Those Who Call | Teen Ink

Those Who Call MAG

May 11, 2010
By Midnight_Hum SILVER, Hearne, Texas
Midnight_Hum SILVER, Hearne, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 48 comments

The man who opens the door is a short, squat man with thick rimmed glasses. We must be quite a shock to him, two muscular guys with long dark suits showing no sign of sweat in this hot, Georgia summer. But he knows why we're here.

My partner speaks first, “Are you Mr. Martin H. Greer?”

“Who wants to know?” he says. But he knows. A man with interests like Mr. Greer's is sure to know who we are.

I flash a badge and say, “A lot of people, Mr. Greer. We believe that the alleged encounter that you had, on last March third, may be a matter of national security.”

He briefly glances at the badge.

“You work for the government?”

Mitch looks at me and says, “We just want to ask you a couple of questions, preferably within the confines of your house.”

The man's eyes widen slightly and he opens the door.

The place is sparsely furnished with a small coffee table and a couple of overstuffed, beer-stained chairs. The walls are covered with blurry pictures of “alien spacecraft,” most of which we have already looked into. The pictures do nothing to hide the huge cracks in the walls and the strange, discolored smudges that dot its surface.

I walk up and look at a particularly hazy photograph of a small, cylindrical object silhouetted by the glare of the setting sun.

“Interesting pictures, Mr. Greer.”

“Y-y-yes, um, ufology has always been a … hobby of mine.”

“Would you mind describing to us the incident that you had last month in full detail? With this craft.” Mitch says, pulling out the clipping from the local paper. He's not really asking.

“S-s-sure! Uh, well, I was driving home from work at about 2 a.m. When–”

“Where is it that you work?” I interrupt. Mitch has taken out a recorder and a notebook.

“Milson's. It's a retail warehouse. I work the graveyard shift …” He looks at us carefully before continuing.

“I was listening to the radio, in my truck, when it started to fuzz up. It got all … staticy. I hit the radio a couple of times, I mean, it's an old truck and I'd had trouble with more than just the radio in the past, but then I heard the roaring of, like, an engine …”

He glances at us, nervously.

“And,” says Mitch.

“Well, I looked up and I saw this huge … thing! It was round–”

“–about half a football field in length, with two wings akin to that of a Stealth Bomber, no windows, with a glowing blue light that came from its bottom like some kind of silent flame,” I finished, reciting from memory what I had read in the paper.

“Yeah! How did–?” The surprise is evident on his face.

“Your description of the craft to local police and the paper is what got us involved,” Mitch cuts him off.

“Really?” he looks amazed and … something else. “Why?”

I glance at Mitch, a look he reads correctly.

“So what did you do next?” Mitch says, changing the subject.

“Well, I had just bought this new camera a couple of days before – I'm in the habit of taking it everywhere with me – so when I saw this … alien ship, I immediately hit the brakes and grabbed my camera.”

“You were only able to take one picture?” Mitch asks, but I'm looking somewhere else. I am looking at an old, brown door and wondering where it leads.

“Yeah, I–” he stops. He notices that I'm looking at the door. Beneath his glasses, his shifty, small eyes speedily glance at me, then Mitch.

I stare at him. He can't read my expression, can't see my eyes under my dark sunglasses.

“I wonder where this door leads, Mr. Greer.” I walk over and kick it open. The door flies off its hinges revealing a dark, windowless room with a table full of …

“A darkroom!” I say, looking at Mitch. He is disappointed, as am I, but all is not lost. I smile, not because I am happy, but because Mr. Greer soon won't be.

“So you wasted our valuable time, by faking photographs?” I ask, approaching him. I nod at Mitch, and he steps into the darkroom.

“I just wanted to make a couple of bucks!” Greer squeals. “I-I've always wanted t-to see a real alien ship and …”

I slug him in the face, feeling his glasses break with the force of my blow. I punch him again and again. And when I am done disfiguring his face, I wipe his blood on his shirt, pick him up and shove him against the wall. In the other room, Mitch is doing the same thing to Mr. Greer's darkroom as I did to his face.

I force Martin H. Greer to look at me as I calmly say, “Mr. Greer, you will no longer fake photographs of any kind. You will continue with your life, and your miserable job, as if nothing happened. You will tell no one about your experience, and most of all,” I pull my face closer, “most of all, you will tell no one about us being here, unless of course you want us to visit you again.”

I throw him onto a withering heap on the floor.

“And we will find you, Mr. Greer, and we will not be trading pleasantries as we did today,” I end. Mitch reenters the room and gives me a nod. We leave, carefully shutting the door behind us, leaving poor Mr. Martin H. Greer crying on the floor.

