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Science Fiction Mystery Speculative

It was another dull Thursday night.  My mother was working the late shift.  My job was to feed my sister, Emma, and I fish sticks, also to make sure we stayed out of trouble.  Emma forced me to watch her favorite show, “Friends”.  As I lie there on the couch, my eyes glued to the television, I wondered if these people ever went to work.  Also, how does a waitress in a coffee shop make enough money to pay for rent in New York City?

Just then I heard the beep signaling the washer was done, I was pulled back into reality.  I dragged myself from the couch, crossing the living room and switching the load to the dryer.  I knew I didn’t miss any key plots points.  Several laugh tracks played as I returned to the couch, placing the basket of dry laundry at mt feet and began folding.  

That’s when an odd bright light flashed through the front window and froze on the wall.  At first, I thought it was our mother ending her shift earlier.  But something was different.  I know we weren’t expecting anyone else to pull into the driveway.  You couldn’t confuse our ranch house as the next one was a half mile up the road.  

That’s when Emma turned and brought herself up on her knees to lean on the back on the couch.  She reached to pull back the curtains and narrowed her eyes.

“Hey,” She whispered, not sure who she was worried would hear her.  “Sarah, there’s some black limo or something out front.”  She said moving her head towards the window.  “Look.”

“Do you see anyone getting out?”  I asked as I walked towards her.  In this part of Texas, the only thing we’re used to seeing is are mostly trucks.  Our Grandma did have a fancy sedan she drove only to the market or church.

“No, but there seems to be little lights inside.”

I knelt on the couch with her, pulled the opposite curtain.  It had a sleek shine to it and more curvy than other cars I’d seen.  

“Let me check it out.”  I say standing and walking towards the front door.

“Mom told us not to open the door for anyone.”  Emily stated firmly.

“I’m opening the door for myself.  Besides, it’s so black out there.  These people must be lost.”

I opened the front door, hearing its familiar whiney creak.  Pushing the storm door open, it dragged across the welcome mat.  I looked again at the vehicle and decided to walk a few paces, I made it to the passenger’s side the windows must have been tinted as all I saw where flickers of light around the dashboard.  The window began to roll down slowly.  

That’s when everything faded to black.

I felt nauseous as I opened my eyes, seeing what looked like my sister above me.  Her face was full of panic.  Something was different about her face.

“Oh Sarah, you scared us again.”  She said.

I tried to sit up, but she placed an arm on my shoulder gently pushing me back down.  That’s when I got a good look at her.  She still had dark brown hair, but it was cut much shorter.  She had crinkles around her eyes, and I wondered if she’d gotten into mom’s makeup again.  Although, she didn’t look as silly as she had in the past.

That’s when I heard children laughing and two kids on bikes pedal by.  I feel something rough under my hands on either side.  Was this cement?

“Matt, when is the ambulance coming?”  She asked someone in the distance.

I turned my head seeing a man jogging down a flagstone path.  He seemed familiar, but from where?  There was a large stone house behind him, and I notice pretty flower beds.

“They’re a few minutes away.”  He says trying to catch his breath.  “How long was she out this this time?”  He asks.

“It was longer, five minutes maybe.”  Emma says worriedly.

Are they talking about me?  How does Emma know this guy?  

“Oh, wow.”  He says as his eyes widen.  I felt I knew that voice, but from where?

“Where am I?”  I ask Emma.

“This is your house, sweetie.”  Says Emma sounding motherly now.  “Matt” comes up and kneels beside her, takes my hand and I pull it away.  His face falls.

“Do you think she hit her head?”  Matt asks Emma.  “It’s like she doesn’t know me.”

“This is way worse than the first time when we were kids.”  

“What time?  What happened?  Aren’t we still kids?”  I ask feeling really disoriented as my mouth does dry and I feel my hands begin to sweat.  I look down from Emma’s face noticing how different her body is, it’s not the one of the twelve-year-old I just walked away from on the couch.

I hear the Ambulance approaching now, its doors flung open.  Both Emma and Matt make room for paramedic to kneel beside me and flash a light in my eyes.  He takes my pulse and asks my name.

“Do you know what today is?”  He asks and I see Emma come up beside him now.

“Thursday.”  

He nods his head.

“Do you know the month and date?”

“Yeah, um, July 25, 1993.”  I answer.

That’s when Emma’s hand goes to her mouth.

