The woman walked in the house with a large basket. Alice thought the basket might hold food.
“Sweet,” Alice barked at Macy, “That basket looks heavy. It might be the motherload of all motherloads. Like ten pounds of fresh steak.”
But when the woman set the basket down and Alice got close enough to sniff it, she backed away, barking.
“What. The. Fuck. Is. That?”
Macy approached the basket cautiously, wiggling her bottom. “Oooooooooh, it’s a baby. And it smells good, sort of like dairy products and poop!”
The woman picked up the baby and held him out to Mom, who bounced the baby on her hip and tweaked its plump cheeks.
Alice bark-howled. “Danger Will Robinson! We’re under attack. It’s an alien invasion and it’s got Mom!” Alice bark-howled again and backed away.
“Alice, that’s enough,” Mom said sharply. “It’s just a baby.” She turned to the woman and apologized for Alice’s barking.
Alice sulked toward the fireplace. “Baby, my ass. If that’s not an alien, then I’m not the greatest Aussie of all time,” she whispered to Macy.
The woman laid the baby on the ottoman as Macy watched closely. “It smells soooooooooooooo good, Alice. And look! It smiles and waves its arms. I think it’s cute. And that smell. Yum. It’s coming from some sort of white thing wrapped around its middle. You should come take a whiff.”
“Don’t get too close,” Alice barked in warning. “You’ll be under its superpowers, too, and then what happens? Next thing you know, we’re all being ruled by aliens, in alien labor camps making alien stuff. This is exactly the kind of thing the Buddies of the Highest Order has been warning against for years. I’ve seen the movies. E.T. looked cute, too. And have you seen what comes out of dude’s chest in those Alien movies? Yeah, that shit looks all nice and cuddly and then it’s nothing but slobber and fangs and mayhem.”
“Look!” Macy yiped. “It poops just like us! I think I’m in love! If you wore one of those white things, the yard wouldn’t be so messy.”
Alice ignored her. “Believe me, we are under siege. Siege, I’m telling ya. Those aliens spawn like crazy. I bet it laid 18 million alien eggs in that white thing. Oh god, oh god, and now mom is taking that white thing to the trash can. We’re done for. This house will be swimming in aliens.” Alice licked her chest. “Do you see any sort of bulge here? I think there’s an alien trying to get out of my chest.”
“You and your conspiracy theories,” Macy sighed. “Mom and dad seem to like it just fine. Mom is holding him and everything.”
Alice rolled her eyes, unconvinced. “Gullible, that’s what you all are. And mom is the worst. Let’s not forget who gives us all the treats in the house.I’m just gonna sit way over here, very far away. You can get your head eaten off first. I’ll see you in Roswell.”
“You’re paranoid,” Macy said. “I think this is really a baby like mom said, and I think he’s super cute. He just smiled at me! I want a baby. A girl baby. I could dress her up and paint her nails and everything. I think I’d be a good mom, don’t you?”
The baby squealed and waved its arms, and Mom and Dad waved back. Alice bark-howled until Dad told her to stop. He instructed Alice and Macy to go downstairs, into the basement.
“This is it,” Alice said, ducking her head and trotting down the steps. “The rapture. The end of days. The four horsemen of the apocolypse are upon us. Beam me up, Scotty. E.T., phone home. Take me to your leader. Even dad is under its control. It’s stronger than the Buddies of the Highest Order. Why won’t anyone listen to me? We have to alert the authorities.”
“Thanks a lot,” Macy whined. “You ruined it. Now we’re locked in the basement. If only I could smell that baby one more time. I miss it already.”
Alice barricaded herself behind the sofa in the corner. “We’ll be safer down here, in the bunker. And I’ll have time to come up with a plan for our survival. Listen to me, if that thing comes down here, you distract it while I escape. Wiggle your butt in its face or something. Just give me enough time to get the hell out of here.”
“What about me?” Macy asked.
“You’ll be fine. Tell the alien you come in peace or something.” Alice curled into the corner, waiting.
“I think they’re eating lunch,” Macy said.
“Lunch? Without us? See, this is how this kind of shit goes down. Alien torture tactics. Starvation. Isolation. I’m going to write my last will and testament.”
Dad came down the steps about an hour later and let them out. “Let’s try again,” he said.
Alice scrambled up the stairs bark-howling. “Run away! Escape! Danger! Alien invasion! The Iceman cometh!”
They were all seated at the dining table and Alice continued to circle the table, barking. No one was listening to her. No one understood they were now under the control of the alien called Liam. Alice crawled under the table and eyed this Liam from below. The bald head, the tiny hands, the plump cheeks and toothless smile. Yeah, maybe it was a baby, Alice thought, but she wasn’t entirely convinced.
Macy crawled under the table with her. “I’ve heard babies drop food. Maybe Liam will feed us.”
Alice laid her head on the floor. “Liam’s not all that. I mean, I put on way better shows. I’ve got great comic timing. I could’ve taken over the world like ten times in the past year but I kept my super Aussie powers to myself. This whole alien thing is overrated, if you ask me. I’ve got way more skills than any Liam in the universe.”
“Oooooh,” Macy said, nipping at Alice’s neck. “You’re jealous.”
“Hells no, I’m not,” Alice said. “Don’t come crying to me when Liam eats your head off. I gave you fair warning. Sheesh. You spend ten years protecting your owners from grave danger every freaking and what kind of thanks do you get in return? The minute this Liam fellow makes an appearance, we’re like yesterday’s soup or day-old bread.”
“I’m going to ask mom if we can get a Liam,” Macy said. “Then I can smell him all the time and we can get a better look at what’s in those white things that lady keeps taking off and putting on him.”
Alice sighed and laid her head on the carpet. “Do what you want Crazypants. I’m just gonna lay right here until the siege is over and everyone comes to their senses again and remembers who’s really in charge of this house. And that’d be moi.”
Alice took one more look at Liam. She had to admit; for an alien, he was pretty darned cute.