Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. But what if you screamed out into space. I can safely say without a doubt that something out there does hear you. But what happens when they answer back is the question you don’t want the answer to. Take my word for it.
My name is Chris Chester (“CC” to all of my friends) and this is my story. One night, several years ago, my friends and I were having a bonfire at on my parent’s farm. The sky was filled with bright stars, a full moon, and no clouds in it. We were all sitting around roasting marshmallows when my friend Stacy piped up.
“So, what are you guys going to do after graduation?”
My friend Ben brought his stick and the burning marshmallow towards his mouth as he answered. “I’m heading to Oxford.”
“In the UK?” I asked even though I knew the answer since he was always the smart one in our group.
“That’s the one.” He said blowing out his marshmallow. “My mom has been calling everybody to brag about it.”
“I’m going to study journalism in California.” Stacy spoke up. “If I play my cards right, I’ll get an internship at the LA Times.”
The four of us nodded unsurprised as Steve added in. “Mine isn’t going to be that glamorous. I’m just going to go to our community college and learn more about agriculture.” Before the rest of us could interject, Steve puts his hand up. “Look, I know it’s not exactly what we always talked about but I like farming with my dad and I am good at it. I want to keep our farm going.”
“Dude, you misunderstand.” I say to him pulling out the graham crackers. “We know that you like being a farmer. It’s in your blood and if that is what makes you happy, then go for it.”
“What about you CC?” Stacy queried me with genuine interest. “What’s next for you?”
“Honestly?” I voiced as I took a big bite from my smore. “I haven’t the faintest idea. I’ve got no plans, no prospects. I don’t know what to do and I envy you guys for knowing what you want. My only focus was finishing high school and getting all of my extracurriculars. Now that it is done. I have nothing.”
I felt my friends’ stares with the mixture of pity and understanding emanating from them. Suffice to say, I didn’t enjoy it. I felt my cheeks getting red due to the embarrassing vulnerability I was not supposed to show. Suddenly, Stacy made her way over to me and sat beside me.
“Hey that’s okay.” She alleged to me. “Lots of people are in the same boat as you. It’s okay not to know what you want. Eventually it will come to you.”
“True.” Steve said nodding his head and making up his smore. “You can do what my mom does when she gets confused.”
“What’s that, smoke pot?” Ben chuckled at him.
“No you asshole!” Ben snidely responded before biting his smore. “She looks up to the sky and yells out a question. Then the next day, she has the answer. It’s pretty freaky.”
“Of course, it’s freaky.” Stacy declared to Steve. “Your mom is a hippie. They always do freaky things like that.”
“Maybe.” I chimed in. “But at this point, what have I got to lose?”
With that, I stood up and walked just outside of my circle of friends. I heard the three of them cheer me on as I stood out at the curve of the hill. I lifted my head up at the dark starry sky and took a big gulp of air.
“Oh, mighty universe!” I called out to the sky. “What am I supposed to do with my life?”
Thirty seconds passed and there was no sign of anything to answer my question. I turned back to my friends and shrugged my shoulders. They said nothing as I began to walk back. I felt something hit me in the back of my head. The sharp pain and burning sensation that came along with it spread through out my whole body. I flew forwards and hit the ground face first but I could still hear my friends screaming in panic.
When I lifted my head, in my blurry vision, I saw the three of them run to me and try to pick me up. With Ben and Stacy wrapping my arms around their shoulders, they led me away from the fire and towards my house. Even though it was hard to make everything out, I could see that there were these strange lights coming down from the sky. By the way, my friends were freaking out, I could tell that I wasn’t the only one seeing this.
“Get in the house!” Ben screamed intensely. “Get in the house!”
As my friends struggle to get me into the house, I looked around and saw all of these orbs beginning to surround us. They looked like glowing bubbles but filled with an array of colors that I can’t even name. As soon as they hit a rock or a tree, these orbs melted everything in their path. It was like watching Armageddon happen in my own backyard. I felt the fear grip my insides but all I could do was helplessly watch as this destruction struck. My friends frantically run into my house and slam the door shut. They put me on the sofa, run to the living room windows, and look outside.
