Every year people try to write a book in 30 days. I always fail. I haven’t edited these or even read them since I put them on paper. But it seemed like a good idea to throw them up somewhere.
Elisabeth slept in the comfort of her own bed as the worries from the day quietly slipped from her mind safe and secure in the thought that it was just another day. After attending college for the last few years things had more or less become a routine. In the morning she would awaken then shower following a bowl of cereal. After attending class she would focus on her studies and then waste the night away in some sort of random recreational activity before falling asleep to repeat the process. At least that is how things had worked for the last few years. However, on this particular Halloween night things would change her life beyond repair.
This year’s Halloween had been the same as the ones in years past. Several guys dressed as pirates with more mascara then most of the goth kids wore in week, A few girls living out their secret fantasy to be degraded like some one who trolls the street at night looking for enough money to get their next fix of whatever addiction that brought them to this lifestyle and of course the parties that would eventually lead the pirates to escort street walker Barbie home for the evening. Elisabeth, El to her friends which she didn’t have, like every year had stood in the hallway of the student union to watch the events from a distance unable to bring herself to humiliate herself in such a manner. Instead she had retreated back into her apartment and completed her nightly rituals before drifting to sleep.
The iridescent green glow from El’s digital clock had been the only light in the bedroom and the soft electrical hum from the clock provided El with a comforting white noise which had always helped her to sleep. But at 3:07 A.M. her nightly companion suddenly died quietly and without any pomp and circumstance. El would more than likely oversleep for her morning class due to the bad timing of her companion, if she lived that long. Just as the bedroom had suddenly faded to black with the death of the clock, a bright white light crept under and around the door jam filling the bedroom to a near blinding level which faded instantly as if someone had turned off the light switch in the next room yet El did not move. Even though the light had awoken El from her pleasant dream of translating Latin for one of her class projects she found herself frozen in place and unable to move. Not with fear, panic or inability to perform action. For something deep inside her mind screamed for her to move, some primal fear was demanding that she hide, call the police, find a weapon, anything which would increase her odds of surviving whatever was on the other side of her bedroom door. She focused all of her attention to her feet and legs but found they would not and could not respond to her mind’s fight or flight order.
The door to the bedroom flung open to reveal something that took El’s mind several seconds to comprehend. The figure appeared to be around four and a half feet tall, hairless and while it was hard to see in the dark she felt that it was grey. Two large black circles that lacked pupils were positioned on the head where a human would have eyes. But she could not see anything that resembled a nose or mouth. But after years of watching science fiction shows on television she did recognize what had to be some type of weapon in the creature’s hand.
The creature slowly approached the young woman who still could not move. After placing the small device in its hand against her neck the creature pressed a small button as a soft hiss came from the device.
A sudden panic rose in El’s mind as she watched the creature and felt a coldness start at her neck and quickly engulf her entire body before she mercifully passed out again. The creature observed El’s form for a few minutes before leaving the bedroom and then abruptly disappeared in a blinding white light.
Inside a smooth circular room the creature from El’s apartment re-appeared in another blinding flash. After a moment the creature walked over to a single panel on the wall and inserted the hand injector it had used on Elisabeth. As the panel closed the creature returned to the center of the room and held its arms out and spread its legs to the width of its shoulders while a blue light filled the top of the room and slowly worked its way to the floor eventually bathing everything inside in the light before it vanished.
Edward Eugene Conor removed the helmet of the specially developed suit after completing the decontamination process inside of the time chamber. Eddie was America’s only chrononaut, at least as far as Ed knew and while chrononaut was not his official title from the unnamed project he liked the term. As a child Eddie had always been fascinated by the courage of the mercury seven astronauts even if it had been 65 years since 1959 when they seven were announce.
Stepping out of the chamber Eddie sat the helmet down in the designated area of the control table so the computer system could retrieve the biological information the helmet had recorded through the optical lens of the suit some twenty plus years earlier in Elisabeth’s apartment.
With a small frown Eddie looked around the empty control room. “Cornelius, begin the download of subject Elisabeth Thompson 2003. Once completed clear the helmets memory and prepare another injector. Set the time coordinates for the next jump for April 2nd 2004 at 3:07 A.M. and Retrieval time April 2nd 2004 at 3:14 A.M.”
“The download has completed Eddie,” the computer responded in a voice resembling Roddy McDowall. “Should I forward the results to Ellen at the C.D.C?”
Eddie shook his head as he retrieved his helmet, “No Cornelius, lets wait a bit. We’ve got all the time in the world. Besides it gives me an excuse to contact Ellen directly.”
“You do realize that by not forwarding the results at this time you’re violating mission protocols,” Cornelius asked.
“Corny, what are they going to do? Send the army down here and arrest me? There are only a handful of us left on the entire planet! And everyone is hiding in there own hermetically sealed areas. No one wants to come see me in case they’re wrong about the whole decontamination process.”
“Correction Eddie, at last count there were over one million three hundred eighty-six thousand nine . . .”
“Corny,” Eddie said as he interrupted the count.
“Did I ask how many of us are left?”
“Then why are you telling me?”
