The Thing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a possible alien encounter

Submitted: April 05, 2017

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Submitted: March 31, 2017

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The Thing

 

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Highlighted by the twilight evening, just after the first few stars glinted down at me out of the haze, it had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. A brilliant flash of purple, a slight breeze hinted with diesel and the… the thing had appeared in my back garden. I glanced around. Hadn’t the neighbors seen anything? Swallowing, I took off my gardening gloves and dropped my spade, rapidly deciding what to do. I stepped slowly towards the object, my feet passing over yellow grass and cracked earth. It was a hot July day, but I had yet to dig my sprinkler out of my garage.

The thing looked like a box; a long, narrow rectangular box, wide enough, perhaps, for a human body to fit in. Black and metallic like, with a dull ringing noise coming from within it.
I crept a little closer.
Soon I was standing above it, my shadow partly covering it. I kneeled and hesitantly reached out my hand to touch it. As soon as I had fully placed my palm on the top, I withdrew it hastily, cradling my hand to my chest. It hadn’t been hot, no, but freezing cold. In fact, it was so cold; my hand was now turning a worrying shade of blue. I scrambled up, ran to the kitchen and put my hand under the hot tap in the kitchen sink.

By the time I got back outside, I had called the police and was now wearing thick winter gloves. But there was no point.
The thing had vanished. I ran forward to where it had been and kneeling, started to feel around on the grass. It wasn’t cold. There wasn’t even a dent on the grass. It had just disappeared without a trace.

***

“Is this some kind of joke?” The officer peered at me over his square spectacles.
“No sir, I assure you, it was right here!” I almost shouted, frustrated. Officer Kennedy, as he had introduced himself, towered over me, his bald head shining. His clipboard rested on his big belly as he stood sourly in my yard, his piggy eyes occasionally darting around it.
“Ma’am, you realize that this is a federal offense?” he said impatiently, those eyes bugging out at me.
“But-“
“Ma’am.” He cut me off. “Please do not waste my time; I’m a very busy man.” And with that he turned on his heel and stalked off to his police car, taking his disgusting stench of cigars with him.

It bothered me for days. Had I imagined it? I wasn’t on drugs, I barely even drank alcohol. One night, about a week later, I was sitting on one of my outdoor chairs, looking at my garden, and trying to decide whether to plant any more geraniums, when it happened.
The penny dropped.
I stared at the patch of grass, and then slowly turned my head to the stars.


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