Last night, my wife and I had sex so hard that the cathode ray tubes in our television set exploded. There was glass all over the floor, shards in the carpet and potted plants. When we woke this morning, my wife cleaned up the mess while I went to Best Buy to purchase another TV. I bought an even bigger one, flatscreen, with the juicy plasma and microchips inside. The kind of stuff that is keeping us in a trade war with China, I think. The TV was more expensive than expected and my wife and I started to argue over the cost. Then we paused, took a deep breath, and banged each other’s brains out again. That was our secret. It was what kept us going year after year. When we felt like killing each other, we fucked instead.
After we were finished, I removed the television from its box and wired it to the wall. The man at Best Buy had been quite helpful. He said the TV was built without any cathode ray tubes and therefore there was less chance of spontaneous combustion as a result of our lovemaking. He also said the TV would “melt our goddamn gourds.” It was clear he wasn’t lying. The definition was super impressive. Turning on Jeopardy!, you could see the pores on each contestant’s face. They looked like gopher holes. Or pockmarked meteorites spinning through space.
Tonight, the host of Jeopardy! wasn’t Ken Jennings or Aaron Rodgers or the executive who claimed he was the best man for the job but then got canceled for workplace hostility. It was someone new, a male basketball star from the 90s. The basketball star spoke slowly, punctuating each sentence with a series of halting umms and ahhs.
“This coming-of-age starlet was made famous by–ahhh– such colorful movies as Pretty in Pink and ummmm.”
The contestants were the usual– a bald guy with a mustache, a cocky-looking hipster in a bola tie, and a woman with purple hair and cat-eyed glasses. The woman was very quiet, almost painfully shy. She held a protective hand over her mouth when speaking. Despite appearances, she quickly set about beating the shit out of everyone. My wife and I watched the show from our couch, salty and nude, our legs intertwined with each other. By the first commercial break, I was seriously considering a shower, but then there was a loud, ground-shaking thump from outside.
My wife looked at me, a single eyebrow cocked in alarm.
“I’ll get the shotgun,” I said.
“Probably a good idea,” she said.
At the time we had what you might call a trespassing problem. Before we got hitched, my wife enjoyed an impressive sexual pilgrimage through the tri-county area, one that left many jilted or otherwise pathetic suitors in her path. Her ex-boyfriends were often swinging around, pleading for another chance or trying to climb through the second-story windows to steal her panties. I felt she led them on in small and large ways– by continuing to be Facebook friends and keeping their Christmas cards on the refrigerator– but it wasn’t something we liked to talk about. It was one of those topics that caused us to argue and thereby fuck and I was already tired from our vigorous coupling only a few minutes prior.
So I loaded the shotgun and went out onto the porch. To my surprise, there was a spaceship on our lawn. It was about the size of a small sedan, complete with glowing windows and tripodic landing gear. After a moment, a door slid open and two aliens climbed out. One was tall and the other was short. They looked exactly like us– us meaning humans– but they had lime green skin and a single external heart, the size of a pear on their sleeves. They wore little speedos like Olympic swimmers, but otherwise, were completely bald and ass naked.
“Hello,” the tall alien raised a hand in greeting. “We come in peace.”
“Do not be afraid,” the short one said. “We come not only in peace but on a mission of love.”
“Hi, there!” My wife waved back. I didn’t move. I was suspicious. Who comes in peace, really, when you think about it? Salesmen. Missionaries. Drunks. If they’re standing on your doormat, chances are they want something.
I whispered to my wife. “What the fuck are these geeks doing? I just resodded this lawn.”
“Be nice,” my wife said out of the side of her mouth.
The short alien performed a little bow. “We apologize for the landing. We have come a long way to meet you.”
The tall one pointed at the sky. “We have come from the cosmos. The great beyond.”
“Fascinating,” my wife said.
I took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of spring. The air was thick with rain and cow shit filled our nostrils like wet clothes jammed into a tailpipe. Down through the trees, the creek roared from the snowmelt rush. I was starting to have a bad feeling about the way my wife was looking at the aliens.
“Well!” My wife elbowed me again. “What are you waiting for? Invite them in!”
“Fine,” I said. “Come on. We’ll fix you something to drink.”
We sat around the kitchen table while my wife brewed and served us hot cocoa from tiny mugs. The smaller alien gripped my “World’s Biggest Dick!” mug, and he smiled at me over the crudely drawn penis. They never stopped smiling, even when they were drinking. It was very unsettling.
