The visitor relished the cold rush of air from the refrigerator blasting him in his face, dancing around his man bun. Chocolate bars were arranged domino style in the lower compartment of the fridge. Graham cracker packets and several Tupperware of ice- cream were stacked like bricks in an additional cooling space; two untouched disposables of tamales. The stainless steel appliance was packed full like a theatre at the premiere of Star Wars.
“These people have the best snacks.” He thought, the growling in his abdomen becoming more furious and demanding.
Pulling the duffel bag out of his tattered shorts in one noiseless and fluid motion, he stacked the portables in a neat pilfered pile into the bag. All the while, distributing his peripheral vision between the microwave timer and the open entrance of the kitchen. He stopped to examine a half -chewed apple in the dim light of the kitchen. He winced as he noticed the curve of the eaten portion of the fruit. Albeit he shrugged and plonked it with the rest of the collection.
The timer ding tensed his muscles. His 14 pack abs sculpted like a professional boxer. 3:15 flashed on the lcd screen. The woman of the house would come any moment. He swallowed the little spit he’d left in his mouth and silenced the rumbling in his stomach by punching it. He gently shut the door of the refrigerator and disappeared in the dark space between it and the glassware shelf.
Mrs. Reyes’ s fluffy, bunny flip flops skidded on the tile as she dragged her feet. She rotated quite undecidedly in the middle of the large kitchen and made for the cutlery rack like a remote controlled zombie. Yanking out a steak knife, she went about the motions of chopping a carrot with her eyes closed and senses gone on vacation. She mumbled something in gibberish and staggered to the sink section.
“No, not water.” He grumbled in his hiding place. He needed to take one small item from the refrigerator without waking Mrs. Reyes. ….without alerting the whole house.
With two strides, he reached for the faucet before she turned it on. Her blond hair lolled to one side. Traces of dried spittle had crusted on her chin. In her sleepy mind, she was performing predawn chores. A mischievous smile split his white face. He brought his mouth close to her ear.
“Dear Mrs. Reyes can I have a glass of wine to wash my food down?” Her comatose head slowly nodded her consent.
“Well thank you Mrs. Reyes “. He said as he waltzed to the refrigerator to take his bounty and walked away silently to the steps leading to the basement.
From his corner in the basement, he chomped down on the bizarre breakfast mixture he had combined in his mouth: Apple plus tortillas plus biscuits plus chocolate in rapid but calm chews. However, he washed it with wine to prevent them from forming an insurmountable Rock of Gibraltar in his gut.
He ate rather fast, his sharp teeth mincing the food like a food processor. He stole fleet glances to the basement door, his small ears sensitive to the sounds of any movement. He certainly didn’t want to expose his hideaway to the family. It had been there almost 6 months since he got the message. They were supposed to pick him up after he completed his mission and take him home. But nothing. Radio Silence. Even from millions of miles away that was unusual. So he decided to wait it out, knowing they would come soon. He made the absolute best of the situation and enjoyed these exotic treats. Before the family even knew he was there, he would already be back with his people far far away with a hefty reward waiting. No harm in it so far as each member of the family always played the three bears in the story of Goldilocks. Always asking questions and nothing more.
His ears stood as the voices wafted from the first floor.
“Hey! You see my apple? Couldn’t finish it at dinner last night”. Mr Reyes’s tone came in tremors.
“You know better than to keep such things anyhow mi amor. With the recent vanishes in this house, a couple of weeks ago.” His wife replied calmly.
“It was in the refrigerator damn it! Can’t keep stuff in it again?”
“But Roberto, it’s not only the food. Two days ago, Paco complained of hearing something up the top floor. Think we should check it out?”
“Ay dios mio. Probably the rats or something, we’ll make the kids do house cleaning on Saturday. “
“How will you explain your missing Hawaiian shirt and the blankets you know…poof ?” Mr. Reyes heaved a sigh of frustration that permeated the whole rhetorics of uncertain whodunits.
“If your sleep-walking butt would just play vigilante for a second, probably…” Mr. Reyes never finished his verbal assault. He stomped outside and banged the screen door hard.
“Roberto, you don’t talk to me that way, come here….Roberto!”
He smiled dogmatically as the voice died down till he could only hear the hum of the indoor radiator. Mr. Reyes had promised many house cleanings but like a scrupulous politician, he always found a way to get around promises.
“Till then.” the visitor rubbed his taut stomach as he belched silently. He had some goodies to last him for a couple days.
“I’m starting to like it here.” He said, wrapping himself in the argyle blanket ready for a snooze.
The syringe pierced the flesh of the heavily tattooed skin of the pony tailed man. He opened his mouth to scream in the pure delight of it. Nothing came out. His blood shot eyes sparkled more brightly. His joints unlocked as he planted his feet firmly on the tile. He licked his lips at the photograph of the female in his hands and his brain melted as the substance coursed through his vein.
