Our Long Nightmare From Outer Space Might Finally Be Over

 


Our Long Nightmare From Outer Space Might Finally Be Over 



 

 

Dear Mr. Johnson:

 

Thank you for interviewing me on Zoom for a reporter’s position in your national newspaper. As per your request, I am now sending you a current news story that I wrote last night. It will give you a good idea of my writing style. (It’s a summary of the horror we all went through here on Earth during the last two years.) As I stated during my interview, I cannot send you any of my past articles, for my office and old apartment were completely destroyed during the carnage.

Sincerely,

 

Steven Wagner, former local reporter, the Brooklyn Sundial.

My news story begins here:

                                                                         #

 

                          Our Long Nightmare from Outer Space Might Finally Be Over                          

                                                

     It’s been two years already.

 

 

     Two long, nervous years since we were all shocked out of our senses here on earth when everyone in the Western Hemisphere saw what appeared to be two gigantic teenage boys doing breaststrokes across the clear July night sky, hundreds of thousands of miles away, approaching the full moon and maybe five times taller than the moon.

     When they reached the moon they began playing a game of catch with it for several minutes, the way athletes might toss a basketball back-and-forth at each other.  But instead of wearing space suits, they were wearing faded blue jeans ripped at the knees, summer undershirts, plus gray socks and sneakers, as if it were a summer day.

     Immediately TV and radio stations across our country and around the world broke into regular programming with live news bulletins.

     Then came another horrifying moment:  After both teenagers stopped playing catch, they looked at our planet with interest before facing each other again and nodding.  And then they swam away, leaving the moon tilted upside down, with half of its far side facing us, and in a completely different orbit.

     Live broadcasting then featured reporters, news commentators, and scientists discussing one of the most important questions:  How could these creatures, regardless of where they originated from, survive in space without spacesuits?  Or breathe without any air present?

     Within hours the president of the United States, after consulting with his National Security Council and the heads of several nations, addressed our country and the world from the Oval Office.  He announced that missiles armed with the most powerful nuclear warheads known to man were being readied around the globe in case the giant creatures approached the earth and that everybody was to try and remain calm.  “After all,” he said, “although we do not know

 

where they came from, hopefully, they will never come back.”

     But they did.

     Three nights later they returned, at one in the morning, to a waning gibbous moon.

     And while the millions of human beings on this planet could do little more than watch the creatures in panic, one of the creatures suddenly unrolled what appeared to be a large transparent bag with a strange device at the top.

     They looked at each other and nodded, and after they swam up to us, they swung around to the other side of our planet, to our earth’s sunlit Eastern Hemisphere.  But in so doing, that half of our planet lost its daylight, as its entire sky was filled with the top halves of their bodies, blocking out all the sunlight.

     Immediately missiles were fired non-stop from China and Russia, from North Korea, India, Israel, France, and Pakistan, from silos, from submarines, from warships, but to no avail, for the missiles were like annoying mosquitos, their nuclear explosions like mild stings which the creatures simply brushed away.

     It was also difficult to see their faces at that point, as they were in their own shade, but, as incredible as this might sound, one actually resembled a Caucasian male, and the other an Asian male, both around 18 or 19 years of age—two teenagers whose serious eyes seemed to be examining every square inch of our planet, as if they were students from a far-away college who were slowly and carefully evaluating our Earth as part of a class project in planetary geology.

     The Caucasian-like male’s thick, wavy brown hair was parted in the center, leaving his clear forehead completely exposed and showing strong frown lines between his eyes, as he was apparently studying our planet very carefully.  His dark eyebrows, bent inward, were almost

 

touching his eyes as well, which were blue.  His nose was straight, slightly wide at the bottom, and his nostrils were flat.  His thin lips were pressed together while his cheekbones and chin did not protrude at all.

     The Asian-like male’s thick black hair covered most of his forehead, but his black eyebrows were clearly visible and level above his monolid eyes, which were also blue.  He had strong frown lines between his eyes as well, which meant that he was studying our Earth as carefully as was his Caucasian counterpart.  His nose was wider than his companion’s, there was a slight flair to his nostrils, and his thick lips were also pressed together while his cheekbones and chin protruded only slightly.