“You said there was only a handful left. That is obviously a mistake or your hands are much larger than I’ve observed which should make finding a mate even in this environment much simpler.”
Eddie rolled his eyes as snapped the helmet back in place, “Corny, try not to be so corny.” Picking up another injector Eddie stepped into the time chamber as the door slid shut behind him, “Ok Corny, spin her up.”
El was finally able to move again when Eddie had disappeared in the flash of light. Reaching over to the nightstand El quickly flipped on the light and searched for paper and pen since Eddie had vanished in front of her eyes she knew searching the house would be a wasted effort. Instead she quickly drew the weapon Eddie had used on her for fear that the memory would fade over time. Over the following weeks Elisabeth’s life would take a fairly drastic change. While the only actual evidence of Eddie’s visit had been the simultaneous destruction of several electronic devices due to his arrival and departure and the drawing of the device, Elisabeth was convinced that an alien had been in her apartment and it wasn’t just a vivid dream. But Elisabeth didn’t have anyone to confide in because she had no friends and her family would have never believed her. So El eventually turned to the one place where you can always find someone who’ll believe you, the internet. With nothing other than school to keep her occupied she slowly became obsessed with aliens and searched the internet for information that would set her mind at ease. The internet offered all the answer from sites that offered your own personal abduction experience to those that claimed Area 51 was the Holy Grail and people who would put information and theories forward. But ‘evidence’ was nonexistent save for a few fuzzy photos or videos of blinking lights in the night sky. The most interesting aspect to El was that it seemed that this fringe sub-culture had almost taken on a religious nature with people accepting what was said based on faith more than anything else. Then one day after months of searching El managed to stumbled across a blog entry which described an encounter with several aliens who stood over seven feet tall and appeared to be reptilian in nature. She had nearly decided to move on to the next blog when she noticed a crudely hand drawn version of the device that had been used on her. Grabbing her own drawing she printed off the one on screen for a comparison and after a few moments of examining both drawings, El knew she wasn’t alone.
El contacted the poster telling them that she had seen a device like that as well. And within a few minutes El had received an email from the poster that was just as paranoid as you would imagine from someone who is used to being ridiculed about their friends the aliens. The email had basically asked El to describe her experience in her response and if it matched theirs they would be back in touch.
El wasted no time in typing in her response and tried to include every detail she could remember from the experience. She covered the white light, the creature’s eyes and most importantly the weapon and where it was used on her. Again the response came quickly and helped reaffirm that she wasn’t crazy. They explained to her that they intentionally lie about their stories in public so the can make sure the people they share the information with actually had an encounter with the creature and that some members of the group had been visited for years while others had only had a few but they all reported the visitation never varied from a set procedure down to the injection by the device. All of them agreed that there was never more than one creature and it had never hurt them. The device had simply scared them more than caused discomfort and it seemed to follow a time table of some sort that seemed to revolve around 153 days. A few of the members had tried to travel to other parts of the world when their time came but the creature always found them. Others had held sleepovers with others who wanted to have an encounter with the creature to see if it would change the time table. Regardless of how many were present the creature only touched the one whose time it was while everyone present would be unable to move. Some had tried to set up ‘traps’ or take pictures but either the film would be destroyed or the trap would fail. The only other real advice the group could offer was moving anything of an electronic nature to a different location.
So El counted the days and waited to see if the creature would return. She hadn’t even tried to go to sleep instead she sat in a chair inside the bedroom and waited for the white light which appeared at exactly 3:07 A.M.
Eddie stepped into the bedroom to find Elisabeth frozen in her chair with a whiteboard propped in front of her. She had taken time to write questions on the white board before Eddie’s arrival. In the 2,000 trips Eddie had made in the last six months he had thought he’d seen it all. People setting guns to try and ward him off, milk and cookies left like he was Santa Claus, to strange sexual perversions, but Elisabeth was the first to write down the questions for him. He knew there was a reason he had married her but that wouldn’t be for another six years.
Stepping over to Elisabeth he pressed the injector against her neck as the timer counted down on his visual display. He read the first question, Can you read this? Turning back to Elisabeth he adjusted the visual display to view the dye he had injected. Then he broke the defined protocol and spoke, “Yes I can read it.”
Elisabeth was unable to blink as her entire body was frozen. It sounds like it’s almost human. But how is it talking without a mouth? Maybe it can read my mind? Can you hear me?”
Eddie read the second question, Am I in danger? This question caused Eddie to stop and think for a moment as he before he finally answered, “Yes.”
Look at how it seems to be concentrating as I think, Elisabeth thought as Eddie answered. You can?! That is awesome! So all those shows I watched as kid had it right! So you’re more advanced then our race and that’s how you travel through space. Why are you here? What is that thing you use and what did it do to my neck? Why do you come ever 153 days? Are you the same one as last time? If you can read my mind why can’t you just think the answers to me?
Eddie looked at the third question, Why are you here? Opening his mouth Eddie started to answer as the alarm sounded in his suit indicating that he needed to return to his own time. Eddie turned to leave the bedroom answering as he left the room, “I’m here to help you El. I will see you again soon.” Then he was gone in a flash.