This story is by Sarah McKee and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Laura wore a silly grin as she rode her bike down the road. Her ride to work was more enjoyable then usual due to the visor over her eyes. The new pair of Bionic Eye Glasses she ordered from Savvy Science Labs had just arrived today. She looked through the visor up at the cloudless sky. The display stated: 8% chance of clouds. High of 68. The instructions also mentioned there was a night-vision mode. Laura imagined what the sky would look like tonight.
Suddenly the front bike tire hit something and forced her over the handle bars. She slammed back down on the seat with eyes squinting. Or was she squinting because the sun got brighter? It was then that Laura realized her new accessory must have flew off her face and landed on the concrete. “No,” she whispered as she got off the bike. Her mouth hung open as she picked the visor off the ground. There was a small crack on the left side of the lens. Some sort of liquid was seen on the glass. She rubbed her shirt over the front and back lens but it didn’t change any thing. Why didn’t I buy the warranty, Laura wondered. The visor had powered down so she put them back over her eye’s and gave the commanded, “Power on.”
Her vision changed to a pink tinted color. Rose color glasses mode, she thought. Aloud she said, “Change mode. Weather report.” But the glasses refused to change. She tried again, “Change. Mode. Time.” Again nothing changed. In the far left corner of her eye she could see the blurry crack. All that money she spent on the latest gadget was wasted. All she had now was a pair of pretty sun glasses.
Laura grit her teeth as she looked at the road searching for broken pavement to blame for her demise. But found nothing. She gripped the handle bars as hard as she could and petaled fiercely down the road. Her mood started to calm as she glanced over at some beautiful flowers. They looked like a deep shade of purple. Then she saw a dark shadow appear on her far left side. Fear tingled down her spin, but when she looked to her left it was gone. Laura thought, It’s just the crack on the lens silly. Nothing there. She faced forward again and the dark shadow appeared in her left view. It’s closer.
Laura panicked and fell off her bike with her legs getting tangled under a wheel. She felt the sting of the hot pavement touching her legs. Through the scratch in the lens she could see the shadow of the creature. It was about four feet tall and approaching her fast. The outline of an arm extended towards Laura and the sound of someone making spit bubbles emerged from its direction.
“Get away!” she screamed. Laura turned her head looking for help but lost site of the shadow. So she faced sideways again to get the shadow back into view. Now the shadow was about to touch her face. Laura leaned back and pulled her feet out from under the bike. Then she kicked at it with every ounce of strength she had. She could feel the invisible resistance on the bike, as if she was trying to kick it through a thick bush. Sparks appeared on the edge of the bike.
Now the shadow was making a mechanical sound, like a ceiling fan that was left on high. The dark shadow outline turned into a yellow and black creature with the face of a gecko. With its cloaking device broken she could see a strange harness around its torso. The gecko creature opened its gaping mouth, but it only made the spit bubble sound. It was sitting on the ground holding its leg.
A dark object rolled over, putting the two of them in its shade. When Laura looked down she saw the objects shadow was a heart. She looked up and saw a blue cloudless sky. The black and yellow creature smiled and tilted its head to the right side. With wide eyes Laura tilted her head as well and looked up at the sky through her cracked lens. The shadow outline of a ship was in view. That’s when the two of them were beamed up into the sky.
Laura found herself sitting on a cold metal floor surrounded by the gecko headed creatures. They stood with their heads and arms lowered. One by one they were making noises with their mouths. But she could detect no words. One of them pointed to her eyes. She took her visor off and held it close to her stomach. Two of the creatures started to back away as a human man walked forward. He sat down on the floor besides her and said, “Don’t be afraid. They will not hurt you.”
She looked at him with scrunched up eyes.
He smiled and said, “I know. I get that look a lot. They say that if you give them the glasses you can go home. The world is not ready to see.”
“They say? You can understand them?”
The man tapped his forehead as he said, “Yes, I hear them in my mind. But my family said that makes me insane.”
“I broke one of their cloaks.”
“Did he buy the warranty?”
He gave her a warm smile.
She looked around the room at the alien devices and screens. They had a familiar look to them. Then the realization hit her. All the gadget’s and technology that seemed to show up in stores overnight. It was taken or maybe stolen from these aliens. She said, “My new glasses. The new Last Word pods. ” Laura thought of the commercial from Savvy Science Labs. “They said it was Breakthrough Technology.”
“Yes, and who do you think they broke through to get it?” His arm extended towards one of the creatures.
[…] Shadow in the Lens […]