     Since both of these creatures’ summer undershirts revealed massive shoulders, as well as slightly hairy chests and arms, and since the ripped blue jeans they wore were held in place by wide belts, they appeared no different than two inquisitive teenagers here on earth—except that they were unbelievably huge: clearly thousands of miles in height.

     And once again, how could they exist in space without wearing spacesuits?  Or supposedly be breathing without any oxygen present?                                                            

     After apparently measuring our planet with strange devices, the Caucasian-like male grabbed our planet with both hands, sending millions of people screaming for their lives, killing millions of others with the crush of his fingertips, and bringing nearly total darkness onto those who were directly under the palms of his hands.  

     At that point the people living below the equator looked up in absolute horror as the entire sky was filled with that enormous transparent bag being opened.

     Then a severe wind caused cities around the world to be blown apart before being crushed with a force stronger than any recorded earthquakes in history; catastrophic tsunamis also exploded onto numerous coastlines.

     It took us only minutes to realize what had happened: that we had actually been dropped into

that bag.   

     The heavy sides of the bag—they must have been miles thick—soaking with ice particles from our atmosphere, pressed hard against the tops of buildings that were still standing, as well

as against mountaintops and the remains of forests, while the entire sky on the top half of our planet was filled with a view looking up from the inside of the bag as it was being closed.

     We then felt hard shoves as one of the creatures attached our bag to his belt.  And as they began doing quick breaststrokes, we actually saw our Milky Way galaxy getting smaller and smaller by the second.

     Suddenly we were surrounded by flashing circular lights—we were apparently traveling through dark intergalactic space—with a creature on each side of us, apparently floating, as their arms were resting alongside their bodies.

     And as incredible as it might seem, within just another few seconds we were zooming straight into the outermost part of the Andromeda Galaxy.  

     But how in the world could we have traveled such an enormous distance so quickly? 

     Then the outer stars of Andromeda were behind us, and the bright, horizontal center of the galaxy appeared similar to the way we see our own Milky Way galaxy at night.

     The creatures stopped near a double star, the large one being a bright blue and more than twice the size of our former sun, the smaller one being slightly smaller than our sun and also a dull yellow.  Our bag was opened, we were pulled out—untold millions again being killed and numerous cities again being destroyed by the crushing pressure of those fingertips—and after adjusting our rotational axis with their hands, the creatures placed us into what has turned out to be a permanent orbit.     

                                                                          #

                                                           Where We Now Stand    

                                                                          #

     Numerous astronomers have since determined that we are now part of a huge bracelet of planets orbiting this double star, and that our atmosphere, as hard as it is to believe, is still intact.

     We appear to be in a “Goldilocks Zone” around this star, meaning that our surface is not too hot, nor too cold, and that water can still exist on our planet, as our oceans and lakes, as unbelievable as this sounds, are still intact.  Our new blue sun also appears to be the same size in the sky as our old sun was.

     As a result, our skies are the same blue, filled with the same cumulus, stratus, and cirrus clouds as before; it still rains and snows as it always did, and our seasonal weather patterns are also the same.

     Plus our days are still 24-hours long.

     Two crater-filled rotating moons, each less than half the size of our former moon, are now circling us, some five thousand miles apart from each other.  Even though they are much closer to us than our old moon ever was, our tides are little changed, and our planetary tilt seems to be stabilized as well.

     Astronomers have also been watching the transit of the small yellow star crossing our new blue sun horizontally on a monthly basis.  With only two years of study completed at this time, our sun’s small yellow companion does not seem to be having any negative effects on our orbit.  

     As for our basic living conditions, almost all homes and buildings that were not demolished are now fully functional and have running water.  TV and radio broadcasts have also resumed. The internet is back as well, as are most financial markets and sporting events.

     And while a number of cities in all four hemispheres were totally destroyed, the majority were not.  Plus most governments around the world (especially ours) are still communicating with their people.

     That’s the good news.

     Now for the not-so-good news:

     It is apparently taking us twice as long to orbit this double star, so a year for us is now equal to two former Earth years.

     We know this because our seasons are now twice as long as they were when we were back home in the Milky Way.  As a result, our new six months of sweltering heat during the summer and six months of freezing cold during our winter have truly been brutal.  

