White Light

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
The visitors were White Light, and they wanted the boxes.

Submitted: March 19, 2017

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Submitted: March 18, 2017

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The light shone under Henry’s bedroom-hut door. How could light shine under the door and bathe his hut with bright florescent light? This was rural country where there was not even street lighting and hardly any traffic! He was immediately alert and dressed in the blink of an eye. He reached for his rifle, but thought better of it before opening the door. As he turned the door handle, he became aware of a steady hum.

He exited his hut, and suddenly the white light went out blinding him by the darkness. He stood there, passive, waiting for his eyes to adjust. In the direction of the humming he could make out a faint outline, higher than the trees. The shape reflected the dimness of the night. Suddenly there was a light emission and Henry could see a three dimensional image, hologram in today’s language, of the area he knew as ‘the twin graves’. The picture was so sharp as if the graves were made-fresh. Just before the image faded, he had a glimpse, just a glimpse of men, Maori men in cloaks, stumbling around as if in distress.

‘They are not graves.’ There was no sound, but Henry heard the words!

‘Those are ancient Maori graves.’ Henry asserted, but he was never sure. He was a forest ranger, responsible for four thousand hectares of forest where the graves were situated and he had always been curious about them. They were just two rows of basalt rock, brought down from the top of Government Hill. It was local legend that they were Maori graves, but he knew no archaeological work had been done on them.

‘So you have doubts!’ The voice went straight into Henry’s head. He made no reply realising that his thoughts could be read.

Henry had an uneasy feeling that he was in an episode of The Twilight Zone! The queer voice added to his unease.

‘This is no illusion,’ the words materialised in his head, ‘we are from a different time and space. Our form here on Earth is light, powerful light but in different times and spaces our appearance is…. Different. You cannot look upon us without danger!’

Henry had seen some goofy stuff, but this was taking the cake! He wondered why these numbnuts landed here among his trees.

‘As time has passed,’ responded the voice, ‘people have no memory of their importance. We have chosen you because you were the last to visit there. The ancient ones did not install the graves into their lore.’

‘Yeah right,’ Henry said aloud, ‘because you bloody killed them, I saw them!’

‘That was… Unfortunate.’ The meaning seemed matter-of-fact. ‘They rested their eyes on us. That was fatal’

Henry had no clue of how to hide his thoughts, so be said, ‘Bullshit.’ out loud but there was to be no reaction. He knew, and they therefore, they, whoever they were, knew he was prepared for a stand-off.

‘Well bugger off!’ Henry said aloud after a long pause, ‘I don’t know what you’re wanting but I don’t want anything to do with you or digging up sacred bloody sites!’

‘We have come to you peacefully for assistance.’ Henry just knew the reply but was there a threat in their words?

‘If you turn up here from the past or the future or through space, or wherever you claim, you don’t need me to do your dirty work!’ Henry asserted, but he knew they had him. He was thinking, ‘How, why.’

‘There are two canisters. The ancient ones buried them for us. They placed them in wooden boxes - whaka huia.’ The thoughts came. ‘We need you to retrieve them for us.’

‘Why don’t you float up there and retrieve them yourself?’ Henry asked.

‘Your gravity.’ The words were plain. ‘Our craft needs to recharge, before we can leave this place.’

‘Our craft self-recharges.’ Came the words in response to Henry’s thoughts, but he had no clue what self-charging was.

It seemed to Henry that these guys, or lights or whatever they were, had powers he couldn’t fathom, so he decided it was in his own interests to cooperate. As per instructions he started his truck. He couldn’t quite figure out the source of the light he was bathed in, but out of habit he switched the lights on. Immediately he sensed confusion in the beings, and to test his theory, he thought, ‘You guys ok?’ No answer. Now he had something to think about!

Henry carried a shovel for firefighting purposes and always his heavy-duty torch in his truck, and he was soon at the site of the graves. He began hefting to basalt rocks from the first ‘grave’. Once they were removed, he began digging and at about a meter, he struck something more solid. He carefully excavated around it and brought out a carved wooden box. The box was worse for wear, probably made from Totara, which does last in the ground, and guessed the lid had been fastened with flax cording, but it was long gone. He repeated the exercise with the other ‘grave’ which revealed a similar object.

