Encounter

Written by: jlabrum

Roland Sinclair was around eleven at the time. It was the spring of 1952. He stared at the old radio, his attention consumed by his favorite radio drama, Mr. District Attorney, as it created a movie in his mind. He was so consumed that he didn’t notice a ribbon of intense white light forming at the base of the wall under the window and spreading into the room. Suddenly his eyes darted to a brilliant ball drifting toward the ground and flooding the front room of their old farm house with light. Cautiously, he got up from the pillow he always sat on in front of the Philco radio set standing next to a gray mohair couch. He moved watchfully to the window. Shielding his eyes with his hand, he could make out the shape of an object radiating the brilliant light as it landed in the cornfield across the road just a couple hundred yards away.

“Mom!” he yelled as he stared at the large glowing thing, anxiety evident in his voice. He was scared, but excited, too.

His mother rushed into the room, “Ronny, what is it,” she asked, moving straight to the window. She quickly positioned herself between her son and whatever lay outside. Roland pushed away to get a better view. But the thing had no sooner landed when they saw it take off again. It leaped silently into the sky on a streak of light and disappeared.

. . . . . .

The afternoon felt warm even for September. Roland didn’t know why he preferred to walk home from school. The old farmhouse was several miles from the elementary school in the mid-west town where he was in the sixth grade. There was a bus but often he just needed to get out. School had started a new term the week before and Roland was feeling cooped up. When his mother asked why he had suddenly taken to going on his solitary walks, he couldn’t explain the mysterious compulsion that called him out. All he knew was it started around the time of the incident in the corn field. His mind was flooded with random images and he needed to get out and quiet it.

Roland’s favorite route took him along an abandoned railroad track and through the woods that followed the river. This particular day, Roland stopped in a clearing next to the river. He sat beneath a large maple, feeling wrapped in the serenity of the surroundings. For a brief moment he shut his eyes and soaked in the fragrance that engulfed him.

Refreshed, he continued his journey. As he walked, he saw a strange box-shaped object skirting the tops of the trees across the river. Legs protruded from the bottom, and it moved silently, matching his speed and direction as if following him. Then it vanished without a sound. Roland rubbed a small lump on his wrist, wondering. That was Roland’s last encounter for three decades.

Writing order: Joe Labrum (USA), Anna Zhigareva (Scot), Rosemary Wakeling (Aus),Hemali Ajmera (India), Ken Burns (NZ), Iliena Bosu (India) Donna McTavish (NZ), Sameer Nagarajan (Dubai), Suraya Dewing (NZ)

Comments

This is going to challenge the imagination but I like the way you have developed the story and given it back story. You also give us a mystery which writers can develop...just what is that lump on Roland's wrist Great job Joe.
I really like this, Joe. Even though its a sci-fi and not normally my thing, i love the whole mystery surrounding Roland. Why was he selected? And for what? Why does he not have another encounter until three decades later. Have to be a part of this one.
Wonderful piece of imaginary writing and as always with Sci-Fi, as long as the core of the story is constant, this can develop in all sorts of directions. This kind of starter opens the mind wide without limitations. This is another great piece that shows how a short exchange of dialogue can heighten the tension a notch and nudge the reader into the story proper. Joe, your descriptive narrative is superb and the way you wrapped up three decades into the last line...can't wait to read your first chapter.
I have submitted the next installment on this. Let's see where it goes from here.
Joe, you have really brought this story to life and kept the mystery open. I can hardly wait to see your next chapter published and to see where the other writers take it. Great piece of work. Even though I am generally not into science fiction this is very compelling.