Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer
Caroline walked the long way down from the bluffs, down the winding dirt road and out into the farm fields. To her right the abandoned silo – silent silhouette against the moonlit sky. Impotent concrete rocket reaching skyward, never to fly.
Derek was a jerk. He had driven her up there, her and the friends they shared. She just assumed.
Once Donna arrived it was pretty clear his attention was elsewhere.
“Don’t go!” He’d called out, but she left anyways. He didn’t follow.
In the distance a dog barked at her intrusion, but the sound didn’t grow closer, and the farm house was too far from the road for her to worry. She watched, looking for lights in the windows, for some sign she wasn’t alone. So distracted, she didn’t notice the odd streak of light hanging in the middle of the road ahead of her until she’d almost stepped into it.
Static crackle caused her to snap her head around to find a sliver of bright white light suspended in the air, almost as tall as her.
Unconsciously, she took a step back, and the band of light seemed to do the same, segmenting into two vertical halves, one moving back first, followed by the other.
Caroline fumbled in her pocket for her phone, and holding it in front of her thumbed the tiny camera to life. The device chimed three times, and then clicked, flashing the screen in a futile attempt at lighting the scene. She frowned at the phone, the image a complete white out.
Spreading itself into a virtual wall of light almost the full width of the road, the anomaly pulsed dimly three times, then flashed bright as daylight. She stood blinking, then dropped her phone and gaped at the image of herself captured on the shimmering fabric of translucence. Her likeness flickered, suspended, looking altogether as surprised as she felt.
From the ground, her phone began to vibrate, the 1812 Overture rising in volume from its tiny speaker. Still fixated on her captured image, she picked up the phone. Derek. A flood of emotion caught up with her. Jealousy, hope and for the first time fear of this strange phenomenon she was experiencing alone on this road.
The light shimmered and changed, her likeness distorting and shredding as the smooth fabric of brightness fragmented into a multitude of ribbons. It began to vibrate in time with her phone, and from seemingly everywhere at once, the 1812 Overture shook the ground beneath her feet.
The phone hit the ground again, this time only seconds before Caroline. She clasped her hands over ringing ears as the thin pillars of light began dancing around her, some searing white, some deep blue, some variegating through all colours of the spectrum. She curled up fetal on the ground as they closed in, surrounding her, cutting off any possible retreat to the farm house.
“Get away from me,” she screamed, clamping her hands down tightly over her ears, but unable to look away. “Leave me alone, get away, leave me alone!”
For a moment, the light faltered, pulling away and dimming in its intensity. Unsure.
“Please, leave me alone,” she sobbed.
The hanging strands of light slipped into each other, merging as they touched, until there was but one dim stripe of light hanging over the roadway. It hovered for just a moment, and then zipped from the dirt, to the silo on the horizon and then straight up into the night sky.
Caroline watched, tears streaming down her face as she called out. “Wait, don’t go.”