Author : Henry Peter Gribbin

Most of us have been home alone late at night when we heard a strange noise coming from downstairs. Clutching a baseball bat or a golf club we proceeded slowly down the steps, all senses on alert. Finding nothing we felt a sense of relief and headed back upstairs. But how many of us have come face-to-face with an intruder? If this happened to you, then you know what real fear is.

I never knew this feeling of intense fear, that is until one night this past October. It was a cool, clear night. I was sitting in my backyard on my picnic table. I had been working on my car, and I was enjoying the autumn evening with a cigar in one hand and a can of beer in the other. Suddenly the trees were bent as if a gale force wind had blown through. I found myself swept off the picnic table and thrown hard to the ground. I was thrust almost back to my feet as the earth shook violently. This was followed immediately by a very loud thud. Then all was still.

I picked myself off the ground and steadied myself on the table for a moment. A strong odor, like that of sulfur, caught my attention. Smoke was coming from a vacant lot right over a small hill from my house. I hopped a fence and cut across my neighbor’s yard. When I reached the lot I came face-to-face with a rather large object halfway imbedded in the ground. Smoke was coming out of an opening, but at a steadily decreasing rate.

I walked over to the opening. There was a light coming from the object. The light shone upon a body lying halfway inside the object. I thought it was a child’s body, but as I looked closer it looked alien. It had incredibly smooth and shiny skin. There was a clear fluid coming from a gash in its back. It was dead. I had come this far so I proceeded into the object. Because of the crash everything was at an angle and walking was difficult. Every now and then I would come across another body like the one I found at the opening.

From the time I had been thrown off the picnic table up until this point I had felt like I was on an adventure. I felt like an archeologist uncovering an ancient tomb. When I turned a corner that feeling turned to fear. What I came across was a clothed human woman strapped to a table. Overhead of the woman was what looked like a x-ray machine, only this one had a small drill feeding out of it. It was inches from the woman’s rib cage. There were several dead alien bodies in the room. I looked back at the woman on the table. I thought she was dead, but suddenly she opened her eyes. This gave me a jolt, and for one moment I wanted to run. But I undid her straps. She immediately sat up on the table, braced herself for one moment, looked up at me and reached for some kind of an implement that was laying on a stand next to her. She proceeded to hit me in the head with it. I staggered backwards, and as I did so she bolted from the room. For a moment I saw stars. Then I followed her lead. I bolted out of that room and out of the object as fast as I could. I cut through my neighbor’s yard and reached the street. From the first impact of the crash till now a matter of only a few moments had passed. I just kept walking and did not return home for two days. By that time all evidence of the crash was gone. The local news mentioned a small airplane crash.

I used to enjoy science fiction books and movies. Now I avoid them. They only serve as a reminder of that horrible day this past October. I never did find out what became of the woman I found. I hope she made it home, wherever that may be.

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