What would you do if you stumbled on a secret alien community that thought you were lesser than they? How alone would you feel? How well could you cope when you were told you could never leave, that you must become a servant for life? Would you beg? Cry? Try to run away?
That’s the situation Aubrey found herself in. Just a normal day at the mall, but a bad decision that changed her life forever.
Here is an excerpt from chapter one:
I don’t know what happened. Maybe I tripped again. Maybe I blacked out. All I remember is that I stumbled against a low cement blockade that separated the road from the sheer drop and somehow I tumbled over and down, getting caught in the loose chicken wire. I rolled across rebar, nails, thistles, broken branches, sticks, and sticky old garbage, unable to stop myself. Finally, my forehead rammed into a boulder at the bottom and my body landed at a weird angle. I was going to be tender everywhere tomorrow.
I fought my way out of the chicken wire and although guilt-ridden over my stupidity, I turned away from a sign that warned this was the nuclear dump. Two broken signs lay next to me. They read, ‘Nuclear Waste Below’ and ‘High Radiation Levels’. Great.
My blouse was ripped down one side with several large holes as I worked to free myself and remove debris. I brushed off my denim skirt that was covered in mud and dirt. Then I yanked out a bloody rusty nail that was stuck in the side of my shoe. I gasped at the pain and wiped the blood off my arch with a piece of my skirt. The other shoe had come unglued around the sole, so I carried them. At least the cool grass wouldn’t burn my feet.
My arms and legs were bleeding, my head was pounding, the middle of my back hurt badly, and the moment I touched a sore spot on my forehead I found a lovely goose egg that had me seeing stars.
My entire body complained and I imagined I was also quite bruised and grimy. If I hadn’t struggled against gravity, I might not be in this condition. And if I didn’t end up in a hospital, what a story to share with my friends, a real show and tell tale.
I stood up, but as soon as I did, my hearing and sight faded briefly, and then I became woozy. The humidity and heat were worse. I wasn’t good at science, but didn’t heat rise? Shouldn’t I feel cooler down here? Dusk was setting in. Shouldn’t that have made the day cooler?
I tried to look up the hill, but a bout of vertigo made my head spin. I glanced around at my surroundings. I was in a field of thick dark green grass, waist-high, that waved in the balmy breeze. That meant water had to be nearby, didn’t it? The welcomed breeze brushed across my hot skin and the lush grass in the muddy ground cooled my feet. I took in a deep breath and smelled corn and berries. Surely families lived nearby. The warning signs had to be old. Nothing this lush could be a nuclear dump site or I would have seen something on TV.
I walked on, barefoot, or I should say, limped, as my sore foot throbbed with each tedious step. Climbing back up the hill was not possible in my condition, but in soil this fertile, there had to be a river where I could soak my feet or a crop irrigation system to cool me off. I’d ask for a glass of water and to use a phone.
I’m sure I was quite the sight in a ripped and torn gossamer blouse soaked from sweat and stuck to my skin. If any passersby happened along, they’d see right through to my body, but that might make someone stop and ask if I needed help. My grimy skirt swayed as I plucked garbage and twigs out of my hair, hobbling along barefoot, and over-all scrungy. I was tired, thirsty, sunburned, and my lips were dry and cracked.
The humidity and high heat made me lightheaded, but I trudged on wobbling when I spotted farms just ahead. Yes! Surely, someone would give me water and let me use their phone to call Bill. Why wouldn’t they? I was right. The radiation signs were old. I was going to be fine.
Unpainted wooden-poled fences defined the plot of one farm from another. What a wonderful sight I had stumbled upon. I followed the dirt road past a dark brown two-storied wooden house.
Why didn’t I go to that first house? Because I noticed a stream up ahead and I only thought of wading and drinking. I didn’t even consider the possibility that the water might have contained bacteria. I just desperately wanted to quench my thirst, douse myself in the water, and clench the cool muddy bottom with my aching feet.
When I reached the stream, I noticed a farmer ahead bent over working his field. He was wearing blue shorts with, of all things, a long black fur coat underneath in this unbearable. Eccentric, but not my concern. I needed help. A wooden fence divided his property from the house I had just passed, and his parcel sat up about two feet from the stream. I started across the stream to crawl up the small incline, thrilled to find help.
Naturally, I slipped on debris in the stream and ended up face down in the water. Bill often joked that I was queen of the klutzes and I am.
