Rowena pulled the curtain back and stared into the darkness. The silence was so dense she could hear her pulse pounding through her body. Everything outside was threatening since the dog disappeared. She didn’t mind that her husband ran away because she didn’t love him anymore. She was okay with living so far from town as long as her canine alarm system warned her someone or something was in the yard. Now, the mutants could sneak up and break in.
When they started genetically altering plants, no one expected them to become sentient. Now, they not only thought for themselves, but they could also uproot themself and relocate. Due to the drought, many of them were inhabiting riverbanks and streams as well as ponds and lakes. They were so thick humans couldn’t access waterways for pleasure or fishing. The reason Rowena was scared was that she had over a ton of fertilizer in her shed. The mutants loved to drink it like humans did whiskey. So far, she’d been able to burn them with her propane torch and chase them away but the tank was getting low and their attacks were increasingly bold. There were times she thought about letting them have it and selling the farm, then move into the city, but this was not only her childhood home, NASA was paying top dollar for fertilizer to grow normal food on Mars. These days plants refused to be eaten so everyone was eating synthetic food. NASA felt they could finance deep space explorations by selling vegetables to Earth.
After a long vigil through darkness, she made coffee, then carried a steaming mug onto the porch, planning to check on the shed. What she saw made her drop the mug and stare with her mouth agape. The shed was missing. Completely gone. Vanished. Only a hole in the ground remained. There were no tracks or drag marks to indicate who took it or which direction they went. Sobbing, plagued by concern over destitution from the loss of her only commodity, she went inside and called the police.
The policeman was baffled as he walked the property. He’d never seen anything like it. “Were there any strange lights?” He asked.
Rowena blew her nose on a tissue and said, “no. I stood at that window all night with my torch ready, but nothing moved.”
Meanwhile, on a cargo ship bound for Andromadea, a planet in a binary-system light-years away, the captain was raising a toast to celebrate their new acquisition. “ I give you Farrah Fawcett 11009 whose tractor beam allowed us to wrest precious libation away from those heathen plants on that tawdry planet we visited recently. Her power assist technology allowed us to access what humans call fertilizer without entering their planetary defense systems’ range.” There was a sound of twigs and branches rubbing together as a slender willow-like woman with hair the color of autumn leaves stepped forward and bowed.
Raising a cup, she said, “Go easy on this stuff. It’s undiluted. By watering it down and redistilling it we should have enough to keep us smiling till we can replant ourselves in Andromadea’s sweet soil. Three cheers to whomever hoarded it.” The only sound in the room for quite some time was lips smacking together as the good stuff went down smooth as silk.