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Those Who Call This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

The man who opens the door is a short, squat man with thick rimmed glasses. We must be quite a shock to him, two muscular guys with long dark suits showing no sign of sweat in this hot, Georgia summer. But he knows why we're here.

My partner speaks first, “Are you Mr. Martin H. Greer?”

“Who wants to know?” he says. But he knows. A man with interests like Mr. Greer's is sure to know who we are.

I flash a badge and say, “A lot of people, Mr. Greer. We believe that the alleged encounter that you had, on last March third, may be a matter of national security.”

He briefly glances at the badge.

“You work for the government?”

Mitch looks at me and says, “We just want to ask you a couple of questions, preferably within the confines of your house.”

The man's eyes widen slightly and he opens the door.

The place is sparsely furnished with a small coffee table and a couple of overstuffed, beer-stained chairs. The walls are covered with blurry pictures of “alien spacecraft,” most of which we have already looked into. The pictures do nothing to hide the huge cracks in the walls and the strange, discolored smudges that dot its surface.

I walk up and look at a particularly hazy photograph of a small, cylindrical object silhouetted by the glare of the setting sun.

“Interesting pictures, Mr. Greer.”

“Y-y-yes, um, ufology has always been a … hobby of mine.”

“Would you mind describing to us the incident that you had last month in full detail? With this craft.” Mitch says, pulling out the clipping from the local paper. He's not really asking.

“S-s-sure! Uh, well, I was driving home from work at about 2 a.m. When–”

“Where is it that you work?” I interrupt. Mitch has taken out a recorder and a notebook.

“Milson's. It's a retail warehouse. I work the graveyard shift …” He looks at us carefully before continuing.

“I was listening to the radio, in my truck, when it started to fuzz up. It got all … staticy. I hit the radio a couple of times, I mean, it's an old truck and I'd had trouble with more than just the radio in the past, but then I heard the roaring of, like, an engine …”

He glances at us, nervously.

“And,” says Mitch.

“Well, I looked up and I saw this huge … thing! It was round–”

“–about half a football field in length, with two wings akin to that of a Stealth Bomber, no windows, with a glowing blue light that came from its bottom like some kind of silent flame,” I finished, reciting from memory what I had read in the paper.

“Yeah! How did–?” The surprise is evident on his face.

“Your description of the craft to local police and the paper is what got us involved,” Mitch cuts him off.

“Really?” he looks amazed and … something else. “Why?”

I glance at Mitch, a look he reads correctly.

“So what did you do next?” Mitch says, changing the subject.

“Well, I had just bought this new camera a couple of days before – I'm in the habit of taking it everywhere with me – so when I saw this … alien ship, I immediately hit the brakes and grabbed my camera.”

“You were only able to take one picture?” Mitch asks, but I'm looking somewhere else. I am looking at an old, brown door and wondering where it leads.

“Yeah, I–” he stops. He notices that I'm looking at the door. Beneath his glasses, his shifty, small eyes speedily glance at me, then Mitch.

I stare at him. He can't read my expression, can't see my eyes under my dark sunglasses.

“I wonder where this door leads, Mr. Greer.” I walk over and kick it open. The door flies off its hinges revealing a dark, windowless room with a table full of …

“A darkroom!” I say, looking at Mitch. He is disappointed, as am I, but all is not lost. I smile, not because I am happy, but because Mr. Greer soon won't be.

“So you wasted our valuable time, by faking photographs?” I ask, approaching him. I nod at Mitch, and he steps into the darkroom.

“I just wanted to make a couple of bucks!” Greer squeals. “I-I've always wanted t-to see a real alien ship and …”

I slug him in the face, feeling his glasses break with the force of my blow. I punch him again and again. And when I am done disfiguring his face, I wipe his blood on his shirt, pick him up and shove him against the wall. In the other room, Mitch is doing the same thing to Mr. Greer's darkroom as I did to his face.

I force Martin H. Greer to look at me as I calmly say, “Mr. Greer, you will no longer fake photographs of any kind. You will continue with your life, and your miserable job, as if nothing happened. You will tell no one about your experience, and most of all,” I pull my face closer, “most of all, you will tell no one about us being here, unless of course you want us to visit you again.”

I throw him onto a withering heap on the floor.

“And we will find you, Mr. Greer, and we will not be trading pleasantries as we did today,” I end. Mitch reenters the room and gives me a nod. We leave, carefully shutting the door behind us, leaving poor Mr. Martin H. Greer crying on the floor.

Once outside, we head to our car. I drive. While I drive, we both think.

Finally I say, “Where to now?”

Mitch says nothing.

“That sighting in Texas by a group of schoolboys looks promising,”

Again he says nothing.

“We've been doing this for years!” he says suddenly, angrily. “It's a waste of time! Most of these morons are just star-crazed idiots, hoping to create five seconds of fame and stretch it into something longer!”

I wait a moment before replying.

“Remember the case in Melbourne? What about the Gobi Desert sighting? Or even the Mojave affair? Not all of them are a complete waste of time. And besides, time is one thing we've got plenty of. Decades.”

