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Teaser Of When Earthlings Weep

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When Earthlings Weep

Excerpt

 
SATURNA LUNA
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
10:33 P.M. CST

   Mickey Thorn stands on a wide ledge several hundred meters above a crystal 
clear pool of liquid methane. This lake is so large; it stretches out almost 
to the horizon. On that horizon are volcano’s of varying size and distance … 
it could be that Mickey's perspective is off.  It is extremely difficult to 
judge distances here, since there is no frame of reference.  Mickey has seen 
the volcano’s erupt before on previous journeys. He knows he has been here 
before, but the details are fuzzy.  He has always been surprised to see what 
looks like clear liquid and steam coming out of the tops instead of lava or 
smoke.
   Just off shore below him, round rocks of varying size can be seen beneath 
the surface of the lake, but the depth cannot be determined because the lake 
is too clear, and the surface can’t be seen except for the ripples from falling 
precipitation.  Above, an orange sky casts an orange pallor on all that we see.  
A just-visible Saturn, with tilted rings, is the centerpiece to the sky above. 
We are so close to Saturn we can clearly see the rocks and other debris that 
make up the rings.   It is always cloudy with thick, viscous smog, and we can 
see showers in the distance; but it doesn’t rain water here; it is liquid ethane 
and methane.  To his left, is a small ravine, which is now filled with just-rained 
methane, which runs to the lake far below.  Mickey scans the ground around 
him and sees the familiar ice crystals scattered everywhere like sleet.
   There is a truly strange and breathtaking silence, common to places in deep 
freeze, which makes the falling sleet sound tinny and crisp, like the echoes of 
tiny cymbals in a large, empty room.   The same varying size round rocks which 
are in the lake, scatter on this ledge, as well. In fact, we see them, in any 
direction we look.
   There is a movement to the right, and here is Mickey’s old friend facing him.  
There was no sound, or visual display to accompany his arrival—he was just 
there.  How he always seems to know when Mickey will be here, and arrive so 
soon afterwards, is a mystery to Mickey.  His friend stares at Mickey, and as 
always, he has a lot of trouble staring back.  The alien’s head is similar in 
appearance, proportion-wise, to that of a human; but, all similarities to us, 
ends there.  There are no eyes, or ears.  There is no nose or mouth.  Instead, 
where these things should be, are deep depressions.  Each of these depressions 
is much too large, by human being standards. The two depressions, where his 
eyes should be, are perfectly round, giving him a constant look of surprise.  
The individual cavity where his mouth should be is vertically elongated, so 
that it looks as a person screaming. Random patterns of dark grey and 
turquoise cover the skin of his head and neck, with small splatters of white 
and yellow.  In the recesses of the eye depressions, different colors can be 
seen; constantly changing. Mickey realizes this as the main reason why he has 
so much trouble looking at his companion.  How does Mickey keep eye contact 
with a variety of changing colors? The full effect is particularly unnerving 
to Mickey.
   While Mickey is still watching his mysterious companion, all of the colors 
on his friend’s neck and face coalesce into a decidedly human looking flesh 
color; which holds for only a few seconds, then disassembles into its previous 
color scheme.  He isn’t sure what this feeble attempt at becoming human is 
all about, but he isn’t too concerned.  Mickey wonders again what his 
companion’s world must be like, for him to have developed this way.  The 
alien is wearing a candy apple red suit which flexes and bends, and reforms 
like a living thing around him.  The material sparkles with thousands of tiny 
fireflies that race across the surface, and through the material, in seemingly 
random patterns.  Mickey cannot determine their function, but again, doesn’t 
care to know. He wishes the fuzziness in his head would clear. The feeling that 
he is in danger keeps intruding into his mind, but doesn’t cause him to react. 
He shakes his head and again looks off towards the horizon...
   On an earlier trip here, Mickey asked his companion his name.  He responded 
that, with just two together, names were unimportant, since each one can only 
talk to the other. His friend told Mickey his designation was Jengu-3, after 
Mickey persisted.  Mickey decided to call his friend Jen.  Jen stands six and 
a half feet tall, and by Earth standards, looks as if he may weigh 200 pounds; 
or 20 pounds here. At the top of his suit, is a helmet.  Mickey can’t figure 
out if some hard material, or maybe a force field, makes up the helmet, 
because it is so clear, and he sees no reflection on the border.  He can see 
the same strange fireflies running around this surface of the helmet as he did 
on the red suit.  When they first met, Mickey studied Jen’s face for several 
moments trying to control his disgust as he did so.  The more he looked, the 
more his head hurt, as if this creature didn’t like to be stared at and was 
punishing him.
   “Here again.  We are,” Jen speaks clearly in Mickey’s head.
   As in their previous visits, Jen now extends an object towards Mickey.  
This device is remarkably unpretentious, like the ones he used before.  It is 
the size and shape of a chalkboard eraser, except that it is a pinkish 
brushed-steel.  Like before, there are no antennas or dials, or screens, or 
anything else to tell Mickey that this item is not a simple tool like an 
eraser.  He has no doubt that Jen can read the output, with no trouble.  Jen 
explained to Mickey before that these scanning devices will not hurt him; at 
the very most, he may feel an odd tingling sensation in his body.  He feels 
nothing this time, and he has no objection to being scanned, even though he 
doesn’t know and doesn’t care what Jen is using the data for.  Mickey asked 
Jen long ago why he always tested him with devices, and he said that he 
wished to know how he made the travel.  Mickey likes how he says that, 
“Make the travel,” and smiles inwardly at the memory; even though he has no 
idea what this phrase means.
