easier. Then all the others could come through after him.”

“Can I help?”

“No’m, thanks. I’ll fix it.”

“All right. I’ll call you for your bath in half an hour. I’m tired of watching you.”

She went in and sat in the electric relaxing chair, sipping a little beer from a half-empty glass. The chair massaged her back. Children, children. Children and love and hate, side by side. Sometimes children loved you, hated you–all in half a second. Strange children, did they ever forget or forgive the whippings and the harsh, strict words of command? She wondered. How can you ever forget or forgive those over and above you, those tall and silly dictators?

Time passed. A curious, waiting silence came upon the street, deepening.

Five o’clock. A clock sang softly somewhere in the house in a quiet, musical voice: “Five o’clock-—five o’clock. Time’s a-wasting. Five o’clock,” and purred away into silence.

Zero hour.

Mrs. Morris chuckled in her throat. Zero hour.

A beetle car hummed into the driveway. Mr. Morris. Mrs. Morris smiled. Mr. Morris got out of the beetle, locked it, and called hello to Mink at her work. Mink ignored him. He laughed and stood for a moment watching the children. Then he walked up the front steps.

“Hello, darling.”

“Hello, Henry.”

She strained forward on the edge of the chair, listening. The children were

silent. Too silent. .

Page 6

He emptied his pipe, refilled it. “Swell day. Makes you glad to be alive.”


“What’s that?” asked Henry.

“I don’t know.” She got up suddenly, her eyes widening. She was going to say something. She stopped it. Ridiculous. Her nerves jumped. “Those children haven’t anything dangerous out there, have they?” she said.

“Nothing but pipes and hammers. Why?”

“Nothing electrical?”

“Heck, no,” said Henry. “I looked.”

She walked to the kitchen. The buzzing continued. “Just the same, you’d better go tell them to quit. It’s after five. Tell them—” Her eyes widened and narrowed. “Tell them to put off their Invasion until tomorrow.” She laughed, nervously.

The buzzing grew louder.

“What are they up to? I’d better go look, all right.”

The explosion!

The house shook with dull sound. There were other explosions in other yards on other streets.

involuntarily, Mrs. Morris screamed. “Up this way!” she cried senselessly, knowing no sense, no reason. Perhaps she saw something from the corners of her eyes; perhaps she smelled a new odor or heard a new noise. There was no time to argue with Henry to convince him. Let him think her insane. Yes, insane! Shrieking, she ran upstairs. He ran after her to see what she was up to. “In the attic!” she screamed. “That’s where it is!” It was only ‘a poor excuse to get him in the attic in time. Oh God, just in time.

Another explosion outside. The children screamed with delight, as if at a great fireworks display.

“It’s not in the attic!” cried Henry. ”It‘s outside!”

“No, no!” Wheezing, gasping, she fumbled at the attic door. “I’ll show you. Hurry! I‘ll show you!“

They tumbled into the attic. She slammed the door, locked it, took the key, threw it into a far, cluttered corner. She was babbling wild stuff now. It came out of her. All the subconscious suspicion and fear that had gathered secretly all afternoon and fermented like a wine in her. All the little revelations and knowledges and sense that had bothered her all day and which she had logically and carefully and sensibly rejected and censored. Now it exploded in her and shook her to bits.

”There, there,” she said, sobbing against the door. “We’re safe until tonight.

Maybe we can sneak out. Maybe we can escape!”

Henry blew up too, but for another reason. ”Are you crazy? Why’d you throw

that key away? Damn it, honey!”

“Yes, yes, I’m crazy , if it helps, but stay here with me!”

“I don’t know how in hell I can get out!”

“Quiet. They’ll hear us. Oh, God, they’ll find us soon enough—“

Below them, Mink’s voice. The husband stopped. There was a great universal humming and sizzling, a screaming and giggling. Downstairs the audio—televisor buzzed and buzzed insistently, alarmingly, violently. Is that Helen calling? thought Mrs. Morris. And is she calling about what I think she’s callin about?

Footsteps came into the house. Heavy footsteps.

