Some sort of creature that looks and barely talks like my son has been hanging around the house for days and days, eating our food and using a laptop. Oh, and sleeping in my son’s bed. And being slow to get up on school days. But it can’t be my son! It must be an imposter.
In many ways the creature exhibits traits similar to the young man we know. The facial features are eerily similar. The voice, when audible, sounds like Erik. As I said, the eating habits are uncannily on target. The constant attachment to the laptop, like some strange appendage, is quite familiar. Nevertheless, I am convinced we have some sort of pod child in our midst.
The first alarming signal was that the creature willfully asked for a haircut. For the second time in about a year. A very short haircut. The opposite of the Tim Lincecum-look that we had grown used to for several years, although admittedly that disappeared well before the current school year.
Another tip-off was the suit and tie outfit this creature donned, of its own volition, on a recent school morning — I was informed it had something to do with “mock congress” at Northgate High School. At first I thought, wow, I am so proud of this handsome young man; my son looks all grown up! And then I was hit with a wave of nausea — a terrible, pit of the stomach sinking feeling that our home had been invaded. I couldn’t fathom how the aliens got in our house without us noticing. Aren’t there supposed to be loud airship noises and bright flashes of lights when spaceships land?! Where were the little green man descending from a drop-down ramp?! WTF is going on here?! How can I parlay the movie rights into millions?!
To be fair, the creature has not harmed us. OK, has not harmed my wife and me; it definitely knows enough to tease and pester our daughter until she is compelled to strike it. But overall, the creature does not appear to be malevolent.
The sad thing is, this pod child, this thing, actually has some likable qualities. I could learn to like it if only I thought it were human. But its behavior is unsettlingly normal at times — it has spoken when spoken to (in a way that only raises more red flags). It has provided affirmative responses when asked to perform simple tasks such as putting clean laundry away.
I don’t know what purpose this being is serving. I don’t know why the aliens sent it here. I have not received any demands or instructions about what I am to do with it. I can only wait, and wait, and wait, for the thing to reveal itself in some hideous fashion…