Written by Danielle E. Pasqua
Copyright © October 31, 2017
With my eyes slightly opened, I figured it was time to wake up, though I was too comfortable to even move. The only part of me that felt any indication of a chill were my feet. That’s when I realized my blanket had fallen onto the wood floor. I managed to kick my sheets off and stretch a bit. Then I opened my blinds to see snow on my windowsill. My father was out there plowing the driveway.
“Mom,” I called downstairs,” Why didn’t Dad ask me to help him?”
“He was up early,” my mother’s shadow could be seen from the kitchen doorway. I could smell the scrambled eggs and the pot of coffee she made every morning.
“I know, but- “I began to say.
“He has to get to work,” my mother’s shadow was no longer there. Instead she stood there in her robe and slippers, holding a mug in her hand. Her eyes were puffy and her nose red. She probably had shoveled the pathway in front of the house.
“But I must get to school,” I spoke, though clever enough because I didn’t want to go.
“They’re calling for more snow later,” my mother only looked out the front door window,” Another cold front is coming.”
“I didn’t know that,” I responded, but then a thought occurred to me,” I didn’t get the alert on my phone. I must’ve left it downstairs.”
“Noah,” my mother stopped me at the kitchen doorway. She then said,” Your father’s job depends on the future of the earth’s petroleum.”
“Huh?” I ignored my mother, hoping to help my father before he headed out to work. Then I decided to bundle myself up in my coat, hat, gloves and boots.
Just like a door that has a world of rejection, that was what I found when I entered the garage. My father had started his truck. He then waved me goodbye as he backed up down the driveway, his headlights glaring in my saddened eyes.
Then I turned around. My mother was there at the door. My sister Lacey was there, looking like Mrs. Claus in her red gown. They both smiled.
“This is your first snow day, Noah,” my mother’s tone seemed delighted,” Celebrate it with your friends. You need Xavier’s and Ian’s company.”
“Can’t you call or track my phone?” I asked pushing between my family. I had an urge to find my misplaced phone since my father was gone. But I scoured the kitchen only to hear the sizzle of cooked eggs.
“I think you better contact your friends,” my mother suggested, ignoring my questions. My sister nodded her head in agreement.
I looked out the living room only to see neither of my friends, Xavier or Ian, helping their families shoveling snow. I knew they weren’t inside, because just like me they learned how to explore the craziness of the world we lived in.
“You know where there are,” my mother handed my sister her eggs. She then proceeded to give me some, but I just waved my hand, in a head strong disagreement.
“The pond,” Lacey giggled.
“What’s funny about that?” I asked.
“Noah, go. You need them,” my mother pleaded.
Taking her orders, I did what she said. I then grabbed my skates and headed outside the cul-de-sac, on the other side of the development to the pond, where Xavier and Ian were there playing ice hockey.
“Why didn’t you ask me if I could join you?’ I asked.
“First you always help your father,” Xavier explained putting his hockey stick aside.
“We did try to contact you,” Ian picked the puck off the ice. He followed Xavier only to continue,” Your phone said you were at a bridge. One we never heard of.”
“My father must have my phone,” I figured, but admitted,” I have to get it back.”
“Why?” Ian asked.
“You might not know this,” I spoke low so the other kids on the pond couldn’t heard us,”
I have been secretly recording our last five adventures on my phone.”
“We must get the phone back,” Xavier understood,” Our phones should lead us to “The Bridge.”
After the rest of the pond had started to clear out due to the frigid temperatures that only a few could bear, my friends were the survivors of this Northeaster. We sat by the edge of the pond, discussing our plans. The only sound besides the wind, was the crackling of snow covered tree branches.
“How are we going to find this bridge?” Ian asked,” If it doesn’t exist.”
“Simple. I’ll google new DOT construction,” Xavier spoke up, but there was no listing of the mysterious bridge.
“Let me try googling new bridges in area,” I suggested. But my gloves made it difficult for me to handle the small screen on Xavier’s phone. I then found a tabloid article about a technology company working on a bridge. I immediately recognized the address, so I said to my friends, “This is where my father works so let’s go.”
