Fiction Funny Science Fiction

Bill’s eyes were fixed on the flickering lights of his ham radio set in the softly lit living room corner, where a labyrinth of wires snaked across the floor. The room was filled with an eerie symphony of static crackles and a faint pattern of blips and beeps.

“Bill, what happened to the TV? Is the satellite dish broken again?” The cacophony of signals and static was momentarily interrupted by the apparent concern in his wife’s voice.

He barely registered her words, his attention tethered to the enigmatic patterns emanating from the radio. “What?” he responded absently, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Did you mess up the TV?” she pressed, her patience waning.

Finally, he turned, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Oh, no. It’s not broken. I have the dish hooked up to my radio. There’s something strange going on.” His gaze drifted back to the swinging meter and dimly lit dial light. “Something very strange indeed.”

The silence that followed Bill’s action was intense, starkly contrasting with the noise that had just filled the room. Then, as if the universe itself were tuning into their frequency, a sound emerged from the speaker—alien and unworldly, unlike anything they had ever heard.

It was a symphony of the unknown, a sequence of tones that defied earthly origins. Bill and his wife stood frozen, a mixture of awe and fear washing over them. The sound seemed to speak a language of the cosmos, a message from the vast expanse of space, carried across the infinite to their humble living room.

“What in the world...” Bill’s voice trailed off, his mind racing to comprehend the source of this cosmic serenade. Equally bewildered, his wife said, “I think that is not in the world but from beyond our world,” she said.

The room was no longer just a room; it had become a vessel for an interstellar secret, a conduit for a celestial whisper that had chosen them as its audience.

Bill reached for the tape recorder that lay beside the radio. His fingers, steady despite the surreal experience, flipped the switch. The small red light blinked to life, signaling the start of the recording.

The strange, otherworldly sounds now had a witness in the form of magnetic tape, each vibration etching itself into permanence. Bill and his wife exchanged glances, an unspoken agreement that whatever message they received needed to be preserved.

As the tape wound its way through the recorder, capturing the mysterious chorus, they knew they were documenting a moment that transcended their understanding. This moment, perhaps, would puzzle even the most seasoned cryptologists or astrophysicists.

The room was silent except for the speaker’s sound and the tape recorder’s soft hum, a duet between the unknown and the earthly, a harmony of curiosity and caution.

And then, as abruptly as it had begun, the sound ceased. The room fell into a profound silence that seemed to amplify the slightest noises—the clock’s ticking and a dog’s distant bark.

The sudden absence of the sound was as jarring as its presence. They looked at each other, questions swirling in their eyes. Had they imagined it? Was it a message meant only for a fleeting moment? Or perhaps it is a cosmic joke played on mere mortals?

Shirley’s eyes narrowed in recognition as the last echoes of the sound faded into silence. “I’ve heard something like this before,” she murmured, her voice a mix of nostalgia and disbelief.

Bill’s gaze lingered on her, momentarily forgetting about the tape recorder in his hand. “At NASA?” he asked, a realization dawning on his face.

She nodded, her mind traveling back to her days at the space agency. “Yes, during a project. We picked up similar signals—strange, unexplained noises coming from the depths of space. We were tracking Voyager, and instead of our emissary to the stars, we picked up this same kind of signal.” Her gaze drifted to the silent speaker, then back to Bill. “It was infrasound, frequencies so low humans can barely hear them. But with the right equipment, like your ham radio set, they were as clear as day.”

Bill’s mind raced. The implications were staggering. Could it be that they had stumbled upon a similar phenomenon? A message not from across the world but from across the cosmos?

The revelation hit Bill like a thunderclap. The otherworldly tones weren’t just random noise—they were carried on a distinct frequency, a carrier wave that served as the backbone for the mysterious transmission. This carrier frequency allowed the signal to pierce through the cosmic void and reach his radio.

The room seemed to shrink around them, the walls closing in with the weight of a discovery that could change everything. Shirley’s experience at NASA had given them a clue, but the mystery remained. What were these sounds? Were they a natural cosmic event or something more deliberate?

