Dean Traylor is a freelance writer and teacher who writes about various subjects, including education and creative writing.
Mr. Cloak? I have a very good reason why I didn’t do my homework. You see we had a…uhm…visitor last night. He or she or it (I really don’t know) came from a place far, far, away. I know this sounds funny but, please, Mr. Cloak, it’s true!
I was up late last night, doing your homework up in my room. I had figured out that Pythagoras theorem you talked about and was on my way to nailing that assignment! I turned off the video games, the TV and all that music on my Mp3 player like you said I should do. I really listened, this time; I really did.
Even dad was making sure I was on task, especially after he saw my progress report from your class. He took away my cell phone so I wouldn’t call the girls or text my friends. And, he took my favorite Mags, comic books, and –my prized possession --my telescope.
My dad said: “Now, Timothy J. Khan, all this game playing and idyll fantasizing will not help your math! You stay in your room until you’re good and done!”
I was pretty sore at him. After all, he wants me to do well in school so I can be a lawyer or doctor or something like that (you know how it is having parents from India). You know, Mr. Cloak, I don’t want to be any of that. I just want to look at the stars and wish I could be up there. But, without that telescope, I really didn’t have much to do, except your homework.
And, just when I reached the last question… well, that’s when it happened. I got up and away from my desk. I was rubbing my eyes, trying to keep the sleep from taking a hold of me. All of a sudden, the lights in the room went out. It happened so quick that I actually jumped a little. My attention went to the window. The houselights of my neighbors and street lights were blank.
Man I hated that! Here I am, almost done and trying to take a short break before getting that last problem and then the city decides to have a black-out! I didn’t know what to do. In times like these I often go to the window where my telescope was and start gazing at the stars.
So, I went to the window and peered up at the sky. Yeah, it would’ve been better with the telescope, but I had to do with my own eyes. I stared at the night sky and all the stars I could see. There wasn’t much, considering all the light emissions from the city was still up there in the air (see, Mr. Cloak, I’m paying attention when you talk about science).
The planets, of course, were the brightest. Only the closest or brightest stars in the Orion constellation could be seen. The night sky didn’t look particularly different from any other night. That is, until one bright star caught my attention.
I really didn’t want to get out from under that table, but I knew I had to. Curiosity was getting the best of me.
I saw the star getting brighter. For a moment, I thought it was Jupiter or Mars. But, this star kept getting brighter and brighter. And, it was moving! Not just that: it was moving toward my house!
At first, I thought it was a meteor. But, it wasn’t moving like one. Within seconds of spotting this bright thing, it was within striking distance! The house shook. The light of the meteor was filling my room as if it was day.
I got scared and jumped under my desk. At that time, the rumbling sound was deafening. And, just when I thought for sure it was going to hit the house, the light it made went out, the shaking stopped and it was quiet again, with the exception of a few neighborhood dogs barking and whining.
I really didn’t want to get out from under that table, but I knew I had to. Curiosity was getting the best of me. So, I crawled out, got up and crept to the window. There, I glanced down at the backyard.
“Oh, wow!” I gasped when I saw it.
Down there, on the lawn, I saw a series of orange lights going in a circle. In the center, and slightly above the other lights, was a blinking red light. My jaws nearly dropped at the sight I saw. The orange lights and the blinking red light illuminated something silvery and round. The round shape was a given. Nobody had to tell me what I saw. The question was, though, was I actually seeing what I perceived to be before me? I couldn’t believe my own eyes. A flying saucer had landed in my backyard! A real UFO right before me!
I ran out my room, down the stairs and headed for the backyard as fast as I could. Along the way, I passed my dad.
“Stop!” he yelled. “Don’t go out there!”
I ignored him. I was too excited to stop and obey my father. I want so badly to see this thing as close as possible.
When I got outside, the door to the flying saucer was starting to open. It opened up like a mouth. The ramp came out like a tongue. It slid slowly to the ground. I inched closer to it. About this time, my father rushed outside and grabbed me by the shoulder. Lights under the saucer were switched on, making the place bright again.
“What is wrong with you?” dad screamed, spinning me around to face him. “You don’t know what that is!”
“But I want to know,” I said, excitedly. I broke from his grip momentarily and tried to rush for the saucer. My dad grabbed me again, and pulled me back away from it. Man! He was persistent. But so was I!
“Why don’t you listen?” he said. “What is the matter with....?”
My father held me tightly as possible (Ugh! He’s so chicken!). But then, he let go. I thought it was strange he did so. He stared up ahead, dumbstruck and eyes so wide you could see the white of it. “Dear lord.” I heard him say from under his breath. Curious, I glanced over my shoulder to see what he was seeing.
I glanced at the saucer’s entrance. A figure emerged at the top of the ramp! Oh my God, Mr. Cloak, it was a real alien! Really!
It stood on two legs like a human. But that’s where the similarities ended. Its arms were massive and long. They nearly reached the ramp. The figure was also bulky. Its body shape looked like lumps of mud stacked on top of one another.
All the while, my dad and I had stopped retreating and stood still watching the spectacle before us
He stepped out of the confines of his space-ship and into the open air. And more of it was revealed. It had an orange protective suit. At least, that was what I believed it to be. Its face was something to behold, too. It was frightening. In fact it was so frightening that my dad started backing away toward the house, trying to drag me along with him.