“Ok.”  He nods.  He turns to another man who wheels a stretcher towards me.  The next thing I know, I’m being strapped down and hoisted into the vehicle.

My heart hammers on my chest and I feel my throat tighten.  I try to fight off tears, to be brave.

Emma follows the paramedic in, taking a seat on the bench.  Her face is overcome with worry and I’m just so confused.  I can’t hold back the tears any longer.  What is happening.

“It might be best if we sedate her.”  

He cleans a place on my arm, I feel a pinch, and everything fades to black.

When I open my eyes, I’m staring at a white ceiling the fan rotating.  My head hurts and I rub the back of it.  It feels wet and I pull my hand towards me seeing it now coated with blood.  I’m lying on a very hard floor in a kitchen that must belong to millionaires.  That’s when I see a man rush towards me who looks like my sister’s friend Matt.  He has kind eyes and reaches for my face.  This time, I don’t recoil.  His thumb on my cheek is so soothing.

“Honey, Sarah, can you hear me?”  He asks desperately.

“Yes.”  I say slowly.  

He must notice the blood on my hands and moves my head.  He looks up, then rushes to the sink, grabs a towel running some water over it.

“That must’ve been the noise.”  He says sounding frustrated.  He returns in seconds and cradles my head.  “Does it hurt?”

“A little.”  I say as my eyes feel heavy.

“Sarah, no.  Keep your eyes open.”  He insists.

But I can’t.

I open my eyes, everything around me is soft.  Soft sheets, soft blanket, soft pillows.  The entire room is white, except for the wood side table with a vase and what looks like eucalyptus leaves.

“You’re awake!”  Shouts a young girl, from a leather chair near my bed.  “It’s been so long.  But the doctor’s thought rest is what you needed.”

She looks so much like Emma, it’s uncanny.  Same shoulder length auburn hair, blue eyes and a dusting of freckles on her forehead.

“I’ll get dad.”  She says excitedly and runs out of the room.

Dad?  My father died when we were eight.  

That’s when I see Matt in the doorway looking stricken.  He crosses the room in two strides.  He leans over enveloping me in a hug.

“I thought I lost you.”  He says in an emotional voice.

I close my eyes, I’m tired.

“Hey, Sarah, Sarah?”  I hear Emma in the distance and something cold on my forehead.

I look around and see we’re in front of our house.  I hear the opening of the storm door, my mother now running outside.

“Oh, thank god she’s back!”  My mother exclaims as my sister moves away.  My mother is now kneeling beside me and takes me in her arms.  She rocks me back and forth.

I notice a police cruiser parked in the driveway and hear the radio crackling.  There is a report of a missing girl and something about three days.

“Where have you been?”  My mother asks.  

I have no answer.

“I swear mom, I looked out the window.  I saw her just walk and keel right over.”  Emma says dumfounded.  

“I don’t want to hear any more stories, Emma.  No more things that went up in the sky.”  My mother says brusquely.

“It was the truth.  She was there, then she wasn’t.  That car, that thing lifted, the wheels folded in, and she was gone.  It was gone.” 

My mother glares at Emma as two police officers come out from the house.  They walk towards us.

The first one is older, graying at the temples and has a paunch.  The second man seems young and fit.  

“This her?”  the older officer asks.

“Yes, sir.  This is my daughter Sarah.”  Says my mother still holding me tight.  

I hear the crackle of the radio reporting a found teen named Matthew Willis from two towns over.  Sounds like he was missing for three days.

My mother stands and begins speaking in a low voice with the officers.  Emma moves towards me.

“It’s been three days Sarah.” Emma says and I can’t decipher her tone.  “We’re not alone, are we?”  She asks her face now clearly clouded with fear.

“I don’t know what we are.”

August 07, 2023 15:50

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5 comments

KG Green
02:59 Aug 16, 2023

Really enjoyed this and the reference to Friends

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Heather OMara
14:29 Aug 17, 2023

Thanks! Thought it was a good way to explain the time period.

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Ellen Neuborne
17:38 Aug 14, 2023

I enjoyed this. The main character has a healthy skepticism for her age (how can those people in Friends afford their apartment?) and by the end she's facing something much harder to explain.

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Tom Skye
13:22 Aug 14, 2023

Nicely written. Good conversational style. Enjoyed it

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Heather OMara
19:21 Aug 15, 2023

Thanks!!

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