This story is by Jacqueline Parker and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
I tell you what, nobody sees through your two eyes but you. The blessed Lord gave me two and He ain’t gonna let me see something He don’t want me to see. Maybe what I saw can’t be explained but that don’t mean that it wasn’t there.
* * *
Those news people arrived 30 minutes late, I tell you what. You’d think they have enough practice running off to car crashes and the like to be on time for little old me but, nope, I coulda baked a cake already. I beat them to the door, catching the reporter’s knock mid-air.
“Geneva Sands, News Channel 5. You must be Mrs. Reynolds.”
“Mary-Ellen is just fine with me,” I said. “Come on in!”
Geneva tilted her head to look over my shoulder. “We should probably shoot outside. Why don’t we start at the beginning?”
We walked outside and she positioned me just so to get my house in the background.
“All right, now. Jerry!” she shouted to the cameraman. Sheesh, she didn’t need to be so loud. He was right behind her. Geneva delivered a newsy introduction while I stood beside her trying my best to hold a smile.
“Mrs. Reynolds,” she said pointing the microphone at my face. “Why don’t you tell us where you first saw this… this…”
“Well, I ain’t sure what it was exactly.”
“Where did you first notice it? Can you tell us what it looked like?”
“It was right over here.” I shuffled toward the car, waving at them to follow me. “You see, I was getting ready to leave for work but ended up carrying too darn much and I couldn’t find my keys. So I put my coffee down on the hood so I could look through my purse. But then I dropped my keys. I reached down to grab them and when I came back up there it was.”
“Here by the car?”
“Mmhmm.” I moved around to the other side. “Yep, right here. See for yourself.” I pointed to a circle of dead grass, edged in bright green and yellow blades that struggled to reach the sun. “Tell you what, that thing surprised the heck out of me!”
* * *
I didn’t tell them I was running late to work. I also didn’t tell them that I suddenly felt real cold then. Not like a breeze, but I swear I felt like a Fudgesicle popped in the freezer. When I got up, there it was, standing by the passenger door like it wanted a ride into town.
“Hello? Mr… Hello?” I waved my hands but it didn’t move. Was it a mister anyway? Maybe it didn’t understand the Lord’s English so I sent it telekipathic messages. I thought real hard about what to say but mostly I just said hello and that I was a good person. I was still pretty cold, goosebumps all up and down my arms.
It was tall and all white. It didn’t have no face but I sure did feel it watching me. It didn’t say anything either, just kept on not staring at me. You know how hard it is to look at something in the eyes when they don’t have any? This thing weren’t moving or talking or anything like that and if it weren’t for the fact that my darn coffee turned to ice when I went to drink it, I’d barely believe it was there myself. But then I got this weird feeling like I was floating above the ground. For a minute, I thought it was gonna snatch me up but I hadn’t moved an inch. Even my keys were frozen still in my hand.
* * *
“Can you tell our viewers what it looked like?”
“It wasn’t quite a human, but it wasn’t not one either. It looked like one of those cute little Halloween ghosts, you know with the sheets, only it had roots and vines roped around it all so you couldn’t tell where one limb ended and the other began.” I wrapped my arms around each other to illustrate. “And it didn’t really have any eyes, but I could tell that it was watching me. I think it—”
“Well, this is… fascinating,” Geneva interrupted. “What happened next?”
“Then my son, Bo, he’s single, called out for me so I looked away real quick. When I turned back around, it was gone.”
“Your son, did he see the being?”
“Well, no, I’m not sure. He was in the house.”
“This is quite a story. Let’s say you did see something. Do you think it came in peace?”
“In peace? Like those Roswell critters?” I said. “I don’t think it was bad, if that’s what you mean. Listen, I know what I saw. I ain’t making this up.”
“Of course, Mrs. Reynolds,” she paused. “Thank you for speaking with us.”
Geneva grinned at the camera. “There you have it, folks. Was it an alien, a trick of the eyes, or a fanciful tale? We may never know. This is Geneva Sands with News Channel 5.”
I thought about how it took my car forever to warm up after that thing vanished and that I had to wait dang near an hour for my coffee to melt before I could drink it. It didn’t hurt me, but whatever it was brought with it something cold. I just wish it hadn’t killed the grass where it had been standing.
The news van left a cloud of dust as it turned out of the driveway. Someone would believe me, I was sure of it. And you know something? I really wasn’t scared one bit, not at all. I didn’t tell them that, or that part me was hoping it would take me with it. Bo’d be fine without me, didn’t know I was there half the time anyway. Yep, I was ready but I wouldn’t have told them that even if they had asked.
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