A man, a lamp, and a milkmaid

August 4, 2008
By Raymond Lantz, Henderson, NV

The doorbell rang.

Nathan screamed and dove to the floor, throwing the popcorn bowl at the blank television. The bowl collided with the glass screen, scattering popcorn all over the room. Nathan screamed again as the plastic bowl landed right next to him. Nathan picked his head up and saw the layer of popcorn that had fallen unto the carpet. The kernels had fallen in a heap and if Nathan just squinted his eyes a little the mass of corn looked a like a profile of Anastas Mikoyan. Nathan stared, wide-eyed, at the blank television. He knew, he knew it was Them. Them watching him, sending him cryptic messages in scattered kerns. Nathan began to scoop the kerns into a single non-identifiable clump. He scanned to room for a bowl to throw the popcorn in; They expected him to use the same plastic bowl as before but he was on to Their game. He grabbed the fish bowl and began to pour the corn in, turning the little fish’s sky yellow. The task completed, he ran to the window and threw the bowl as far as he could, hearing it smash against a rock in his yard.

The woman stood at the door checking her small silver watch every now-and-then. She was dressed in all white, as she always was when on the job. In her little wire basket four glass bottles filled with milk clinked together as she slowly swung it back and forth. And then a small glass orb was hurled from the window a few feet away, it trailed yellow puffballs as it flew right into a rock and exploded. Stunned, she stood in place for a second before putting her wire basket down and rushing over to see what was just propelled from the window.

Nathan stood for a moment to make sure the satanic women when to look at the obliterated fish bowl. Ha, no matter how much white you wore everyone could still see your horns, Nathan though to himself. Or did he? That though didn’t seem like his. The television stood silent as ever but that didn’t fool him. Nathan ran to the kitchen and grabbed two oven mitts and grabbed a thick red candle as he made his way back to the television. Grabbing the candle with both hands he pushed it against the screen of the television until it slid off the stand and crashed to the floor. Nathan threw his hands up in a silent victory dance.

The doorbell rang.

Nathan screamed and threw the candle at the door. It hit with a thud and bounced to the floor. Throwing his oven mitts to the floor, Nathan ran up the stairs two at a time. It was his only escape, They were probably already at the back door, waiting for him to burst out. He ran to the end of the hall, throwing his bedroom door open. And there it stood. In front of his only exit was a tall brass lamp with a stained glass shade, it’s light winking out and then flicking back on in a hypotonic rhythm, It sent warm, friendly waves throughout the room. The waves crashed into Nathan, giving him a sense of security. The lamp made it seem like everything was okay.

The doorbell rang.

The spell broke. Nathan turned and scrambled into the hall before the lamp sung to him again. He ran to his guest bedroom. Time was running out. They though They were silent, with Their expensive boots gliding across the floor without made a sound. But Nathan could hear them. They were closing in. Nathan threw the dresser draws open and grabbed the large winter coat he kept there. He walked out of the guest bedroom only to turn back and grab a shoe left by the dresser. He ran back down the hall to his bedroom. The silent boots were climbing the stairs. Nathan threw on the winter coat and grabbed the shoe with both hands. Nathan rushed into the room, screaming so he couldn’t hear the lamp. With the shoe he clubbed the lamp, causing it to tip and fall, shattering the stained glass shade. Nathan threw the shoe and coat aside scrabbling out the window and onto the roof.

He was free.

“Ahh, damn it.,” the voice said in the darkness.

“What’s wrong?” asked a second voice.

“The psiLamp is down. He’s gone,” said the irritated first voice.

“The Hovbots that entered through the back confirm that the target is gone.”

“Jenny what’s your report?’

“The Telespy has been knocked over. It’s not a very pretty sight in here,’ rang a sweet voice over the comm.

“Wait, if he knocked over a telespy our bugs should be on him right?” said the hopeful second voice.

“Nah. By the looks of it the guy used a candle to knock it over. I am having a Hovbot scan the candle for prints but don’t get your hopes up, it looks like he wore some mitts,” said the sweet voice.

“Damn. This guy is really something. How could he know that our bugs can’t travel on wax and that a thick jacket would keep him from getting the full effects of a psiLamp?” said the still irritated first voice.

“The guy must be some sort of genius.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!