“What the hell is that?” Steve, the normally laid-back one of us shrieked fearfully. “How can it be doing all of this?”
“I don’t know!” Ben screams aloud. “There is no logical explanation for this!”
As the three of them look on outside, a burst through the front door occurred. In front of the broken door were three men dressed in black. I didn’t see their features due to the fact that I was slowly slipping into unconsciousness. However, I did see my friends turn and look at these men. The mysterious men walked towards my friends and then all I saw was blackness. There was no light, no person, and no way to escape this place of nothingness. After turning in every direction, I realized that I was stuck here. Not knowing what else to do, I sat there and cried like a child suffering from a night terror.
A man materialized in front of me. I looked from his perfectly shiny black shoes, all the up his black suit, to the top of his black fedora and soulless black sunglasses that hid his eyes. I could see that this man was bald as if he didn’t have any hair at any point in his life, the sunken in cheekbones made him look emaciated, and a thin mouth that was so faint that it only appeared as a line as opposed to full on lips. In a completely emotionless tone, he began to speak.
“You will tell no one of this. If you do, you, your friends, and your family will suffer for it.”
With that, the man turned and walked away from me until I was once again all alone. Instead of being scared of this man’s words, I was fired up. I am not a person who takes threats well. I stood up and looked around for this threatening bastard. However, I could not find anything but darkness.
I finally see a light and suddenly it fills my whole vision. I was back in my parent’s house and I had awakened on the couch. I saw my friends in various parts of the living room fast asleep. Stacy was on the love-seat, Steve was on the chair, and Ben was curled up on the carpet.
Because, I remembered the odd occurrences of last night. I got up and ran out the front door. I saw the trees completely dead and burned while the rock that I saw melt looked like it was never there to begin with. However, the whole farm looks dead. What was once a luscious green land full of hills and crops, now was brown like a barren wasteland. I jumped as soon as I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned and saw Stacy behind me.
“What’s wrong CC?” She questioned me sleepily but concerned.
“What happened last night?” I demanded still frightened by what had transpired. “What happened to my parent’s farm?”
Stacy looked at me like I was crazy. “What do you mean? You know exactly what happened!”
“Yeah,” She said still looking at me with a scrunched confused face. “Steve pulled out a bottle of whiskey and we took turns drinking it. Then we all stumbled back and passed out in the living room. As for the farm, we haven’t had much rain this year and that’s why it looks so dead. You know this! So what is your problem?”
“I was hit on the head,” I said, feeling the huge lump where whatever it was (I’m thinking one of the orbs) that hit me the previous night. “My head hurts.”
“Your head hurts because you were the one that drank the most of that whiskey.” Stacy said to me before turning back in the house. “Let’s go get some breakfast. I’m starved.”
As I felt that lump, I knew that there was something missing from that story. “But I have a bump on my head. See for yourself.”
I try to show her my injury and she feels it but what she said surprised me even more. “There’s nothing there CC. Are you still drunk?”
“No, I…” I stopped myself when I realized that she genuinely couldn’t find the wound. So, I decided to explain. “Last night there were these flying orbs hitting us and burning everything that they were touching.”
Stacy shook her head and laughed at me, “Wow CC! With an imagination like that, you should be a writer.”
Despite my frustration, what she said about me being a writer had some merit. From that point on, I knew that I wanted answers for this. So, I went to school for parapsychology and psychology. Worked hard to get my PhDs with a decertation written on UFOs and the Men in Black. Not only did I want to be a psychiatrist that helped people deal with the paranormal but also an investigator who has written several books on the matter.
It’s funny how something odd like this leads you to your destiny. Hopefully, I will find the answers to why my friends don’t remember that evening, the orbs and the men. When that I happens, I hope to tell the world.