Back at his truck, he started the motor and switched on the lights. Unsure of what he would encounter, he gingerly lifted the lid off the first box. Inside was a metal canister, about a foot long with little catches much like those on his lunchbox. He clicked them open and lifted the lid. Inside there were tile-like tablets with marks like some kind of writing on them. He lifted one out and immediately it produced a hologram, but less distinct than to one shown to him. This one was of what looked like a rock quarry with men in robes pointing and then the picture panned out to an image of what looked mighty like Stonehenge! He took out another tile and a similar hologram showed robed men gesturing to workers who seemed to be digging, and then there was an aerial showing the Nazca Lines! Another revealed similar men standing at a table with perhaps maps or plans, talking to other men. Again the hologram showed a fly-over photo showing a shiny, white pyramid!

Henry thought about the implications of what he had seen! He replaced the tiles and carefully returned the click-lid and the wooden one. He was fairly certain that he would meet his demise when he handed over the boxes and likewise if he didn’t. He stopped on the bridge high above the river and switched off the motor and the lights.

‘You listening?’ he said aloud.

‘We are.’ Came the reply, with an anxious tone. ‘You have the boxes?’

‘You know I do and you also know I’m considering tossing them into the river.’ Henry replied. ‘You killed the people who buried these?’ He accused

‘The ancients were foolish.’ Came the reply.

‘You manipulated them. Had them do your bidding and then killed them’ Henry accused. ‘You’re not even remorseful!’

‘It was not our intention for them to die.’ Henry hoped he could hear regret in the tone.

‘Are you trying to manipulate me?’ It was rhetorical question.

‘Some things we can do, other things we cannot.’ Came the reply. Inconclusive words again!

‘If I hand these over to you, your powerful light will kill me.’ The image of the Maori people stumbling and dazed was etched into his memory. He was learning to be careful what he thought. ‘It’s probably what you want, eh.’

‘Not necessarily,’ came a cautious reply, ‘some things we can do and others we cannot.’

Henry grunted. He opened his truck door, and thought about tossing the boxes into the river below.

‘Don’t!’ The voice was urgent. ‘We can come to an arrangement.’

‘Last chance,’ Henry said, ‘what’s in the boxes.’

‘Records, records of history.’ Was the reply.

‘Why then are you so keen to have them?’ Henry preferred talking to thinking.

‘We have a… Mission, we take this opportunity to retrieve them. They are in danger of discovery.’ Said the voice. Maybe female. ‘There are no duplicates, they are valuable archive. We expected your assistance.’

‘Go on with your mission, whatever it is!’ Henry had made up his mind. ‘I will archive these myself where nobody will find them. I have no reason to trust you.’

‘As long as you do not destroy them.’ Came the same female voice. ‘Very well, we will leave, but remember we have the ability to manipulate time and space.’

‘And history.’ Came the same-word reply that were also Henry’s thoughts.

Henry started his truck and switched on the lights, he had enough of the White Lights. He drove to a certain cave remembering to leave the truck running with lights on. He took boxes inside with him. Before placing both boxes at the very end, he couldn’t resist looking inside the other canister. He picked up the top tile and in response the hologram glowed showing a procession and a man slumped in an old fashioned car, then there was the front page of ‘The Press’ newspaper which said, ‘Diabolical Crime – Archduke Franz Ferdinand Shot!’

It was too powerful for Henry, he didn’t want to see any more, so he replaced the tile and shone his torch on the unstable rocks to his left. It was an easy push, the rocks effectively sealed the back part of the cave. He drove to the top of Government Hill and switched off his truck and its lights, he felt no words. He checked his watch, 4:30am, he would sleep safely here, it was early morning, 23 November, and he remembered his boss had set the date for an inspection visit– better be prepared for the old bugger!

The rising sun woke Henry at 6:10am. He was hanging out for a good breakfast and a strong coffee! Being cautious, he switched on his lights during the drive down the hill and he was apprehensive as he drove up the track towards his huts. There was no sign of any visitation, although he saw two skid-marks in the moss. Later, settled in his small kitchen, he stirred sugar into his mug of coffee, shook the pan frying the bacon and tried not to think of the night’s events. He switched on his radio, the seven o’clock news would be on. Almost immediately they cut to the BBC, ‘...President Kennedy and Governor Connolly have been shot!’

 

 


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