   ”Yes, we are,” Mickey thinks, and he knows his friend can hear him.
   His head hurts from this form of communication, and as always, he never 
goes beyond the small talk.  Once, many visits back, he tried to learn from 
where his friend comes, and the longer they thought together, the more he 
felt like his friend was climbing inside his head; the pain was excruciating.  
Despite Jen warning him beforehand, Mickey did speak out loud once…just once, 
and immediately the Drogo’s came.  It was necessary for Jen to use one of his 
cunning light weapons to turn them back.  It’s quite ingenious how the Drogo’s 
hide in conspicuous sight.  They have shells the same texture and color as 
the round rocks scattered everywhere, so Mickey doesn’t know which ones are 
rocks, and which ones are Drogo’s.
   Jen once told Mickey that the Drogo should not be able to move as quickly 
as it does, based on its methane and silicon physiology, and the small energy 
the Sun provides at this great distance, but they do.  He said that every 
living thing here violated this fundamental law of low temperature, and low 
gravity, so he is here to study them. Mickey isn’t so sure he believes him on 
this.  He thinks Jen already knows everything there is to know about these 
creatures.  He doesn’t remember what Jen told him Drogo’s eat; a fleeting 
memory of jewel-like-encrusted crab creatures which quickly scramble from 
rock to rock is there, then gone. In such a desolate place, Mickey does know 
movement attracts Drogo’s, so he remains silent and still.
   Sometimes when he and Jen stand here, the Valshavi will come.  They are 
both willing to endure all the dangers of this place, for just one more look 
at the Valshavi; somehow, Mickey's mysterious companion knows the names of 
all the other things here.  The Valshavi don’t come suddenly, but will 
gradually build, making their appearance much more appealing and powerful.  
There is nothing in Mickey’s experience or memories sufficient enough to 
explain the Valshavi, except that the experience maximizes all of his 
senses, and he enters a condition of bliss so intense it locks him in a state 
of awestruck paralysis that cannot be broken until the Valshavi retreats.
   “Stronger you are,” pops into Mickey’s head.
   He turns to look at Jen and immediately regrets this decision as he starts 
to lose himself again, and the pain starts.  Mickey now looks away, before it 
is too late.
   He then responds to Jen, “Why do you say this?”
   There is an extraordinarily long delay because Jen is fighting to 
understand what Mickey is saying.  Jen’s language is backwards, or jumbled; 
or both, and Mickey hasn’t quite been able to combine his thought-words 
correctly.
   Finally, Jen says, “Because I am, I say it,”
   Even when confusion overcomes Jen, Mickey can never tell from his calm 
demeanor.
   “No, that’s not what I mean.  Why do you say I am stronger?”
   “Not wear suit that protects,” he says simply.
   Mickey looks down at himself and is terribly surprised to see that he is 
wearing nothing but pajamas, and his bare feet are sticking out at the 
bottoms.  He loses his composure in an instant; the full understanding of 
how inhospitable a place he is in, making his thoughts jumble.
   “Regain your suit,” Jen says calmly in Mickey’s head.
   If Mickey knew how to do what Jen is suggesting, doesn’t he think he 
would do it?  The absolute cold hits his whole body like a sledgehammer.  
His body protectively folds in on itself, and he loses his balance.   He 
doesn't realize his feet have frozen to the rock he is standing on, until 
he takes a step, to try to keep from falling.  He falls, ripping all of 
the skin from the bottoms of his feet as he does so.
   “Before too late, make the travel.”  Jen says again, calmly.
   His voice seems to be coming from far away now.  Mickey takes a deep 
breath to scream, and the super cold air enters his lungs—it will 
eventually freeze his lungs, but that death will not come.
   “Your death is hydrogen cyanide.  Make the travel.” Jen says again, 
this time losing his poise a little.
   Mickey’s sharp inhalation of air has enough hydrogen cyanide to 
mercifully, kill him within a few seconds; sparing him the agonizing 
death by freezing.  His alien companion stands there with that same 
blank look he always has, silently watching … silently screaming, but 
is kind enough to hold his hand towards Mickey … as if that’s going to 
help him now.  Mickey’s oxygen starved brain registers one more thing, 
with fading input from his fast-freezing eyes; before it also dies and 
his body finally succumbs to this place … Mickey’s sudden noise and 
movements, draws a Drogo, which latches itself onto his leg.  Finally, 
as his pain drifts away … further away … further away; there is welcome 
darkness.


MEDINA LAKE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
10:33 P.M. CST 

   Staff Sergeant Sergio Torres has just left his home by the lake, 
and is in transit to the base to participate in an 11:00 PM through 
7:00 AM disaster preparedness exercise. He doesn’t mind these all night 
exercises, since he gets tomorrow off. At least he got to kiss his 
three boys goodnight before leaving, so they will not even realize 
he’s gone. His family has yearly passes to nearby Sea World, so he is 
excited about taking his boys there tomorrow, after he gets some 
shut-eye. Sergeant Sergio is your typical 25 year old Latino male from 
the valley, sporting a brown buzz cut (even though he doesn’t have to 
make his hair that short). He is six feet tall, and just under 200 
pounds, and prides himself on his muscles and fitness. He is wearing 
camouflaged fatigues, starched and ironed with perfect creases. His 
combat boots shine from an hour of “spit shining” before he left 
tonight. He is so lost in thought (because he has driven this road so 
many times); he doesn't feel the bumps in the road right away. He 
immediately slows, thinking he has a flat tire, and then he notices 
hundreds of dead birds on the roadway; at least as far as he can see 
up to the rise in the distance. 
