If I had known what awaited me when I went to bed that night, I would have made other plans.
A Not-So-Alien Abduction
It was one of those toss-and-turn in your bed nights; the kind of night where sleep seems elusive. It didn't help that my usually quiet neighborhood was bustling with a noisy nighttime chaos.
I lifted my head to peer out the sliding glass door and found dark outline of someone standing on the stairway to the balcony. The surprise was a shock and bolted me awake with my heart pounding in my ears.
I must have said something to the stranger on the balcony, although, I don't remember speaking. The woman glanced toward me in her eyes a menacing warning. She was dressed in firefighter gear casually watching the chaos unfold. The woman called out to me saying, "Everything is fine."
I think she expected me to fall back asleep, but I knew sleep wouldn't come, especially now that a bright light in the sky above my house drew my attention. I gaped, open mouthed. The clouds around the object began making intricate patterns in the atmosphere. It was as if someone was trying to communicate via sky writing.
The biggest surprise of all was the object itself. It was a flying saucer!
The UFO was so close to my house, I could see what was painted across the bottom. Etched on the underside and clearly visible it said: U.S. ARMY. I was shocked, but in a way it kinda explained everything. An epiphany rippled across my mind. Was the government responsible for all the strange things in the world?
As the saucer slowly glided through the sky, it slid from my view over the top of my house. I ran downstairs to the back door and gazed up. The UFO stopped directly above me.
A door appeared in the side of the UFO as it hovered. A small blue and white craft came flying outside looking like a bright white four-legged spider. It wobbled and jerked in the sky. As it came closer I could tell it was going to land in my back yard only inches from the door where I was standing.
The man inside appeared to be middle-aged and looked like a scientist with crazy strawberry blond hair.
I'm not sure why but I opened the back door. Call me crazy but it's not every day something like this happens. I had to get a better look.
I didn't get a chance to walk outside.
The scientist asked for my name, and when I gave it a blinding light flashed in the doorway. Suddenly, the doorway changed. It no longer opened to the outside. Instead there was a door to a government office. A brunette receptionist sat at a station with official framed documents on the wall beyond. The lady saw me, smiled and pushed a button on a keyboard I couldn't see.
"Ms. Appleton has arrived, sir"
She seemed to be expecting me. Apparently, I was the only person who thought my sudden appearance here was a bit odd.
"What's going on?" I asked. "Why am I here?"
"That will be explained to you shortly," she said cryptically, picking up a clipboard and walking around the reception desk. "Please follow me. They're waiting for you in the conference room."
She arched an eyebrow staring at me with a mix of compassion and pity. "I'll let them explain it to you."
She opened a double door at the end of the hallway and pushed me inside.
"Good luck," she whispered under her breath, disappearing through the door that had clicked closed behind her.
"Ah, Ms. Appleton. Thank you for coming so quickly," said the man at the head of an incredibly long conference table. He was wearing a military outfit. I could only assume Army since that was the name on the bottom of the flying saucer.
"Not like I had a lot of choice," I muttered.
"Please have a seat." He gestured to the chair on my left. "My name is General Kenneth Macabe."
"I'm not really sure why you brought me here, General Macabe. I'm not exactly the military type."
"You're here for one talent and one talent alone. You're the dreamer. Our very own sleeping Nostradamus."
I goggled at the absurdity of it all. "What? Are you serious?"
"We're at a rocky time in our history. Only you can save us from a possible doomsday."