“Who’s coming in my house?” demanded Henry angrily. “Who’s tramping around

down there?”

Page 7

Heavy feet. Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty of them. Fifty persons crowding into the house. The humming. The giggling of the children. “This way!” cried

Mink, below.

“Who’s downstairs?” roared Henry. ”Who’s there!”

“Hush. Oh, nonononononoi” said his wife weakly, holding him. “Please, be

quiet. They might go away.”

“Mom?” called Mink. “Dad?“ A pause. ”Where are you?”

Heavy footsteps, heavy, heavy, very heavy footsteps, came up the stairs.

Mink leading them.

“Mom?” A hesitation. “Dad?” A waiting, a silence.

Humming, Footsteps toward the attic. Mink’s first.

They trembled together in silence in the attic, Mr. and Mrs. Morris. For some reason the electric humming, the queer cold light suddenly visible under the door crack, the strange odor and the alien sound of eagerness in Mink’s voice finally got through to Henry Morris too. He stood, shivering, in the dark silence, his wife beside him.

“Mom! Dad!”

Footsteps. A little humming sound. The attic lock melted. The door opened.

Mink peered inside, tall blue shadows behind her.

”Peekaboo,” said Mink.


Multi dimensional figures entered the attic. Their radiant white-blue light held the silhouette of a human body, but there was a constant pulsing an churning of energetic waves; twisting and binding, breaking into new links and waves of energy only to collapse among themselves and then begin anew to surge with dynamic life and movement. All this held within what appeared to be a body like visage of a human being.

The Martian spoke to the frightened and huddled parents.

“We have been monitoring your species from afar in what we could best describe to you primitive third-dimensional beings as a multi faceted observatory prism. You see, this dimension is only one of many, in fact, of an infinite.

Another Martian interjected and continued the lecture,

“A compounding and infinite helix of dimensions stemming and extending from one another while also retracting an condensing back into Itself. After your species discovered the splitting of atoms and thus the atomic bomb, you created a major disruption in the cosmic forces. Now while I can explain this next part to you I cannot comprehend it to you.”

At this point Mink, who had been standing in the background, slid back down the ladder making her escape. The Martian continued,

“In short, Quantum physics states that it is possible for an atom to be present in two different locations at one time, defying your concept of time and space. BUT this is an absolute truth and when your species split their first atom here, you also split it in another dimension, reeking just as much havoc and destruction as you did with it here. Only in one of the other universes you destroyed an entirety of a people. A people who had evolved not just to your simplistic 3 dimensions but 64! This level of consciousness cannot even be comprehended by your pathetic minds. The breadth and scope of their Self-realization was some of the highest in the cosmic hierarchy. And you ants destroyed them! That is why we have come to eliminate all of you who are corrupt and culprit to this atrocity.”

“WHAa!.. Whaah how-how-ow do we know if we are worthy to be spared?” Gasped the mother.

And with that the alien reached both its arms toward the parents faces, extended a finger and said,

“With one touch between your eyes slightly above the brow in the center of the forehead a great light and energy will surge through your beings, electrifying them with the knowledge of the universe, of creation and destruction, of good and evil, light and dark, the manifest and the umaninfest, of existence in and of itself to the absolute purest form knowable. To knowledge itself. To God. And upon realizing your Primal Nature you will no longer be able to exist as such and will vanish from your place.”

Just then a loud mechanical sucking-sound filled the room. It was Mink with a hand-held vacuum and a hose attachment. She reached the head towards the Martians and their liquid like bodies began to be sucked into the tube like loose dust. If there was one place no life could live, it was a vacuum.

Written by Caroline Botwin and Kevin Klimczak. Author & Web Editor.


About carolinebotwin

Caroline Botwin and her husband Mike are retired educators who have always had a yen for travelling: he with a PH.D and teaching Architectural Engineering plus California wine education, and she having taught high school English, speech and drama. Both wanted to learn first hand about other cultures. While Mike predominately studied buildings and structures and met with winemakers, Caroline hunted for ancient sites and peoples. And kept journals of all their travels.
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