   “What the hell,” he exclaims, more as a statement than a question. 
   Sergeant Sergio stops in his lane and gets out of his primer-white 
Chevy Truck. He leaves his truck running, and his headlights 
hi-lighting the expansive carnage, while he walks to his front bumper 
to get a closer look. He uses the tip of his right boot to roll some 
of the birds. Most of the birds have no visible injuries, but some 
have singed feathers and he can smell the disagreeable stench as it 
hangs in the still air; and mingles with the better smell of cedar 
trees, to create a totally new stench. Some smells just don’t belong 
together, and these are two of those smells. He looks up to see if 
there are any power lines running alongside the road, but there is 
none. Movement from 50 feet in front of his truck startles him. He 
walks slowly towards the movement. A single grackle…or crow; he can 
never remember which is the difference, spins in the middle of the 
road. Its wings pinned to its sides and the head appears to be fixed 
to a single spot on the asphalt (as if glued there), as its feet are 
at a full sprint, making it run in a circle sideways. Sergeant Torres 
is trying desperately to remember what the bird reminds him of. 
   “Oh my God, it looks like Curly from the Three Stooges,” he says 
to himself, more in shock than amusement. 
   Sergeant Torres is so mesmerized by what he is seeing—the word 
that comes to his mind is “fascinating”—that he has entirely 
forgotten where he is. He finally comes to his senses because he 
hears something strange behind him. Before he turns, he reaches out 
his booted foot and sympathetically puts the bird out of its misery. 
He stands up straight and turns to see the strangest sight he has 
ever seen. He sees a house in the distance pulsating with a faint 
purple glow, as if a giant luminescent purple jellyfish surrounds it. 
Merged into the top of the house is a sphere-shaped neon-blue-light 
which hums with energy, but he finds he can’t look at it without his 
head hurting. Periodically, jagged lines run from the sphere into the 
sky, in random patterns. If he happens to see one of these lines, he 
sees something beyond—like a scenic view can be seen between the 
shattered pieces of a mirror—not quite put back together edge to 
edge, but left with spaces between. Before these spaces close, Sergio 
can see things in other places, other realities, other worlds. He 
sees strange colored lakes and jungles, and impossibly high mountains. 
   In one of the visions, he sees what looks like a black cloud, 
become aware of him, turn and come towards him. The closer it gets 
to him, the more malevolence he feels from it. It has no face, or 
any other features that would indicate it is alive, yet he can tell 
it is sentient by the purposeful way it is moving towards him, and 
the overwhelming feeling it is studying him. Not soon enough, the 
crack closes. In all of these scenes, he sees strange creatures…
impossible creatures. Creatures with too many or too few legs…too 
many or too few eyes…no mouth, or multiple mouths with too many 
teeth. He doesn’t know how he knows this, but he understands what 
he is seeing. 
   Sudden knowledge of all these places and creatures floods his 
mind. There are strange sounds in the air, but the sounds don’t 
seem to come from the sphere, but all around Sergeant Torres. He 
tilts his head sideways like a dog will, as he tries to make out 
what the sounds are. It sounds like a few notes of classical music, 
played backwards, ending in a flat-sounding cymbal crash, then 
nothing. Then another set of entirely different notes of music, 
also played backwards, from somewhere else. He figures that each 
of these solo performances is totally random (he is wrong), and 
there may be as many as three or four playing at the same time. 
In the same way his mind was flooded with knowledge of other 
places—other universes—he suddenly understands the meaning of the 
music. The notes are the separate numbers to addresses of other 
places. A breeze picks up, and the strong smell of ozone assaults 
his nostrils and makes him wince. He remembers smelling ozone 
before when a storm was raging, and lightning was about to strike. 
   Sgt. Torres’s mind is totally caught now in these other worlds. 
He forgets the birds, and his work on base altogether, and starts 
walking slowly towards the house with the pretty lights. One of 
the fissures between worlds opens and now comes towards Sergio. 
Before he can react, he loses his mind in this “between” space. 
A smile spreads on his face as a power which now separates his 
mind from all reality and everything around, engulfs him. 
   To a passerby, Sergio, now frozen in this position with the 
pleasant smile on his face, would look like a snapshot of a 
Norman Rockwell painting of a man smiling up at his wife as 
she serves him a generous slice of hot apple pie…or the village 
idiot. Perception is always about context. 
   The previously dead grackle that was doing its “Curly 
impersonation” suddenly stands up, staring at Sergeant Sergio 
with a decidedly un-birdlike intensity. It shows no sign of 
injury. The former head injury has departed. It hops twice and 
then disappears…not into the bushes or weeds, but more like; 
one moment it is there, and the next, it isn’t. 
   The grackle appears a mile off towards town, at the top of a 
telephone pole. It stares off down the road, until it sees a 
car coming at a fast rate of speed. 
