This story is by Philip Shepherd and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
Driving a half hour to work every morning is boring, isn’t it? I was on my way to work on the first Thursday in June. Work is one of those locations where you do something for someone else, and they pay you money. It was a lovely sunny morning, and I took a different route, and now was enjoying the half hour drive through the countryside. The sound of the engine was pleasant to me, but I wanted some music. I turned the stereo on to my CD, and the music of Elvis Presley became evident.
The road was on a hill, and the car experienced some effort to climb, so I decreased the gear and gave it some life. The sound of the music became filtered by the noise of a jet plane that was flying low, and it was loud. The racket of the jet plane was growing louder than my stereo music. The plane must be so low in the sky, so I looked around for it, but couldn’t see it anywhere through my windows. It was strange that I could still hear it. As it was so loud, I stopped on some grass and looked all around the car. I still couldn’t see the jet, and I got out of my car. There was nothing in sight. The noise seemed to be coming from directly above my vehicle. Watching the area of sound, I still couldn’t see anything. There didn’t appear to be anyone else around either. Only when I had looked for thirty seconds or so, that I noticed a shape. It was not solid as it was just an outline in the sky.
I started to become dizzy, so I looked down to the floor for a reference point. Suddenly a black and white image of the grass and road was visible. The growing feeling of fear began to overtake my judgement. I grabbed for my car to help me to keep my balance. My hands went through without feeling anything. The white colour was becoming prominent in my vision. I couldn’t see any images any longer. My stomach turned upside down, and I thought my breakfast was on its way back. Everything was white now, and I couldn’t see my hands, feet or any body part. My head was feeling full of blood, and just like if you were upside down. I had been wearing glasses, but not any longer. My stomach was becoming uncomfortable. I needed to vomit, to end the pain in my stomach.
A spherical object appeared, and it was becoming larger and larger. A second sphere became visible too. The globes approached together, and I began to hear a squeaky sound. It continued for nearly a minute.
I cleared my throat and spoke, “Hello, where… am I? Who are you two? And why can’t I see anything else?”
The squeaking started again but transformed from the high-pitched squeak to a recognisable voice. “We apologise for the slow, deliberate effort in communication. We have been receiving transmissions from this planet, and we analysed a lot of them. This awkward, silly little language is English, yes?”
“Err… That is true. Who are you? Where are we? Also, what’s this white colour all around?” I questioned.
“Your silly English language has no known words to us that describe who we are and the form we take.”
“So, what you want? Am I the right person with which to speak?”
The aliens explained, “Oh dear Lord, seemingly, the protocol for introductions is discourse and then meetings.” There was a pause, and then they resumed, “We have a problem with this rock of yours, and we wish to stop the transmissions that are affecting our society.”
“Oh crap, I, I’m not the right person. You need to speak with leaders and scientists of our planet.” I was getting used to the white background and my stomach, although feeling rough I had it under control. The fear was still there, but I was now aware of the situation.
“The electromagnetic transmissions from this rock are interfering with the lifestyle on our planet, and we must rectify that situation.”
I frowned and took a deep breath and said, “How is it disrupting the life on your planet?”
“We use electromagnetic frequencies for communication from individual to individual. On the reception of the transmissions from your planet, a break in our connection occurs, and it makes general miscommunication likely.” The globes changed colour and turned a dark red. “Your projections are damaging our society. We must stop you from broadcasting the omissions that affect our lifestyle. We may have to destroy this planet.”
Fear within me began to rise for myself and the planet Earth. “Alright, we need to get out of here and talk with our leaders and scientists. I’m sure we can come to some joint agreement, and there is no need for any disruption on either of our planets, ok? Where is your planet?” I asked.
The aliens responded, “Speed and distance travelled may be helpful, as we cannot point to it or have knowledge of your star charts. The concept of time demands the knowledge of the counting of the electromagnetic waves. You are a different life form we have come across within this atmosphere. We tried to talk with you, and we had to apply some tests to the number of electromagnetic cycles you could detect, both visually and audibly. Other life forms on this planet have different detection ranges.”
“Have you been speaking with animals?” My mind was thinking about communication with the rest of the life on Earth. “What did they say?” I was getting interested in their communication to other lifeforms and saving our planet. “Ok, distance. The only speed that is constant is light. Are you aware of that speed?”
“I certainly think so, as light is an electromagnetic wave and we use it. But, you are only conscious of a narrow band, and we can move into the range in which you can identify us,” insisted the extra-terrestrials.
“So, what percentage speed of light wave did you travel, and how long was your journey?” It did feel ridiculous talking with two spheres inside an entirely white zone. So, I mentioned, “Are you able to exit your starship?”
“You are presently on our vessel, and we could alter its electromagnetic wave frequency so your lifeform may recognise our identity. We transported you to our starship and created an atmosphere that sustains your life,” explained the aliens.
“So, so if you move me outside again and follow me, I could, could take you to the people with whom you should be talking.”
“Agreed, we will transport you and create the electromagnetic waves so we can continue to impart knowledge within your so limited frequency waveband.”
I was a little happier and replied, “Alright, let’s go.” Once again, the whiteness blinded me during the experience. Gravity came back and so did the ground, my arms, legs and glasses. I looked around and still didn’t see their starship. Above my car, an object started to become visible. It was about the size of a coconut.
There was also a voice I could hear, “On our journey to your planet, we have stopped receiving interference. We have been travelling for five of your years.”
“I have recently bought a satellite receiver, and this is enabling the closure of many low-frequency ground broadcasts. Perhaps, those were the source of the interference, and we are stopping their use as our technology improves.”
“That is a possibility, and we will speak about this with your scientists.”
“You do have a lot of knowledge about our planet Earth.”
“Yes, we have been receiving your interference for many of your years. We would like to meet the leading scientist of your planet—Doctor Sheldon Cooper.”
“Doctor who?… Hang on a minute, where did you hear that name?”
“The mentioning of Doctor Sheldon Cooper was almost every time we analysed the waveform interference. It also appeared to contain a lot of scientific terms.”
“Do you also recognise the words—The Big Bang Theory?”
“Yes, that was all over your interference. Hopefully, we won’t meet the evil Wil Wheaton.
“Oh no, there will be a lot of explaining about the interference you have been analysing.”
“Are you feeling fear? Do you need us to sing the Soft Kitty to you?”