Sunday, December 5, 2010

Idea Garage Sale: What If?

It's getting cold here, off and on, and as usual we're hearing noises in the walls and attics. It's a 100-year-old house afflicted with late 20th-century remuddling on the cheap, and we haven't been able to fix it up, so it has its fair share of noises anyway. We're hearing fewer rodents in the walls this year but the noises in the attic are louder and more complex. Since we've seen the raccoon humping down the hackberry tree from the attic in the evening we know why this is so.

But what if we don't?

What if it's an alien? What if - ooh, there's a stranded alien up there and he's taken up with the raccoon in partnership? What if the raccoon is teaching him to hunt pigeon eggs and raid the compost heap and birdfeeders for food, and the alien is teaching him to use tools and help repair his starship (conveniently small enough to fit in our attic)? What is their relationship to our cats and the skunks under the shed?

Why exactly is he avoiding getting assistance from us (because we totally would help him)? Is it because of some overarching policy of the government he represents? Been there, done that. Is it because he doesn't recognize us as the dominant species and thinks the cats are in charge? That would make sense; the cats would then be the ones who limited him to the attic and shielded us from contact because, hmmm, I don't have a good reason right now. I'd have to think of one. Maybe his first interaction with cats is a negative one and he's hiding from them, too, but there's something he can use in our attic. Good lord, what do we have up there? Ooh, he needs our antique wiring, the paper-insulated stuff with the glass whatevers. (Electricians who look in our attic always go mad over the museum we have up there.) Maybe the raccoon is feeding him misinformation about other species for his own purposes...

Or maybe it's not an alien. Maybe it's something much, much weirder. Or funnier. Or scarier, depending on the kind of story you'd want to write.

What do you think could be up there?


  1. A visitor who expects the inhabitant of the penthouse to be the head of the household?

    We have preserved (disconnected) sections of the wiring of the house, also. If we ever get around to it, we will put neat little doors in the wall so we can open them and show them off.