   Twenty-three year old, Kelly Peterson is driving home after 
just getting off working overtime at a coffee shop on the loop, 
where she waitresses. She is just over five feet tall and a 
hundred pounds. She is a brunette with piercing green eyes and 
thinks of herself as a cute little bundle, or even a firecracker. 
She came from an abusive household, and to keep from getting 
walked on, she learned to stand up for herself at a young age. 
As she drives the road she is so familiar with, her thoughts 
upset her; that she had to work extra to cover for that damn 
Stella who got to leave early tonight (of course everyone knows 
she has an in with the manager. She’s probably screwing him too.) 
   Now whatever extra money Kelly made tonight will go to her 
babysitter, so it wasn’t even worth it. Her son, Eric, will 
probably be asleep, so she can’t even get any quality time with 
him. Her anger level ratchets higher, when she recalls she has 
to work the early shift tomorrow. She is now doing what she 
always does when she’s upset—which is a lot lately—she is 
speeding. Speeding can soothe her like nothing else … except 
maybe booze (and she forgot to stop and get some beer. Damn!) 
   Kelly’s foot pushes the pedal of her old blue Dodge closer to 
the floor, as this new problem piles on top of the others. Kelly 
reaches over and pulls out her pack of cigarettes from her purse, 
and expertly hits the lighter with the back of her hand, as she 
moves her hand over to where she can shake one out. She swerves 
into the other lane, then off on the shoulder, without noticing. 
The single cigarette extracted, and in between her lips, she 
impatiently drums the top of her steering wheel, waiting for 
that damn lighter to pop out. The lighter pops out, and with 
the practiced hand of an artist, she pulls it out and lights her 
cigarette. She returns the lighter, and then takes two unusually 
deep drags, waiting for the calming effect of tobacco, to swim 
over her. It doesn’t happen, which causes her funk to deepen, 
and her anger to rise again. 
   As always happens when her life upsets her, she starts 
thinking about her ex. That son of a bitch, Kyle, never pays 
his child support on time, and she is damn tired of taking him 
to court to get what’s hers…and Eric’s. Kelly is in deep thought 
now as her Buick continues to accelerate. She thinks of Eric 
again, and how much she loves him. A smile spreads across her 
face as her foot relaxes on the pedal and the car slows. She 
thinks that whatever crap she has to put up with is worth it 
if Eric has a better life. 
   The grackle leaves the top of the telephone pole and 
reappears on the seat beside Kelly’s headrest. Immediately, 
the grackle begins to whisper into her right ear. Strangely, 
Kelly is not startled that a large black bird appears out of 
nowhere and perches on her seat, whispering into her ear. A 
mental link has taken place. The grackle reminds her that the 
bitch Stella, and her manager, Roberto, both hate her. They are 
jealous of her superior abilities, but she will never get a 
raise. All of the raises will go to Stella; promotions too. 
They don’t care Kelly has a son who will go hungry without her 
raises. In fact, the bird tells her Stella and Roberto (and all 
the other waitresses) hate her Son. They hate her, and her Eric 
so badly; they will do whatever they can, to keep her down. 
   The grackle suddenly melts into a mass of black flesh, which 
struggles to regain its former shape. After a few seconds, it 
gives up and becomes still. It has used up too much energy. 
Hypnotized and enraged beyond anything she has experienced 
before, with all previous nice thoughts of Eric far from her 
thoughts now, Kelly pushes the accelerator to the floor as she 
comes up to her favorite rise. If she goes fast enough (the 
posted speed limit is 45, and she is now at 71), she can become 
airborne, and she truly wants to fly tonight. Her new friend 
(now a lump of something) agrees with her that she will 
certainly fly tonight. 

   Sergeant Sergio is just coming out of his trance and is 
starting to realize he is standing in the middle of the road, 
when he hears the roar of a large engine behind him … but he 
hears it for only a second. He hears the hum of tires on the 
pavement behind him … but only for a second. He sees the 
surrounding brush illuminated by a bright light from the hill 
behind him … but only for a second. It turns out that when a 
car is traveling 75, it covers 110 feet per second. 	
   Unfortunately, Sergeant Sergio is 50 feet from the rise. 
In that one second, he has just enough time to bend his knees 
slightly in trying to fall away, and to, slightly raise his 
arms to protect his face, as he twists to try to face the 
approaching danger. The car is moving much faster than any 
person can, and as it comes into view, all Sergeant Sergio 
can see is the bright headlights which race towards him.
   If he could have seen past the lights, he would have seen 
an unusually happy Kelly, getting some of the best air she 
has ever had before. That one second happens so fast Sergeant 
Torres barely registers the Buick’s headlights (he doesn’t 
even have a chance to show fear, or surprise, or think of his 
cute kids and lovely wife of eight years), when the full 3,500 
(lb) weight hits his upper body. He is dead in an instant, 
and the gory details of what happens to his body, is not 
necessary here, so let’s move on to Kelly. 
   Kelly flies up and over the rise, seeing Sergeant Torres, 
then hearing the sound of the thud as she strikes him. 
Things are moving so fast Kelly will not be able to understand
 any of this until it is far too late to react or make sense 
out of any of it. The Buick lands twisted to the left, and the 
two left tires blow. It seems that her brain is trying to catch 
up with the action unrolling before her eyes, but these things 
go much too fast. She has been on the last ride of her life and 
doesn’t yet realize it. As soon as the tires blow, the Buick 
swerves sharply to the left, which puts it on a direct course 
with the parked Chevy Truck. Kelly has just started to scream 
from the realization of hitting the man when she collides with 
the truck. 
