Friday, May 31, 2019

What They Leave Behind

I'd already published this story on Wattpad and couldn't send out for a sub.  (My long forgotten Watpadd account) 

So I share here, it's a little early, and slightly over the 1K mark. The beginning was taken from a true life event. Of missing time and a head wound from when I was five years old living on an Air Force Base in Caribou, Maine. I remember that day very clearly. 







   What They Leave Behind   








I heard a helicopter. The leaves soaked with sunshine made them translucent, but I couldn’t see anything. A clear summer day, and I was playing with friends near the Air Force base. Helicopters certainly weren’t unusual. 
Helicopters and sunlight, those were my only recollection. When I came out from under the trees a friend shouted, “What happened to your head?”
Sure enough, I found a wet, warm spot, and had a look. It was blood. Definitely blood. My head didn’t hurt and I had no idea what happened. I know now, the head can bleed profusely, but I was only ten years old.
I walked home and my mother approached, fast and frightened, asking what happened.
“That’s probably when it started.” I turned to Doctor Murphy. “ . . . the missing time. Isn’t that what they say?”
“Who?”
“The Abducted. They always mention missing time, and ...”
I stopped. I wasn’t sure what they said. I might have heard Dillon say something once. Dillon’s kept my head straight, through all this.
“What about the other time, with Sadie?” he asked.
“That’s why I’m here.” I settled back. I much preferred the times when I couldn’t remember anything. This wasn’t going to be fun.
“Sadie and I were walking, out on 9D. It was dark, as you know. It was last Monday just after the sunset. There were lights floating around, orbs or  balls …”
I had to take a breath I couldn’t control the wretched pain in my stomach. The wave machine and my hands were shaking.
I rub my sweaty hands on my pants and re-crossed my legs, stiff from sitting too long. I’d hate to lie down, never know if he’d wiped the couch.
“Just go slow,” the doctor said.
Yes, slow, but the images don’t run in slow motion.
“The darkness was unreal and with the new moon, we could see the stars to infinity. We walked toward the river, and at first our legs slowed, and then our arms wouldn’t move. I looked at Sadie. Her face vibrated, every line and crease. The trees started vibrating and hummed, like maybe they were slowing down too. Or matter was breaking up? It’s hard to put into words. Dillon said that happens.”
Doctor Murphy’s glasses dropped to his nose. “You and Sadie hadn’t been drinking? Or anything?”
What if we’d used drugs? We didn’t, but come on.  It’s a judgment call. He’s calling it. My gaze drifted outside of his home-office window. His daughter played with dolls near the woods. “That’s when we saw it.”
 “Is that when they took her?” he asked, his jowl flexed.
He must love this part and wanted me to say it again. Why I had to go over it, over and over? I nodded. “They said they were watching, and that Sadie had a contract with them.”
“Is that what they said to you?”
“It’s not like we talked, but yeah, they did. Said her family made contact years ago. Why don’t you ask them a few questions? Honestly, I think you really should.”
I couldn’t breathe again, the room spun, and to ground myself, I watched the little girl through the window. Dust particles floated on the beam of sunlight. I wanted to float away with the dust.
“Why do you suppose they didn’t take you?” he asked.
“They said they did, many times. My number wasn’t up, I guess? Not that day, anyway.” I laughed, but it wasn’t funny. My nerves were impossible to tamper down. They were always watching. I screamed for them to release her.
“That was only a week ago.”
“Yes, Kylie and you’re still under investigation for Sadie’s disappearance. I believe you I do. I’ve heard a case or two similar to yours, and yes, there was missing time as well. But to get the police to believe it, and a lawyer, not so easy.”
“Unless she comes back,” I said, hopefully.
 “Yes, if she comes back.”
“They hang around military bases, you know, like the one in Maine, where I used to live as a kid.”
Doctor Murphy stood up. “The officers are here.” He put down his clipboard, and briefly checked on his daughter from the window before leaving to greet the officers, waiting in the other room.
“Time’s up,” said officer Frank.
I was already standing, and he took my arms by force. I didn’t resist. Doctor Murphy winced.
I told them everything I saw. How Sophie split in two: one bubble and one transparent body, a duplicate of herself. Her “earthly” body or what every you want to call it, disappeared without a trace. I’m the only trace. Everything leads to me.
Doctor Murphy said he believed me, but I don’t buy it. I’m escorted, or more accurately, towed to the police car. Head shoved under and in like a deranged killer.
Where’s the body. Just tell us where the body is? I stopped telling them what happened to her body.
Years ago, while listening to the radio, the music changed to a song that answered the question on my mind. It got my attention. The lights flickered in response and I knew they were there. “How long have you been doing this?” I whispered.
The song, Time After Time by Cindy Lauper played, the station was set to a rock-n-roll only broadcast.
“For years?” I asked. “What did you do to me when I was ten years old?”
You are here to help the others. This earthy role is not your own. It’s not good to know too much or you won’t want to stay.
I felt lighter after that, but it only lasted a couple of years. The cooperative feeling dissolved when my dog was killed. I knew it was them. Blood drained from his little terrier body. Why my dog? Never an explanation only cruelty. They were sloppy enough to leave a sticky residue: bioluminescent fluid they leave behind like slugs. There were traces left behind on the radio dial after our “conversation”.
What if the police found bioluminescent residue near the river? Would that create enough doubt? Investigations were done during the day. They never saw it glowing at night? “I need to call my lawyer,” I speak through the wire mesh.
“Yes, at the Station.”
After being shut inside the holding tank, I waited for my parents and the lawyer. I was innocent, and no one believed what really happened. Why were they making me suffer? The bully-aliens didn’t stick around to take the heat. Gonna let the human go down for it?
The bunk was cold and without a blanket to keep warm, I crossed my arms and started to cry. I was lost. Even Dillon couldn’t help me now.
A ball of light floated into the room and bounced about before settling at the foot of the bunk.
“You’re crying,” it was Sadie’s voice.
“Sadie, is that you?”
“Yes, Kylie, I can see you.”
“Are you all right?”
“I’m perfect. But you, I had no idea.”
“What? That you could disappear without a trace and it wouldn’t look suspicious?”
“You’re going to be fine,” she said.
“What are they doing to you?”
“I’m fulfilling my agreement. My parents will come, and you too, Kyle, have a family here. They wait for your “timing”.
“But I already have a family.”
“Here, you have two boys and a daughter. Your daughter plays with mine.”
I sat up; the metal surface pressed against my bones. Was I hallucinating?
The orb grew and I saw Sadie through its sheen like an otherworldly God, and she smiled.
“I have another family?”
“Yes, Kylie, and your dog is here.”
I rubbed my eyes. I rubbed them so much,  I was sure my eyelashes would fall off. “When do I get to see them?” The request was more of a dare.
“Are you ready to leave your parents and this world?”
I glanced around the jail cell.
 “Come Kylie, fall into the orb. It was a little soon, but we decided we couldn’t continue to let you suffer what you didn’t do. I’ll bring you to them.”
The light orb danced and grew larger. Sadie stood there, bright as day, looking much the same, only more beautiful and filled with light. Or bioluminescence?
Footsteps marched down the hall. I heard my mother’s voice. I’d miss my family. But how do I know I don’t miss my other family?
“Come, Kylie, the conduit is closing.”
I stood and leaped into the orb.
The cell door opened.
My father and the guard entered first. They must have seen something because Momma put her hands over her mouth. The guard reached out. Then their heads fixed on the ceiling.
I floated with Sadie inside the orb. I’m not sure they saw me, but then Dad yelled that the light was too bright. Momma began crying and clutching at the air.
I wanted to tell her I’d see her again.

             The End

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