     Our old nighttime constellations, such as the Big Dipper and Orion, are of course gone.  And just as we had been able to see the Andromeda Galaxy through telescopes—a galaxy that appeared as a fuzzy spot to the naked eye in the evening sky, the same is now true of our former home—the Milky Way.  It too is now a fuzzy spot in the evening sky; everyone who has looked at it through a telescope has come away teary-eyed.

     Naturally, we do not have any more man-made satellites orbiting our planet, such as GPS or weather satellites.  The International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope are now just memories as well, as is Cape Canaveral, which was completely demolished by the pressure of asingle fingertip.

                                                                         #  

                                                  But This News is Great News!

                                                                         #

    The only truly positive change that has happened to our planet—and this is extremely important—is that there is no more crime in our cities, nor any more wars, or even talk of wars, anywhere on Earth.  The devastating horror we went through apparently frightened everyone to the very core—frightened everyone so much that people everywhere forgot their hatred for one another the moment those two creatures appeared by the moon. 

     As a result, terrorists around the world have dropped their weapons as all thoughts of wiping out enemy countries have completely disappeared. 

     And certain nations have stopped parading their missiles and armed soldiers on the world stage as well, for there are no longer any reasons to do so. 

     To put things into perspective, by being placed into this new solar system in a neighboring galaxy, we have actually become a peaceful planet.    

     And since the equivalent of 23 original Earth months has now passed without any additional disruptions, we’ve begun rebuilding our cities and rural areas.    

     But one key, the troubling question still remains:  Will those horrible creatures ever return?

All we can say is, this is our second summer here, and we haven’t seen them since.

                                                                         #                                                                

Mr. Johnson:

I hope you are pleased with my writing style, and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Best,

Steven Wagner

                                                                         #

BULLETIN!

10:16 p.m.

THEY’RE BACK!

THEY’RE SWIMMING ACROSS THE SKY AGAIN!

Checked several TV and radio stations. All broadcasting has again been interrupted.

The creatures are now in standing positions in one area of the sky.

One creature is unfolding what appears to be another huge transparent bag.

What do they want from us? Why can’t they just leave us alone? Are they going to be returning every few years now to torture us? Do they know how much we’ve already suffered because of them? Are they going to be taking us to yet another galaxy? Are millions of people again going to be killed?

Checking my watch. It’s 10:18.

OMG!  Our entire sky is now filled with those enormous, terrifying faces.

there’s screaming outside people are flooding the streets alarms are going off police sirens can be heard everywhere.

Went out into the hallway of my building my neighbors are running down the stairs, screaming for their lives.

I’m back at my window the creatures have apparently moved around to our sunlit Western Hemisphere again.

my room lights are blinking on and off  

my apartment is shaking like there’s an earthquake   

I’ve been thrown back and forth against my walls and I’m now on the floor, on my back, in total darkness.

something heavy just hit my head   

                                                                         #

Woke up this morning in the hospital. Doctor told me I’ve been in a coma for over a week. Said they found me in the rubble across the street from my building, unconscious, that my building was destroyed, and that I’m lucky to be alive. I have some close friends and relatives who, hopefully, will take me in for a while when I get released. 

                                                                         #

Just heard the great new! We’re back in our old solar system in the Milky Way Galaxy! And with our old moon too! WOW!  Hard to believe. So why did we go through all that craziness in the first place? 

                                                                         #

I see on my tablet that I never sent you my original story & bulletin, so let me add this quickly:

For the last two years we’ve shown that we can all live together peacefully, so hopefully, we’ll continue doing so now that we’re back home. I mean, why have we always hated each other? Why is our history filled with one nation trying to conquer another nation? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could now get along with each other permanently?

Mr. Johnson, if you give me a position as a reporter, I would like to write about that.

And I would end my article with, “Let’s all pray that those horrible creatures never, ever return.”

Okay. Sending you everything right now. 

Steven Wagner

                                                                         #

Two nurses just told me that Mars has disappeared.  Is that correct? 


Frank Kowal

 

Frank Kowal received his bachelor's and master's degrees in education and English from the Brooklyn Center of Long Island University. Now, after 47 years of teaching in NYC's public schools and colleges, he has started what he hopes is a new career in writing. He has had short stories published in Academy of the Heart and MindDown in the Dirt, the Scarlet Leaf Review, Literary YardAriel Chart International Literary Journal, and an essay published in Adelaide Literary Magazine

 

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