But I knew “The Bridge” as the three of us had called it, wouldn’t take us across town. So, we trotted along the snowy forest in our development, leaving the stillness of the pond behind us. Xavier let me hold his phone, as its’ GPS lead us to the Sound.
My friends and I walked along the shoreline, where docks were covered by the white breath of mother nature. But the sea, appeared to be an ivory shield of smooth glass that stretched for miles. After we past the last row of docks, we came across an enormous sign that read “Bridge Freezes Before Road.”
“How far does this bridge go?” Xavier asked.
“I don’t know. The only way to see is to try, right?” I suggested, as my friends followed behind me, in our triangle-shaped bond, Xavier on angled on my right side and Ian on my left side. But as I stepped onto this bridge, the metallic architecture was surreal. On either side of the bridge was the icy sound, with a mist of silver creating ghostly figures.
“Look above us,” Xavier pointed up, in which there was a fine break between a cloudy sky and one that was full of stars.
“Is that the Winter Triangle?” Ian asked, as the sky above us moved, only to have three stars locked their positions over head of where we stood.
“It says something,” Xavier started to read.
But the stars moved closer, as if we were getting an eye exam. And we were because I shouted, “There’s the letter N above me. It’s not a star.”
“There’s an X above me,” Xavier shouted too.
“And an “I” right in my face,” Ian shouted even louder.
“Maybe we should run,” Xavier suggested.
“To where?” I asked,” This wind tunnel is sucking us in.”
But behind me the road we had traveled upon was no longer there. Just white smoke, whose shallow visibility made it hard to see the truth it had harbored.
“Since we are here, let’s find out all we can,” I told my friends as this steel cage we felt trapped in, lead us into this perplex world of technology, where my phone was somewhere waiting for me to find it.
Was it intended for my phone to be discovered?
Or just an accident?
Soon the further that we walked along the steel formed bridge, all three of us realized that we were no longer on the mainland. It was if we had entered another time, where the gray walls around us kept us as prisoners in a top-secret area. Though the direction we took seemed to have no end in sight, we eventually were to prove ourselves wrong.
“What’s that ahead?” Xavier asked.
“I don’t know,” I answered, but soon understood as the sound of boats’ motors seemed to have grind the sea water.
“Those can’t be boats. They’re too far below the water,” Ian mentioned.
“Submarines,” Xavier guessed.
“There’s water spitting up from their propellers,” I pointed out,” They look like geysers.”
“They are probably alien space- “Ian’s scrutiny arrived quickly, but only to be interrupted by the sudden movement of the bleak colored walls.
Before long a massive flat screen TV emerged as the jailed like cell appeared to have some bright color. For a moment the picture was broken up, trying to adjust itself to a satellite receiver. Then a woman appeared with a caption below her that read, “Breaking News.”
The three of us stopped in our tracks as we listening to the crazy news the anchor was about to tell us.
“Forecasters said the Northeaster has finally left the area. Therefore, no more snow should follow. The DOT said the roads are safe to travel. But schools weren’t closed because of the weather. There was a top-secret project going on. The government didn’t want anyone passing this bridge to see. The project needs as much water energy as possible. Snow accumulation allows for this. Now we will return to normal programming.”
But the next pictured revealed a series of photo shots. Many taken of “The Rock,” The Lightning Rod,” “The Heirloom,” The Globe” and the hot air balloon or “The Ride,” as my mother had called it.
” Those are my pictures. What are they doing here?” Ian demanded in fear.
“They got stuck in the ‘ice Cloud’ not the ‘iCloud’,” Xavier joked, “Somehow they were sucked up from your phone.”
Then the pictures had stopped. The screen turned black, but audio was still merging from speakers, whose pitch seemed to have risen from all the perimeters of “The Bridge.” The voice I heard was mine. The recordings I had made of our adventures since the beginning of the summer. It scared me so that I wanted to flee. Then the voices stopped. My friends and I stared at each other in terror. Our tales of the past had now been frozen in time.
