Thursday, October 11, 2012

10/11/12

Edie and the Aliens
By Beth J. Whiting


Edie was fourteen years old. She was alone in the middle of the cornfields when it happened. Edie often liked walking by herself at night. She found it soothing. She had on a pink Easter dress. She was a blonde.
When she saw the lights, she assumed that it was a helicopter or something like that. But then the oval shape of the silver spaceship came into view. Edie just stood still. She should have ran but she remained frozen.
The green men came down and took her into the ship.
The flight up was weird. All of the aliens were in their space suits running around the spaceship. She was dizzy from the flight. She heard them speaking in another language.

When Edie came to she was in a large empty warehouse. An alien in a suit was in a desk in front of her. Two aliens were at his sides.
The alien in a suit spoke English, “In a matter of weeks you will have an operation. We do have several abductees so you will have to remain on a waiting list until the procedure is done. Afterwards you can go home.”
“How soon is that?”
“Generally a month.”

She was taken to a warehouse full of humans in bunk beds. Most people looked out of it. Edie was given blue scrubs to wear. Everyone else wore blue scrubs.
People were rambling. Most of the talk was about getting back home and their families.
When Edie approached her bunk bed, the woman on the bottom her said, “But you’re just a little girl.”
Edie agreed with her. Edie laid there on the top bunk. She had had a rough day. She stared into space.

The next day Edie was awaken by the aliens. It was 6 o’clock in the morning. She was told it was breakfast time. She went down to the cafeteria with the other humans. They fed them cornbread, grits, and milk.
“This is when they feed us good. Just wait for the gruel in the night,” a guy warned her.
Edie ate her meal in silence.

Edie was walking on her way back to the warehouse when she bumped into a little alien.
He said, “Excuse me.”
It was strange, a polite alien. He was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, like he was a human.
She asked, “What’s your name kid?”
He answered, “Wrong.”
What a weird name.
“You speak English.”
“Not many people do around here.”
He was right. She only heard one and that was the guy in charge she guessed.
“I’ll be seeing you around,” the alien said. He carried a deck of cards in hands. He scampered away.

When Edie went to her quarters, she enquired about the little alien.
“Where does he come from?”
“That alien is the leader’s child. Just because he’s a kid doesn’t mean he isn’t tainted like the rest.”
Edie put that in mind. Just because they were little didn’t mean they didn’t have an agenda.

Edie saw there were a few teenagers and children there. They already had formed their own little clique there. She didn’t know how to break in.
When Edie was coming back from the cafeteria, the alien asked her to play hoops with him.
She didn’t see why not.
He went to a basketball court.
It wasn’t occupied at the moment.
“I like to play hoops by myself,” he said.
She said bitterly, “How does it feel to have a tyrant for a father?”
The alien didn’t talk at first.
“I honestly don’t know what goes on in the abductions. That’s grown up stuff. My father has already taught me English because he sees a bright future for me. So yeah when I grow up I probably will abduct you.”
She didn’t know what to say to that.
“In the mean time we can play hoops. So what’s your name?”
She was about to say that she didn’t care to talk to him. But Edie realized it was a whole month before the operation. She had to talk to someone.
“So do you know anything about the operation?”
“No.”
“Do you like humans?”
“Yes. I do think what my father does is wrong. But I’m going to have to unlearn that if I want to survive as a grown up.”
“I bet I can throw more hoops than you.”
“You’re on.”
They played for thirty minutes before the alien said they had to stop.
“I have to get home before my father comes home. He gets mad when I’m late.”
She went home to the bunk bed. She laid there on her bed for an hour. Without books or television, life was boring. That little alien looked like he was going to be her sole entertainment.

The next day the adults got talking among themselves. They had theories about the operation.
Some said it was a black market.
Others said that it was supposed to be an exercise in torture.
Edie’s stomach tied itself in knots. In some way it would have been better just to get it over with. But they had plenty of humans to choose from.
“They’re going to eat me,” one man raved.
One woman was paranoid.
“They say they’re take us back but can we really trust their word?”


