I never thought that a mole people invasion would happen in my lifetime.
They had always been there, waiting. We don’t know why, they just were. And then one day, they broke through the surface. Out of the blue. I had heard stories of it happening to cities far away from ours, but our town was quiet, it was peaceful. When we–my wife and I–heard the news, I cried. Surely this would be a significant change to our lifestyles.
To begin with, one is never to make eye contact with a mole person. It was said that they could invade your mind, make you one of them. And then you would spend the rest of your days digging holes for the Mole Queen. One should black out the windows with newspaper and cardboard. Therefore we were kept in the dark, quite literally, about the goings on of the outside world during that time. All we could do was listen to the weekly newscast on how things were progressing. They had illustrations of what an imagined mole person could look like, though no one could know for sure.
We had prepared, like our neighbors, for this eventuality, but we never thought that we would actually have to use our “in case of mole people” emergency stores. We had joked about it (ha), that mole people invasions weren’t that common and moles weren’t that scary. My wife would point to a mole on her arm, “Am I a mole person? Watch out!” We laughed.
The mayor seemed confident at the beginning. It was a small invasion, easy to remove, they said. So long as they don’t pop up anywhere else they’ll eventually be done away with. The police used a mixture of poison and explosives, sometimes in deterrence, other times with intent to kill.
Our eyes adjusted to the dark. We ate when we felt hungry and scrounged around our piles of food and supplies. We played games at the beginning by candlelight. Near the end of the two weeks I began to pace around the living room, creating a pathway through debris and clothes. At times I felt like I was becoming a mole. I felt nauseous more days than not.
I would lay awake at night, early in the invasion, listening for any sounds that would update me on the state of the world. I would imagine the screams of moles, distant dynamite exploding underground, but nothing ever came close enough to make a difference. I was always left wondering what would happen tomorrow. What if the mole people stormed the mayor’s office? What if they replaced our doctors, our police, our teachers with mole versions? Could we ever really feel safe again?
The mayor gave us a timeline of two weeks. That’s all it would take for this to blow over. Stay inside, hunker down, keep your windows blacked out.
The mayor’s two week prediction became ten weeks. We’re close, he said. We’ve isolated their hiding hole. It’s just a matter of time.
And so we waited while the police fought the moles and the doctors and nurses tended to the wounded, we waited and prayed.
One day, it was just over. The mayor announced that the moles had been fought back successfully. He reminded us to restock on emergency mole supplies. You never know when they’ll return. They’ll always be just under the surface. Somewhere. They could reappear in another town, could even relapse here if we weren’t careful. But of course there’s nothing you can do.
We ripped off the cardboard from our windows. We saw the bright sunshine upon our town once more. There were holes polka dotted down our street either from the moles or the dynamite. It didn’t matter.
There were already people filling the holes back in with piles of gravel and dirt.
I looked at my wife, smiling in the sun. She was wan. We both were.
“Watch out,” she said. “I think the mole on my arm got bigger!” She leapt at me in an embrace.
rights wrongs. Mickey wrongs rites. Mickey writes words, sometimes wrong words but he tries to get it write.