An Original Sci-fi Short
Holding the glass of water with both hands, Amelia watched the waterline sway like a small ocean as she carefully walked back to her bedroom. She stepped quietly over the creased part of the pink carpet, as she knew the creaking floorboard beneath it would be loud enough to wake her mother. Closing the door behind her, the girl released a small sigh of relief. Her secret was still safe.
“It’s ok, you can come out now. They’re still sleeping,” Amelia spoke softly and with a higher pitch than usual. She waited for a moment, staring at the dark opening between the closet’s french doors. The darkness stared back. “Come on, you can do it,” she coaxed sweetly.
After almost a minute of silence, save for her breathing, the right door of the closet began to open. The dark abyss looked as if it meant to swallow her whole, until three long fingers from a gray hand reached out. The arm extended into the light for the glass in Amelia’s outstretched hands. She smiled and scooted closer, excited that her guest intended to make contact again. The visitor had been with her for a few weeks, now. After she learned that the rustling in her closet wasn’t really a monster, Amelia had been as thrilled as any other six-year-old to make a friend.
Sitting across from each other on the carpeted floor of a pastel bedroom riddled with unicorns and rainbows, Amelia and the unearthly being looked at each other. Although it sounded to her as if they were speaking back and forth, an outside observer would have only heard her voice and giggles. The other side of the conversation existed only in her mind; a trivial detail of telepathy. To her, the voice sounded like a puppet from her favorite morning show, which taught her how to add and subtract. Had her mother been the one cross-legged on the floor talking to the alien, the being’s voice would have belonged to Julia Childs, as that was a comforting sound to her.
Looking at the lifeform, Amelia held her hand out. The creature had taught her that by holding hands for a few moments, she could see things. Great Pyramids. A city called Atlantis. Stone towers. Machines. Immense bridges connecting worlds above and below the sea. She loved seeing the images. It was like a movie just for her. The being told her that these pictures were a gift for the world to see. This pivotal gift would bring humanity to the next phase of enlightenment and advancement. It was a gift that only those who deserved it would receive.
When Amelia went to school, she thought of what she could name her friend. Although it had been a month she hadn’t decided. When she asked it said simply that where it came from, they did not refer to each other individually. A name, she thought, would be a perfect way to welcome the gray figure. Using a broken blue crayon, Amelia ignored her classmates and colored random letters and geometric shapes. She was subconsciously regurgitating what she’d learned in earlier lessons. When it was time to put away her art supplies, she looked at the mindless blue scribbles on her construction paper. Amidst the crooked lines, she saw a name – Rory. In an instant, she smiled and imagined her long-fingered gray friend, knowing that’s the name it would have chosen.
Throughout the rest of the day, and on the long bus ride home, Amelia thought about Rory. Staring out the window at the half-exposed fall trees, she counted cars and wondered what sights Rory would show her tonight after dinner. The other children laughed and played as the bus hit bump after bump on the winding road leading to their stop on Monroe Street. They were oblivious that their classmate, only two seats away, harbored the only proof of intelligent life outside our own dying planet. When the yellow transport slowed to a complete stop and opened its squeaking doors, the young passengers stood up and exited.
Amelia had a strange feeling creep in as she began her walk home. It felt as if everyone in the world had suddenly noticed her for the first time. She saw fingertips sliding between blind slats, their owners watching as she passed. Drivers in cars passing by avoided eye contact. What’s worse, she knew two gentlemen in suits were tracing her footsteps behind her. Confused by the oddities swirling around her, Amelia quickened her pace to a run. She was thinking of only rushing through the front door and into the safety of her home. As she turned the corner, she caught the first glimpse of her white-doored haven. She instantly realized why she was the center of everyone’s attention.
Black SUVs and media trucks lined the sidewalk, while reporters tried to flash photographs between the almost closed curtains in the living room window. Amelia desperately tried to push her way through the crowd to the inside, wondering what had caused such a stir. Their street was usually quiet, and painfully normal. As soon as she got halfway through the entryway, a man in a suit grabbed her arm and began asking questions, but all she could think about was Rory. Seeing her parents being contained and interrogated at the dinner table, her eyes frantically drifted upstairs. She knew that they wouldn’t understand the first thing about her best, and only, friend.
Tears streamed down Amelia’s small cheeks and she screamed out. The sight was one she couldn’t have imagined in her worst nightmares. Two men walked down the carpeted staircase holding a small black bag which was zipped air tight. They exchanged cold glances, knowing that their mission was nearly complete with an unfortunate casualty – and by that, they did not mean the unknowingly peaceful alien life in their body bag. In their wake, the suited strangers were to leave three bodies. They had drawn straws to see who would have to hurt the little girl, and who would spin a murder-suicide story for the press. The vultures were hovering outside, waiting for the next big story and leaving pressed footprints all over the lawn and beds of hydrangea.
Sobbing, Amelia tried to explain that Rory was a friend, and that it was here to help us and the planet we had nearly destroyed. She tried to tell the men about the images she’d seen. Images of the past advancements, and unimaginable future possibilities. She told them of things that would now be impossible without the gray friend she’d come to love. In response, they briefly explained that the autopsy of her gray friend would lead to a better understanding of its race. Even at her age, Amelia knew the men were monsters…that we, we were monsters. Before the triggered flash of a silencer, the inconsolable six-year-old blonde vanished.
Reappearing blocks away, at the top of a grassy hill under cover of a weeping willow, Amelia and Rory looked upon the scene below. They curiously observed the people darting in and out of the home like ants escaping water poured down their tiny mound. Finally shedding the disguise she no longer needed, the being known for the purposes of the experiment as “Amelia” closed its eyes and deleted every moment of implanted false memories. Looking at one another, the gray beings communicated telepathically, sharing the grim results of the assessment, post extraction.
Holding fingertips to fingertips, they thought the words together to record them into their ship’s records, “Although their planet is quickly decomposing, the beings rush to cure epidemics before considering the rate at which they are consume natural resources. Their weaponry is more advanced than their communication, and their destructive instinct continues to hinder their advancement as a species. They are, at this time, denied for co-habitational salvation. Dependent upon whether or not Earth and the species survive, next assessment is tentatively scheduled for the year 2106”.
Awaiting extraction, the two beings looked disappointingly upon the planet they’d watched begin. As the long lashes of the weeping willow cast slow dancing shadows upon the ground, the gray visitors gradually disappeared into the wind, leaving only an imprint in the grass.