Over Christmas my brother told me about a man who claims to be a time traveler. According to him, we are going to meet real life aliens … this month. Crazy, right? And maybe just a tad terrifying if you’re like me and aliens have been a source of anxiety since you were a kid.
Welcome to week two of the blog challenge. This week we’re taking a step back (okay, maybe a few steps back) into childhood in order to reminisce.
Ah, the fun of summer nights sat around the crackling campfire. It was always one of my favorite ways to pass the time. My family was big on camping regularly and every once in a while, if my parents needed a weekend away from us (shocking), my brother and I would spend a weekend at the campground with my grandparents. I remember one particular star-filled evening as Pap Pap enjoyed a beer and the rest of us made mountain pies when I looked up into the sky and wondered “What if?” I was maybe 11 at the time and the question had been weighing on my mind a lot and was the source of many nightmares. Sitting out under the open sky, admittedly, invoked a sense of anxiety. We were having fun… but weren’t we vulnerable? I’d heard too many horrific tales of alien abduction to want to take my chances.
I mentioned my concerns to Grandma and Pap Pap. Pap Pap laughed, leaned back in his chair and said to me, “If aliens come down, I’ll just offer them a beer.”
Fair enough, I thought. Why should any of us be so afraid of the unknown? Maybe this alien thing wasn’t all about kidnapping, probing, and leaving mysterious crop circle messages in our corn fields?
During another camping trip, this time with my parents, I came across a girl slightly younger than I was at the time. She claimed to be from another planet. (What kid doesn’t at some point though, right?) I didn’t believe her but she intrigued me so we played together anyway. She decided she liked me and by the end of the day, she decided to initiate me into her ‘world’. I shrugged and figured why not? I lay against a large boulder while she muttered gibberish and pressed stones into my skin in order to turn me into whatever she claimed to be. I never truly believed I was different after her initiation but looking back, I can’t help but wonder if this explains a lot. (ha)
My brother and I once insisted we saw spaceships flying between the trees behind our house and disappearing underground. I grew up in an area that had at one time been used for strip mining coal. Behind our house was a field that had mostly overgrown except for patches of thick, black coal dust where nothing grew. (Incidentally, for a kid, coal dust makes a great substitute for a sandbox. Trust me kids, your parents won’t agree!)
We watched the alien spacecraft disappear into what we assumed was a tunnel network underground – doing who knows what – and couldn’t believe that no one else witnessed this amazing event! Keeping an eye on things kept us out of trouble for days until finally, we got bored and conceded that maybe, just maybe, there really wasn’t anything out of the ordinary going on out there.
They say it’s a good idea to write what scares you. I’ve always thought aliens would make a wealth of story ideas for me in that case because I have a long history of fears and pretend encounters to draw from. Perhaps one of these days I will delve a little deeper and turn those memories into a short story? You never know.
As for the time traveler, that’s a pretty far-fetched idea. I’m not sure I’m ready to believe it’s possible but I did a little googling and found this blog post about the guy making this claim and his predictions for our alien visit this month. I figured you might want to keep a cold beer ready… just in case…
What do you think? Is there life out there somewhere? Do you think we will meet?
Thanks for traveling back in time with me and reliving some crazy childhood memories. If you would like to see what others are remembering, make sure you visit the MFRW website and check them out!
By the way, the photo at the top of my post comes from Amazon. The backpack is currently unavailable but here’s the link in case you want to keep an eye for it when it comes back in stock. 🙂 I thought it was pretty cute. AMAZON