The Diary of Hillary Sorensen-French, Part 4

by SC Bryce

Thanks for the Little Things

Dear Diary:

I cannot believe it has been a year since I last wrote! And what a year it has been! There is so much to tell that I scarcely know where to begin. Perforce, I shall hit only the highlights and trust that you shall understand if, in my haste, I neglect to cover some less crucial occurrence.

Better yet, Diary, I shall skip to the heart of the matter.

I was released from "custodial care" just this morning and, of course, immediately returned home. The house was a wreck. Clearly, none of my neighbors felt the least bit of pity for me in my absence. The grass was savannah long, except the sun-exposed patches where it burned to the dirt. The gardens had been commandeered by weeds.

I was galled to think of the weeks – nay, months – of work that would be required to bring the place back into civilization. Still, our remote hamlet is not known for its crime and so my house had been spared the bulk of cosmetic and structural damage that can befall a vacant home.

I ignored the foreclosure notice tacked to the door and ran to the backyard.

All was as I feared: there was a dramatic hole among the dogwoods and peonies where the spaceship had been. I noted that the lovely flowers I'd planted to cover some of its path of destruction and to accentuate the murals I'd painted upon the craft had been uprooted, their gruesome little remains barely recognizable. The authorities – hooligans, really – had shown no respect.

I cannot tell you how depressed I was! Not even currant tea could make a dent in my agony. Perhaps the tea leaves were old.

But I did promise to get to the point. Although the house had been searched, the authorities failed to find the false brick panel in the old coal cellar. Behind it, the little crystalline globe still blinked. I knew when I took it from the body of one of the aliens that I shouldn't. But really, they hardly needed it anymore. Plus, the indigo spiral inside the globe was simply mesmerizing. Not just because of its incessant blinking; it has such an indescribable quality that, as an artist, I could hardly fail to appreciate it.

I am grateful for this little souvenir of my adventure. It's not full compensation for the destruction of my garden by both alien and government intrusion. Certainly, it doesn't repay me for my year of hospitalization/incarceration. But it's something.

Hillary Sorensen-French

© 2007 SC Bryce, Reprinted With Permission
This story originally appeared in Kaleidotrope, No. 2.
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SC Bryce is a long-time reader and writer of speculative fiction and has been published in Flashing Swords, Lorelei Signal, Byzarium, and AfterburnSF to name a few. Born in Washington, DC, the author currently resides outside Manhattan. Read more at SCBryce.com.