   Kelly lives for three seconds after she hits the truck (still 
traveling at 65), which is three times longer than Sergeant 
Sergio had to live. She may have survived the crash, but she 
doesn’t survive the massive explosion and fire that results. 
Her son would have been so proud of her that she was actually 
wearing her seatbelt. But it doesn’t matter. The light-show, 
of which Sergeant Torres was so fascinated, blinks off four 
minutes after the collision. 
   It takes 15 minutes for the fire trucks to get there, and 
by that time, all that remains are still-burning barely 
recognizable hulks of a car and truck, and a charred 
almost-skeleton behind the wheel of the car. There is no 
skeleton behind the wheel of the truck, but they find one 
partly under the car, with pieces of the corpse scattered 
towards the top of the hill. Burning gasoline spreads across 
the road, and the fully engulfed vehicles. The firemen quickly 
put out the fire. 
   Next, the accident investigators move in, clipboards in 
hand, to measure distances and skid marks, and take pictures. 
They find no skid marks for either vehicle, but do find the 
telltale gouges in the road made by the Buick as it crashed 
back down onto the road after being airborne. They are trying 
to make sense out of the oddities of the scene before them. 
As the flares burn and sputter around them, all who are there 
absently kick the dead birds off the road. They all assume (
incorrectly) that the massive explosion killed the birds which 
were on the phone lines above. There is no mention of birds in 
any report; or absence of phone (or power) lines above, for that 
matter.

                                                   2.
   During the roughly 17 minutes of the event (10:27 P.M. through 
10:44 P.M. CST), there were two other occurrences of interest.
   The first occurrence affected just over 25 square miles from 
the epicenter of the event (later, they will use this fact to 
establish credibility to their other findings).  All electronics 
within this area stopped working; TV’s, radios, stereos, etc.  
All vehicles also stopped working for the first seven minutes 
only.  For the last ten minutes, all vehicles could start and run.  
This fact will always remain shrouded in mystery. 
   The next occurrence involved flight 753, a Cessna 172, flying 
in from Amarillo to San Antonio. The father, John Carlsberg, was 
flying the plane, with the mother, Anne in the passenger seat 
beside him.  Their seven year old daughter, Melissa, was fighting 
to wake up in one of the back seats.  Her stuffed bear, “Pooh” 
occupied the seat next to her—safely strapped in—of course.  
Melissa was wrapped in her favorite Winnie the Pooh blanket, 
because it’s always a little cool on the plane. Melissa wrinkled 
her nose at the bad smells of the inside of this aircraft. She 
asked her dad before what smelled so bad, and he said it was a 
combination of mostly jet fuel, and oil. At 10:33 PM CST, as the 
plane had just started its turn for final approach, a bright 
purple and blue light pattern appeared on the ground, off to their 
right.  Before either parent could say anything further, a 
sun-bright flash of light ran from the purple and blue house 
towards them; like a reverse lightning bolt.  Their plane suddenly 
lost its power and began to go down.  John, Anne, and Melissa 
(like Sergeant Torres) were immediately thrown into a trance, 
as their minds tried to make sense of the visions of other places 
that had suddenly been thrust into their minds.  It was almost 
thirty seconds before John came out of it enough to recognize the 
Cessna was losing altitude rapidly.  Melissa was now fully awake 
and cried out terrified questions to her parents.  Mom shook her 
head, as she became more aware of her surroundings, and gripped 
her seat as the Cessna responded sluggishly in her husband’s 
hands.  
   She turned to her husband, and asked, “What happened?  Please 
tell me the plane will start again.”
   “I don’t know what happened, but we’ll be ok.  I just need to 
find somewhere we can safely land.  These things will glide 
just fine.”
   John reached out and flipped some switches on the dead control 
panel before him with no success.  As soon as he put his hands 
back on the wheel, and sighed with exasperation, the power came 
back on fully, so John didn’t waste any time.
   He said, “Hold on, here we go…”
   He pumped the throttle twice, and since all power and “on 
switches” were still on from before, turned the key, and 
immediately the propellers started. John slowly regained his 
previous altitude and heading.  
   Now that they were in the clear, Dad said, “What were those 
purple and blue things we saw, and the bright light? You want to
go back and get a closer look?”
   Mom responded much more angrily than Dad expected, “Don’t you 
even think about it John!  That thing almost got us killed! You 
have a daughter in the back seat, if you haven’t already forgotten.”
   From their daughter, “I don’t want to go back Daddy.  Please!”
   From the radio: “Cessna, November, seven – three – two – niner – 
Foxtrot.  We show a sudden loss of altitude, and change of heading.  
Do you wish to declare an emergency? Do you copy? Over.”
   “This is two – niner – Foxtrot.  Roger tower.  We had a 
momentary loss of power. Engines have restarted, and everything 
is now stable.  Over.”
   “Roger two – niner - Foxtrot.  There was an unexplainable 
atmospheric phenomenon at your previous location.  Do you wish 
to report the phenomenon? Over.”
   Dad looked over at his wife, and she was shaking her head in 
the negative vehemently.
   “Tower, this is two – niner – Foxtrot.  That is a negative.  
We saw nothing.  We experienced a momentary power problem, is 
all.  Over.”
