Energies Child

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hiker finds new kind of lifeform in Arizona wilds

Submitted: May 08, 2012

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Submitted: May 08, 2012

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Energies Child by Rolf Luetcke

 

I stood in the opening of the overhang as the sheets of water and hail came down and stepped back a little as water began to drip down from above.

I jumped as the lightning and thunder tore through the tree across the small canyon and the echo reverberated off the walls.  I had felt the shockwave and backed into the shelter a little farther.

The storm raged outside more violent than I had seen in years.

The morning dawned with not a hint of what was to come, this mid July day.

The rains had been spotty but last night, I'd seen lots of lightening to the South, an indicator of moisture coming up from Mexico.

The Chiricahua Mountains of Southeastern Arizona were my favorite place to go hiking in summer and I'd taken a few days off to unwind after a big project had been completed at our architectural design center.

I was interested in archeology and how the Indians had lived in the desert southwest fascinated me.  It seemed like a hard life, eking out a living in the rugged terrain.

Water was abundant in the canyons of the mountains and there was plenty of food at the right time of year.  I had hiked many of the canyons of the western side of the Chiricahuas and was working my way north, when I came into Fife Canyon.

Out in the valley were fingers of larger trees, where the canyon washes snaked out into the flats.  Big hackberry and mesquite trees thrived along the intermittent waterways.  The farther up one got, the more varied the vegetation.  Cottonwoods, sycamore, ash and walnut trees were the streamside canopy.

Up the slopes, oak, pine and junipers covered the hills.  The canyons all narrowed as they got steeper and many had cliffs.

Fife canyon was like many others and had a small stream tumbling over rocks and downed logs.

I was still in the lower reaches of the canyon, when I started to see and feel the moisture coming up from Mexico.  I was sweating as I hiked and puffy white clouds began to build up over the higher peaks.  Since it was before ten in the morning, I expected it to build into rain by afternoon.

By the time I sat down to eat lunch, a little after eleven, I heard the first thunder in the distance.  It was building fast and I began to think about either hiking back out to my camper or finding shelter to sit out the storm.  Afternoons often had a slowdown of storm activity, and I had come all the way here.  I wanted to see what the canyon had to offer.

I pressed on as the clouds turned dark gray and I started hearing thunder only a few miles away.  The canyon was starting to close in and I hoped the rocks up ahead contained some shelter.

Here, the canyon was only about fifty yards across and was completely forested in big silver leaf oaks and conifers.  The boulders around the creek were mostly covered by lichens and leaves.  The rock sides of the canyon were about thirty feet high and up on one side, I saw places that cut back into the hill.  I could see the black stain of fires on the walls, where the Indians had once sheltered.

Before I could start for the shelter, there was a flash and a loud crack of thunder.  I instinctively went into a crouch as I realized the nearness of the storm.  The first big drops started to come down as I scrambled into the shelter.

I gave a big sigh of relief as I was up in the shelter of the rock and took off my pack.  The overhang was about twelve feet above my head and the recess went back about twenty feet.  I could see the evidence of Indian use but I had certainly not been the first white man, for there were a couple of old cans and some crumpled foil lying about.  I'd explore later, right now, I had a storm to observe and it was starting to come down in buckets.

There was another tremendous flash across the canyon and this time it formed something I had only read about.

Ball lightening was an odd phenomenon but it was well documented.  I had even seen its distant glow once but the actual ball was below a ridge.  The glow had been bright as a miniature sun for nearly half a minute and then it was gone.

Here, it was, right in plain view!

I pushed away from the rock and stared in amazement as the ball of electricity changed form.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  The white light grew legs and a head and ran across the canyon floor.  My mouth hung open as it darted around a tree and leapt over a boulder.  It twirled about in a seeming dance and then headed straight for my shelter.

It looked exactly like a deer running across the canyon.  It leaped over the running water and ran toward me.

Suddenly, as I was illuminated by its bright glow, it saw me and stopped and changed shape again.

All the hair on my neck and arms stood straight up and I couldn't tell if it was from fright or from the electricity it gave off.

It elongated into a standing, humanlike figure.  It seemed to be observing me! 

As I moved my head slightly it did the same.  I gasped and raised my hand to my mouth and it mimicked my movements.  Suddenly as it had appeared, it also winked out to nothing in a heartbeat.

I stood frozen in place for a long time.

The whole incident had only taken thirty seconds to unfold but it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

A flash of lightening and a thunder clap brought me out of my stupor.

I rubbed my eyes for they still couldn't see much from the brilliant glow of the fireball.

As I rubbed them I still saw the figure, as if burned onto my retina.

What was that thing?

I shook my head and tried to reason through what I had just seen.  My background in the sciences fought with my imagination.

It had been alive!

No, it isn't technically possible!  But I know what I just saw!

It must have been coincidence that it resembled something living!

It looked at me!

It was just pure electricity!

It was intelligent!

It couldn't be!  My mind was carrying on a conversation between reason and imagination.

The hair again stood up all over as I contemplated the possibilities.

I knew what I had seen and my mind was not playing tricks on me.

I had truly met an alien but it wasn't from another world, it shared our own!

My heart beat faster as I thought about what I had witnessed.

The ball of energy had been mimicking the life on the ground.  It had run like a deer and it had stood like a man!

I started thinking of ways we could communicate.  What wondrous things we could learn.

Was this a hidden door to the whole universe?

Oh God, I was about to burst from the possibilities when reality started creeping in the back door!

No one would ever believe me and I would be relegated to a short story on page nine of the Enquirer, or worse!

I stood looking out, hoping to see another bolt.The lightening played all around but there was not another fireball.

As I hiked out of the canyon that afternoon I contemplated whether I would ever mention what I saw.  I would wait and see.

 

 

Copyright Rolf Luetcke 1998


© Copyright 2020 marieray. All rights reserved.

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