“Why are we moving?” Ian asked as the floor below us took us steadily ahead. It was there that these seafaring ships, many to say the least began to evolve clearer than ever. Inside these ships we could make out beings operating them. Some not recognizable to earth and some were human. But they both had, “High Tech Star Gateway Machinery” written clearly on their right arms. Though dumbfounded, after the last few months I knew better than to feel surprised.
“Your Dad is at it again,” Xavier commented as “The Bridge” carried us along.
“I see,” I agreed,” They are using water for fuel.”
“But it’s ice? They have to melt it surely,” Ian asked.
“Apparently ice can be used as an enhancer for travel,” I told Ian.
“How do you know?” Ian asked.
“It was in this sci-fi novel I read,” I answered.
“But that’s sci-fi,” Ian said.
“Right now, we are experiencing it,” Xavier answered for me.
“That’s what ice worlds are for. They use that to travel to other parts of the uni- “I began to say just as a large propeller that my eyes had followed caused me to get dizzy. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I knew it wasn’t Xavier or Noah. And it wasn’t my father. The touch wasn’t human. I felt trapped.
My world was getting creepy.
I was afraid to turn around.
But I knew I had to.
This creature that towered over me, appeared like it had arrived from the sea. Green scaled like a reptile, enormous dark eyes, it reminded me of a dragon straight out of some fantasy novel or comic book. It then looked down at me, not in a horrific way, but a way of understanding my confusion.
“Is this phone yours?” the creature handed me my phone.
“Oh, oh yeah,” I hesitated at first and then asked,” Why do you have my phone? Where is my father?”
“I’m here, Noah. Just in a different form,” the being answered.
“I have to get out of here,” I trembled. I then turned around to hint at my friends, who also seemed to be in fear.
“Those recordings you made were good stories, son,” the being replied,” Would you like to write some more? Would you like to write some more? Would you….”
Then I jutted away from the alien. I didn’t have to signal for my friends to come because they understood. We ran back to the entrance of “The Bridge,” only to come to a stopping point, where an icy mirror, blocked our escape. My mother’s image was there. Her hand had a pair of black gloves on as she knocked on the frozen barrier saying, “You aren’t on earth, but I am. Good luck.”
Then she disappeared like a cloud of vapor.
“We need to find a way out,” I shouted.
“How are we to get through this wall of ice?’ Ian asked,” This is impossible.”
“Look!” Xavier pointed to the sky.
A ship, silver and triangular shaped, broke through the wall of ice. It had the High Tech Star Gateway Machinery label on its’ right wing. Then it disappeared.
There was not a cloud in the sky when we made it back to land, away from the shoreline. There was no snow, only small puddles of water. It was as if the snow had never fallen.
“I guess we were fooled,” Ian laughed,” There was no Northeaster today. It couldn’t have melted this fast.”
“Not so quick on that one, Ian,” Xavier told him.
“This is my phone, Ian,” I showed my friends my phone. There was a layer of ice around it, with a trace of a handprint. Was it an alien? Or was it my father?
“Now what do we do?” Ian asked.
“Yeah, what do we do?” Xavier agreed.
“Well, it’s too warm for ice hockey. Let’s play basketball,” I suggested as my friends and I followed me back to our development.
But when we got back to the pond it was frozen. Not in ice, but something metallic.
We played ice hockey all afternoon.
No other child came to visit.
Then my mother arrived in her car.
She said she was making my favorite mac n’ cheese.
I turned around.
My friends were playing ice hockey like nothing happened.
Why? Because we had just left a time warp.
Brain washed by High Tech Star Gateway Machinery.
“Is Dad an alien?” I asked my mother on the way home.
She wouldn’t answer.
“Does he know how to fly a spaceship?’ I asked,” I believe he set my friends and I free.”
“Possibly,” my mother answered.
What on earth was going on here? Or was this earth?
Will I ever know?