|THE TWEEDLES by Rob Bliss|
Buford and Dolf Tweedle dragged the alien corpse out of the back field, shooing away the German Shepherds that whined and licked their salivating jaws. Though the grey alien was tiny, three feet tall at the most, it was heavy. Sweat soaking their John Deere caps, the brothers hooked an arm each under the alien’s shoulders and dragged its small feet through grass and dirt. Its spaceship had broken up and burned in descent through the Earth’s atmosphere, and was a scattering of thin pieces of dull silver metal. A scar cut the farm’s back property, starting in a field of dead corn stalks and ending in a copse of trees.
The brothers wrenched open the double doors of the storm shelter that led into the root cellar, dragged the alien’s heels down broken wooden steps, and closed the doors to shut out the dogs. Dolf twitched a chain that sparked a single bulb to muted light covered in dust and cobwebs. Buford set up two sawhorses and put rotted planks across them. The brothers hoisted the alien onto its bed.
Naked and grey, two washboards of ribs, knees and elbows that bent the wrong way, no genitals, large oval black eyes, one of them pierced and leaking brown fluid. The alien’s head was three times larger than its scrunched face.
The brothers snapped their caps off and wiped hairy forearms across foreheads.
“We got ourselves an alien.”
“What we gonna do with it? Bury it?”
Buford scratched his unshaven jaw. “Nah, we’ll sell it. Or take pictures and sell those to one a those newspapers.”
“That’ll bring TV folk here.” Dolt twisted his cap in greasy hands. “Or worse—the gummint.”
Buford’s eyes rose to his brother’s stare. “Shit. Never thought a that. The gummint. They’ll cover it up and call us crazy. Take our alien and who knows what all?”
“Kill us maybe. They can do that. They make the laws so they break ‘em too. We can’t die, Buf. This here alien’s gonna get us killed.”
“Shut it. We just gotta think. Maybe no one saw or heard it crash.”
“The dogs are goin’ ape-shit.”
“We’ll say they’re howlin’ at bears. And that a meteor fell. We’ll bury the alien way back in the field.”
“You seen the big old cut this thing made across the corn and into the trees.”
“So? Shut it. That’s nothing. We was digging a trench.” Buford jabbed a finger at his brother. “Don’t you go talkin’. Specially to Brenda-Jane. You put that goddamn baby in her.”
“I didn’t—you did.”
“Like hell I did. I know which hole to squirt in.”
“Which one? They all make babies.”
“You’re so goddamn stupid. Ain’t daddy learn you nothing?”
“Daddy died in a moonshine jar and mama dove in after him. Couldn’t understand a thing they ever said half the time.”
“Babies only come outa one hole, you ijit. I was born five minutes afore you, that I know. You’ll do anything Brenda-Jane tells you just ‘cuz her name is BJ.”
“Hell, she’s banged half of Scutter’s Craw, could be anyone. I ain’t nobody’s daddy.”
“You’re goin’ to church this Sunday and ask Jesus to get that baby outa BJ’s women parts. He’ll do it if you mean it.”
“I’ll mean it. You come too. Just to be safe.”
The dogs scratched at the doors, noses snuffling, yipping and whining.
“Scooter! Skitch! Shut it out there!”
“This here alien’s starting to stink. Let’s get it back outside, bury it quick. Or we give it to the dogs. They’ll eat the evidence in case the gummint do come.”
Buford nodded, turned his head and pressed a thumb against a nostril to blow out a missile. “Okay. You take the dogs inside first.”
The thin grey skin of the alien’s head rolled. The brothers jerked backwards out of the bulb’s light. A bulge like a tennis ball rose on the head and moved from left to right.
“What the hell?” Dolf whispered.
Buford glanced around the dirt floor and brought up a rusted screwdriver. Leaned towards the body and poked the head. Pressed the flat top of the tool against the alien’s temple, pressed in with greater and greater force.
The head cracked open down the centre and splayed wide. A noxious mist rose from the wound and choked the brothers. The screwdriver slipped to the dirt floor. The brothers held sleeves over their mouths and waved away the mist.
A baby alien was curled up in a flesh and cartilage cradle between the splayed flaps of head skin. Its black eyes opened and its tiny three-fingered hands reached out.
“Jesus fucking Christ!”
“Shut it! No blaspheme in front of the young’un. Ain’t mama taught you shit?”
“Babies ain’t supposed ta birth from there!”
“He’s reaching up to you,” Buford said, smiling up at his brother’s fear. “Well go on, pick him up.”
“He ain’t mine.”
“Sure he is. You heard the crash, told me you was heading out to the field to inspect. He’s yours, brother. You’s a daddy. Twice over, I reckon.”
Dolf’s hands delicately removed the baby from the cradle, blue viscous fluid dripping off the tiny grey body, and held it in his arms. Saw his reflection in the wide, black, oval eyes.
“Well I’ll be. Looks jest like me. I reckon I am a daddy. Sumbitch.”
Coming soon from Necro Publications.
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