I was drenched. At least the water cooled me off, but I became light-headed again and, silly as it seems now, I feared I’d drown.
With great effort, I crawled over the muddy embankment, slipping and sliding until I got a good hold of the ground then clambered quickly up the incline in a panic. Just as I reached my hands out to the fence to crawl through, I was grabbed from behind.
The arms that seized me weren’t human, but long and muscular and black, thickly covered in short gummy hairs. The hands had four long digits and a shorter one, similar to ours, but black and hairy with black pointed fingernails. The palms and inner sides of the fingers were hairless and padded, reminding me of a dog’s paws. The monster held me tight and its physique was the same as its arms – burly and covered in profuse short hairs that poked through the back of my wet blouse.
I screamed, but my throat was raw and barely a sound came out. I tried again, but only a weak moan escaped. The creature ran with me back towards the house that I’d passed. I kicked, flailing my legs ridiculously, hoping to hurt some fragile spot while I also scratched uselessly at the face. It didn’t react at all, just dashed in the house and up the stairs and then tossed me roughly on a bed in a stifling room the size of my master closet.
I gawked, traumatized by the hideousness of the monster who glared back at me. There was no fear in the eyes, only wariness. Short black hairs covered the round face and showed no damage from my clawing.
The mouth, shaped like a human’s with rose colored lips, emitted a snarl that showed a row of pointy teeth. Above the upper lip were brownish black whiskers like a mustache. The entire face was the same as the body – short black hairs, well groomed. Huge black lucent orbed-eyes, similar to some insects remained still, but I had the impression the being had a wide range of sight. Thick dark eyebrows moved up and down above the eyes. I wondered if the entity were thinking, scowling, or afraid. The weird creature leaned in and as the bulbous eyes stared, I saw my shocked reflection in them.
The viscous face hairs had been trimmed to the same length while the rest of the body’s hairs were different lengths, yet brushed and styled. The ears were curved like ours, but covered with those short hairs along the outside. Where our inner ears were flesh colored, its ears were black, and they moved back and forth like when an animal listens to a rhythm.
I was breathing in and out rapidly and I realized that its ears were reacting to my breathing. Longer, thicker, straight reddish black hair, waistlength and similar to human head hair, was brushed sleekly from the forehead down the back, behing the ears held in place by some sort of tie at the neck.
The being was tall, taller than my husband, and Bill is 6-feet. I guessed the beast was near 7-feet and wore only a multi-pocketed blue cotton bibbed shorts with straps that hooked in front. Attached to the center was a silver coin with a well-defined black zigzag engraved, like a backwards Z.
A closer glimpse at the body showed that the short hairs appeared silky and that this being was definitely well-built and toned. The shoeless feet were large and flat, with the same short hairs and three thick plain black toes. From the ends protruded small but sharp black claws.
Was I delusional? Perhaps I was unconscious, still at the bottom of the hill. I blinked then squinted at the thing hoping I was hallucinating, but the creature was real. I decided that I had either stumbled upon an alien community or everyone here had been affected by radiation. Or maybe I was hallucinating. Yes, definitely I was dehydrated and hallucinating. I shut my eyes again, but when I opened them, there stood the creature, grimacing at me.
The entity inspected me slowly, dwelling on my wet chiffon blouse and my chest, but then yelled at me in some weird language. Couldn’t it tell that I was hurting badly? That I wasn’t one of its kind? What would look so different from humans and possess that level of intelligence except an alien. Definitely. A male alien. I wasn’t hallucinating or delirious. This was reality. I never believed extra-terrestrials existed, but here one stood in front of me. I had to escape. I had to warn our government.
We stared in curiosity at each other, both of us scrutinizing one another. The eyes went back to my chest and I realized it was looking through my wet blouse at my lacy bra. I wrapped my arms across me. It frowned at me, took out a black box from one of its many pockets and punched three buttons then yelled into the hand-sized object.
That’s all I remembered before I passed out. I came to when the strange brute tried to get me to drink a gooey inky liquid. I refused to open my mouth, and we struggled. I shoved the drink away, spilling it across the bed. That act enraged this thing.
The beast ripped the sheet off and stomped to a drawer, retrieved a clean one, and fluffed it on the bed, throwing the stained one aside then tossing me from one side of the bed to the other as it fixed the new sheet, oblivious to my yelps. Obviously, gentleness wasn’t one of this alien’s attributes.