The Daryl Chronicles: Episode 1
For years the neighbors watched as the house across the street changed. It once was like every other house on the block manufactured in the 1960s with mediocrity. The trees and other vegetation had matured over time giving the street a pleasant aura amongst its uninspired homes. But Daryl’s house was different. From the outside it looked as if a mad scientist had barfed on the lawn. There were blinking lights, solar panels, huge vegetable gardens that were left to rot in the fall, and a Koi pound that provides ample fishing for the raccoons. But what’s the story behind all of this strangeness? Well, let’s find out…
Spring had sprung in Eugene Oregon; the sweet smell of rhododendrons filled the air, and the sun showed bright through Daryl’s bedroom window. Not a cloud in the sky. The timer on the coffee pot hit 7AM and the beans could be heard whirling as they were ground into the consistency meant for brewing coffee. The smell of the brown nectar wafted through the room overpowering the smell of spring. The hissing of steam through the fresh grounds reminded Daryl of hikes he had once taken with his father through the hot springs as a child, and the comforting smell of sulfur. Daryl had to grind his own beans; they didn’t exactly sell his blend in big cans at the big box bargain store. He grew his exotic beans out back in a small greenhouse he had built.
He stretched a big stretch as he turned and placed his feet on the cool wooden floor. There were morning itches that demanded scratching as he watched without concern a hobo spider running across the planks. If he hadn’t been trying to wake up he would have helped it outside to be with its friends. He continued to scratch through his burrito stained T-shirt as he started coming to his feet. As he stumbled barefoot down to the kitchen to get a cup of his brew he tripped over Chester his black and white three legged cat, and landed on his face.
“Chester! Can you please find a new place to lie around, I nearly broke my neck stepping on you!”
Chester, still sitting in the meatloaf position was unscathed by the little accident. He looked up at Daryl, gave him a distasteful look, and then trotted through the cat door. Daryl shook his head then fumbled through the cupboard. “That’s where you were!” He exclaimed after finding his favorite mug, it had been tucked away in the back and was hard to reach. Neglecting to wash dishes for days had left his cupboard mostly empty and this was the last mug on the shelf. As he poured his brew into the cup the smell hit his nose and made him smile. He watched the steam swirl into the air and then noticed two crows chasing a gray squirrel in the experiment he called his yard. “Fascinating creatures” he thought to himself while filling in the empty space in his drink with sugar.
“SLURP! Ah, that’s the way I like it. Oh baby, oh baby.” He said while embracing the cup’s warmth with both hands. He was reminded of a souvenir stand in Roswell New Mexico and the unusual mug he now held. He studied the picture of an alien printed on the side, a cartoonish fellow with big eyes and completely green. The green alien was next to a flying saucer that looked like it could have come from a 1950s Sci-Fi movie. He also purchased an Alien Abduction lamp that same day. It also depicted a flying saucer, floating above a field sucking up a cow with its tractor beam. It always made him happy when he turned on the light with its cheesy “Whirrr whirrrr”, and mooing cow sounds.
He stared out the front three paned window admiring his yard. “The vegetable garden would be glorious this year” he thought to himself. He was a meat and sugar man but the garden made Daryl feel like he fit right in, like he was just one of the neighbors, just a normal Joe.
A normal morning for Daryl indeed, he had a hot sugary drink, and anticipation for his day. But Daryl wasn’t the only ones stirring this morning, across the street Daryl’s neighbors were up. Ben and Dirk met as they were getting into their cars for their morning commute to work.
Ben was opening the door of his white Toyota Tundra “Hey Dirk! Good morning!”
“Good morning Ben!” Dirk was fumbling with some bags and his keys hit the pavement as he tried to open the door of his car.
“Hey have you heard that beeping sound coming from Daryl’s yard this morning?” Dirk asked.
“Oh, you mean on the other side of the berm? Yeah I think so. I think his battery that’s attached to that panel is going dead or something, it’s a pain in my brain.”
“You know Dirk there’s something seriously wrong with Daryl, what a friggin weirdo. What’s up with those goofy blinking lights?”
“I don’t know, his yard does sort of look like something out of a twisted nightmare. He needs to go see a shrink and get some little pink pills for his insanity.”
Ben had just slurped out of his travel mug and snorted coffee through his nose. “Hehe, yeah I know what you mean. Well he seems harmless enough, I suppose we could have had done a lot worse for a neighbor. You have a good day man.”
“Yeah, you too, I’ll talk to you later.”
Daryl’s neighbors were off to work, to their mundane, boring day jobs. But nothing about Daryl was mundane, and Daryl loved his work.
A few jobs were lined up for today; mending a fence, changing a hot water heater, and clearing out some blackberry brambles. Daryl hated working with blackberries. No matter what he did to protect himself he was screwed, because the damn things would make him bleed no matter what. He thought about wearing a suit of armor or maybe some chain mail, but he figured he would sweat to death wearing something like that, and a suit of armor would make using his MP3 player impossible.
He had a small problem and he had to put all of his work off for now. The branches of the surrounding trees needed to be trimmed right away, and there was no time to spare.
As he pulled out the big ladders and started sawing, the sound of his electric chain saw whizzing through branches could be heard blocks away. He had to keep whipping the cord out of the way as he worked but that didn’t seem to bother him, Daryl was a man who likes his electricity. The branches that he cut fell to the ground in jumbled piles, and it took hours of whizzing to get the trees the way he liked. The trees looked odd with their lower branches missing fifteen feet up from the ground, but it solved his immediate problem, he was a happy man.
After trimming the branches, he needed to dispose of them somehow. He had one clear solution, wood chippers. He fired up all three that he had in various places in his yard. Daryl didn’t have any electric wood chippers so the constant running of the annoying gas powered motors filled the air. The irritating sound of branches being fed in and chewed up grated on the nerves of anyone within earshot, and the occasional whiff of exhaust only added to the unpleasant experience.
One would have thought that would have been enough to get the neighborhood grabbing their torches and pitchforks, but the cherry on top of the experience was Daryl singing a song that rang across the neighborhood. “A chipping I a-go, a chipping I a-go, Hi Ho the Merry O a chipping I a-go.”
Daryl was busy running the wood chippers when his attention was drawn away by his beeping iPod.
To be continued…
Tags: alien, Dan LaFollette, Daryl, Daryl Chronicles, neighbor, Oregon, sci-fi, space