Friday, April 12, 2013

Space Germs

I can’t believe I balked at coming out here. The view from up here on the dunes is unbelievable: blue skies, warm gentle breezes, unspoiled beach, ocean waves. Couldn’t ask for more. A couple of old fashioned El Camino-style PCCs were pulling into the parking spurs just on the other side of the dunes. The day’s first surfers were arriving. There were some small waves rolling in, and conditions looked perfect for a beautiful morning of surfing. The first arrivals were pulling their boards from the PCCs’ cargo boxes and squeezing into their wetsuits. 

“Mr. Bryce?”

I was just standing there on the dunes surveying the scene. Not a care in the world. I felt almost drugged. Maybe it was ‘lev-lag.

“Mr. Bryce?”

 I figured I’d spend the rest of the week here investigating this ‘UFO’ sighting thing, and then go back to the mainland to visit Melissa over the weekend. 

I touched my jacket pocket to make sure her note with her address and number was still there. It was.

“Mr. Bryce!”

“Yes,” I replied as I snapped out my reverie and turned to the voice. It belonged to a small blonde woman dressed in a tie-dyed t-shirt and clam digger pants with sandals and beads to complete the ensemble.

“I’m Jackie. You wanted to meet me?” She offered to her hand for shaking.

“Yes. Hello Jackie. Thank you for agreeing to see me.” I took my identification from my jacket pocket with my left hand and shook her hand with my right. “I’m following up on a report you made about a UFO sighting.” I flipped my id back into my pocket. “Can you tell me what you saw that morning?”

“I was on my deck doing Tai-Chi just before sunrise and I saw a big, bright blobby thing floating in the sky way down there.” She pointed up the beach, off to the north. “That’s my house down there”. She turned around and pointed down the opposite end of the beach towards a modest house on metal stilts perched above the dunes.

“Your eyesight must be great. Your house is a long way down there.” I squinted down the beach to see what she was pointing at. I seemed like a little black box on the horizon.

“It’s 20/8.”

“Where did it go?”

“It turned inland and dropped behind the dunes.” She turned around again, and with her arm traced an arc from the north beach, over the dunes, and down to show the flight path.

“Was it fast?”

“No, not really. More like a fast car than a fast spaceship.”

“Anything else come to mind?”

Jackie paused for a moment, “I think something fell off.”

“Are you sure? It was still fairly dark”

“ 20/8 vision. I see everything.”

20/8!  I need to add alfalfa sprouts to my burgers. “Ok. Did you go and look for it?”


“Why not?”



“Space germs.”

“Space germs?” 

“I didn’t want to get any space germs.”

I didn’t want to get any space germs either, but since this thing likely didn’t come from space, there didn’t seem much chance of that.

“Let’s go take a look.” I started to walk up the beach. Jackie hesitated, but followed my lead.

“I don’t see any surfers on that end of the beach.”

“It’s too rocky up there. The surf is very good here, and further to the south near my place,” Jackie informed me.  She was a bit ahead of me now. Boy, was I out of shape. Keeping up with her pace was going to cause heavy breathing. And not the ‘I find you attractive’ kind, but the ‘please slow down before I have a heart attack’ kind. As we walked she gathered her hair and slipped a scrunchie from her wrist around it to make a loose pony-tail. This apparently super-charged her stride and we walked even faster.

The next instalment can be found here.

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