As they stood there, the tape recorder between them, a silent sentinel to their revelation, they knew they had to find out. Without warning, the signal burst forth again, a sudden resurgence filling the room with its cryptic cadence. They snapped to attention, the tape recorder’s red light flickering back on as it resumed its silent vigil.

The carrier frequency was precise, with a steady pulse beneath the layers of sound and a beacon in the auditory fog. It was as if the signal had never left. It merely retreated momentarily into the vastness of space, gathering its strength for this second act.

Bill’s hands rapidly moved, tuning the radio to harness the signal. This was no random transmission; it was intentional and purposeful, speaking to someone once again, but who?

As Shirley manipulated the tape, playing it backward and at an increased speed, a startling clarity emerged from the garbled sounds. The reversed audio revealed a structured sequence of signals, a deliberate pattern that hinted at intelligent design. It was unmistakable—they had intercepted one side of a communication, not just any communication, but one that stretched across the stars.

The question that hung in the air was as chilling as it was fascinating: Who was the intended target of this interstellar exchange? Was it a clandestine message meant for Earth’s own scientific community, a group like Shirley’s former colleagues at NASA, who had the means to understand such a transmission? Or was it intended for another unknown recipient on Earth, a party with their own secretive ties to the cosmos?

The gravity of the situation weighed heavily on Shirley as she listened to Bill’s earnest plea. “Please, Shirley, we can’t let this out. Not yet. We don’t know what we’re dealing with,” he implored, his eyes reflecting fear and wonder.

But the scientist in Shirley couldn’t be silenced. The need to share this discovery, to seek answers from those who might understand, was too strong. With a heavy heart, she reached for the phone and dialed the familiar number of her old boss at NASA.

“Dr. Henson,” she began, her voice steady despite the turmoil. “I’ve come across something... extraordinary. I think you need to hear it.”

As she spoke, Bill’s expression was a tapestry of emotions—resignation, apprehension, and a deep, unspoken hope that perhaps, just perhaps, they were on the brink of a revelation that could change everything.

The peaceful suburban neighborhood was abruptly disturbed as unmarked vehicles stormed in, creating a harshness of noise and chaos. Moving with calculated precision, the FBI surrounded 1212 Manor Way, their presence sending a shiver down the spines of onlookers. The doors were forcefully breached, and agents flooded the grounds, their hurried footsteps echoing through the once-serene home.

The two were awestruck as the agents brandished automatic weapons as if they were prepared for battle with some Radio Shack equipment from the 80s, a few tubes that had been cannibalized from old television sets and wires, lots of cables that resembled a Gordian knot rather than an intricate tapestry of circuits.

Bill and Shirley, still reeling from their cosmic discovery, could only watch in stunned silence as their home was turned upside down. The radio gear that had captured the alien signals, the tape with its otherworldly message, and even the dish antenna that had been the conduit for interstellar communication were all confiscated swiftly.

Sparks flew as the agents ripped things loose, taking everything with them, including the cat hair that plagued the desk where Bill spent so much time.

Before they could protest and demand answers, the two found themselves ushered into the back of a black suburban, the world they knew receding into the distance. The implications of their discovery were clear: they had stumbled upon a secret that was not theirs to keep, a truth guarded by powers far beyond their understanding.

As the suburban vanished into the night, a lonely meow echoed through 1212 Manor Way. The cat was the only witness to the extraordinary events unfolding within its walls.

The mystery of the signals remained, but for the two, the quest for answers had taken an unexpected turn that would test the limits of their resolve and courage.

They embarked on an unimaginable journey from 1212 Manor Way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, encountering extraordinary circumstances.

The hallowed halls of the White House, filled with whispers of history and the weight of power, stood in stark contrast to the peaceful suburban life they were accustomed to.

As they were ushered into the Oval Office, the staff’s hushed whispers and solemn expressions added to the gravity of their situation. The President of the United States, exuding a commanding aura, extended an unexpected and captivating offer.

“We’ve been following your... remarkable findings,” the President began, carefully selecting each word. “The Central Intelligence Agency sees great potential in your skills and believes they could be a valuable asset to our organization.”