   “Roger two – niner – Foxtrot, I read you.  You are a negative 
on the phenomenon sighting.  Please set your course to one – six – 
five and descend to 5,000 for southern approach.  Over.”
   Dad leaned back and took a deep breath as he looked over at 
Mom, who was still extremely stiff and tense.
   He said, “It’s OK; we’ll be on the ground in a half hour.”
   “Are you sure we’ll be ok? What the hell was that? I can’t 
believe you wanted to go back. That thing almost killed us!”
   “If you’re so concerned about it, why did you tell me not to 
report it?”
   “You know what happens to people who report things like this; 
they’re written off as wacko’s and crackpots.  I’d rather not be 
put into that group, thank you. “
   For the rest of their journey, they spoke not another word.  
For the rest of their lives, they will speak not another word 
about what they saw on that clear Texas night. The event will 
always occupy their sleep, and be responsible for their amazingly 
vivid dreams of other worlds, but also for the terror-filled 
nightmares that at times will follow them out of their sleep.

                                                      3.
   Mickey awakes to the sound of a scream which is full of 
anguish and misery, the likes of which he has never heard before. 
His first thoughts are that he must try to help this poor soul in 
some way. Mickey realizes that he is the one who is screaming, and 
as if embarrassed by this fact, he cuts it off in mid note. He 
reaches for his throat and wonders why his throat and lungs aren’t 
hurting. This thought confuses him, as does a feeling he should now, 
for some reason, be intensely cold. He touches his arms with his 
hands, and they are warm. 
   He surveys his surroundings. He is lying on his back on a wooden 
table, and darkness surrounds him. A nearly ten foot diameter hole 
is above him. It ebbs and flows and drifts, as if it is a real 
thing; like a cloud or boat, but untethered to the natural laws of 
space and time. The hole must have edges, but he can’t look at them. 
Seeing the edges is much like trying to look at those optical 
illusion drawings; like the one that shows stairs right-side up, 
then the viewer adjusts his focus just a little, and he is suddenly 
up-side down. Unidentifiable objects illuminate briefly, by flashes 
of light—objects which exist in more than three dimensions, which 
his mind is struggling with to make sense of. His mind does not have 
the resources or the tools to understand what he is seeing, but is 
too undeveloped to know to stop trying. Mickey thinks, “The edge is 
a boundary; part in this world, and part in theirs (theirs? What 
does that mean?)”. He concentrates as hard as he can, to see what is 
in the center of the hole only, because the edges are starting to 
make him sick to his stomach. He sees an orange sky, and for just a 
moment, something bright red moves past the hole, but he can’t make 
it out. 
   As strange as what he is seeing is, there is also something 
terribly familiar too. Mickey looks around to try to discern more 
details of where he is, and the best he can determine is a dungeon, 
or prison of some kind. There is rapid movement in front of him, 
which startles him so badly, he almost starts screaming again. A girl 
of eleven or twelve is standing on the end of the table at his feet, 
looking down at him. She is wearing a bright blue body suit and has 
long blond hair. She has unusually pale skin, and bright blue eyes. 
   She seems to be in a hurry, as she now says, “Don’t say anything, 
and just listen. There are two of you, and one must die. All will be 
lost, unless you survive against your next adversary.” 
   As suddenly as she appeared, she blinks out, like she was never 
there. Before Mickey can think about the girl or what she said, a 
chattering sound comes from the floor. It sounds like the old novelty 
gift dentures that can be wound up and the teeth will chatter together. 
That sound terrifies him like never before, by some buried memory, or 
glimpse of a nightmare. Some part of his mind knows exactly what his 
adversary is, and that confuses him all the more. To add to this 
unwelcome sound, an unusual smell now comes to him. It is something 
that he is sure, he has never smelled before. His mind is racing to 
identify this smell, but he can’t.  This used to happen to him when 
he traveled to new countries while he was in the military.  He loved 
to walk around the tourist and market places on the weekends, and he 
would often pick up new smells which weren’t good or repulsive…just 
different. This smell is like this.
   The chattering moves closer and he screams out in fright again. To 
move quickly when he has to, Mickey sits up. Mickey is struggling to 
remember who he is, and where he is. Movement from above catches his 
attention and he looks up just in time to see two grey and black 
bodies, but they aren’t in his view long enough for him to determine 
what they are. A nightmare, that’s what this is! Whoever he is, 
wherever he is from, this is a nightmare, and all he has to do is 
make himself wake up. If this is a dream, all he has to do is imagine 
something, and it will happen. The thought that he will soon wake up 
and escape his attacker, immediately gives him hope. With all his 
strength he now wishes he will wake up, but nothing happens. He 
pinches his arm, and it hurts, which isn’t a good sign. 
   Mickey yells and screams some more and two things happen: (1) 
The two gray creatures above Mickey extend their necks out over the 
hole to take a look at him, and (2) The chattering on the floor 
intensifies. Mickey is assuming that whatever it is on the floor 
may be just like those things in the hole above. One thing he does 
know is that these things get seriously excited by his screams. 
Mickey decides that no matter what, he has to remain calm. He feels 
that his survival depends on this. 
   Mickey sits up on the table and scans the room, looking for a 
weapon he can use. He is too much of a target, here in the light … 
he must get up, and then he can move quickly. The creature on the 
floor anticipates Mickey is about to move, so chooses this moment 
to jump up on the table just as he leaps off into the darkness. 