“True,” he says and is quiet for a moment. “But I'm tired of this place, tired of dealing with humans.”

“Well,” I reply. “The sooner we find a real sighting, the sooner we can go home.”

I let that sink in.

“On to Texas?”

He grunts.

Silence.

“All right,” he says.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 39 comments. Post your own!

KK2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm:

Very, very good! However, in the beginning, he says that it was silhouetted against the sun, then you wrote "at 2 a.m." which means the sun would have been set for a long time.....

Also, you use quite a few ellipses, which can work effectively, but I think you used a couple too many... 

I loved the piece though! the ending was little expected, but it was really funny!

 
KK2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 1, 2011 at 6:14 pm :
Ohhh! i see! thanks for the clarification.. i thought there was a connection between the clipping and the picture on the wall.... my bad!
 
ZinkANnggirl1004 replied...
Mar. 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm :
wow! from the moment I started reading, the story sucked me in!  I really hope/wish there was more to read. I'm curious to see where this could go. It was awesome to realize that these two characters aren't human nor are they any kind of agent. The net of curiousity has caught me and I can't wait to read more! :) Keep it up
 
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Rosey100 said...
Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:26 pm:
nice piece really cool :)
 
Cake4all replied...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm :
i agree, i thought the twist would be that the Greer guy would be an alien and the door led to some scary alien monster thing. props dude, dudette, man, muchacho, guy, girl. which ever.  either way, that was good.
 
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Blue4 said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm:
Oh, congrats on getting this in the magazine, this piece deserved it :)
 
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Blue4 said...
Nov. 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm:

Great story, wonderful job.

By the way, could you look at some of my stories and give some feedback? I'd appreciate it.

 
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ilovewriting95 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm:
I love this story,especially the ending. Also, I liked the part where the narrator wonders where the door leads... I often wonder where doors and long staircases lead. Great job and you should definitely write more of these stories. Will you please read my stories and comment on them?
 
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AllisonD. said...
Sept. 25, 2010 at 8:51 pm:
well written and very creative. I like it!
 
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Day-Dreamer17 said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm:
It was good, but kind of predictable. As soon as I heard of the black sunglasses, suits, and alien sightings combined, I thought of MIB, and that kind of ruined it for me. But it has a good plot, and you could do somethine cool with this.
 
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AvengedJasonFold said...
Jul. 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm:

Simon Cowell feedback--you asked for it!

You said you wanted feedback on writing quality and originality… well grammar is important when it comes to writing quality. But you asked me not to look at that. I noticed that it's not spectacular... your writing is decent but there's a few things here and there like the use of adverbs and stating what the reader should infer. But We won't get into that yet... but just telling you what's original about this story isn't going to help you... (more »)

 
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gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm:
This was excellent, interesting and original, great pace and very well-written.  Wonderful job.  Please write more soon!
 
HannahBananah replied...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 8:09 am :
I LOVE ALL YOUR STORIES!!! ♥
 
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MayaElyashiv This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 11:32 am:

I like this. You managed to convey the characters very well, although Mitch and the main character are very similar until the ending. Another thing that I like is that this could stand alone or as part of a longer story. 

 

I agree with cyanidesun about your pacing, except for one place: when the main character notices the door. He jumps to conclusions too fast. Why should he assume that there is something suspicious behind the door? Many people close doors in the hous... (more »)

 
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cyanidesun said...
Jun. 26, 2010 at 10:28 pm:
Very, very well written. Your characters and dialogue are spot on, not to mention your excellent use of pacing. Very original. The only critique I can possibly make is that I would've liked to know a little more about Mr. Greer. Maybe consider adding how the main character studies him before making his move. That's just my personal opinion though. Overall, beautifully written. I would love to read more if you get the chance to post more of this story. Bravo.
 
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roxymutt said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm:
WTF!!!! this was AWESOME!!!! so original omg i loved it haha i am so favoiriting this one its a great story and unlike a few i wasn't confused at all...i thought it was great, well written, maticulous, and perfect in most everything. of course tehre are some grammatical mistakes but psh who am i to point them out really everone has them! great job once again
 
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A_Dreamer said...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm:
I agree with Ellie, the beginning was a bit confusing. But after that, the story was very good. :) Keep writing!
 
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Hannah Banana said...
May 19, 2010 at 11:23 pm:
You're an amazing writer... that's all there is to say. :) Totally stoked to see more of your stuff here.
 
EllieK. replied...
Jun. 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm :

THIS WAS A GREAT PEICE OVERALL. I WAS A BIT CONFUSED AS TO WHO WAS WHO IN THE BEGINNING, BUT I REALLY LIKED THE ENDING-VERY SURPRISING AND WAS MY FAVORITE PART. THERE COULD EASILY BE A SECOND PART TO THIS.

IF YOU CAN GET AROUND TO IT, CHECK OUT SOME OF MY WORK. THANKS IN ADVANCE.

 
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Robster said...
May 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm:
This is a pretty rad story. Thanks for posting, keep doing what your doing.
 
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