Once outside, we head to our car. I drive. While I drive, we both think.

Finally I say, “Where to now?”

Mitch says nothing.

“That sighting in Texas by a group of schoolboys looks promising,”

Again he says nothing.

“We've been doing this for years!” he says suddenly, angrily. “It's a waste of time! Most of these morons are just star-crazed idiots, hoping to create five seconds of fame and stretch it into something longer!”

I wait a moment before replying.

“Remember the case in Melbourne? What about the Gobi Desert sighting? Or even the Mojave affair? Not all of them are a complete waste of time. And besides, time is one thing we've got plenty of. Decades.”

“True,” he says and is quiet for a moment. “But I'm tired of this place, tired of dealing with humans.”

“Well,” I reply. “The sooner we find a real sighting, the sooner we can go home.”

I let that sink in.

“On to Texas?”

He grunts.


“All right,” he says.

Similar Articles


This article has 40 comments.

Alia_Tan GOLD said...
on Mar. 8 2011 at 8:19 pm
Alia_Tan GOLD, Elk Grove, California
15 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I gotta right to sing the blues/
gotta right to moan and sigh/
I gotta right to sit and cry" From "I gotta right to sing the blues" By Louis Armstrong

i liked the story, it flowed the whole way thoruhg, but hte ending kinda confused me a little. Why were they here in Earth? And why did they beat up the guy 4 lying? All in all the story was good though :) nice job!

KK2013 GOLD said...
on Mar. 1 2011 at 6:14 pm
KK2013 GOLD, Solon, Ohio
10 articles 2 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.-J. K. Rowling

Ohhh! i see! thanks for the clarification.. i thought there was a connection between the clipping and the picture on the wall.... my bad!

on Mar. 1 2011 at 5:45 pm
Midnight_Hum SILVER, Hearne, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Well, I don't usually respond to comments, because I feel that when I do, they clutter the page; but I think that this deserves an exception.

The picture on the wall wasn't the one that he had seen on the 2 am drive home.  I don't know how explicitly clear I was, looking back, but I did write:

“The walls are covered with blurry pictures of “alien spacecraft,” most of which we have already looked into.”

This kind of makes it clear that this guy was obsessed with UFOs and had photos of them all over his house, not that they were necessarily his.

Thanks for reading in depth though!  I appreciate it.

If there is one thing I can't stand, its a comment that says:

"Really good, now could you please read mine..."

KK2013 GOLD said...
on Mar. 1 2011 at 5:34 pm
KK2013 GOLD, Solon, Ohio
10 articles 2 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.-J. K. Rowling

Very, very good! However, in the beginning, he says that it was silhouetted against the sun, then you wrote "at 2 a.m." which means the sun would have been set for a long time.....

Also, you use quite a few ellipses, which can work effectively, but I think you used a couple too many... 

I loved the piece though! the ending was little expected, but it was really funny!

on Dec. 14 2010 at 8:54 pm
Cake4all BRONZE, Spring, Texas
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
i agree, i thought the twist would be that the Greer guy would be an alien and the door led to some scary alien monster thing. props dude, dudette, man, muchacho, guy, girl. which ever.  either way, that was good.

k4ykay BRONZE said...
on Nov. 30 2010 at 10:26 pm
k4ykay BRONZE, Lincoln, California
1 article 20 photos 7 comments
nice piece really cool :)

on Nov. 11 2010 at 2:51 pm
Blue4indigo PLATINUM, Sturbridge, Connecticut
24 articles 0 photos 382 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'd rather be sorry for something that I did than for something I didn't do.
-Red Scott

Oh, congrats on getting this in the magazine, this piece deserved it :)

on Nov. 11 2010 at 2:51 pm
Blue4indigo PLATINUM, Sturbridge, Connecticut
24 articles 0 photos 382 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'd rather be sorry for something that I did than for something I didn't do.
-Red Scott

Great story, wonderful job.

By the way, could you look at some of my stories and give some feedback? I'd appreciate it.

on Oct. 10 2010 at 1:42 pm
Alice_in_Wonderland GOLD, San Clemente, California
16 articles 0 photos 620 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I could give up, I could stay stuck, or I could move on, So I put one foot front of the other, No no no nothing’s gonna break my stride, “ –David Archuleta (The Other Side of Down)

I love this story,especially the ending. Also, I liked the part where the narrator wonders where the door leads... I often wonder where doors and long staircases lead. Great job and you should definitely write more of these stories. Will you please read my stories and comment on them?

