Author : Kenny A Chaffin

Joy was shunned by society. She chose therefore to spend much her time alone; in her room, in her cubicle at work, listening to music on the bus, eyes downcast to avoid attention or conversation.

For her mother it was a difficult pregnancy with morning sickness, back and pelvic pain, near miscarriages and bedrest which pushed her to the brink. When the nurse brought Joy in for her first feeding her mother said, “This is not my child,” and turned away. Despite reassurances from the hospital staff she refused to accept that Joy was hers. They never bonded. Joy was provided for, but there was no love.

In childhood, even before being ostracized by her classmates Joy began creating elaborate scenarios, languages, people and societies in her mind. She saw them, felt them, touched them, and even smelled them. To her they were more real than life. She felt as if it was where she belonged. There were multitudes of detail in her mind. The blue-green grass was thick lush. The stucco-like textured walls of all the buildings were something soft instead of hard and caused a tingling in her palms when pressed against them. The people there were nice and friendly. They accepted one another, relied upon one another, helped one another something she’d never really experienced. The languages they spoke were elaborate and detailed with nuances of meaning that were perfectly clear to her. Nothing like the crude English she had to speak in real life. Joy never told anyone of these wonders in her mind, never spoke of then, never wrote of them, not even in the detailed daily journals she had kept since teaching herself to write at age four.

When the aliens approached Joy knew it before anyone. It was weeks later that the president announced on national TV the approach of an interstellar ship. He said they were attempting to communicate with the ship but were so far were unsuccessful. The news media played a clip of the transmission and Joy immediately knew it said, “We come in peace.” She didn’t tell anyone.

Joy knew they would be landing in western Wyoming. She got in her old beaten up car and drove, hoping to make it, hoping to meet the aliens. She drove through the night and the entire next day to reach the spot where she knew they would be landing. It was nothing more than a simple crossroads of two state highways outside of Big Piney.

They landed silently and slowly a few hundred feet from her car with no smoke, fire or rockets. She loved them even before they lowered a ladder and two of them in protective suits clambered down it to the Earth. Joy approached and spoke to them in their own language. “Welcome to Earth. We are pleased to have you.” The larger of the two aliens spoke, its voice muffled by the suit. “Thank you. We come in peace.” Joy was at a loss for what to say next. The alien filled the silence, “We would like to enjoy your company, to have you join us.”

“Yes. Of course,” Joy said.

They climbed the ladder into the ship and were gone long before the F-16s arrived.


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