Friday, January 6, 2012

Stars Fall (Part 3 of 3)

Lights sweep through the house from the backyard. I hear engines revving and voices shouting and my heart crashes into my chest like a star falling from the sky. Missy grasps my hand in hers, pressing something hard between our palms. It stings or burns, I can’t tell which, but someone is pounding at the back door. 

Missy just smiles up at me; playfully, excitedly, calmly. She’s not worried about the men at the door and I wonder what she knows that I don’t. 

But then she says, “It’s an adventure,” and I know I’m about to find out. 


The pounding at the door grows in intensity until I’m sure they’re going to crash through it. It could be the neighborhood watch. It would be looters, driven mad by the chaos. It could be the army. It could be Mom and Dad. No, not Mom and Dad.

I look down at the warm object in my hands. It’s small and black, and almost looks like a rock, but not quite. It shines too much. Glimmers, like some type of metal that I don’t have a name for.  “Missy, where did you get this?”

Missy stares at the metal rock and in her eyes I see that same strange glow. It scares me. “Missy?”

“We have to go now, Tabby.” She slips her tiny hand in mine and leads me to the front of the house.  Bright beams of light flash this way and that. The voices of men shouting, sirens, fire, all of it mixes together until it’s nothing but white noise and the pounding of my heart in my ears.

I’ve seen enough movies to know that the government shouldn’t be trusted. What if aliens crash landed, and they want to eradicate all witnesses? But what choice do I have?  I open the door, before they bust through it.

Men rush in with guns drawn. They swarm the living room, the kitchen, and I hear their boots stomping up the stairs. The flashlights on their helmets sting my eyes. I pull Missy close to me and hide the object in the pocket of my pajamas.

“Is there anyone else in the house?” a soldier asks me. My first instinct is to lie and say, yes my parents are home. But they’d know, and I don’t know what could happen to me for lying to them.

“We’re alone. Our parents are in town.”

“We?” he asks.

I nod. Missy’s fingers grope my pocket and I grab her hand too hard, but she doesn’t seem to notice. She grins up at me, like this is all some part of a game. Usually I’d wish I could be as fearless, but tonight I’m glad to be scared enough to be smart.

The soldier barks commands into a walkie-talkie and then tells us to come with him. I take one last look around our house. It doesn’t look like home with all these strangers here. Mom’s leopard-print snuggie lays draped over her rocking chair, and for no other reason than to feel close to her, I take it with me, and follow the soldier outside.

Our front yard looks like a war zone. Flashing lights are everywhere and it is so overwhelming that I’m disoriented and barely notice that Missy has walked away to speak to a man in a white coat. I pat my pocket. Empty.


The man takes her by the hand. Soldiers rush in and pin me back. All I can do is scream her name and pray she turns around. Why won’t they let me go to her? It’s like they don’t even see her. The man in the white coat turns to me and then slowly Missy does too. In their eyes I see the same glimmer.

“It’s an adventure, Tabby,” my sister says, as she points her finger to the sky. “I’m going, because you said I could, but these men will take care of you now.” Her voice changes and she’s gone from six to twenty-seven again. “Tell them nothing.”

And just like that, she’s gone.

We hope you enjoyed our tangle this week! Next week, an all new untangled short by Natalie!

"Geminid-Shooting-Stars" photo found here.

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