“This is quite good.”
“What do you call it?”
“Cocoa– ah yes. Delicious.”
“You mentioned a mission?” I said.
The aliens looked at one another. For the first time, they stopped smiling and exchanged what could be construed as a nervous glance.
“Yes. Ahem.” The tall one put down his mug. “Allow me to explain. It all began 5,000 years ago…”
We don’t have to get into the whole saga, but it was typical bleeding heart intergalactic liberal bullshit. The aliens– explorers from far far away, somewhere over the rainbow, yadda yadda yadda– were on a mission to save their people. At some point in the previous millennium, the alien society had lost their desire to fuck and as a consequence, procreate. Now their population was declining at prodigious rates.
“Fascinating!” my wife said again.
“Is that the only word you know?” I turned back to the aliens. “Listen, that’s a good story but I don’t see what it has to do with us.”
“Well there’s more,” the tall alien said. He went on to tell us that they were in a neighboring solar system when they’d detected a great disturbance as a result of our lovemaking. The strength of these pulsating chakras or whatever was enough to draw their ship to our tiny house in the woods an hour outside Pittsburgh, PA.
“You should be quite proud. Our readings were off the charts.”
“We’ve never seen anything like that in all our travels. It was really quite exquisite.”
Exquisite. I had never heard my lovemaking described that way before. Maybe frantic. Or desperate. I often felt like while I was having sex with my wife I was really saying please stay with me, please stay with me, please stay with me.
“Thereby, we must ask you for our favor. Beyond this delicious hot cocoa.”
Here it comes, I thought.
“Go on,” my wife said.
The tall alien motioned to my wife. “We would like to have sex with you and film it for our archives. So we may know what it’s like to mate with someone with so much passion and verve. We hope to impart these lessons upon our fellow aliens, so that they may be inspired to rejoin the reproductive ranks.”
“What we’re saying is this,” the small alien said. “We need you to help save our species.”
“Why can’t you just watch?” I asked. “Take some lessons from the pros.”
’We don’t mind people watching,” my wife added. “We’re actually pretty voyeuristic.”
I glanced at my wife. Once, after ingesting a bunch of mushrooms at the ski resort, we did hand stuff in the communal hot tub. But that had been a single occasion. And we were almost arrested when a family of five caught us knuckle-deep in one another under the day-old suds. So no, public voyeurism wasn’t something we did a lot. I wasn’t sure why my wife was lying to these aliens. It made me unhappy.
“Can we have a second to talk this over, please?” I asked.
My wife and I retreated to the coat room. We had the usual discussions you have in these types of situations. Future of the Species. Common Good. Essential Decency etc. Our main sticking point was this- did we consider it cheating? You can guess my position. My wife, of course, felt the opposite.
“Listen, I don’t want to bang any green guys from outer space, but we can’t really turn them down. Like, morally.”
I said sure, okay, altruism is great, but who’s to say it wasn’t a scheme from Mark Donawitz, back on some crazy shit? Mark Donawitz was one of my wife’s exes. Last summer, during a meteor shower, he ran over and claimed that the world was 57 minutes away from ending. The solution, Mark said, was that we go immediately to his underground bunker. My wife, ever the panicker, wanted to hightail it over there, but I put my foot down. Guess what– 56 minutes later the world didn’t end and Mark Donawitz never looked me in the eye again. I suspected once we were in his bunker he was going to club me over the head, dump my body outside and proceed to copulate with my wife as a last man on the earth type scenario.
The point being, my wife was not only afflicted with the gullibility common to hot people but also in possession of a stupid big heart.
She opened the blinds and pointed out towards the glowing ship. “There’s a motherfucking spaceship on our front lawn. You think Mark Donawitz could do that?”
“Come on, dude.”
Dude. She only called me that when she was trying to get me to go along with something. It reminded me of when I first met her, the little wannabe hippy with the flower necklace, rolled jeans and stoner eyes, sitting on the high school steps with a ukulele in her hands. That image burned in my mind like a firebrand. Why did I pick that moment to fall in love? I couldn’t tell you. But it changed everything I did from that day forward.
“This could be my chance to really mean something,” she said.
“You mean ‘our chance.’”.
“Yes,” she said, blinking. “Absolutely. Nailed it. Our chance.”
I sighed. “Fine.”
We walked back into the kitchen. The aliens were clustered around our Keurig, tapping it with inquisitive fingers.
“In our society, this device resembles a weapon of mass destruction,” the short one said.
