Sunday, April 28, 2013


By the time we got to the place where she thought that object had fallen, all semblance of macho cool I imagined I possessed was long gone and had washed away with the tide. I was puffing and sweating. To make matters worse, the temperature was picking up and I was overdressed for the beach. Once we arrived, I had to stop and catch my breath. She ignored my plight and went right about looking for whatever had fallen from the blob. Any space germ fear she might have had had passed. She was thoroughly examining the beach looking for whatever it was.

After a couple of minutes my breathing was about back to normal. My thinking shifted to looking around the place, and away from if I had remembered to bring my health card on this trip. She was right, there were a lot of rocks of various sizes on this end of the beach, but there were still some purely sandy patches up closer to the dunes, which themselves were becoming more rocky outcroppings and less dune-like. I started to search a bit myself, closer to the dunes since Jackie had the shoreline under control.

“Look at this!” called Jackie waving what looked like a thick, red streamer. I walked toward her. She walked toward me.

She offered it to me and I took and examined it. It was a rectangular piece of red, heavy-weight cloth with some sort of metal stud on one end and was emblazoned with the warning ‘Remove before Flight’. Either those aliens have a good command of English, or, more likely, this came from a more Earthly flying-machine whose pilot didn’t follow the tag’s instruction. I held on to it and we kept looking.

After about an hour we hadn’t found anything else other than a few stray pieces of trash. We sat on some rocks near the dunes and commiserated.

“I guess the streamer was it,” said Jackie.

“Looks that way. This kind of thing,“ I dangled the red strip, “is used on airplanes and helicopters. Maybe that’s what you saw?”

“No, I would have noticed.” Jackie seemed a little disappointed.

“Well, I’ll take it with me anyway. Maybe what you saw fall got washed out to sea. There doesn’t appear to be anything else here other than what looks like some foot prints over there.” I pointed at a duney rock outcropping to some tracks I spotted on one of my sweeps across the beach. “Did you walk over there?”

“No.” But, Jackie got up and took a look at the footprints anyway. “No. Those shoes aren’t mine.” She followed them a bit. “They look like they go behind this rock.”

I got up and had a look. There was a small opening in the rock face and the footprints ducked behind a small boulder that was wedged in front of the opening. “You wouldn’t happen to have a light would you?”

“Just this little light on my key-ring.” Jackie unclipped it from a belt loop and handed it to me.

I took off my jacket and set it on a rock, then switched on the light, crouched down, and tried to squeeze pass the boulder into the opening. After sucking my stomach back to my spine, and slithering around the rock like an arthritic snake, I found myself in a little cave. I propped myself up on an elbow and waved the puny light around to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, what I could see looked like the business end of a gun accompanied by that all too familiar B-movie refrain,

“Don’t move or I’ll shoot.”

The next instalment can be found here.

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