Bill and Shirley exchanged a glance, the surreal nature of the moment not lost on them. Here they were, two ordinary citizens, standing before the leader of the free world, being offered a role in the shadows of espionage and global intelligence.

No one would willingly accept the alternative to the offer, as it was far from desirable, unless, of course, you happen to be suicidal.

“It’s not a position we offer lightly,” the President continued, “but these are not ordinary times. What you’ve stumbled upon could have implications far beyond our understanding. We need you on our team.”

The offer was irresistible, not because of status or prestige, but because it presented a chance to delve deeper into the mystery that had upended their lives. With a sense of self-preservation, Bill and Shirley accepted, stepping into a new world where secrets and signals intertwined and searching for truth would take them to the edges of reality and beyond.

Secrecy was paramount, so much so that their travel plans to their new home involved several weeks under the water reunited with Sparks the cat.

The South Pacific, with its azure waters and whispering palms, was the backdrop to Bill and Shirley’s latest chapter. Delivered by the silent grace of a submarine, they emerged onto an island as remote as it was beautiful. Their residence, perched atop the gentle slopes of a dormant volcano, offered a panoramic view of the ocean’s endless horizon.

Their home was a marvel of self-sufficiency, equipped with radio equipment that was their lifeline to the world they left behind. Solar panels drank in the tropical sun, powering their equipment and their new life of isolation. A plane would pass overhead each week, a tiny speck against the vast sky, delivering provisions that sustained them.

They communicated with the CIA and the frequency that held the secret to the strange sounds from space.

The encrypted radio crackled to life at prearranged times, serving as their sole connection to their past and present. Bill and Shirley discovered themselves as caretakers of cosmic secrets in this secluded paradise, living a peaceful solitude and dedicated service.

The nights on the island were usually a canvas of stars, a celestial tapestry uninterrupted by the lights of civilization. But this night was different. As they gazed up at the sky from their volcanic vantage point, they saw them—strange lights that danced and weaved through the darkness.

The lights she saw were unlike any she had ever seen before - not the steady blinking ones of aircraft or the familiar twinkle of satellites. They moved with purpose, their every step exuding an unnerving and mesmerizing intelligence. The encrypted radio had been silent on the details, but a sense of unease hung in the air - the message was clear: the aliens were approaching Earth.

It was only when the lights descended, tracing a path toward the horizon, that the couple realized the destination of these celestial visitors. The lights converged on a specific location, a coordinated descent to an undisclosed landing site. The site was undisclosed to everyone except them.

They could only watch in awe as the lights disappeared below their mountaintop home on the beach below.

As the night settled into silence, the couple realized their seclusion had granted them a front-row view of an extraordinary moment in human history. As the encrypted radio crackled to life, a voice from the CIA broke through the static, their tone filled with fear and excitement—they had confirmation that the aliens had finally made their presence known.

Once a haven of solitude and secrets, the island had become a stage for the extraordinary. Bill and Shirley watched from the shadows as the strange creatures explored their new surroundings. With multiple eyes that gleamed in the tropical sun and tentacles that moved with fluid grace, the beings were like nothing on Earth.

Much like the one-way radio signals that brought them here, communication with the grey, multi-eyed, tentacled creatures was insurmountable. The sounds that emanated from these visitors were complex, a symphony of clicks and tones that human vocal cords could not replicate. They were observers, silent witnesses to the interplay of lifeforms from different worlds.

Sparks and the aliens seem to get along well together.

Unbeknown to the humans, the island was the constant target of several nations with enough nuclear weaponry to incinerate the entire area if the METC (Multi-Eyed Tentacle Creatures) were harmful.

The METC seemed unbothered by the human’s presence, their eyes occasionally fixing on the couple with a piercing yet kind gaze. It was a silent acknowledgment, a shared understanding that they were all far from home.

As the days passed, the two adapted to their role as hosts to the galaxy’s wanderers. They listened and learned, picking up patterns in the creatures’ communication, and understanding began in their minds. The island was no longer just their outpost; it had become a crossroads of civilizations, a testament to the boundless possibilities of the universe.

The sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the island as the creatures gathered around their neighbors. Then, the visitors began to reveal the true purpose of their arrival, gesturing with their tentacles toward the sky with deliberate movements.

The creatures communicated their mission in a series of intricate patterns and lights and a form of ESP. They were explorers sent across the vastness of space searching for allies, of kindred spirits among the stars. Earth was not their final destination but a stepping stone on a journey that spanned galaxies.

They spoke of a remarkable convergence, where civilizations from different corners of the universe gathered to exchange knowledge and culture, creating a cosmic symposium buzzing with ideas. Bill and Shirley became the conduits through which humanity was invited to join this interstellar community.

It was a moment of profound revelation, where boundaries of species and worlds melted away in a harmonious unity. Once mere observers, the two became emissaries tasked with fostering a bond between humans and aliens, paving the way for an unparalleled era of collaboration and comprehension.

Unbeknownst to them, they were on the verge of transforming into the unfamiliar beings known as aliens.

The couple knew their lives had been forever changed as the creatures’ message became clear, resonating deep within their souls. They were no longer castaways on an island; they were part of a larger cosmos, a tapestry of life richer and more diverse than they had ever imagined.

As they stood on the threshold of this new era, Bill and Shirley accepted their roles with a sense of humility and honor.

The METC had other plans.

Many nations had their fingers on the buttons of nuclear-tipped warheads, and the METC knew it. Ushering the earthlings into their spaceship seemingly for a tour, the tour was more than just a local tour of the ship. It was much more than a four-hour tour of the stars. It was, in fact, a tour of the infinite galaxy and beyond.

NASA received a one-way communication from the lights in the night sky, filling the room with a sense of awe.

“At this time, the Earth cannot join the interstellar community because of the danger and backwardness exhibited by the disparate leaders of countries. The realization that there can be no victors in a nuclear war may prompt them to seek communication with you again if humanity doesn’t annihilate itself."

The radio switched off with that transmission as the two peered at their hosts. Shirly had to continually put the idea of sushi out of her head. The METC had its own culinary battles. The rules explicitly stated that eating sentient life forms was forbidden. While Sparks was safe, the human’s future was up for debate.

May 13, 2024 01:15

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George Beasley
16:55 May 18, 2024

I said to myself, I'm going to read one more story before I get on the radio and this is the one I chose. I loved it. I was mad at first because they took his radio equipment but then soon learned it was well worth it. Sometimes we can only dream this would happen, or has it. Great story!


Scott Taylor
20:41 May 18, 2024

Thanks, George. I am an Avvid ham. I assume that's what you meant when you said on the radio. I recently moved from the city to the country and have yet to get my antennas up. Should I incorporate a dish? LOL


George Beasley
14:34 May 19, 2024

I'm in and out of my shack these days, writing seems to take some priority but the radio is on and I'm listening. Call here is WX4DX....73 my friend


Scott Taylor
18:03 May 19, 2024

It's always nice to meet a fellow ham. I am trying to retire and write full-time. Moving from the city was a good move. I bought enough land to have an antenna farm, and that is on the to-do list. There are lots of things that have to happen after you move, and building a ham shack is on the list. The property has more trees than I can count, a few of them are dead and that is taking time to sort out as well. I have a thing for wire antennas so that will most probably be one of the first ones up. the house came with a tower which was rather...


George Beasley
12:30 May 20, 2024

That’s my plan as well. Retire and write.


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Trudy Jas
19:57 May 14, 2024

Metc one, earthlings zero. Not that we're surprised. Yeah, for felines. :-) Fave line. - prepared to do battle with some Radio Shack equipment from the 80's...


Scott Taylor
05:02 May 15, 2024

That was a lot of fun. The ending, which mentions the urge to take sushi off her list and the aliens picking Sparks the cat as the sentient being over the humans, should garner a laugh. Thanks for reading, I hope you are doing well.


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Alexis Araneta
17:50 May 13, 2024

Scott, as usual, a creative tale that just flowed. Lovely work !


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Darvico Ulmeli
14:23 May 13, 2024

We didn't pass inspection? How about that? Nice one.


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