The Hand – Chapter 3

Alice goes home. She is surprised that it is already evening. She hopes that Mac isn’t angry that she spent a long time there.

She enters the house and feels relief – Mac isn’t here. She pets Dobie for a while, then she starts making dinner.

Later, Alice and her husband are eating dinner. Alice tries to tell him about the space ship, but he doesn’t listen. He is silent and he reads a magazine at the dinner table. It is a magazine about farm tools. He turns the page, still not speaking.

Alice sighs and continues eating silently. As always, she was sitting next to her big husband and eating dinner without speaking. Why does he love his farm work so much? Alice wonders. He seems to hate people.

Mac finishes his dinner and simply stands up. He puts on his coat and goes outside. In a few minutes, Alice hears the car starting. She knows that he will be away all evening, and she will be lonely again. Mac will come home late at night and he will smell like alcohol.

She knows that alcohol is Mac’s escape. That’s alright… but Alice doesn’t have any escape. She can’t enjoy drinking at the bar and she can’t spend time with her friends.

She decides to write. She sits down in Mac’s big chair. She starts writing a letter to her mother who lives in Canada. Suddenly, she hears Dobie’s excited bark.

She puts on a sweater and turns on the front light. She looks out the window. Dobie is in the middle of the yard. He is barking at something. Alice can’t see it clearly, so she goes outside.

“Dobie,” she calls. “What is it?”

The dog cries and moves around nervously. He looks at her, then looks at the darkness. There is something next to the barn. Alice squints her eyes and she sees a shape. The shape is coming closer.

Alice steps back and Dobie starts barking loudly.

“Quiet, Dobie,” she says. She grabs Dobie’s collar and holds it tightly. She holds the dog close to her leg.

She looks at the shape. It is closer now. She can see that it is a man – or… a man’s shape. She checks and sees two hands (“Thank God!”).

Now she can see the figure clearly.

It has a head, a neck, shoulders and legs. But the head is a lot larger than a human’s. There is no hair on the head. Its eyes are small, its nose is long, and the mouth is a long slash across the face. The neck is short, the shoulders are thin, and the legs and arms are too long.

She sees that each hand has six fingers. It is wearing long clothes, like a robe. It is wearing shoes that are big. Alice thinks the shoes look funny because the legs are so thin. She almost laughs, but she holds back.

The creature speaks. “Good evening, Alice,” it says in a pleasant voice. The voice almost sounds like a whistle. Alice wonders. How can the alien speak so well? How does it know her name?

“I come from the crashed ship. You know about it, of course. You were there this afternoon.”

Alice wants to ask… How does he know that? But, the alien starts speaking again.

“We know that the hand is here. It belongs to one of our crew. This morning, we flew too quickly, and our ship crashed. We were lucky to survive. But, one of us fell out of the ship, and he fell very hard. His hand was ripped off. Before we could look for the hand, your dog came. He took the hand.”

Alice stands, listening to the story. The November night air is cold, and she feels the chill through her sweater. Her legs feel cold, too. Dobie moves nervously next to her, but she does not let go of his collar.

“We need that hand, Alice. Our member is crying because of his lost hand. He needs to get it back. If we return the hand soon, our doctors can heal him. He will be as good as new. So, please be kind and return the hand to me, now.”

The eyes, although small, seem kind. The alien stands silently. Alice feels compassion for the alien. She wants to help it.

“Mac – my husband – has it,” Alice says. “I saw Dobie with it and I put it under a bucket. When Mac saw it, he said he’d take care of it.”

She feels embarrassed. Does the story make sense? She hopes the alien understands.

“Do you know where it is?”

Alice shakes her head. “I don’t know where Mac put it.”

“Please find it for me. I’ll wait.”


Published by Judy Shinohara

Hello! I’m Judy, living in Osaka! I love teaching English to my students. In my free time, I enjoy simple gardening, reading and writing, art, and watching Netflix.

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