My Wife Is a Phase Creature from the Forbidden Zone
My Wife is a Phase Creature
What I am about to tell you is a true story. And I'm serious. It truly has to to do with my discovering that my wife is a phase creature from the Forbidden Zone. I'm also sure that some of you are wrinkling up your faces doubting me even as you have hardly begun to read this, but I don't care. You sit there judging me, shaking your head thinking I'm crazy, maybe speculating, "Oh, Shadesbreath's been drinking again." But I haven't. Well, I have, but that's not what this is about. So think what you want, but this is true.
However, I should probably slow down and tell you what happened first, and then let you be the judge. See, even me, the typically controlled kind of writer that I like to think I am, am still kind of freaked out. So, let me step back and relate this properly. (Breathe). Ok, calmly, here goes:
The sky is still black when my wife's alarm goes off. At 5:45 every morning, her little clock knifes into our sleep and stabs any happy fantasies we might be having to death. The heartless tone slips bladelike between the ribs of all the super models worshipping at my feet, scattering them into nothingness. It plunges into the breasts of all the turkeys lying on mashed potato beds splashing gravy as my wife dreams of cooking feasts for me. Every weekday morning, both of us have our dreams destroyed. Slumber dead, she gets up and gets ready for work while I paw the snooze button on my own alarm for a few minutes more. She goes downstairs before I am up and usually leaves before I am done with my shower. That is the standard morning at my house.
But not today.
Today I got up early for some reason. Perhaps God was doing me a favor, trying to help me discover this twenty-two-year-old secret my wife has kept hidden from me. The universe was throwing me a bone. I don't know. But I got up and was a good ten minutes ahead of schedule. I heard the garage door going up—the familiar rumble through the floor that announces my wife's departure each and every day.
So, I thought to myself, loving husband that I am, I shall run down there and grab a kiss before she is gone. A treat to start my workday. Still tugging up my pants, zipping on the fly, I trundled down the stairs towards my beloved and her sweet morning lips.
I heard the reliable clank of her Suburban transmission shifting into reverse as my bare feet hit the cold concrete floor of the garage. She saw me come out, her blue eyes flashing up through the window glass.
Surprise. I saw it there in those oh-so-familiar irises.
At first I thought it was surprise to see me this early in the morning, for, as you'll recall, usually I am still upstairs in the shower at this time. But when I opened the passenger side door to lean in for my kiss, that's when I saw the truth. That's when I knew.
The surprise was not in her eyes because I was early; the surprise was because I'd caught her in a phase shift.
Yes, a phase shift. That's what I saw, and it could be nothing else.
Normally my wife is a lovely creature; she's got a famously pretty face and long, luxurious hair that is the envy of every chick we ever meet (not to mention bald guys like me). She's got a fine figure, classic beauty, and each day I count my blessings to have such grace to gaze upon. But this morning I found out it's all a lie.
So as I'm leaning in to kiss her, I realize that pretty face of hers is all distorted. The blue gems of her eyes are no longer perfect spheres but more oblong, even nebulous. Her cheeks are not round and soft, not the clear pale skin I know, but smeared, even blurry. In fact, her whole face was blurred, was blurring. So was her hair. Normally the ghoulish white of the bare bulb in our garage would have reflected from shimmering strands of gold and copper in her hair, would have glistened metallically from threads of the finest strawberry blond. But not today. Today there were no strands at all; the whole cascade was a blended mass, a solid fall of … of what? Is it plastic? Is it some composite semi-organic thing? Perhaps alien armor, or some unnatural polymer, the globulous ooze of corporeal truth from another realm, from, perhaps, the Forbidden Zone.
I gasped and pulled back even as she was leaning into me. The telescopic proximity of our movements made her phase shifting flicker in and out. I squinted, my face pinching with perplexity as I tried to fathom her mid-morph.
She leaned farther towards me. "I'm going to be late," she said. The circle of her mouth was a fog, the dark "O" of it gray at the edges, her lips hazing as she tried to play it off. Tried to pretend. I knew she was trying to shift back, trying to resume human permanence—apparently it's not an instantaneous trick.
But I didn't want to anger it. Anger her. I was afraid, but realized I'd been with her all these years and she hadn't killed me yet. Yet. So I had to play like I didn't notice. She didn’t seem aware of my dismay. Yet. So I kissed her. I was terrified. What if she decided then to finally destroy my soul, to suck it out of me with the might of vacuous demon lungs? Or whatever it is they have in the Forbidden Zone. But I kissed her. It was too dangerous not to.
Her lips were still soft and warm. Wet like I am used to. She hadn't gone that far over to the other side yet. Not so far as to be absent of the last warmth of her human guise.
I pulled back from the kiss. My mind whirling, my stomach churning as I contemplated what I had done. Kissed an alien. Or a demon. A something. A shiver ran up my spine. She was watching me. Staring at me, right into me. I knew she could read my thoughts. They do that over there. In that other place. That place of darkness and deceit. What plot could she be hatching? What villainous murder or nefarious torment did she have planned? Why was she staring at me?
I saw her blurry lips move; her very edges doubled all around where the fluorescent light limned her hair and body against the backdrop of her truck's interior. She was about to speak. I wondered if the words would be human still, recognizable to my mortal ears.
"You forgot your glasses," she said.
Hah, I thought, the ruse continues. A distraction that I'm not buying. But then, I was like, "Wait, what?"
"Your glasses, silly. You left them upstairs." Then she leaned forward and kissed me again. "Now I have to go to work. I love you."
She straightened and gripped the steering wheel. I, stupefied, completely rattled by my proximity to an alien-demon beast, fell back and closed the passenger side door as if in a dream. I watched her back out and go, my hand absently creeping up to my naked face, touching tentatively at the soft flesh beneath my right eye, feeling the bony socket edge. The places where, normally, my glasses would reside. I sighed and went back upstairs to get them.
Which doesn't change the fact that this story is true.
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