Chapter Three by Herbert

In the dabbled shade cast by the deep purple foliage of a Crimson King Maple sat a pale old lady. A quilted rug covered her aged knees as she sat staring into the distance. On her lap was a well thumbed copy of H. G. Wells’ war of the worlds.
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“They’re coming you know,” mumbled the old lady, “They are coming. My dear husband Robert always said that one day they would.” She picked up the book and closed it, then tapped it with a thin finger. “But not the way Wells said. He was a clever man my Robert, knew his stuff. Knew the tall from the short just by their smell.”
The old lady gently placed the book on a small table next to her and continued. “Do you know what he said to me the morning of July 2nd, 1997. The day Robert and I were, erm… the day we were… visited…” she paused, hushed her voice, leaned forward a little, pushed her teeth back into position, and then quietly continued, “…by the men… in the hats.”
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“Edith dear,” interrupted a woman, in a pale blue well pressed cotton dress, who had been standing impatiently next to the old lady for a good 20 seconds, “You’ve told me this a hundred times. It’s a good story but, well… you know. It’s a bit mind-numbing. Here’s your soup.”
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The woman in a pale blue, well pressed cotton dress carefully placed the bowl of thick yellow soup and a spoon onto the quilted rug that warmed the old woman’s knees. The pale blue well pressed cotton dress was sporting a badge, pinned proudly to its lapel, and on the badge printed in a bold arrogant font was ‘Sunset Village Retirement Center’ and underneath that was a name, printed in a slender modest font  – Kimberly Miller (that’s the name of the lady, not the dress), and printed in brackets next to Kimberly Miller, in a thin obliging font, was ‘Personal Care Assistant’.
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“Mind-numbing is it,” squeaked the old lady through pursed lips, “well that’s exactly what happened to my Robert. Do you know that he…”
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“Edith, your soup… it’s getting cold.” Once again interrupted the increasingly uninterested Kimberly Miller as she turned on her polished heels and walked off. Her shoulders shrugged and her bored face wobbled as she continued. “Oh and another parcel has arrived for you. I managed to squeeze it into the cupboard with all the others.”
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“Presents dear… more presents.” Edith explained, her voice trailing off into the distance as it tried very hard to catch up with Kimberly Miller before she went back inside to tick her soup delivery checklist.
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“Edith,” said Edith to herself, “why don’t you just keep your wrinkled old mouth shut? Robert would be turning in his grave to hear you telling all these secrets.”
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Just then as Edith carefully scooped up a spoonful of thick yellow soup a small and very strange looking creature came spiralling down through the sky. It looked like a cross between a slug and very, very, very small dog. It’s angle of descent heading it straight for the Maple tree. It entered the top of the tree and ricochet through the branches like a pinball, right above the head of a sweet old lady who was just about to have her first slurp of soup. As she lifted the spoon to her wrinkled old mouth the creature slipped through the bottom layer of foliage and plopped elegantly onto her spoon, splashing soup thickly and yellowy down the front of Edith’s floral knitted jumper.
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The surprise encounter shocking her motionless.
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Edith stared unblinking at… it.
It stared unblinkingly back. A bead of soup slowly slipping down its dog like face.
Edith stared more unblinking at… it (that’s the slug-dog not the soup).
It stared unblinkingly back even, even more.
The drop of soup thickly ignored them both and continued to dribble slowly down between the dog like eyes of it.
Edith stared even, even, even, extra more unblinking at… it (again that’s the slug-dog not the soup).
It tried to stare even, even, extra, extra unblinkingly hard back, but the soup however, had other ideas – seeping into it’s eye sockets – causing it to blink.
The moment it’s eyes shut, like a highly trained Ninja, Edith snatched it from the spoon “Got ya,” she smirked and stuffed it into her pocket.
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“I told you they were coming Kimberly Miller, but you wouldn’t listen.”
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