Winter whipped through my garden and left only skeletons in its wake. This disturbed the colony of of sheepish garden squid that had sought refuge in the tall zinnias. Only so very rarely had I ever caught a glimpse of those elusive creatures, and usually it was only a tip of a tentacle sliding behind the dense lower growth of the garden. Recently, this all changed and I became a believer on the last full moon.
That evening as I grappled with the garbage can, I heard a rustling from the stiff and mostly frozen corpses that I once called echinacea, giant dahlias, and zinnias. More rabbits making their winter burrows in the aftermath of my garden I just figured. When all of a sudden there was a flash of pink light in the sky directly over the moon. As I looked up I could make out the faintest linear shape coming into slight pinkish focus and layering over the bright full moon. It looked to be petals unfurling from a central point and stretching out and across the illuminated night sky only to dip downward towards my frozen patch of western Pennsylvania. And that's when I saw them, tentacles reaching to meet the crisp black air currents coming from seemingly everywhere. There were two or three already rising from behind the large winter structure that was my green and yellow stripped zebra grass and from the corner of my eye I saw a larger one ascending into the breeze. Several more escaped my mountainous rhododendron and the last one deftly maneuvered through the barbs of the roses. They floated upwards and followed the path that the strange pinkish petals seemed to be making in the sky. Their long bodies moved like kites jerking on a string in a strong breeze. They were awkward in the air but still moved with direction and purpose. Tentacles touched the rooftops and flapped like streamers moving steadily upwards. Within a minute it was over and all traces of this strange happening were gone. I debated about telling my wife about the encounter because she would think that I am doing more than just taking the garbage out.
I knocked the snow from my boots and tossed them in the corner of the mudroom as I came in the house. Still bewildered from what I had just witnessed, I walked through the kitchen and into the large windowed nook on the back of my dining room to once again stare blankly up into the full moon sky. There my five year old daughter stood with her eye still affixed to the lens of her new telescope that Santa had brought for Christmas. Without looking up she gave me a thumbs up sign and said, "Don't worry Dad they'll be back".