Wheels crunched against gravel as the car rolled to an abrupt stop. Brett and I exchanged glances but neither of us said a word. He slammed the car into park and leaned back in the seat.
“Now what?” I whispered.
What was there to say? I concentrated on the wisps of fog curling in the light of the high beams. In the darkness surrounding us, I couldn’t see anything else. An almost eerie silence fell over us.
Brett cursed under his breath. “I left my phone at Kara’s house.”
My heart thundered in my chest and I fought to control the rise and fall of my breathing. I didn’t want to think about what happened at Kara’s house and I’m pretty sure Brett didn’t want to either. We had no way to call for help and now the car had stalled.
“We should walk,” I said.
“Are you crazy? With that… thing out there?”
“Well, we can’t stay here.”
Brett sat forward and started playing with the key in the ignition while I said a silent prayer the car would roar back to life. Maybe this once luck would be on our side?
“It’s no use,” he said. He punched the steering wheel and muttered a string of expletives under his breath. In the eerie glow of light, I could see the perspiration bead along his forehead even though it was so cold I could see my own breath.
“We can’t stay here.”
He looked at me. The raspy sound of his breathing filled my ears while I waited for his response and wondered if the bleeding had stopped.
“Fine,” he said at last, “We’ll walk.”
He didn’t wait for me before killing the headlights and opening the door and stepping out. For a moment, I couldn’t move. I was frozen between knowing we had no other choice and wishing I could stay hidden in the darkness. As I stepped out of the car, I glanced behind me, trying to get some sense of what lay beyond. Our surroundings were beginning to take the forms as my eyes adjusted to the night. The fog hung in the trees and reflected the shimmering moonlight. Any other night I might have thought it was pretty, romantic even.
Tonight, I couldn’t think of anything at all except those eyes staring back at me and the way Kara had screamed.
“I think there is a house not too far from here,” I said, hoping we were on the road I thought we were. Brett grunted in response and began moving forward. I followed, not wanting to be left behind, but my legs felt as though I trudged through molasses.
“What was that thing?” I asked. I didn’t expect him to have any answers but I could hardly stand the silence that had fallen between us either. When I’d agreed to go on a date with Brett Parker, this wasn’t exactly what I’d had in mind. I didn’t know him well enough to guess the thoughts that occupied his mind but I was pretty sure he felt as scared as I did.
“I don’t know,” he muttered.
I tried to take his hand but he quickly pulled away.
“What happened to Kara wasn’t my fault,” I said.
“How could it be?”
I kicked at the stones as we walked and tried to think of something to say. If we got out of this alive, there wouldn’t be a second date. Of that much, I was certain. Just then I caught sight of a glimmer of light in the distance. I squinted, trying to determine if it was the old farm house I’d remembered. I didn’t think anyone lived there. I could tell Brett saw it too because his pace picked up. He was moving so fast now I had to sprint to keep up with him.
“Brett, wait, what if it something is there?”
This thought slowed him down a little, but not enough. By the time we’d reached the bend in the road, we could tell the light hadn’t come from a house. I put my hands over my mouth to keep from screaming. Brett tried to grab my arm but seemed to think better of it. Instead, he put distance between him and that thing while I stood there with wide eyes trying to take in the small spacecraft partly buried in the corn field.
I rubbed my eyes slowly, trying to clear my vision. It couldn’t be real. I heard Brett urging me to get away from it but my feet were already carrying me forward. When I was close enough, I put out my hand to touch the smooth surface and ran my fingers gently along the side. To my surprise, the craft rumbled to life and where I hadn’t anticipated a door, the sides gave way and parted like the automatic doors at Walmart. Goosebumps traveled up the length of my arm and for a moment I couldn’t catch my breath. I stepped inside.
There was no doubt in my mind I’d just boarded an alien spacecraft. After all, I’d seen one of the creatures with my own eyes not more than hour ago at Kara’s party. That alone should have been enough to stop me from doing entering the ship, but somehow my curiosity overtook my better senses. I needed to see it, even if it was likely the last thing I would ever do.
A sound ahead made me halt and rethink my crazy decision. I wasn’t alone. I almost turned to run but I couldn’t. I’d come this far and I was pretty sure I’d heard the sound of the doors closing behind me as I moved along the quiet tunnel toward the belly of the ship. It was too late for second thoughts.
The alien rounded the bend and stopped. I wasn’t sure which of us was more afraid but I could tell he hadn’t been expecting to see me. I braced myself for his attack but it didn’t come. Slowly, he lowered a clipboard he was holding and I realized in that moment he could have almost been mistaken for any human aside from an elongated forehead, larger eyes, and a greenish tint to his skin. I cleared my throat, trying to form words, to make excuses for my trespassing. It felt like forever that we stood there awkwardly staring at one another.
“My name is Alice,” I said at last.
There wasn’t something about him that didn’t seem nearly as threatening as it had when his friend crashed our party. I moved closer and put out my hand to touch his outstretched fingertips and a spark of electricity shot through me.
“Welcome home, Alice. We have missed you.”
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!
Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge by clicking HERE.