AllisonD. said...
on Sep. 25 2010 at 8:51 pm
AllisonD., Bridgewater, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but the number of moments that take your breath away.

well written and very creative. I like it!

on Sep. 19 2010 at 6:00 pm
PussnBoots GOLD, Tomahawk, Wisconsin
12 articles 0 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When life hands you lemons, make apple juice. Then sit back and watch the world wonder how you did it." -Unknown
"The world is my pineapple. I just have to figure out a way past the prickly parts." -Me

It was good, but kind of predictable. As soon as I heard of the black sunglasses, suits, and alien sightings combined, I thought of MIB, and that kind of ruined it for me. But it has a good plot, and you could do somethine cool with this.

on Jul. 5 2010 at 6:39 pm

Simon Cowell feedback--you asked for it!

You said you wanted feedback on writing quality and originality… well grammar is important when it comes to writing quality. But you asked me not to look at that. I noticed that it's not spectacular... your writing is decent but there's a few things here and there like the use of adverbs and stating what the reader should infer. But We won't get into that yet... but just telling you what's original about this story isn't going to help you become a better writer. After glancing at the rest of your comments, I can see you're getting a lot of laudatory praise. Keep in mind that you have room for improvement--all of us do.

As for originality... I mean I've never been a fan of cops and cop stories so this story didn't really do anything for me. I kind of liked the part where it was like "the door fell off the hinges and we found [dun dun dun] a dark room!"

I mean CSI has jokes like that between their detectives all the time. I'd say yours was a lot better than theirs because yours wasn't incredibly corny.

So without looking at the grammar, I don't think I'm much help to you. You probably don't enjoy my feedback because I'm not like "OMG THIS STORY IS SO AWESOME" either... frankly I didn't enjoy it as much as everyone else seemed to. but I mean this is simon cowell feedback lol

on Jul. 5 2010 at 4:47 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1752 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

This was excellent, interesting and original, great pace and very well-written.  Wonderful job.  Please write more soon!

on Jun. 28 2010 at 11:32 am
MayaElyashiv PLATINUM, Ramat Hasharon, Other
37 articles 4 photos 193 comments

I like this. You managed to convey the characters very well, although Mitch and the main character are very similar until the ending. Another thing that I like is that this could stand alone or as part of a longer story. 


I agree with cyanidesun about your pacing, except for one place: when the main character notices the door. He jumps to conclusions too fast. Why should he assume that there is something suspicious behind the door? Many people close doors in the house. It would be clearer if Mr. Greer twitches towards the door, or looks furtively at it or something like that. 

on Jun. 26 2010 at 10:28 pm
cyanidesun BRONZE, Atascadero, California
1 article 0 photos 28 comments

Favorite Quote:
It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block. -Paul Gauguin

Very, very well written. Your characters and dialogue are spot on, not to mention your excellent use of pacing. Very original. The only critique I can possibly make is that I would've liked to know a little more about Mr. Greer. Maybe consider adding how the main character studies him before making his move. That's just my personal opinion though. Overall, beautifully written. I would love to read more if you get the chance to post more of this story. Bravo.

on Jun. 24 2010 at 3:36 pm
roxymutt BRONZE, Marietta, Georgia
4 articles 5 photos 109 comments

Favorite Quote:
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. -David Henry Thoreau

WTF!!!! this was AWESOME!!!! so original omg i loved it haha i am so favoiriting this one its a great story and unlike a few i wasn't confused at all...i thought it was great, well written, maticulous, and perfect in most everything. of course tehre are some grammatical mistakes but psh who am i to point them out really everone has them! great job once again

on Jun. 22 2010 at 8:22 pm
Just.A.Dream SILVER, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
7 articles 0 photos 430 comments

Favorite Quote:
Part of the J7X team. :)

I agree with Ellie, the beginning was a bit confusing. But after that, the story was very good. :) Keep writing!

EllieK. BRONZE said...
on Jun. 18 2010 at 7:19 pm
EllieK. BRONZE, Wilmette, Illinois
4 articles 0 photos 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Not all who wander are lost"
JRR Tolkien

"Sometimes life sucks, so suck it up"

""We succeeded in taking that picture (from deep space), and if you look a it, you see a dot. Thats here. That's home. Thats us. On it, everyone you ever heard of



on May. 19 2010 at 11:23 pm
You're an amazing writer... that's all there is to say. :) Totally stoked to see more of your stuff here.

Robster said...
on May. 18 2010 at 3:52 pm
This is a pretty rad story. Thanks for posting, keep doing what your doing.