Mickey feels the wind as the creature passes by. From the darkness, 
he spins back to look at the table, which is now illuminated by that 
eerie orange glow from the hole in the ceiling. The creature on the 
table moves in exact little turns like a tank, as six of its eight 
legs position it so that it still faces him. The two front-most legs 
do not end in points like the others, but are a hybrid cross between 
human hands and claws.  There are two short and fat finger-like 
appendages at the end of each claw, with an equally short and fat 
thumb on the opposite side.  He knows by intuition that it uses these 
claws to feed food into its yawning maw.  It’s chattering teeth have 
begun to set his nerves on fire. 
   “Oh my God!” Mickey thinks as he gets a real close look at his 
attacker for the first time. 
   The mouth is full of hundreds of silver—very sharp—teeth, placed 
in multiple rows like a shark. The chattering sound comes from when 
the creature brings its teeth close together, and grind back and forth 
sideways. The creature knows Mickey is studying it, so decides to give 
him a little demonstration by opening its mouth as wide as it can get; 
which effectively lowers the bottom jaw to, almost hit the table. As 
if this isn’t serious enough, now Mickey can see many more teeth, 
which seem to run into the mouth and down the throat. Besides the black 
legs, the rest of the body is grey, which has the look of shark skin 
(this includes a solid grey shell), that is now extended out away 
from its body, which exposes the teeth, no doubt. 
   Mickey is at a loss at what this thing will look like when it pulls 
its shell in tight around itself (another part of his mind yells out, 
“A rock”). It has one single large black eye above the mouth, with 
smaller black eyes surrounding it. Suddenly an enormous gasp comes 
from the creature as it draws air into its lungs (Does it even have 
lungs?) He senses that this creature may be having trouble breathing 
air. He sure hopes so. 
   Mickey moves to his right, and the beast’s legs piston up and down 
several times, as the thing turns to face him.  This thing is no more 
than the size of a medium-sized dog—maybe thirty or forty pounds—but 
the teeth (and quickness) make it tremendously formidable. It occurs 
to Mickey that this thing is now studying him, as he studied it; and 
that he is as much an alien to it, as it is to him. As he continues to 
watch, fascinated, the thing hops in place three times; looking like a 
crab ballerina from hell (which is somehow, worse than the chattering 
of its teeth). As if counting to three, as soon as it bounces the third 
time, it launches itself at Mickey.
   Despite the fact that this thing is so dangerous, he’s not about to 
let it kill him without a fight. As it flies past him, he swings his 
fist to connect on the side of its head. As soon as it is even with 
him, and his fist is already in motion (A real roundhouse, thrown with 
all his strength), the creature does a particularly fascinating thing. 
As the creature sails past him, its head pivots (again like a tank), 
until it is facing him with mouth wide open. He watches in horror as 
his hand and arm disappear into this thing’s wide-open mouth. Before 
he can pull his arm out, the creature closes its mouth, which easily 
and cleanly snips off his entire arm up to his elbow. 
   Mickey’s forward momentum continues on its course as he stumbles 
across the room (trying desperately to keep from falling. Knowing that 
if he falls, he will be dead), he somehow maintains his balance. As 
soon as the creature hits the floor, he seizes his chance by running 
at the thing. Blood is pumping rhythmically from the stump of where his 
arm used to be, but he barely notices as he moves in for the mighty kick. 
Perhaps he learned his lesson from losing his arm, or perhaps it is just 
intuition, because at the last second Mickey changes direction, and as the 
thing lunges at him, barely missing his leg. 
   Distractedly, he looks around for where his arm is, not realizing that 
it is now safely in the creature’s gut.  Mickey looks back at the table, 
and he sees a blanket laying there that he had previously missed. How the 
hell did that get there? As he reaches for it, the creature nimbly leaps 
on the table and is doing his three-tap hop with his legs as his teeth 
chatter. A part of his pajama top sticks between two of the creature’s 
teeth, and is now dancing merrily to the chatter, chatter, chattering of 
its teeth, mesmerize Mickey. 
   When it jumps for Mickey this time, he ducks down as it flies over his 
head, giving him enough time to gather the blanket from the table. He 
approaches the creature with the blanket held out in front of him, with 
his one remaining hand. The creature stops chattering its teeth and 
starts to click in a way that sounds like Morse code. Immediately, the 
creature’s above click back a response. Mickey freezes for a few seconds, 
waiting to see if those things up in the hole have decided to join the 
party. Evidently, they are quite happy on their side of the hole, because 
they stay put. 
   Mickey turns his attention back to his monster at hand, and it seems to 
be studying him again. It has become acutely still. He advances slowly 
then just as he is about to throw the blanket on it with his good left 
hand, it takes some extremely fast hops towards the table, but detours 
just enough to bump Mickey’s exposed leg; as if teasing him. 
   “Holy crap! This thing is playing with me now?” Mickey thinks. 
   Two can play this game. He over-reacts to the bump by running towards 
the head of the table. The creature disappears around the foot of the 
table. Mickey switches directions and runs after it, hoping to catch it 
off guard. As soon as the creature jumps up on the head of the table, 
Mickey takes advantage of its momentary confusion by throwing the blanket 
on top of it, and pulling it on the floor so that he can jump up and down 
on it. He jumps high into the air, and comes down into a hole (where a 
moment before material existed), and it is now lined with teeth. There is 
a single click, and his right foot is no longer there. Mickey is now 
hopping up and down on his left foot as the creature finishes chewing 
itself out of the blanket (and finishes swallowing his foot), and will 
once again resume its attack. Mickey hopes this creature will get blood 
or meat poisoning from his arm and leg, and is still trying to come up 
with a way to destroy it…

   Suddenly, light explodes from everywhere; blinding and confusing 
Mickey simultaneously.
