There is a running joke in my family (my wife and I started it. Evidently we’re the only ones who think it’s funny) about the magic age our daughters were when aliens abducted them.
And while they (the abducted ones) often dismiss our claims with comments that our advancing years have affected our memories, the missus and I both with certainty can claim we’re subject matter experts on this topic.
We were there. We suffered through it together. We know the truth.
They were all abducted when they reached the tender age of fourteen and returned to the family, one by one, just in time to celebrate their twenty second birthday.
We know this because we both experienced the helplessness, horror and desperate panic on four separate occasions. Yes, we have four beautiful girls who have all grown to be wonderful women. Some with husbands and children, some with jobs and children, and some with careers and pets for children.
We love them all.
What my spouse and I discovered (far too late) was during their prepubescent years at a certain growth stage our daughters became perfect subjects for alien examination.
There was a time when our house was alien abduction central.
Looking back on those years, my wife and I are now convinced the extraterrestrials must have had directions to our house keyed into their navigational systems along with a notation — Gerkschmach mishama eeeee dobarick slikshatta BARNETT rakabouya— taped beside the go find them button.
Allow me to translate.
Classic examples of raging hormones coupled with over dramatic emotional melt downs of the Barnett teenage female variety found here.
Folks, I don’t think you can possibly quantify in your mind the suffering and torment my wife and I went through each time the aliens came and took one of our daughters.
Then again, maybe you can. Maybe the address to our house wasn’t the only one in the alien’s navigational systems.
All we know is the clones those aliens left in place after they took each one were completely different animals than our sweet, innocent and caring baby girls. Notice I used the word animals.
Each time it happened, the clones of our daughters often became snarling, howling, bitch-beasts.
They would scream and wail for no apparent reason; their eyes brimming with tears. And the next second — most times the hazy moment between the seconds — they would level glares of murderous intent at the both of us, their demonic eyes gleaming wickedly. We learned to tread cautiously those days; skulking about in constant fear of setting off another tirade. We tiptoed in our own house, doing our best to remain on the outer fringes of the latest clone’s radar screen. A lot of the times we were successful at becoming ghosts in our own home.
But that didn’t stop them from turning on themselves.
Painfully, we discovered a cloned child’s rage was worse (if that was at all possible) when a sister clone ate food which didn’t belong to her or tried to wear another clone’s outfit. Or — God help us all — when one clone suddenly decided to show interest in another clone’s new boyfriend.
For years my wife and I suffered in silence, or at the very least broke down into tears of frustration as quietly as we could. If one of the clones saw us get emotional then we could expect them to get emotional as well only with much more gusto and over demonstrated anxiety.
We, along with two female cats (I think one of them was abducted as well) were trapped in a seemingly never ending estrogen war of the clones.
But apparently, as it would seem to be a truism with all alien abductions, our children were returned to us one by one. It took a long time, a long almost unbearable time, but finally every one of the clones disappeared. The bitching and moaning stopped — well, not all the bitching and moaning — I did a lot of that every weekend when I was forced to do yard work.
But the sibling-abducted by aliens-clone rage wars-ebbed until peace was restored in our humble abode. Imagine our surprise when our children began to call us mom and dad instead of Mr. and Mrs. Asshole, and even offered to do their own laundry. Order in the house of Barnett was restored and peace and harmony was in the air and infectious.
It was tranquil and beautiful.
Until the aliens returned.
This time they abducted my wife on her fiftieth birthday.
Everybody calls it menopause, but I know what really happened. It was them. The damned aliens took my wonderful wife and left a clone of her behind. They weren’t finished with our family. They were probably angry with the fact my wife and I had no more daughters to abduct and they decided to punish us both.
At least when the aliens abducted our daughters they returned each of them after eight years. Trust me folks, ten years of dealing with an angry, flame spurting dragon-lady clone is extremely close to a lifetime.
Those two years make a big difference.
P.G Barnett is the author of the Gifter’s Ring series. His works, A Balance of Evil, Return of the Brethren and The Power of the Three are available for purchase. The fourth and final book to the series, The Rise of the Coven, should publish in 2019.
Let’s keep in touch — firstname.lastname@example.org