The sun cast the mansion in an angry crimson light. The wooden steps creaked under the three women’s feet as they approached the door.
“Maybe we should leave!” whispered one of them. Her soccer-Mom haircut bobbed like a 1920s flapper.
“We’ve come too far to turn back now!” said Mary, the bravest of the bunch. “We need answers!” She banged the brass knocker thrice.
“Yes…?” croaked a drawling voice from the intercom next to the door.
“W-We’re here to see Dr. Farrow…”
“It is I, Dr. Farrow.”
“We need your help. We hear you’re investigating… uh… b-body snatching.”
“If you’ve come to ridicule me as well, I can assure you my heart has no room left for shame. Please leave.”
“We need your help! We all know someone who’s…changed.”
Silence. Minutes passed. The women nearly gave up when the door creaked open. There stood a man in a bloody laboratory coat and goggles, wide bloodshot eyes, and wavy white hair that appeared to be singed at the edges.
He led them down a hallway that opened into rooms with things that looked like body parts floating in glowing formaldehyde jars, smells of weird chemicals, and long menacing silver instruments.
He led them to the deepest chamber in the house, where two mice in separate cages each wore metal headgear with wires that led to a whirring mechanical box between them.
He picked up a notebook and pen from the table and sat down. “You know someone who’s exhibiting odd behavior?”
“Not themselves? Acting…different?”
“As though someone has… snatched their minds?”
“Tell me everything.”
“I’ll go first,” started Mary. “It’s my husband. He’s…changed.” The scientist’s eyes widened. “He used to be the kind of man who loved buying me flowers, writing love notes, surprising me with romantic dinners.” Her voice quivered. “But sometime five years ago, right around the time we got married, something… happened. He no longer does any of those things. At all. He spends every day watching golf and drinking Heineken ‘til he passes out! Something’s… got him! It’s like it looks like Jeffrey, but somehow it’s not.”
The scientist blinked. Before he could respond the woman with the bob-cut spoke up.
“Same with my husband,” she spoke slowly. “Right around the time we got married he changed physically.”
The scientist perked up.
“His smell, his girth, his body hairs all began to grow. Like some kind of creature. Some kind of …alien creature.” Her eyes filled with tears.
The third woman piped up. “My husband as well. When we dated he would never pass gas in front of me or watch pornographic tapes. Now that’s all he does!” She choked up and the other women put their arms around her, consolingly. “He’s done a complete 180!”
“Nothing else makes sense! Their personalities have completely flipped!”
“Golf and beer have taken over their minds!”
“It’s almost like some kind of lazy, piggish alien race has taken over their minds.”
“Maybe they’re trying to destroy the human race by lowering all men’s sex drives!”
“That must be why it only targets married men!”
The scientist with blood smeared across his smock stared at them. “Are you out of your minds? Don’t any of you watch family sitcoms?”
The women shook their heads.
“Stand up specials?”
They shook their heads.
“Arthur Miller plays? The Madea movies? No?” He sighed. “Your husbands’ minds have been taken over-”
“-before you were married. By testosterone. Now that you’ve sealed the deal their true selves are coming out.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry. I know that’s much harder to hear than an alien invasion.”
Mary’s eyes slanted. “Are you married, Dr. Farrow?”
“Well, yes, but-” The women took a step back from him.
“They’ve gotten to you, too!” She yanked him by the collar. “What kind of sick species are you? What do you want? Give us back our husbands! Give us back our sex lives!” The scientist wrestled himself from her grip. “Come on ladies. We’ll have to figure this by ourselves.”
“I know!” said one of them as they walked out. “We’ll confuse the aliens! We’ll spend weeks, months, years if we have to, sending mixed passive aggressive signals and inviting over our mothers constantly to disorient them!”
“We’ll withhold sex so the aliens can’t procreate!”
“Let’s destroy them!”
They closed the front door behind them. The scientist standing next to a floating eyeball in a jar shuddered.