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Swapped (Flash Fiction)

Original Flash Fiction created for the S'More Stories Podcast.
To listen to it read by me, click here.

Prompt: Late Night Taco Bell Run Gone Wrong
Word Count: 1,129
Genre: Comedy | Sci-Fi (if you squint but also if you read lol)

Designed by Brittnee

Instead of an 8 a.m. alarm that usually blasted Wake Up by Awolnation, Giovanni Moore woke up to an equally tiresome alarm; the sound of their younger brother’s panicked whispers. 

Gio! Gigi, I think dad got abducted by aliens.” 

Still bathed in darkness, Gio realized that Saturday had yet to come. And by the fog clouding his thoughts, either the edible or the late night Taco Bell run had been a bad idea. One was supposed to cure the other, but both felt like they were working against the eldest sibling. 

It took a second for him to get his bearings, remember speech and how his body functioned, but eventually his hand rested like an anchor over his drifting mind. “Choose your next words wisely, Reginald.” Gio relished in the momentary silence that followed, but as was tradition when having a younger sibling, the eldest was never free. 

“Gio I swear on my signed Samurai Jack poster that I am both lucid and sane right now.” 

The eldest sibling opened his eyes and focused. Really focused. “...Well shit, Reggie.” More of that fog cleared. “Alright. We talkin’ hostile takeover or espionage?” 

“Inconclusive but, suspicious.” 

“Fine... You can sleep in here. We’ll investigate at dawn.” 

If there was an alien invasion happening, it could definitely wait til morning.

…And then morning came. 

Morning came and Giovanni, for the first time in Reggie’s fourteen years of life, believed that the boy who cried wolf might have actually seen one - or, aliens rather. The sibling duo stared, youngest with mouth agape, as the man they assumed was their father made breakfast. A man that had never cooked a day in his life, making a full spread with the cheeriest expression. 

“It’s poison, right?” Reggie whispered as he inched closer to the table. 

“It’s gotta be.” Gio whispered right back.

“Is he trying to fatten us up? Is he gonna eat us!?” 

“Well. You’re a fourteen year old soccer player. You probably taste as bad as you smell. Me on the other hand, I might need to watch out.” 

Their ‘dad’ realized they were in the room and flashed them a smile. Gio almost swore he saw fangs, but the smile itself was much more unnerving. It felt like observing a wild animal settling into an unnatural habitat. A penguin in the tropics. Or an elephant in the city. 

Pancakes were expertly flipped, hash browns were crisped a little too perfectly, eggs scrambled; there was even the smell of coffee filling the room. The man they knew only touched the kitchen for beers and complaints about the lack thereof. The siblings had a running bet that he didn’t even know where the plates were. But here he was now, so diligently making breakfast, and humming away in delight. 

“I can feel you guys burning a hole through the back of my skull.” The siblings froze like deer in headlights. For a moment, as the man turned around, Gio could have sworn his eyes reflected against the morning light. “Your mom will be down in a second. Gio, do you mind-” Reggie gasped and the man froze. “What’s wrong??” 

“The… last time I asked you to call me Gio you… had a fit.”  

The siblings’ dual suspicion skyrocketed as the man flashed surprised panic. “I, uh, don’t… recall.” 

“You’ve never cooked before… like, ever.” Reggie chimed in. 

The man started to sweat. “I… felt like doing something different?” He cleared his throat. “Sometimes… people change.” 

“Listen. I’m gonna level with you here.” Gio rubbed their temple and pointed at the man. “Reggie thinks you were switched out with an alien last night and the more you talk the more I don’t believe you’re Calvin Moore.” The sound of bacon popping was an applause in the otherwise deafening silence. Gio continued. “Personally, if you’re going to keep this up, have at it. Stick around. You’re already leagues better. The bar was low.”

“You can’t eat us though!” 

‘Calvin’ scoffed. “Eat you?? I’m not here to-” He quickly realized his mistake. “Okay look. You weren’t supposed to remember anything about what happened last night. I specifically put something in your food so you wouldn’t remember.” 

The siblings’ surprise was as bright as the rising sun. “Reggie’s… been anti-fast food for two days now. He’s got championships coming up… Damn, can't believe I got poisoned by an alien and betrayed by Taco Bell in one night.” 

“I wasn’t trying to poison you. I just- Okay. My name is U’Caell Lirot and I’m from planet Phiri-2Z5. I was a revolutionary back home and had to escape to stay alive. I’m just trying to lay as low as possible until-” 

Gio held a hand up. Reggie looked as if he’d foam at the mouth with stars in his eyes. “Alright, you’re laying a lot on us right now. Frankly, it’s too early in the morning and I haven’t even had breakfast.”

“Y-You’re not scared?? Or going to freak out? Or call, I dunno, an authority??” 

“You’re talking to a fourteen year old boy and a biochemistry major. Plus, getting breakfast on a Saturday is pretty cool. Reggie?” 

“Can we see what your alien form looks like!?” 

“See? Obvious excitement.” Gio grabbed a plate. “We can make a deal. We won’t say anything about the wild alien shenanigans if you keep saving face and being our dad.” 


He rolled his eyes at Reggie’s whining and handed his younger brother the plate. “And you have to show us all your cool alien things.” 

“I can’t. That would be against-!” The sound of Mother Moore’s Saturday morning karaoke silenced all three of them as a reminder that they weren’t alone - in more ways than one. U’Caell whispered instead. “That would be against a lot of protocols.”

“Uh huh. And do you remember that our mother planned a family trip this weekend?” Gio nibbled on bacon and watched U’Caell’s resolve crumble into dust. 

“I… may have scrambled some of the important information during data transfer.” 

“Oh, you didn’t. Our dad just had terrible memory. So? Do we have a deal?”

They shook hands just as Mother Moore danced her way down the steps and into the kitchen, belting Don’t Wait by Maipei. “Ooh? What’s the occasion? What’s the secret?” 

Smooth as a child used to lying to a parent, Reggie chirped up. “Gigi said he’d go on the trip if he could borrow dad’s car tomorrow!”

“Oh lovely! I’ll have both my boys on the family trip this weekend! I can’t wait!” 

The three side eyed each other, knowing there’d be shenanigans consisting of keeping her oblivious and happy. There was… a lot to unpack about their dad getting abducted by aliens… but that could at least wait until after breakfast. 


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