Men in Black

cop, policeman's wifeI’m alone again. Toby is out on patrol. I accepted that he was a police officer when he asked me to marry him two years ago. I accept that he puts his life in danger every day for public safety. I accept that the men and women he works with on the police department are, as he says, “his family.”

But I am not accepting his third stint in three months of the late night shift.

I hate being alone. I’m a rather insecure woman of an age where I should feel confident about myself, my security, and my surroundings. But at 42, I still shiver at thunderstorms and shake when a strange dog approaches during my walks.

Toby thinks that’s why I was attracted to him in the first place. I loved the idea of being with a policeman. Finally, I felt safe.

Well, I’m not feeling safe tonight. It’s dark as sin and a deep snowfall is expected. Toby’s shift won’t end until 5 a.m.

I check my watch – again. 8 p.m. Is it too early to go to bed?

I startle at the rap at my front door. Who the heck…? No one comes to our house this time of night unless it’s Toby’s partner or some of his officer-friends.

That’s probably who it is, I decide. So, I do the dumbest thing. Even dumber for a policeman’s wife.

I open the in black, sci-fi, science fiction

Three men in black trousers and white shirts, dark hair and even darker eyes stare at me as if they’re as surprised as I am.

“Are you THE ONE?” they ask in unison, in a rather singsongy voice.

For some reason, I’m not frightened. Perhaps a bit confused. “The ONE?” I repeat.

One man looks at the other. “The ONE she is.”

The other man – they look almost identical, replies, “Then ask her.”

“Ask me what?” At this point I’m freezing with the open door and realizing that these guys must be following through on some prank.

The first one clears his throat. “Please explain: why are people put on this Earth.”

I begin to laugh but the chuckle is caught in my throat when I notice lights flickering above and then I spot the spaceship hovering nearby.

spaceship, ufo, science fiction

Prompt: found in local police blotter – police received a 911 call from a woman who reported that three men in trench coats came to her door and “asked her why people were put on Earth.” The caller said they left the area in a black sedan. Police were unable to locate the caller.

145 thoughts on “Men in Black

  1. I liked the way your tale panned out, and what prompted it. But I have to say, when she opened the door it triggered a memory.
    I had a friend who married a policeman. One night when he was at work, she answered a knock at the door. Opened it. And was shot in the gut. A policeman’s wife’s not the thing to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, another entertaining story. Well done.

    BTW, the black sedan reference in your footnote, in conjunction with your story, reminded me of a song by the Ides of March. “Vehicle.”
    “Hey well
    I’m a friendly stranger in the black Sedan
    Won’t you hop inside my car?
    I got pictures, got candy
    I’m a lovable man
    And I can take you to the nearest star”

    Have a nice weekend and stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to LOVE that song. Never knew it was sung by a group called Ides of March (since that’s my birthday date, I love the group’s name even more). Yes, perfect song for this spooky story. Maybe she’s now at “the nearest star.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never open the door! How many movies have there been where that was stressed? And in every single one of those movies, the star falls for it. BTW, are you sure Toby wasn’t already in that spaceship? Do you really think he was patrolling on the night shift? I think that’s covered in some of those movies, too.

    Good story, Pam. You got me hooked at the first paragraph, when I thought, “Gee, I didn’t know she’s married to a policeman.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. I like your scenarios. And I agree, I get so annoyed with the “dumb character” who goes down those dark basement stairs, or follows the weird noises in the attic. But everyone can’t be as smart as we are, or there would be less stories in the world. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Flash fiction at its finest. I read it in a flash, just to get to end-of-story.

    But, I’m curious, I believe it took you longer than one might think to write this story. Tell me if I’m wrong. You’re a pro at this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Writer to writer, Marian, I’ll confess that I did indeed write this story in 10 minutes (I time myself. If I want a story to be flash fiction, I need to write it in a flash!). However, I then spent perhaps 20 minutes editing it to my satisfaction. Thanks for the great question. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • And this, right here, is the reason I always have homemade cookies or brownies in the tin, waiting, ’cause if aliens knock at my door, and I give a good answer while we’re all munching on treats, maybe they won’t “take me away.: ;-0

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good prompt, Pam. Here’s another for you:

    Our local police blotter dealt with a naked couple found at the beach after the 11 pm curfew . . . who claimed that they were walking across the country and planned to sleep on the beach au natural.

