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Can you believe them? They lose several hours of sleep just to go out to crop fields at night and "wait for the aliens". They're absolutely nuts. My own parents claim to have been "abducted". By what, exactly? Bigfoot? No, they were abducted by "aliens". It's all "aliens" this and "aliens" that and "extra terrestrials" visiting Earth. What nonsense! Did E.T. decide to drop by and say hello to us humans? I don't think so.
All this made me wonder why I was out there in the middle of the night. I managed to sneak past the old farmer and his guard dog. Not to mention the stampeding cows that nearly ran me over. But I got there soon enough. At the very center of the crop field...I was actually standing in one of the crop circles that "mysteriously showed up" a few days ago.
My parents did this when they were young and they were "abducted". My older brother and some of his friends did it too and they were "abducted" and "experimented on". How original.
I was there to prove that I would not be "abducted". Crop circles are nothing but flattened wheat and over active imaginations.
I ran my gloved hands over the crushed stalks. They didn't feel any different from the stalks that were standing upright. As I said before: over active imaginations.
I kept glancing back at the farmer's rickety little house. It was dark inside and not a thing stirred. All I wanted to do was dash in and dash straight back out. I had work to do at home. Not everyone has time to "investigate suspicious paranormal activity", as my friend once said. She never told me anything about being abducted but she swore that she could contact the Underworld. What a load of rubbish.
I turned off my flashlight. The moonlight was bright enough and I didn't want to attract any attention to myself. I turned my back on the farmer's house for no less than a second. I heard him calling out from a distance.
I whirled around to see the old man leaning dangerously far out of his bedroom window. He hadn't turned any lights on and it was amazing how quiet he could be.
"Who's out thar?" He yelled. He had a rifle in his hand and he aimed it uncomfortably close to where I lay hidden. I had immediately dropped to the ground after I heard him. The tall wheat hid me from sight and, thankfully, the shadows made it tricky to spot anything that was actually moving.
"Show yourself, I said! Come out er I'll shoot!"
I didn't have any trouble believing that he would shoot me on sight. He continued to ramble on. My fingers and toes began to grow numb from the cold as he spoke.
"I am sick un' tired of you young folk comin' 'round to mah fields un' destroyin' mah blessed crops! If yer wantin' ter see them aliens, use a tele-scope er somethin'! You got them iPhones and doohickeys, use 'em!"
He finally closed his bedroom window and slunk back inside. I waited for a long while before getting up slowly. I backed away as quietly as I could, hoping desperately that he wouldn't try anything again until I was long gone.
When I judged that I was far enough from earshot, I broke into a mad sprint home. But I got no further than the edge of the crop field when I heard someone right beside me yell.
I was shoved roughly to the ground. I tried to raise my head to spit out the mouthful of wheat I had received. But a strong hand pushed me down. I was about to scream for help when I heard a shot ring through the silent night.
"I saw you, I did! I saw you runnin' like the devil was chasin' ya! And mighty right you are to run from me! See if I miss next time you kids come runnin' around my fields! Now GIT!"
The farmer had fired the shot and by the looks of it, it nearly got me. I had been saved by a mysterious hero. Before I could thank my savior, I was pulled up and away from the field. We didn't stop until we were deep into the woods near my home. I panted, hands on knees, until I caught my breath.
"Thank you very much," I said. "I owe you big time."
A figure stepped forward, out of the shadows. He looked human, but something about him told me he wasn't. And I was a true skeptic.
He was skinny but not bony or wiry. His ears were pointed and his mouth was so large that his lips stretched from nearly one side if his face to the other, almost reaching his ears as he smiled gently. His eyes were large and slightly slanted. They were the bluest blue I had ever seen. His nose was thin and sharp, sticking flatly to his face. His hair was black. But when the moonlight caught it, it looked deep blue. He wore a navy blue suit and I nearly screamed when I saw a tail protruding from his backside. It was light blue and had spiny ridges almost like a dragon's.
"Who are you?" I squeaked.
The being before me grinned revealing a set of pointy white teeth that clicked together as he spoke. The way he spoke was strange. He had no accent that I could recognize and certainly no obvious speech pattern. Just words. But his voice was so soothing, hypnotic. It sounded like music. The most beautiful music I had ever heard.
"I am not of this planet, as you may have observed." He said. His polite tone put me at ease. But I didn't dare drop my guard.
"Please. You must listen to me, very carefully. You must do as I say. Do not be afraid. I will not hurt you."
He reached into a pocket in his...space suit thing...and pulled out an odd device. It looked ridiculously like a slap bracelet. It was green and had all kinds of flashing wires and buttons and dials on it. He reached for my arm which I instinctively jerked away.
"Please," he said, still holding out his hand. "It will not hurt you. It will help you. We are here to help, not harm. I promise."
I was still too stunned to respond. In a daze, as if in a dream, I gave him my arm. He gently wrapped the device around my wrist and smiled as it emitted little musical noises. Little pleasant blips and beeps made the entire thing vibrate, sending tingles up my arm.
"It will keep you from harm," he said, nodding in satisfaction.
I finally found my voice and realized suddenly how utterly insane this entire thing was.
"What is it? And why do you want to keep me from harm?" I asked, examining the curious gadget.
"Do not take it off. You must never take it off. Not when you eat, not when you sleep, not when you bathe. You must always wear it." His tone had suddenly turned from cheerful to urgent. He took a step towards me.
"Please promise me that you will not take it off."
I looked at this strange...creature...that seemed to know me somehow. I had no idea who or what it was but I knew that it wanted me safe. But why?
"You didn't answer my question."
He suddenly gripped my shoulders and squeezed hard, making me wince. I tried to take a step back and break free of his iron hold but he kept me in place. Looking me straight in the eyes with a desperation I had never seen before, he whispered, "Erella Jane Worthston, promise me."
I jumped as though I had been electrocuted.
"How do you know my name? Who ARE you?"
An expression of rage flew across his face for a brief second. He quelled it immediately and took a deep breath, waiting. After a long while of silence, I nodded.
His concerned smile returned.
"I am of no importance to you, Erella. Just know that you are safe. As long as you wear that band, you are safe from all harm. I swear it on behalf of my entire species as well as yours." He took a few steps back, letting go of me. Then...
"Wait!" I yelled. But it was all in vain. He was gone.
I glanced at the band around my wrist. A tiny monitor flickered to life and the creature's smiling face appeared.
"Greetings, Erella Jane Worthston, subject number double two seven five. Your training will begin shortly. I look forward to working with you."
The screen then abruptly went black. I tapped furiously on the glass and pushed several buttons. Nothing happened.
I turned around to see the old farmer standing in front of me.
"Well, i'nt that jest dandy? Lookie here, Spike! We's got ourselves another one of 'em rookies!" His dog, Spike, bounded over to meet us. He sat down beside Farmer Cole and cocked his head at me. And to my surprise, the dog spoke.
"Hello, Erella, my girl," Spike said. "I take it your parents have told you about this?"