"Stupid alien! Stupid ugly alien!" Tommy was flailing his bat – the good wooden one he'd begged and begged for last Christmas – and hitting something on the ground. Darlene sighed.
"Tommy! Stop that; you'll ruin your toys. And come in. It's almost dark. Time to wash up and set the table."
"But Mommm! I'm killing aliens!"
"You can do that later. Dinner is in ten minutes. March, mister."
Tommy groaned and trudged inside, dragging his bat on the ground. Behind him, the crumpled helmet gleamed metallically as one of three slender limbs reached quiveringly upwards, then fell again, still and silent.