The American People don't need to know everything, they just need to know enough to wake up the next day knowing that their world is simple. There isn't a pending apocalypse. They just need to feel safe. Aliens . . . are not in that. We don't need a mass panic on our hands. Let people sleep none the wiser. All is well, isn't that what they say in Hollywood - Head of Area 51, Michael Flannahan
“I hate space movies. I can’t stand them. I don’t get scared, I just feel like a kid watching the Muppets or Sesame Street. CGI aliens just make me cringe. I can’t . . . I really appreciate the offer but I’ll pass on this one. Maybe next time, sir.” Ken threw his Bluetooth earpiece into his motor bike’s trunk along with his page, a pair of freshly laundered scrubs, and his sweaty stethoscope. He’d already changed into his leather that he wore while he was riding his motorbike.
While fastening the strap on his helmet, he took a deep breath. He was tired, dead tired from working his first full 80 hour week as an emergency medicine resident at a local veteran hospital. He didn’t always like the hours, but the rush the work gave him made up for it. Tonight, had been a rough night in the wards. But somehow, he’d muddled through it.
Ken started the engine and felt the rush as he sped up to feel the wind rushed into his face, a taste of sweet salvation as his stress melted away. He had a whole clean weekend ahead of him to fish, drink, and spend time with his woman.
Her. He licked his chapped lips in anticipation. Maddie Mayhem. She was hell on wheels, a tough trauma nurse with already a clutch of kids. Her husband had sadly died of an overdose and somewhere in the void that her partner had left behind. She had carved a warm home for him when he had nothing to offer her. She was a keeper. Always, she would have his heart. The kids came as an added bonus.
He considered himself blessed in that department.
The resident turned onto a smaller street to avoid the delay from a funeral caravan and saw that there was a new toll on the road ahead. He patted his back pocket and sighed in relief when he felt the circular shape of some quarters embedded in. It was irritating to have extra hoops to jump through when he was already tired, but tonight at least lady luck had given him some slack.
The toll at most for bikes was usually around seventy five cents and he had more than enough.
Ken pulled up to the window when he saw a weird green flash in the adjacent cornfield. Reflexively, his head turned and he cursed loudly. He rubbed his eyes not believing the strange sight before him.
A heavy beef bull calf was braying loudly. It was being pulled into a beam of green light. The light was emanating from a gray saucer floating above. The cattle dug its hooves into the ground and as it was being pulled back it left deep grooves in the dirt.
As the animal was struggling a white dash caught Ken’s attention. He hurriedly parked his motorcycle as he realized a white Pomeranian had jumped the fence. He was about to go after it when a huge Doberman with a flashy rhinestone collar jumped over the front wheel of his bike. He turned in the direction they had come and his mouth gaped open.
They were dogs of all breeds that were hopping, leaping, digging, and running towards the strange starship/ At the same time howling obnoxiously in a discord harmony of barking glory. The leashes of the canines dragged behind as they all attempted to get as close to the light as possible without actually getting sucked in.
Ken wondered what he was supposed to do. He imagined the phone call with the police commissioner and then decided since there was no endangerment of human life he was out of his depth with this situation. The kids also had school the next day. Ken would like to see them as he’d been an absentee dad recently and Maddie deserved a break for dinner tonight.
Thus since he could not handle it, it would be best if he left . . . . preferably sooner than later. The situation already seemed to be somewhat already out of hand. Ken had no clue where he would begin. Maybe call the Humane Society instead.
He turned to the attendant at the toll thinking maybe he or she could direct his call. Ken instantly recoiled when he saw a long coiling tentacle curling out to open the sliding window. Instantaneously, he froze.
He wondered whether working overtime had induced hallucinations. Maybe due to dehydration. Was he insane from working 80 hours? Should he consult a psychiatrist?
There was no face as the depth inside of the cubicle was too dark for him to see, there was a wall of scaly skin from where a raspy voice sounded. Ken felt as if someone had raked their fingers up his back. He felt a lightness in his head. Unknown of what was yet to come.
It was as if it was an old woman who’d been chain smoking a pack a day for fifty years. “Oh no dear boy, it’s just one cow. Don’t look at it, you’ll get into an accident later on. You’ll be fine, you see we need one to see how it reacts to jazz. That’s the new craze we have you see now.”
Ken closed his eyes. He made a split second decision to just act normal and survive. She, he, or it sounded mostly nonthreatening. “You’re right. I’m pretty exhausted from an eighty hour work week.”
“Oh that’s rough.”
“I don’t want any trouble, I just want to head home. How much toll do I need to pay able to use this road to get home?”
“Toll? Oh is that what this strange building’s function is? I don’t need anything at all from you. I would very much like it though if you would leave as it jeopardizes what we’re trying to accomplish here.”
“There’s a lever right there--” At the exact moment he was saying this the creature bopped the lever and the meter raised itself.
Ken smiled. “Thank you so much, mam. I hope you enjoy your time here and things go well for you.”
“Care to watch the abduction via VHS later?”
“No I don’t have a VHS player mam.”
“Oh what a bother. I could get one for you?”
“No, no, no.”
“I don’t want to trouble you for any longer, have a nice night young man.”
Ken drove home in silence. He considered what Maddie would say if he broached the past events with her. He couldn’t explain. It was too weird.
He decided to just forget about it. If the issue came up again, he could explain. Yes, he hoped it would never have to.