Wednesday, September 7, 2011

haboob {another creepy tail}

By dani harris

It was easy to slip across the border from Mexico into Arizona and a haboob was the perfect cover to get into the city undetected. The massive dust storms covered the valley at least once or twice every summer during the monsoon season. One news helicopter photographer caught a few seconds of the two lights moving in at the front edge of the mile-high wall of dust, but it was explained away as airplanes skirting the storm to land at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. People only see what they want to… especially those with neophobia. In today’s political climate, that was just about everybody. Arrangements had been made the week before via email offering a remunerative deal that a local street gang couldn’t refuse. It was just enough to cover what they could make in a month selling weed ~ any more would have made them suspicious. a small bag full of diamonds would be left at the landing site.

The two space ships set down unnoticed in the burnt-out block of South Phoenix where the drug gang had chased off all the addicts and homeless people. By then, everyone who could be was inside anyway. The haboob was an immense sand blaster made by nature with hurricane-force winds. Anybody unlucky enough to be caught unawares was stuck on the side of a road somewhere praying that their car wouldn’t be carried away like Dorothy’s house in the Wizard of Oz.

Ramps came down from both landing craft letting out a strange neon-orange glow. The eight-legged creatures made their way into the rubbish-filled back yard of an abandoned house. A modulated signal beyond human hearing was being broadcast. The haboob would also mask detection by any of the humans’ equipment designed to pick up sounds in that range. In less than a minute a strange scurrying noise could be heard. It seemed to get louder by the second. The creatures from the space ships opened the doors at one end of each of the cases they carried in their two front claws, laying them gently on the ground. In under ten minutes, the containers were being filled by scorpions of every size scrambling over one another to get into the large cases. The {illegal} aliens closed the containers and made their way back into their ships, cooing and clicking to calm their babies within. they had more than enough nurseries onboard the mother ship to allow their descendants plenty of room. All of the subterfuge had been unnecessary when they had made the last trip one hundred years ago. It had been quite a surprise to discover that the city had grown so quickly, invading their hatching grounds. The next brood would have to be laid on a deserted planet in another solar system.

The ramps pulled up and the two ships launched back into the haboob just before the tail end of the dust cloud passed through the area. When they reached South Mountain, the ships suddenly shot straight out of Earth’s atmosphere in the blink of an eye. if there had been any eyes looking.

Video footage of the haboobs always made the network news shows the next day. Only one local station aired a thirty-second segment the following week to report the abrupt disappearance of scorpions in South Phoenix. The residents themselves didn’t question it. They were just grateful to have the scorpions gone since no one in that area could afford an exterminator.

Copyright ©2011 dani harris. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce in any form, including electronic, without the author’s express permission.


This story was originally published on my heart's love songs site on August 8, 2011.


If you like this story, check out dani’s other stories, published on this site: Bugged, Camellia and guardian angel {sorta}.



dani {not a boy} began writing poetry in January 2010, opened her blog my heart's love songs in February 2010 and is now venturing into prose, though terrified. It seems her terror manifests itself in much of the prose, becoming a short tale with an element of horror or fantasy. Despite her blog's title, Dani does not write only haiku. Her sensual poetry is never too explicit whatever the length.


  1. thank you so much for posting my story, Steve! this was especially fun to write because i was able to use actual places that i'm familiar with.

  2. Writing about places personal to oneself often makes the aforementioned pieces more satisfying. =)