The diamond-studded walls of the cave nearly blinded me. Bud nonchalantly rolled a smoke and lit it. Catnip. My blood danced with excitement. My paws moved with a mind of their own, and I snatched the nip-reefer from him and took a long drag. I held it for a long time. As I exhaled, I handed it back to the startled squirrel.
“All these diamonds! What are they for?”
He took another drag and settled himself. I think he truly thought I was going for his throat, not his toke. Perhaps he wasn’t as stupid as he looked.
“Some are shipped off to be used in the machinery and rockets for the landing party. Some will be sold for needed funds. The smallest will be crushed and used in the pavement of the landing pad itself. The reflected light from the diamonds embedded in the asphalt will help illuminate the spot for landing.”
I watched as thousands of squirrels chipped away at the massive wall. Some of the diamonds were so big that three or four squirrels couldn’t carry them. For this task, they hauled out heavily yoked possums. These poor beasts were made to pull the stones, some of them over a foot in width to a loading dock. The squirrels were tough taskmasters, and wielded their sticks when necessary to hurry the possums along. One possum fell during the loading process. Even though the squirrels prodded, poked and beat him with their sticks, I doubted he would ever rise again.
We walked past the loading dock, and along the route up and out of the cave. The filled wagon, pulled by a six-mole team, came along behind us, and we hugged the walls of the tunnel to allow its passage. When we reached the gate, the wagon was empty, and returned back down into the darkness. This continued, Bud explained, day and night. I saw a black SUV disappear down the gravel road through the woods. White letters identified it as ‘The Lost Sox Laundry.’
When I turned, Bud was gone. I caught the whiff of his joint, but he had disappeared back into the dark tunnel that was camouflaged in the tall grass.
I too disappeared, climbing high into a hemlock tree and kept watch all night. The wagon brought up loads 24 times. The SUV arrived, loaded and left 24 times.
Somehow I had a hard time believing that alien squirrels ran a laundry, or that they would ever find my lost socks.
Stay tuned for Episode 12: Creepster Surfs the Internet.