By Roy Dorman
A little visitor or two
The front door of the cabin was knocked off its
hinges and two horrors strode into the small combination living and dining
“Shoot ‘em, Justin, shoot ‘em!” yelled Henry Gibson,
the patriarch of the family. Justin, twelve years old, was the closest to the
family shotgun and managed to get off a shot at the larger monstrosity, hitting
it in the upper thighs, before the two beasts slaughtered the family of four.
An hour later, sated and ready to explore this
bountiful land, the two flew off toward the valley west of the Gibson farm.
“Whoa! Well, shoot me for a horse thief, what’ve we got
Old Annie Winslow lived alone in a shack in the Blue Ridge
Mountains of West Virginia. Each morning after breakfast she brought her pipe
and coffee out onto the porch to watch the day begin.
When she opened the front door that early fall morning, she
almost tripped over a bundle of dirty clothing nestled in a small pile of pine
branches. She had been about to kick the whole mess off the porch when
something stopped her. There were two footprints on her porch next to the
bundle. The prints of two naked feet were longish and orange-yellow.
Stooping down, Annie touched one of the footprints and
discovered it was tacky, like paint that wasn’t quite dry. There were a
half-dozen drops of the yellow stuff of different sizes around the foot prints.
Annie stood up to see if she could spot a trail of
footprints leading up to the porch. There was none. There was no trail leading away
from the porch either. Looking
up, Annie saw drying drops of yellow hanging from her eaves. Something had
dropped from the roof to the porch, and apparently had then gone back up there.
Annie squatted down again. The clothing consisted of a
couple of strap t-shirts and a denim work shirt. None of this was new or very
clean. When she unwrapped the material she was so shocked she lost her balance
and almost fell on her butt.
“What the heck?”
A small face had been revealed. The skin was bluish-white
and the eyes were closed. Annie carefully put her hand to one of its cheeks and
found it to be quite cold. She thought this baby might be dead.
Leaving the pine branches, she picked up the clothing with
the infant and carried it inside. She set it on the couch facing the fireplace
and added some wood to the fire.
“I don’t know nothin’ about takin’ care of a kid,” she
muttered. She then went back out to the porch to see if she could gather a
little more information.
“Hey,” she yelled. “Anybody out here? Ya left your kid on
my porch. If ya need help, just come back and I’ll help ya.”
She got no answer. She stepped off the porch and took the
path to the outbuildings. The door to one of the sheds was open, but on
checking she found it only contained her gardening tools. She looked around for
traces of orange-yellow and found none. Looking back at the cabin, she could
see the roof was empty.
A shock awaited her when she opened the door to the shack.
The clothing was still on the couch where she had left it, but the infant was
A quick scan of the floor in the room revealed nothing.
Then, while she stood in front of the fireplace scratching her head, she heard
a rustling sound. Looking up, Annie saw the infant was perched on a set of deer
antlers she had mounted on an oak plaque. The rustling sound had been the sound
The infant grasped the antlers as a perch with its small
taloned feet. The wings were more like bat wings than bird wings. It had opened
its wings to about a three-foot span and was looking down at Annie.
Annie gulped once and said, “Want to come down?”
The infant stared for a few seconds, and then said, “Want
to come down?”
“Is that a ‘yes?’” asked Annie.
“Is that a ‘yes?’” came the reply.
Annie had heard that parrots could mimic human speech, but
had always thought they had to have picked it up over time with their owners.
And this infant appeared to be more human than bird, except for the wings and
feet, that is. Annie thought the wings and feet definitely complicated things.
Annie reached up with both hands and gently grabbed
the infant around the abdomen. It hissed at her a little, but allowed her to
set it on the couch again.
She pointed at her chest and said, “Annie.”
The infant pointed at its chest and said, “Annie.”
“No, no, no,” chuckled Annie.
“No, no, no,” answered the infant.
Annie decided she would only take a few more minutes
on these introductions and then see if the infant would eat any of the food she
had on hand.
She decided on “Fred” and pointed at the infant’s
chest. She was just about to speak the name when she realized she didn’t know
if it was a boy or a girl. The infant was naked, but there were no genitalia
showing. Did that mean it was a girl?
She pointed at the infant’s chest again and said,
“Jessie.” Before the infant could do the same to her, she pointed at her own
chest and said, “Annie.”
“Jessie, Annie,” she said pointing back and forth
The little infant puzzled over this and then broke
into a grin. It was the first facial expression it had exhibited.
“Jessie,” it crowed happily, pointing at its chest,
obviously was pleased to have some identity.
“That’s right. And I’m Annie.”
Annie prepared some of everything she had in the
house. If Jessie wouldn’t eat people food, she would take it outside and see if
there was anything out there it would like.
“Food,” said Annie, pointing to each plate of food on
the table in front of them, taking a small piece of each.
“Food,” Jessie answered, nodding sagely.
It sampled everything Annie put in front of it. The
sausage it ate with gusto.
“More?” asked Annie, putting more sausage in front of
“More?” answered Jessie with a smile.
After finishing off the sausage, Jessie proceeded to
eat everything else Annie had set out.
“More?” it said.
“No, that’s enough for now,” said Annie.
“More?” said Jessie, a little louder this time.
“No, I said…”
Jessie flew at Annie and knocked her onto the floor.
It then tore out Annie’s throat with its sharp teeth. It flew to the door and
turned the knob as it had seen Annie do.
Standing on the front porch, Jessie screamed, “Food!”
A few minutes later there was a thump on the roof above
and her accomplice are demons from a dimension just on the other side of
Annie’s. They have slipped through a thin space in the fabric separating the
two dimensions and are exploring new territory.
to those four bodies slaughtered in the cabin in the neighboring valley, and
also poor Annie’s now dismembered corpse, the authorities will probably lay
blame on wolves or bears. It seems that for over three hundred years, there
have been problems with wolves and bears in this area of rural West Virginia.
Dorman, firstname.lastname@example.org, of Madison, WI, who wrote BP #82’s “A
Nowhere Friend” & “Foundling” (+ BP #81’s “Nowhere Man in Nowhere
Land” & “The Box with Pearl Inlay”; BP #80’s “Andrew’s War” & “Down
the Hardware Store”; BP #79’s “Cellmates” & “Get Some Shelter,” BP #78’s
“All Is as It Should Be,” BP #77’s “Essence of Andrew,” BP #76’s “Flirting with
the Alley,” BP #75’s “The Enemy of My Enemy…” BP #74’s “Doesn’t Play Well
Others,” BP #73’s “A Journey Starts with a Flower,” BP #72’s “The Beach House,”
BP #71’s “The Big Apple Bites,” BP #70’s “Borrowing Some Love” and BP #69’s
“Back in Town” and “Finding Good Help…”), is retired from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for 60
years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired
English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and
flash fiction published in Apocrypha and
Abstractions, Birds Piled Loosely,
Burningword Literary Journal, Cease Cows, Cheapjack
Pulp, Crack The
Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Fiction Press, Gap-Toothed Madness, Gravel, Lake City Lights, Near
Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, The Creativity
Webzine, Theme of Absence, The Screech
Owl, The Story
Shack, & Yellow Mama.