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June 2024

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We Come For The Water

By Rodrigo “Buck” Maxwell

I’m a man whose boots are firmly planted, a well respected Mexican American Indian cowboy. And I’ve got a secret I’ve got to get off my chest. I haven’t talked about this before because I’m just too embarrassed to tell it. And I know after reading this you might think different of me, that I’ve gone Bozo, but dang nappit, I gotta let this one out, and here it goes.

It all began in ‘76 while driving up a muddy road in my old ‘72 Ford rust bucket. I was following a dirty map scribbled in a bar on a napkin by a man named Shaggy. I met Shaggy the night before at the Watering Hole. I was sittin’ alone when he approached me and said, “Mind if I join you?”
I did mind and I wanted to be alone. Next thing ya know, he pulls up a chair and puts his elbows on my table. I push my chair back and say, “Do I know you and he says, ‘You do now. My name’s Shaggy and I own this town.’ ” He was confident despite his homeless appearance and when we met he was holdin’ a blind chihuahua named Winky, and he was feeding it milk from a baby bottle. Although Shaggy laughed when he talked, he seemed to be on the ball and he got my attention when he said he had land for sale, somewhere out in the wild, and this is when my story really begins.

The next day I followed that old napkin up a winding dirt road. I drove until I came upon a clearing, a nice place for a night’s stay, I thought. I built a small fire, then popped open a beer and what I think was an owl flew over my head. The sun went down, and the trees turned black. Then the stars began to sing. Sweet silent music.

I was feeling pretty good until I looked over the fire and saw two big eyes looking at me. Dang, I thought, a bear! I threw a piece of wood toward the eyes and they disappeared. Bears, I thought, I’ve seen plenty, you don’t mess with them, they don’t mess with you. But something about those eyes made me uneasy. I called it a night and climbed into my gypsy lounge. That’s what I call my little camper. Just big enough for a tall guy like me and my portable radio.

I hadn’t slept much when I got the urge to pee. Dang, I thought, thinking about that bear.
I crawled out of the little gypsy then heard a strange humming sound, kinda like a blow dryer and there was a bright light in the woods, maybe another camper, I thought, with its high beams on, but that humming sound was unusual.

I climbed back into the gypsy and it wasn’t more than a minute when in a flash, all the lights in the camper turned on. Then all of a sudden my battery-powered radio shouted the voice of a preacher, “They’re comin’ out of the ground, they’re coming out of the trees, there’s nowhere to hide.” And just then I hear the door of my truck open. “What the heck!” I yell and reach for my pistol then remembered I wasted my last round shooting at a beer can. So, I grab that radio and fly out the camper ready to swing that hollering box at anything, but there’s nothing there.

Scared as scared can be, I say that’s it, I’m out of here and I jump into my cab, lock the doors and turn the key, but nothing happens, not even the click of an old battery. I smell something strange like the rubber of an inner tube and then in the dark, I see it, sitting next to me, I think it’s the bear, then realize it is something else and I scream, then it screams, and now we’re both screaming as I’m fumbling to open the door, and when I do I fly out of the cab and trip over that damn radio, and it’s still yelling, “There’s no place to hide, they’re coming out of the trees, they’re even coming out of your neighbors houses!” Quickly I get up ready to fight and that thing is standing in front of me. I say, “What’s going on?” Then I see there’s another one to the right and another to the left, then I see a few more behind them, but it’s dark and I can’t make out what they look like. Scared I say, “I don’t want no trouble,” and the one in the center says quietly, “We don’t want no trouble.”

Then I ask, “What do you want from me?” and it softly says, “We don’t want anything from you.”
Then I say, “What are you doing here?” And it says, “We’ve come for the water, just as our ancestors did.” Then it points to the sky and says,”See that group of stars forming a circle, that’s where we come from, and we like the view of our home from here.”

Hiding the fear that’s shaking my bones I say, “Help yourself, the water belongs to everyone and fellas it’s time for me to go.” Then one of them weird fellas asks, “Can we have your talking box?”
“Why?” I ask, “The man in it makes us laugh!” it says.

Then it points a finger at my truck and starts it right up, lights and all. I now realize this nightmare of a dream is really happening, so I raise both hands as a gesture of peace and slowly get in my truck. As I’m turning the truck around, I see one of them square in my headlights. Oh no, what kind of freak is this? I pull onto the road. Keep moving I say to myself and too scared to look back, keep moving, keep moving.
That night I checked into a room back at the Watering Hole and as I laid on the bed I thought about my experience. Did it really happen? Aliens, the screaming radio, Shaggy and the napkin. I couldn’t sleep and then it occurred to me, them freaky things were friendly, and they only wanted water, and besides, I did like that land. In the morning I called on Shaggy and made him an offer.

My wife and I have been livin’ on that land now for 46 years. We raised a nice family and yes, it’s true, my youngest daughter ran off with one of them little blue men.

When I was asked to write an April Fools story, I didn’t have anything clever to say. Then I thought, what the heck, I’ve got this story to get off my chest. Now those of you who know me might think I’ve gone bozo and maybe I have, but there you have it, just as I remember it.

And by the way, I do have some strange looking grandchildren.
Aliens, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sostsxSasUM