Stories

Snow Globe

Spinners: check.
Sparklers: check.
Roman Candles: check.
Assorted Firecrackers: check.
Inflatable Statue of Liberty: check.
Best Fourth of July Ever: in the bag!

Tom took an armload of stakes outside to mark where things would go on the lawn, but stopped short on the doorstep. A word formed in his mind.

Snow.

There’s snow on my lawn. And a snowman. And a Christmas tree. What happened to August, September, October and November; and for that matter, most of July and December, too? Maybe Jeff next door will know; he ran to the edge of his yard and vaulted the picket fence.

As he picked himself up off his lawn, Tom reflected that he had just reflected himself off of some kind of glass wall. Faced with the unknown, he called out to a higher power.

“Marg, can you come down here? Something’s wrong!”

She was down in a trice, but also stopped short on the front porch. Her sun dress seemed totally out of place in the winter wonderland.

“Tom, what is this? It doesn’t snow in July, not even in Idaho!”

“That’s not the half of it, Dear. There’s some kind of glass wall around our house! I’m going to complain to City Hall about this. It’s a violation of my civil rights!”

“I don’t think the city normally encases properties in glass, honey. And look through, we’re not the only ones affected.”

She was right, of course. There were houses on all sides, each neatly wrapped in its own glass cube. But unlike his, all of the people in them were frozen in place. What could it be? Terrorists? Who had the power to box up American houses like snow globes?

Marg interrupted his ruminations. “Look!” she shouted, pointing skyward.

A giant hand came down from above and lifted the house under glass into the sky. Once at a safe altitude it began sliding along as if on some giant conveyor belt. Tom could see hundreds, no thousands of houses laid out in a grid pattern below.

“Marg, I don’t think we’re in Boise anymore.”

After several minutes the robot hand, for that’s what it was, set the house down on a large platform. Rotund gray aliens in red coats with white fur fringes surrounded the home, waving metal instruments at his lawn. Finally a fork lift carried a door over and placed it against the glass. An alien opened the door and stepped in.

Tom punched him in the face.

“Why did you abduct us, you alien freak? Did Trump put you up to this?”

“I am unsure what exactly this ‘Trump’ of which you speak of is. Please do not be alarmed. We are taking four million of your people to a new planet in enclosures designed to provide a stable and psychologically comforting atmosphere.”

“Snow globes?”

“Precisely. Unfortunately, the stasis generator on your unit has failed and we must replace it. This will take but a moment; please be patient. You will be returned to suspended animation shortly.”

“But where are you taking us? Is this some kind of alien zoo?”

The creature raised a nonexistent eyebrow.

“A zoo? No, more like a wildlife preserve. We are relocating you so the human race can continue. You are too entertaining a species to be allowed to go extinct just because an asteroid crashed into your planet. You’re welcome.”

At that the alien turned and waddled out. Tom lunged for him, but suddenly froze in position as the stasis field re-engaged. His final thought as time stopped was that he’d forgotten to ask why the aliens were all dressed like Santa Claus.