I was finding it hard to come up with new short story ideas and then I decided to look on the...
Show full author's note »
Rerun of the X-Files, Except More Real and Less Mulder and Scully
I noticed something bad was happening when the army trucks rolled into town. And you know how post-menopausal and postnatal women gossip (whether its about why your daughter or sister/brother was running down the street naked last night or why your mother doesn’t water her petunias.) The talk of the elderly townspeople of Roswell, New Mexico was that it was some sort of army experiment, you know, they thought it to be all about UFO’s and extraterrestrials and what-not. My mother called it gibberish. I called it old women who had watched too many reruns of the X-Files and then, went to bed. Well I watched all the trucks being hauled into town and the army men setting up their base at the edge of town. I counted at least thirty seven heavy duty army trucks. My mother almost had a stroke when the army General knocked on our door to inspect the land that our house sat on for any hazardous metals and ruins left by previous owners. She didn’t almost have a stroke because she was frightened by the General; on the contrary, apparently the house wasn’t in the cleanest condition and my mother was constantly on the flushing side. I found this to be quite humorous. And so in no longer than twenty five minutes I, Ella Chapman, found myself ingeniously staring at a padlocked and did I mention chained gate in the blistering heat of the afternoon sun. There was this one sign that stood out for me, it stated, “If you prefer to keep your two, irreplaceable legs, then DO NOT enter this vicinity for any reason unless on official business!” I was on official business – the gathering of information about what the hell was going on in Roswell. The guards were as stupid as I believed them to be. After much crawling and lots of hiding in certain truck-y objects, I was in the closed off base camp and I was using my ingenious ‘spyish’ skills to hide behind a Jumping Cholla cactus. To be honest, the cactus-hiding idea wasn’t that ingenious. In fact, it was the total opposite because as two men (presumably army-type) walked past talking about aliens, UFO’s and g-strings I was moving my weight from one leg to another in an attempt to be more comfortable and more ‘spyish’ and I accidentally (and I mean accidentally) got my leg caught on the spiky cacti’s defence mechanism and let out a piercing ‘ouch’. I honestly felt quite stupendous as the men gave me ‘you’re-in-deep-s**t’ looks when they discovered me cowering behind the green spiky xerophyte. Half of me was on adrenaline and the other on complete oblivion. Or so it seemed, anyway. That’s when I got my first and proper look at monsieur General Snotty (his nose was as big as the cacti I hid behind, and that thing was at least two metres tall – give or take). His eyes were like little black buttons and his mouth was, as it seemed, always in a tight grimace. What a grumpy ass. So what if a seventeen year old female with a sliced knee and not to mention braces sneaked her way into an army base camp. That just meant that these so called ‘protectors-of-the-nation’ were just as pathetic as my mother when she had a few too many vodka cruisers. And when he took me home to present himself as the one who found me to my mother, whatever Freddy Kruger personality was hiding inside of me was revealed in a few painful seconds. General ‘big-nosed-and-constantly-in-a-grump’ told my mother that I had been sneaking into the army base to eavesdrop on the goings-on of the, as he muttered it, “Very important government association!” The bastard even made my mother flush as he tucked in his shirt and gave her and me a little salute and marched out the door into the afternoon sunlight. As if his little warning of not going back to the base was going to stop me. I was a thorough spy, and I wasn’t going to stop until I found out what the hell these men were up to. Midnight seemed the only time that I could really feel spyish, and cold as ice. With the looks that were exchanged between my mother and General S**t-Head that afternoon, I felt as though it was marital time and they both were gonna leap at each other, say their vows and wait for me to announce mazel tov. I was outside the gate of the army base, watching, waiting, listening for anything out of the ordinary. It wasn’t until around three in the morning when things started to go from semi-normal to completely irrational. A sound, somewhat like a buzzing but with a loud ear splitting zing to it, was heard in the sky. And that’s when I saw it. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my life. Well, there was that time when the eighth grade boy pulled down his pants and revealed his privates to the entire world. To be honest though, that was more gross than cool. In any case, this sight was questioning my sanity. It was round and, oh what the hell, the bloody thing looked like a UFO and it was hovering over the base camp! Where were the guards? I thought that with such a spectacle in the sky that there would surely be men guarding the camp and watching out for any weird and wacky things like exactly what I was seeing. But, alas, no-one came out. Lazy a-holes, they were probably sleeping away in their comfortable sleeping bags. Although, thinking about it, sleeping bags aren’t that comfortable. And will probably never be! So there I was, in the middle of a cold Roswell night, watching an alien craft hovering over my head. And it was gone in the split second that I decided to grab my camera to take a photograph of it. Why can’t UFO’s ever stay in one place for longer than at least a minute? It was unusual, my reaction that is, because in a matter of seconds I was over what I had seen and I was sweating, with this immense fear in the pit of my stomach. And for the first time in my life, I was actually dying of hunger and I was in need of a good, long shower. I stunk. And it wasn’t the type of stink I wanted to share with anyone! Tomorrow, I would come and investigate thoroughly, because Ella Chapman never gave up on weird spectacles; ever.