She let the cat out and sighed at the stairway. The bedding was clean, and she had to climb the stairs to make the beds. Her grandchildren left three days ago. Her old knees could handle the climb, one more time.
She loved having them for a few weeks. Her daughter and son-in-law needed some time to themselves. It was a whirlwind of visits to the zoo, bounce houses, super hero toys and dolls.
She dreamt last night about her husband’s gentle caresses. She hadn’t had those dreams for twelve years. They were so real, it was almost as if he were in bed with her. Like his fingers walked up her stomach, making tiny tracks between her breasts. She must have bit her own lip, because there was a mark there this morning. She flushed and looked around as she relived the memories.
She unfurled the sheet and slid the first bed away from the wall. She recoiled in pain when she stepped on something hard. It was a plastic toy; a red alien with a long tubular head, long claws, and sharp teeth.
“Whose idea was it to put something so awful in a kid’s meal?” She sat it on the dresser and moved to the second bed. When she finished, she carefully descended the stairs and placed the toy in the kitchen. She snapped a quick photo and emailed it to her daughter, asking if little Brian wanted her to send it to him.
She put the kettle on and carried the clean towels to her own bathroom. She picked up her husband’s photograph and hugged it to her chest. “Oh Dear, I wish it had been you.”
The kettle whistled and she grabbed a teabag from the pantry. The plastic toy lay next to the box of tea. “Silly old woman. I must have put you there when I thought about tea.” She sat the toy beside the sink, made tea, and took her cup to the patio.
She watched the hummingbirds when the email chimed. She turned on her phone and read; It’s not Brian’s but he thinks it’s cool. You can send it if you like.
She found an envelope and returned to the kitchen. The toy alien was gone. When she checked the picture, she recoiled in horror. The alien had a red eye reflection.
See if you can guess where this one came from. Hint: we had a visit from the grandkids.