` New beta story: “Husbandry” — imaginary family values

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The missionaries’ suntans contrasted with the rain falling outside Angela’s porch. They wore raincoats with the same lemon color as the house’s trim, and their facial expressions reminded her of puppies begging for attention. As the woman held up a plastic-bagged copy of The Watchtower, Angela rubbed sleep out of her eyes. Maybe she could invite them to use the bathroom and get a drink of water? Should she check with Mike first, or just assume that her husband had slept through the ringing doorbell? As she debated with herself, she noticed that the man’s face was changing: his cheekbones rose, his nose widened, and his skin bronzed to match Angela’s own complexion. “Derek?” she whispered.

The alien winked and put one finger to his lips.

“Come in come in.” Angela held the door wide for them. As they climbed the narrow, dimly lit staircase, she heard a door open on the second-floor landing. She called up, letting adrenaline power her voice: “It’s OK, sweetie. Old college friends.” Derek lowered the raincoat hood. His hair curled as it retracted into the scalp. The woman followed him, and Angela took up the rear. “You must be Kimberly?” Angela whispered.

Kimberly looked bashfully over her shoulder. Her lips had tinted themselves an un-Christian shade of red. “Sorry if we woke you. Your phones were off.”

“We were up late,” Angela admitted. “Just talking.”

Safely inside the apartment, Kimberly embraced Angela’s husband, a white man with a shaved head and a Vandyke beard. Angela kissed Derek on the lips, muttered something about how awful she looked, and took both raincoats to the bathroom. Between flushing the toilet and turning on the sink, she heard Mike’s question “So, honey, how’s that invasion of Earth coming along?”, and Kimberly’s laughter.

If you can provide feedback, I can provide the whole story, which runs to about 2,600 words.

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