“It’s for brewing economically viable coffee.”
“We’ve decided to accept your offer,” my wife said.
“That is fantastic,” the tall one grinned. I could tell he was also the hornier of the two. He couldn’t wait to have my wife’s legs on his shoulder, licking the sweat from her ankles with his forked tongue. “We would like to start right away.”
“Yes,” the short one said. He was the watcher. The pervert. The corner-jacker-offer. “Time is of the essence.”
“We will take you up to our mothership and commence copulating. It’s orbiting right now in the stratosphere.”
They smiled again. When they smiled it was like they were smiling and not smiling at the same time. It looked painful. Like passing a Lincoln log through your bowels.
My wife went to freshen up. Perhaps sensing my unease, the two aliens began reciting the reasons why I should not worry about my impending bout of cuckolding.
“Trust us when we say it’s purely not sexual.”
“Millions of our people rely on you.”
“They will tell tales of your generosity. Songs. Poems.”
“If it’s jealousy, you have nothing to worry about. Our penises are surely not larger than yours.”
“Yes, we will demonstrate for your peace of mind.”
“That’s all right–” I started.
They pulled down their speedos to show me their dicks and whoa boy they were packing some heat.
“Much smaller, right?”
“We are quite small for our planet.”
“Hmm,” I said.
My wife entered the room, her face painted rouge, long strokes of makeup making lurid shapes of her eyes. “I have a logistical question of my own– what about pregnancy or intergalactic STDs?”
The tall one said, “Good question. We’ll use advanced prophylactics. They are so thin it will feel like there’s nothing there.”
The short one said, “We have pleasure-enhancing gels. Genalactic-stimulating toys. Asphyxiation devices. Etc.”
“Wow, that’s pretty neat.” My wife elbowed me. “Isn’t that neat?”
“Yeah,” I said glumly. “Neat.”
“The fate of a species!” She said, her eyes brimming with excitement. “Wowza!”
The aliens held out their hands and my wife took them. They walked out the door that way, my wife sandwiched between the two aliens, wearing a satin kimono that barely came down to her ass. We had memories in that thing– oh boy, did we. I sat there for maybe 20 seconds thinking about my options. I remembered what we’d said to each other, all those years ago. You are mine and I’m yours. No matter what. Whatever. Forever. Fuck. When you have something like that, you have to protect it. I picked up my double-barrel shotgun and opened the front door.
“Hey, guys wait,” I said. “I think you forgot your keys.”
I took the porch steps two at a time, the shotgun swinging at my side. My wife and the aliens turned back to look at me.
“What are you doing?” My wife asked.
I raised the shotgun and fired. Bam. Bam. Click-click. Alakazam. Presto. The aliens were now two dead hunks of green shit lying on our lawn. Their external hearts twitched a few times then deflated completely, like crushed frogs.
“Oh fuck, oh man,” my wife said. The front of her kimono was splattered with dayglo gore. I ran across the grass and threw my arms around her.
“I’m sorry,” I said into the top of her hair. “I have a jealousy problem.”
“It’s okay,” she said.
“I love you so much. I couldn’t let you go.”
We kissed long and deep. Then she helped me move the bodies inside the spaceship. The aliens were very light, like CPR dummies, and we were able to lift each one with little ease.
The interior of the spaceship was the size of a small dorm room. There was a cockpit, what looked like a mini-fridge, and a port in the wall I assumed was some sort of bathroom or extraterrestrial glory hole. A big red button and joystick jutted out from the control center.
“What do you suppose would happen if we hit that red button?” I asked.
“Let’s find out.”
My wife pressed it. There was a sound like a boat propeller when heard underwater and then the craft rose slowly, buzzing like a bumblebee in the wind. We stepped out and watched it float up above the treeline, into the blue-black of the approaching night, and finally disappear into the blank slate of the cosmos itself.
My wife and I went back inside and sat on our couch. We switched the TV on. It was Final Jeopardy! The woman contestant with purple hair was still beating the shit out of the bald dude and skinny hipster. She was up 30,000 dollars. Still, she decided to go all in. It was a ballsy move. She could win double or nothing at all. My wife reached over and squeezed my hand. Together, we waited to see whether her bet would pay off.
— Pat Jameson is a writer based in Roanoke, VA. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, X-R-A-Y, BULL, and Final Girl Bulletin Board. His story “Death Drive” was a finalist for the 2022 SmokeLong Quarterly Flash Fiction Award. Find him on Twitter @jameson_pat.