    The officer explained why that would not be possible. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the great things about writing fiction is imagining yourself in someone else’s skin. Even before the three spooky men come to the door, I love sinking into her life and her body, imagining her fear of being alone at night.

    Liked by 2 people

    • YES, thank you! This is “it,” exactly. I’ve read how actors choose their career because they like to put themselves into someone else’s skin. Well, duh. That’s what we writers do with each story we write. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wait. Diana. Are you telling me that YOU don’t know the answer to the question? Drat. I was sure you did. 🙂 But seriously, I think those who write sci-fi and speculative fiction/fantasy are the writers who really wrestle with this question through their characters….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Of course you would think that talking to space aliens would be a fun way to spend an evening. You write of early humans (and those BEFORE) and you delve with your research and intellect to make the unknown, known.
      So, if those three men in black come knockin’ at your door, please answer it. xo


  7. I see you’re getting some good moments of inspiration! 🙂 Where did the prompt come from? Did you see it in a newspaper, or was it one of those writing challenges?

    Hope you’re doing OK over there. Can you believe this weather??? Snow this morning…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I found the prompt just by reading the police blotter (which was actually from Marblehead). And then my imagination roamed.
      Sorry you can’t roam about now, but hope you’re happy in New England, where the weather changes hourly. xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • As a teenager, my parents left me in the house alone when they went out on Saturday nights (well, my younger brother was in bed sleeping, so he didn’t count). My imagination took over with every little sound inside (and outside) the house. I think that’s why now it’s so easy for me to show the tension with my characters. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your story brought in some childhood memories. Wives of policemen tend to become brave Pam. My mom is and I inherited my bravery from my dad… still at night I would never open the door without checking who the visitor is. Did she answer? She must be too frozen to speak!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So interesting, brave Balroop. When I wrote the story I wondered why my main character was the wife of a policeman. She just popped up and told me she was. But I agree, why did she open that door? My guess is that she was lonely. My guess is she had no answer to their “philosophical” question. Maybe, in the end, they told HER why we’re here on Earth. ;–0

      Liked by 1 person

  9. How to you get to read police blotters, I wouldn’t mind doing that here in Santa Cruz. I’m sure there would be some interesting stuff to read. I love your story and yes never open the door at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Usually the local papers include a police blotter. I know the local paper in our CA town did. I look in the Metro section of our city’s newspaper and find some really interesting ‘stuff’ in the police blotter. 🙂


  10. First of all, if you knew ahead of time that there were humanoids dressed in black recently beamed from an alien space ship at your door, would you NOT open? Of course you would! What an opportunity!

    I also think you need to check into Toby’s night shift alibi. Me thinks he may have a sexy alien on the side, ready to populate planet X. All in the name of public service to humanity, no doubt.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Before I saw which one of you wrote this comment (Ben or Peta?), as I continued to read, I said to myself, “that’s Ben”! To be honest, I’d like to say I’d open the door if I knew some interesting aliens were on the other side. Then again, I’d prefer to be your neighbor, and see what happened when YOU opened your door to greet the “men in black.” 🙂
      I’m a romantic. I think that Toby looks high and lo for his wife for years, even though she’s never to be seen again.


  11. Ooooh! Scary! My ex-sister-in-law used to hate it when my brother was on night-shift ( he was a policeman) not because of aliens but spiders! If someone had knocked on the door and there was a spider in the house, she would have invited them in, aliens or no!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your response, Clare. I’m not acquainted with any policemen (besides, ‘could you please let this one speeding ticket go, officer?’) so I was surprised to find out that my main character was a policeman’s wife. But I’m glad you agree that she was willing to open the door – not because of spiders in her case, but I think pure loneliness.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Three Black Men – Emotional Shadows

  13. The irony is how marrying a police officer does not mean you are now safe. I have heard where partners spend many lonely nights. A great imaginative story that immediately pulled me in. One of my reoccurring dreams as a young girl was about a spaceship hovering over our campsite during the night. Note to self, Pamela, I don’t whether I should have read this story right before bed. lol. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha, sorry about the ear worm. 🙂
      “The good guys dress in black, remember that
      Just in case we ever face to face and make contact
      The title held by me, MIB
      Means what you think you saw, you did not see
      So don’t brink be what was there is now gone
      The black suits with the black Ray Bans on”

      Liked by 1 person

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