Welcome to the last contributions of the year to the Write… Edit … Publish and Insecure Writers Support Group Challenge.
This Month, the last entry of the year is FOOTPRINTS
Thank you to Laura, Denise and Tyrean for making this month’s challenge possible.
The WINNER of the DECEMBER Challenge will be offered a critique by multi-published author J.L. Campbell, on 3 chapters of a novel in progress, or a completed short story.
NOW, without further ado, here is my contribution for FOOTPRINTS.
This Flash is a follow-up on the OCTOBER Challenge Horrible Harvest, TRICK OR TREAT, which you can read or re-read HERE
Robert, hunched over his desk, was listening to the snow rushing at the panes which left intricate lace crystals. He was poring through newspaper clippings on the Web. Halloween had come and gone. The usual frights and brawls splayed over the pages. Not a hint of exploded pumpkins .
Teresa appeared in the doorway.
‘ Dad, Dad, look what I found on Instagram ! ‘
She stuck the phone in front of his nose.
‘ What am I looking at ? ‘
‘ Read, look at the pics.’
‘ Holy Ghost ! ‘
‘ You said it.’
There on the screen was a clear photo of eight of the outlandish creatures they had seen on Halloween Night, dancing below a starry sky. In the middle, a blur of firefly-like small pods hovered. The caption read : Crazy spectacle in Hill wood,⌗BanderaTexas, ⌗11/20/19, ⌗SallyEvenbrite.
‘ You have to contact her.’
‘ Already sent a poke.’
‘ Ask her how she found them, ask for details. Did they have ten arms and legs ? Did she see lightening bolts ? What … ? ‘
‘ Slow down Dad, here she is.’
Sally had appeared on the phone.
‘ Gosh Teresa, I thought I had gone crazy. You’re the first hit I got.’
‘ We’re coming to Texas to visit family for Thanksgiving. Will you be around ? ‘
‘ You bet, no way I’m going out of town now. Text me as soon as you get here and we’ll go to the clearing together.’
‘ Yeah ! Great ! I’ll try and bring my buddies Paul and Tim along. They were there with me on Halloween. I’m bursting ! ‘
‘ Me too, so long.’
The same afternoon on Terry’s battered couch, Tim and Paul were studying the pics.
‘ Wow, this is crazy. It has happened somewhere else.’
‘ You reckon they’re all over the country ? ‘
‘ All over the planet, more likely, Tim. Why would they just choose two places, if it’s an invasion.’
‘ An invasion ! Christ ! ‘
‘ Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,’ Robert interjected, ‘ We haven’t got a clue why they’re here, what they want. They might be peaceful for all we know.’
‘ Shouldn’t we take this to the authorities ? ‘ suggested Paul.
‘ Fat chance. First, they wouldn’t believe us. Then we have to investigate further, now that we’re not the only ones to have seen them.’ Teresa enjoined.
‘ I would tend to agree with Terry, let’s keep it quiet for the moment. meet up with Sally in Bandera and take it from there,’ sided Robert.
Sally was a redhead covered in freckles which stood out from exposure to the Texas sun. She was standing in the middle of the dirt track leading into Hillwood.
‘ Look, here are some footprints that they must’ve left. See the big toe and then the smooth curve, the round heel and nothing in between,’ she pointed out to Terry, Robert, Tim and Paul gathered round, squinting their eyes against the midday glare.
‘ They lead that way. Is that where the clearing is ? ‘
‘ Yeah, about a quarter of a mile through the brush.’
‘ Let’s go see,’ chorused Paul and Tim.
The clearing was bare except for a star of scorched earth.
‘ Exactly how it was in Maine. The star-shaped circle burnt into the ground,’ contributed Robert.
‘ Can you stay till the next full moon ? That’s when they seem to come out. If two sightings make a pattern,’ asked Sally.
‘ You bet, we have to see this through,’ agreed Teresa.
The night sky was cloud-spattered. The white orb dipped in and out, the stars joining in the cosmic dance. When Robert, Sally, Terry, Paul and Tim snuck behind the trees, the dark blue beings were already crouched in their positions. The sound that rose from the gneiss boulder was deeper than the one they had heard in October, haunting and ominous. The firelights erupted from a crack, shot around the twelve translucent heads, then, with lightening speed, something unexpected happened. A tiny balloon of pea pods zapped to within an inch of Sally’s forehead. She glided upwards towards the stone, hypnotised. The sitting creatures circled her and touched her arms and legs with their thumbs and fingerless palms sending waves of lights all over her body. Four more bubbles bolted and grasped Terry, Tim, Robert and Paul in their spell drawing them into the fray. The humans, open-mouthed, speechless, vibrated in the caresses of pure energy.
‘ Yoki cum staka. Yoki cum staka …‘ chanted the little blue people.
‘ Welcome in our midst.’ The words translated themselves effortlessly. Neither the blue people, nor our friends had spoken a word.
‘ Cum luk pata, lanot colam oka. Kala ov kluk.‘
‘ We are with you on the blue planet, to help you transition, like we have in the past.’
‘ Transition to what ?’ thought Teresa.
‘ Colam oka malaïa kata song pata.‘
‘ Transition to a species who respects life on the planet.’
‘ Luk pata kono asurot molona Oba.‘
‘ The blue planet is very important to the whole of the Universe.’
‘ Lanort colum ov kluk. Cum Tola. Cum Fo.‘
‘ We have helped you in the past. With tools and with fire.’
In a wink, the assembly disappeared beyond the clouds with these lingering words:
‘ Asam ot bala Alpha. Asam Alpha.‘
‘ We will spread the word to the worthy.’
Once shaken from their daze, Sally broke the silence:
‘ Let me get this straight. They live on Earth. They have helped humans before. They communicated directly with their minds. And nobody has ever noticed !’
‘ Sounds improbable. Near impossible that there are no recorded sightings in stone at least,’ added Robert.
‘ Crazy,’ Tim qualified it.
‘ Cool,’ wondered Paul.
‘ Well at least they have answered one simple question,’ stated Robert.
‘ Simple !’ boomed Teresa.
‘ I think we can agree that their aim is to contact humans around the world and help them act upon the future of all species on this planet. The authorities will have no part in it.’
‘ I guess they’re not worthy enough,’ chuckled Paul, as though drunk.
‘ At least we agree with them on that,’ joined in Teresa, lightheaded.
‘ Wow, I have to sit down, this is mind boggling ,’ collapsed Tim.
As they left the wood, their dreamy minds were ablaze with ideas and plans to make sure every living thing enjoyed this world for thousands of years to come. They would avoid treading in the footsteps of their forebears.
1052 words. FCA
Alpha , film 2018, extract, Bonding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IHDSpacpbc&frags=pl%2Cwn
2001, A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick, 1968, extract The Dawn of Man, here
scenario co-written by Arthur C. Clarke while shooting in progress.
Arthur C. Clarke, 2010 ( written 1982 ); 2061 ( 1988 ); 3001 ( 1997 ).
films adapted from novels.
Some interesting things but not as good. It needed two genius minds working together to come up with the masterpiece : 2001 A Space Odyssey.
Starman, David Bowie, 1972, here
The Doors, Strange Days, People are Strange here
When the Music’s over here
Sunrise July 2013
Full Moon June 2019
Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the story.
Please leave a comment or a FCA and I will be sure to reply. Looking forward to reading your take on Footprints. Have a Merry Christmas.