He strapped gloves like an expert surgeon and tiptoed to the bedrooms. Snoring of all kinds heralded him when his eyes had mastered the brightly-lit hallway. The door of his desires seemed to lead him on…to capture him.
He opened the second door gingerly and slid in. The light coming from a corner bath- room was the only source of illumination. But his keen eyes had spied the wardrobe. A shower of inspiration seemed to come from the photograph itself. It lead him past the sleeping couple.
“Happy underwear sniffing day.” A deep growl escape his marked chest. He would leave the house that not be not completely satiated.
“I had the weirdest dream last week, darling; figured you’ll be free now to hear it.” Mrs. Reyes said after the children had gone to school. She and her husband were settling to a cup of Espresso.
“Yeah I told you’ll need Decaf.” Mr. Reyes said, laughing at his own joke.
“It’s not the coffee, Roberto! Just pay attention, OK.” “Something to do with your missing underpants? “
The exasperated lady drained her cup and shook her head.
“Don’t worry honey, it’s not too bad, the news said the police are dealing with a jail break. ‘said criminal is a serial rapist. Everything got to break out someday you know, including your undies.” He flourished another spasm of laughter.
“Yeah, yeah..laugh all you want it’s funny. Food, clothes, my things get raptured and you laugh.”
This time, it was her turn to walk out dejectedly.
The visitor opened the basement door with a slight creak. The dim moonlight reflecting on his opaque face. He proceeded to walk into the kitchen.
The refrigerator stood like a small treasure chest, compared to his 7 foot frame. He scanned the expanse, visualizing imaginary food that were half eaten. No, he was going shopping; fresh foods this time with ice-cream just for good measure; with another glutton kid to take the spankings.
He would never forget the cool blast hitting his face, it was like home.
Then he stopped frozen. The shuffling of minute movements awakened his keen instincts. The microwave timer blared a neon sign of 2:55.
“Oh no, not yet time…Mrs. Reyes go back to bed…except…”
His sharp ears deciphered the picking of locks outside the house. It made a series of mute tinging and then clicked. His man bun flared up from the fridge door. A thief he pondered. He looked at the direction of the gloomy living room and noted an advancing shape. He listened to the footsteps introduce itself into the kitchen.
The man he saw was no more than forty. His black ponytail ended just below the nape and the facial pockmarks were uncountable. Looking at the strange intruder, he was reminded of an Supi creature from back home, the tattoos completely covering his face created irregular shapes.
Pony tail man stopped to sniff the air, looking around for a while, calculating profusely. He then reached for the back pockets of his jean and shoved out a small Ziploc bag. The needle sunk into his arm as he lay against the kitchen island.
The ghostly footsteps of Mrs. Reyes filed into the kitchen in blissful sleep walking. Her lingerie billowing behind her.
Ponytail man turned his head, though quite surprised at the sudden appearance, tossed the hypodermic syringe aside, licked his lip once and struck fast like a shark. Her sudden screams were quickly muffled even though she kicked at the air helplessly, trying to use her body to ram against his capacious frame, trying to send him crashing on the sink section. Wanting to spew plates and running water. But her struggling featherweight was rendered totally useless. He grazed her supple breast with a rusty, serrated dagger.
She was wrestled to the ground. Ponytail man had her, kneed firmly to the ground. Mrs. Reyes’s eyes widened as she saw another figure appear out of no where. The visitor made his presence known. The pony tail man reached out to his pocket, taking out another Ziploc of syringes and was loosening his belted slacks when his body lifted 4 feet in the air.
The tall visitor held him with one arm and a sandwich in the other hand. Only wearing ripped shorts reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk, his well-defined muscles were on full display.
”What the hell is going on here? “ red faced Mr. Reyes crept in still sleepy eyed and managed to yell.
He watched as the visitor shook the intruder’s 250 lb body like a rag doll then threw him towards the kitchen entry. He landed at Mr. Reyes’s feet. With skillet in tow he hit the assailant on the back of the head, sending him on his way to a long nap.
Mr. Reyes still held the iron pan like a Viking who had misplaced his broadsword till the cops carted ponytail man away. With his wife underneath his other arm, he watched as the blue and red lights disappeared into the distance.
“Where did you say your house was ?” Mr. Reyes looked him up and down. “We sure would like to thank you somehow.” He said, peering deep into his strange multi colored eyes, watching him eat a Twinkie. “I’m not from around here, but if I could stay here for a while that would be helpful. You see we're not all bad. I mean I’m here on a mission to …”
Mr. Reyes looked up and noticed a stream of light, like a showcase was happening. At that same moment a blue beam enveloped the alien, he smiled unnaturally and disintegrated into the night. The half eaten Twinkie lay on the ground.