Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Alien at Home Again

Brooks Mendell writes and runs a forestry business in Georgia. This story marks his third appearance in Daily Science Fiction. brooksmendell.com.

Daniel carried a kettle of boiling water out to the edge of the driveway where I stood reading the newspaper. "Two steps to the left, Dad, if you don't mind," he said, as I looked down at the melon-sized mound teeming with fire ants inches from my feet.
I walked away while scanning headlines about income inequality, tax cuts, and the national debt. My head tried to form a logical triangle, but it got distracted by the cries of unsuspecting ants as my ten-year old son separated their families and boiled their home in scalding water.
"That's what they get for invading our lawn without a permit," said Daniel.
"That a boy," I said. "Thank you for protecting our borders."
Watching the stream of dead ants flowing down the edge of the sidewalk and into the gutter made me question this form of justice. Who was the real intruder on this turf? And then I thought about the alien in our home.
"How are things in the house?" I asked.
"Fierce," said Daniel. "The she-wolves are engaged in titanic battle, Dad."
"Be nice," I said. "This is your mother and sister we're talking about."
"I am being nice," said Daniel, putting the lid back on the kettle and turning towards the house. I rolled up the newspaper tightly, staked it into the soggy remnants of the ant mound and followed Daniel.
"Don't yell at me," said my wife, leaning on the kitchen counter.
"Mom, I am mad," said Katina, "but please do not go into my closet!"
"You are yelling at me."
"You went into my closet and took out my favorite shirt and put it on eBay to sell," said Katina. "Don't you see what's wrong with this?"
"She has a point," whispered Daniel.
"It's not your shirt," said my wife. "It's my shirt."
"So does Mom," I whispered back.
"It was in my closet! Don't go in my closet!"
"Hey, Honey," I said to my wife. "Didn't save you the coupons today. I used them to mark Daniel's ant massacre in the yard."
"Thanks for throwing me under the bus," whispered Daniel.
"Shut up, Charlie," said my wife, keeping her eyes on Katina. "It was my shirt. You never wear it."
"Not true!" said my daughter. "I wore it when Marci came over when we made rice crispy treats and put perfume on the dolls."
"So that's where my Chanel No5 went," said my wife.
"Now I know what to get you for our anniversary," I said.
"Oh, I almost forgot," said Katina. "I'll make you guys dinner for your anniversary. That sound okay?"
The real-time metamorphosis of a bitchy teenage girl into the thoughtful disciple of Julia Child shocked the system. No matter how often our daughter did her Jekyll and Hyde transformation, we felt unprepared.
And grateful.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Author Comments

As parents, we sometimes see or hear things that just don't make sense. I also recall feeling the same way as a child.

- Brooks C. Mendell
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Alien at Home Again by Brooks C. Mendell.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.1 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):