The alien’s face was orange. Its five eyes -- arranged like a spider’s -- changed colors, blinking blue, orange, yellow and red. Its eyes did this for a moment until they were all the same blue color. The mouth of the alien was really weird. It wasn’t horizontal like ours. It was vertical!
The alien shuffled down to the bottom of the ramp and stepped onto the grass. It looked to and fro at the backyard. He glanced at a sapling tree my mother planted, then moved to it and stood before it, cocking its head once or twice. It opened its mouth and a long orange tube shot out and touched the tree. Suddenly, its skin turned green and blue. Then, back to orange.
All the while, my dad and I had stopped retreating and stood still watching the spectacle before us. His grip loosened as he stared star-struck before the alien’s presence. I slipped from his grasp and stood there watching the alien change colors while sticking its tongue at the tree. Cautiously, I took a step closer to it. My father did not stop me. He was frozen with fear. He didn’t even open his mouth to say “don’t go.” I had to admit; it was nice to have him not hold me back.
The alien must have sensed me approaching. I only say this because his tongue retreated into its mouth. It turned and stood within a yard of me. Its eyes changed to red. It cringed and backed a few feet away from me, then halted.
It stood there for a moment, looking at me. Its eyes were quickly flashing different colors. Now, I know what you’re going to say: why I was just standing there? Mr. Cloak, I know you’d probably say I should have turned around and ran inside because that thing might have been dangerous. But, I could tell. I mean, the way it acted…it seemed more scared of me, at first, then just curious, like me. I guess I know that because that’s way people felt when the first met me here at this school when I first moved her. Then they got to know me and realized I was okay. Maybe this alien was okay.
Now, we stood face-to-face for a moment. Then, I decided to make the first move. I slowly extended my hand. The alien glanced at it. I could tell it was curious by this, but maybe, just maybe, it understood what I was trying to do. It did the same. It attempted to shake my hand.
That move snapped my dad out of that frightened trance he was in. He came up to me screaming. But, as he did so, another alien – a much bigger one – leaped out of the saucer and wrapped one of its long arms around the smaller alien and started pulling it back up the ramp.
“No,” I pleaded. “I don’t mean any harm.” But that fell on deaf ears, both human and alien.
My dad pulled me all the way back while I protested.
The smaller alien’s eyes began to flicker with various colors as the larger alien pulled it back. In some respect, I think he was protesting being pulled back into the saucer. At least, that’s what I think was happening.
Suddenly, the two stopped. And something weird happened. A funnel of orange skin protruded out this side of the two aliens’ heads. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Then, I heard, the police sirens in the distance. I realized the things on the side of their heads were ears.
The ears retracted into its heads and the larger alien with the little one hurried back onto the ramp and into the space saucer. Moments later, the ramp retracted, the hatch closed and the flying saucer came to life once more. The saucer’s blinding white lights at the top of it returned as it began to rise slowly. I watched in awe as my father pulled me inside the house. Finally the saucer rose way above the telephone poles, street lamps and trees. It stopped rising for a moment, and then shot away into the night sky.
Slowly, the lights in the neighborhood flickered on. The dogs stopped barking. The police sirens grew louder. It didn’t take genius to realize that they were coming to a stop outside my house.
My father had let go of me. He was shaken, but relieved that the aliens left. He ran to the door, just as several cops were about to enter our house. He excitedly told the whole story to them. Whether they believed him or not, I didn’t care. I was still staring out the sliding glass door at the night sky, saddened.
Last night, after that, I couldn’t finish my homework
There were so many questions I wanted to ask. What was that thing? Where did it come from? What was it doing to the tree? What was the significance of the changing eye colors? Most of all, what was it like in outer space? That question hit me hard, for I knew I’d never get an answer to that.
Last night, after that, I couldn’t finish my homework. I didn’t really go to bed for a long time, for my mind was replaying that moment on and on throughout the night. I really wanted to know more about that visitor, and why near the end, its curiosity was thwarted by the large alien. And I wanted to know why my own dad prevented me from doing something monumental such as making contact with a real alien.
Well, Mr. Cloak, that’s the reason I didn’t do my homework. That visitor got me thinking a lot. And, in the end, I was left with more questions than answers. Don’t worry, Mr. Cloak I’ll turn in the next assignment on time. I promise! Because that’s the only way I’m going to get my telescope back!
© 2017 Dean Traylor
Bev G from Wales, UK on March 08, 2017:
Nicely done. I really want to know more about Mr Cloak and what his reaction might have been.
Dean Traylor (author) from Southern California/Spokane, Washington (long story) on March 07, 2017:
First of all, hanks for the kind words
Secondly, the interesting thing about this story, is that it's possibly my oldest. In one form or another I've a variation of this story around since the 6th grade. Recently, I found the original hand-written copy, retooled and edited and published it. The characters are vastly different (more developed), but the plot is relatively the same.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 07, 2017:
A most imaginative and creative story. Tonight I am going to be on the lookout for a spaceship.
johnmariow on March 03, 2017:
Well written and intriguing. Gripping. An excellent short story.