Edie found that the alien was always in view on her way back. She realized he purposefully wanted to meet her.
“Why me? Why not the other kids?”
“They have their own crowd.”
“I just haven’t had the time to get myself into one.”
“It’s been a week.”
“It’s not like I’ll see these people again. Some probably live in other countries. Why do you need us anyway?”
“That’s classified information.”
“How would you like if humans abducted aliens?”
“They do tests on us too.”
“Oh.”
“You want to play some hoops or not?”
“Don’t you have anything else here?”
“There’s a swimming pool but you don’t have a bathing suit.”
“Fine we’ll play hoops.”

While they were playing hoops she asked, “Do you have any alien friends your age?”
“Just two.”
“Why do you hang around me then?”
“Because I was bored and picked you out of a crowd. You’re too analytical. What do you plan to do when you get home?”
“I plan to tell my family I was abducted by aliens.”
“They won’t believe you.”
“I’m not the only person running around saying that.”

By the second week the people around her bunk bed knew that Edie was playing hoops with the alien.
“Why do you want to become friends with them? You’re friends with the enemy. What you think you’re too good for us?”
She started to notice that people snubbed her. She would get a whole table by herself at lunch.
She told herself who needs them anyway. It was only a month.

Edie noticed that the last week of the month the alien began to be sad.
Edie jumped and said, “It’s the last week.”
The alien was sad, “You’re just be back home. You’re already on another planet, having an experience.”
“You’ll miss me huh?”
Edie smiled. Then she noticed he frowned. So she realized she put her foot in her mouth and was quiet the rest of their time together.

The operation wasn’t something to be excited about.
There were aliens in medical coats. Edie screamed when they took her away. Four seized her and grabbed her from her bunk bed, dragging her to the ground. She threw a tantrum. Her legs were flying everywhere.
She saw the operating room and there were sharp tools all around. She screamed. But then an alien knocked her out.

When Edie came to, she was in a crop circle in the cornfields. She realized it was her own land. So she walked back home.
She found her father near the house.
When he saw her he ran towards her.
“Edie. Edie. You’re back.”
Then her father brought her mother home and they rejoiced.
“Where did you run away to Edie?”
“I was abducted.”
“You were what?”

The parents grounded her for a month for running away. Her explanation of UFO’s didn’t stand to reason for them.
Her father ended up calling Edie loopy.
She had missed her entire summer.
She thought about Wrong sometimes. Maybe he found another human replacement to play with.

When Edie came to high school, it wasn’t the Edie that had come before hand. It was one that had her hair uncombed and her thoughts in another place.
When people asked why she wasn’t seen during the summer Edie answered that she had been abducted by aliens. She was looked at strangely from then.
It was while at school that Edie noticed that something was wrong. All of the assignments in school looked like a foreign language to her. She could study and study but nothing came through. She was getting F’s on all of her assignments.
The counselor said, “I’m afraid that Edie has to be held back. She’s not all there.”
Edie realized why the operation was done. It was to extract information. But why a teenager?
Why not get a rocket scientist or someone smart?


That was when Edie started to write letters to Wrong.
She wrote Wrong telling him what had happened, that they had taken information for her head. Why she did not know. She asked if he was playing with someone else.
She sent these letters by post office with just Wrong on the envelope.
He never wrote back. Since she put a forward letter on the address she assumed that he was getting them which was why she didn’t stop.

When Edie was sixteen in the ninth grade again, she had someone in the class ask why she was repeating the grade.
She answered calmly that aliens had abducted her and taken information from her brain.
The kids around her laughed.
When Edie was walking out into the halls, she found a masculine looking guy follow her. She wondered why this was.
“You shouldn’t say things like that.”
“But it’s the truth.”
He introduced himself as Aaron.
“I heard about you from my mom. She’s the English teacher at this school. You failed her class. She was intrigued because you showed up for after school tutoring too.”
“Oh.”
“I’d like to hear about your alien encounters.”
She had a feeling that he didn’t believe her. But she wanted to talk to someone so she agreed.
After school Edie talked to him in the shade outside school. She told him about Wrong, about them abstracting information from her.
When she was done he said, “You have one over active imagination.”
“But it’s the truth,” she said defensive.
“Let me tell you what I’ll be your tutor. You can pay me $5 an hour. I’m cheap. Besides I’d like to hear more about your alien stories.”
“What grades do you get?”
“A’s. I could show you my report card if you want.”
Edie thought the guy was a jerk. But he did offer cheap prices. Her parents would be willing to pay that.