   Voices are yelling from everywhere, and he can barely make out the 
frantic movement he can see through his squinted eyes. 
   “On the floor!” yells a voice from his right. 
   “Guard the hole, and shoot anything that comes through! Don’t stare 
at the hole though!” yells the same voice.
   This is then echoed by at least two other voices around him. Mickey 
is trying to figure out how he is going to drop himself to the floor 
with only one arm and one leg and laughs out loud at the thought. His 
lively humor is short-lived, however, as two men suddenly knock him down, 
and roll him onto his stomach. 
   One of the men is pushing Mickey’s face into the carpet as he yells 
into his ear, “What the hell was that thing that jumped up through the 
hole when we turned on the lights?” 
   Mickey responds, “My date. Now you scared her off.” 
   “Shut up, you wise-ass!” hitting him on the side of his head with the 
butt of his 38 pistol.
   Mickey says again, “You assholes are about to piss off your superiors 
by letting your target bleed to death.”
   The leader leans forward and whispers harshly in Mickey’s ear, “If you 
don’t shut the fuck up, I’ll kill you myself, and take my chances with 
my superiors!”
   The leader now turns towards one of the others and says, “Pete, what 
are you doing? Quit looking at the damn hole, you idiot! I told you it 
can make you go crazy! Bring me the hypo, before he decides to travel 
again. Hurry!” 
   Pete says, “Sorry Ricky, I told you to give the hypo to Jimmy. I get 
distracted too easy.”
   Ricky yells, “Damn it Pete, I told you not to use our names!”
   Mickey is seriously confused by this conversation, but he isn’t feeling 
any pain any longer. He has almost bled out and is getting fearfully tired. 
Some kidnappers they are!  He thinks they would try to save him, but are 
making no efforts to do so. Mickey feels something shift in his head. It 
is a strange sensation. Suddenly he sees things more clearly. He likes this 
new clarity because he realizes he wants to stay alive and knows exactly 
how to do it.  Mickey twists his head just a little to figure out where his 
attackers are. The leader, Ricky, is still pushing down on the back of his 
head, and a second man, Jimmy, is sitting on his lower back. Pete has a 
hypodermic needle and is now squirting the air out of the needle as he 
quickly walks towards him. Mickey waits until Pete touches his skin, to 
make sure he has all three men in contact with him.  
   Mickey smiles at Ricky, then winks, eliciting a shriek from Ricky as he 
becomes aware of what is about to happen, “Nooooo!” 
   Another switch flips in Mickey’s head. 
   He thinks to himself, “That was the travel switch.” 
   He likes that he is back in control again, that he can now fix things. 
He and his three fellow travelers arise from the floor, through the portal 
and into the tunnel. The view through the portal is of the orange world 
(that just happens to be one of the channels on this crazy TV), but, 
Mickey can go wherever he likes.
   Mickey is remarkably adept at traveling in this strange in-between 
world, and it amazes him again, that he feels like he and his fellow 
travelers aren’t moving at all, but just floating while everything they 
see and hear moves past them. Mickey wishes for his arm and leg to be 
whole, and they are. He feels just a slight burning, then numb sensation, 
and that is all. The ether also replaces his lost blood. Somehow, Mickey 
can draw from the matter and energy in this place to fix things. 
   Mickey becomes aware of his surroundings and focuses on just one thing 
at a time. He has learned over time that there are so many things 
happening, in so many dimensions and places, and times, that to try to 
take it all in will only make you go crazy. Mickey believes that parts 
of your mind will go to different places--and times, and never re-assemble, 
if that person is not real careful. It would be better, to keep your eyes 
shut, but then the person would miss the visual and aural queues. As 
happens every time he is traveling, all of the hair on his body is standing 
on end, and he can feel thousands of little shocks all over his body, which 
feel like static shocks from walking on carpet, and touching a doorknob. 
Mickey smells the sickeningly sweet smell of ozone, and this is the one 
thing he has been unable to get used to. His three companions all have 
their eyes open. All three are screaming at the unreality of this place; 
he knows from experience that it can be a little overwhelming the first 
time. His passengers are screaming at the absolute loneliness of this 
place, but more so at the sudden awareness of how things really go together 
(this knowledge would make many on earth go crazy). Mickey hears Pete 
starting to laugh hysterically now, which is a sure sign he is losing 
(or has already lost), his mind. 
   “Too bad”, he thinks. "He would have liked to have all three.” 
   Mickey mentally releases his insane passenger, Pete. The laughter fades 
quickly. Mickey does not feel sorry for his lost passenger and doesn’t 
care what happens to him. These men knew the risks in trying to capture 
him, and Pete lost. For the last few seconds, or hours, or days (who knows 
how long they have been in this place), Mickey has been listening to the 
same tones that Sergeant Sergio heard before at Medina Lake. He has been 
listening for just the right series of tones that tell him where their 
turnoff is. 
   No sooner does he have this thought, than he hears the tones, and 
says in his mind, “now.”