Edie met with him the next day after school in the library.
He was floored.
“You can’t even do long division.”
“I can sort of.”
“Are you sure you weren’t this way before your alien abduction?”
She said, “No. I was an honor roll student. ”
He sighed, “It looks like I’m going to have to teach you from the beginning.”

When Edie got home, she wrote a letter to Wrong.

Wrong,
I had after school tutoring today with a jerk. I feel so stupid. I can’t even do elementary school math. Are you playing with someone else?”
Edie


The next time she met Aaron she talked about the bunked beds. She discussed how she became disliked by the people because she hung out with an alien.
“Well that part makes sense. Of course they wouldn’t want you hanging out with an alien. What age was the alien anyway?”
“I don’t know.”
He laughed, “Can’t you just make up an age?”
She looked annoyed.
“If you’re going to be around me you have to at least accept I believe that these alien visits happen. I don’t want to hear I’m making it up.”
“Fine. Whatever.”

She was surprised in science that he agreed to be her partner.
“I need to get you a guaranteed A.”
He asked her how her parents treated the alien abduction.
“They don’t laugh about it. They don’t believe it though.”
“What about the part about the alien abstraction?”
“I haven’t told them that part. Can we just focus on the science project?”
They had to make a planet model.
Aaron asked her if she could come over.
“You can help me glue and stuff. I’ll write the report.”

So Edie went to Aaron’s house. They had a nice home. It was full of books which made sense since his mother was an English teacher.
They made the project out in the family room which had a nice couch. They made the project on the floor. Aaron had glitter and glue available. She put glitter on the globes that he had already made.
It looked like he did most of it himself already.
So she asked him frankly.
“Why am I here?”
“You’re odd. I’m bored with the people I hang around with.”
She didn’t answer that.
“So how did your alien look like?”
“He had oval eyes and was small. He was green.”
When she mentioned that he wore human clothing, Aaron laughed.
“What he wanted to replicate us?”
She never thought about it that way.
“You say that only his father and him spoke English. I doubt that. With all the alien abductions I would think they would teach that in school.”
Edie was about to say don’t go against my story. But then she remembered that he thought she was making it up.

Edie was surprised when she received a letter the next day. It was from Wrong.

He said that he hadn’t met a human replacement. He said that it was lonely there.

She felt sad about this. She thought about telling Aaron about it since it was proof. But however she refrained from it. She put it in her scrapbook.
Aaron and her gave the science project presentation. It gave her an A but she had a feeling that would still repeat the ninth grade again.

The next letter Edie got was from Wrong’s dad which surprised her.

It pleaded with her to come back with them. Wrong was lonely and Edie was the only friend he had ever. She realized that Wrong had lied to her. In return for agreeing to their terms they would gave her brain back in the condition that it had been.
Edie wasn’t so sure that she wanted another alien abduction but there wasn’t a whole lot going for her here either. She figured at the most they would think she ran away again. So she agreed to their terms.
The spaceship landed on a late Saturday night. Edie ran to the cornfields and found an alien ship with Wrong and his father on board. She hugged him as she went inside.
Aaron couldn’t get to sleep that night and he saw a spaceship flying through the sky. He decided he must have been dreaming.


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Beth J. Whiting was born in 1983 to a large family of brainy eccentrics. At eight years old she developed a love of books through the works of Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis. Her short stories revolve around underdogs in suburban settings, such as the one in which she was raised. She currently lives with her artistic twin sister in a tiny apartment in Mesa, Arizona.


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