Written by Danielle E. Pasqua
Copyright © January 28, 2018
Observing the sunset, while I biked in circles around my cul-de-sac, was something I looked forward to after school. It was then that my mother would chase me outside carrying my blue fleece, that I had outgrown, warning me that it was better than nothing, so I wouldn’t feel any cold draft on my skin. But I peddled too quickly for her to catch up and she disappeared into the house.
While I watched my mother close the front door, I took my helmet off to get a better view of the moon. My friends Xavier and Ian joined my company, as they too viewed this partner of the earth, acting like a partially dim light bulb above my house.
“It must be a sign,” Ian suggested.
“What are you talking about?” Xavier asked.
“Noah, it’s your birthday,” Ian laughed,” It’s Friday. The moon is your friend.”
“You’re my friend, Ian,” I laughed back and then nodded my head to Xavier,” And you too.”
“It’s guiding you, Noah,” Ian declared and then laid his bike on his side to take his phone out of his pocket,” I think I am going to take some pictures of it.”
Just when Ian held his phone up to the moon, a black unmarked car drove slowly down our street. I recognized the license plate, whose initials were HTSGWM, that I knew stood for High Tech Star Gateway Machinery. The car slowly turned onto my driveway, but then it stopped, causing my friends and I to freeze in our tracks. Then the window opened, and my father called,” Noah, I have something for you and your friends.”
“What it is Dad?” I groaned,” Not something crazy.”
“We’re not crazy, Noah,” my father assured me, “But I think you would like it. Come meet in the garage.”
My friends and I left our bikes on the bottom of my driveway to run and see what my father had in store for us. I almost tripped over my mother’s watering can, that she had used earlier that day for her annuals. I believed the flowers surrounded the house like a captivated garden. A botanical curse I could never escape.
I thought my father would be in his lizard form, but instead he was your typical working Dad, no suit, but a blue uniform that could mistake him for a mail man. But isn’t that what he was? A delivery person for the universe? Then my thoughts changed, as he opened his briefcase and handed us each an envelope, typical being white and rectangular, only that it was heavy as stone and little carvings of the numerical zeros and ones covered its’ back and front.
“What is this Dad?” I asked.
“An invitation to your birthday party,” my father answered.
“I thought we were celebrating here,” I tried to understand as the questionable tone I had, seemed to puzzle my friends as well.
“I thought we’d go somewhere else,” my father mentioned.
“Where?” I asked and reminded my father,” Mom made me supper. My favorite mac ‘n cheese. My sister made me brownies.”
“This is better than that, I promise,” my father said closing the latch on his suitcase,” I messaged your mother earlier and she agreed. That your birthday is an essence to be understood. Lacey promised to save you some brownies.”
“Can we open this?” Ian asked,” I want to take a picture- “
“No pictures and you can’t open it,” my father answered firmly.
“Then how do we know where the party is?” Ian asked.
“Noah, get in the front seat. Xavier and Ian get in the back seat,” my father instructed,” I’m taking you to your party Noah.”
“Why can’t we take your spaceship?” I asked.
“Government officials have picked up on it,” my father explained as we all strapped ourselves in,” I can put a color shield on this car that blends into the makes and models of many sedans. You can’t do that with a spaceship. Not everyone on earth owns one. That is yet”.
As my father sped along the windy back roads, I looked out the side view mirror. The crescent moon was there, following me as it swayed back and forth like a pendulum, a daunting cosmic image. It would try to catch me with its hook, before dangling me loose and placing me in some adventure that I didn’t know if I would be ready for. Time would only tell.
The funny thing was, the longer my father drove, the smaller the moon got. They say the size of the moon can be an illusion sometimes, which probably added to the “stories” circling in my head. Just where we were going and what we were going to encounter.
“Dad, where is the party going to be?’ I asked.
“At the ‘N’,” my father answered,” The main building. That’s where our meetings are held.”
“High Tech Star Gateway Machinery,” I understood, as the shiny buildings could be seen ahead. My father pulled up to the west main gate, where a guard, part humanoid and lizard let us through. The paved driveway then turned into this glistening gravel, as we drove across its’ terrain to the “N” shaped building, that looked surprisingly dark.
“We’re here boys,” my father stated as he turned the ignition off and unlocked the doors. I stepped outside, where a chill in the air brushed the hairs on my neck. I’m glad I had my fleece with me. Maybe my Mom was right after all, even though she could be peculiar at times.
“Why is it so dark here?” I asked.
“We need to protect the spacecrafts. Shield them. Like I said we are being watched,” my father explained,” We don’t want them to know everything. Our plans for the long-term project. Vehicles to allow us to escape. They don’t want us to leave just yet.”
“Whose they?” Ian asked.
“The government officials,” Xavier answered for my father.
“Are they in D.C?” Ian asked.
I felt I had to add something to the conversation, but my father somehow took my words. Brainwaves floating between two non-earthly inhabitants.
“Somewhat, but not really,” my father told Ian,” They are separate. A fabrication of
“On a hunt for our power,” I murmured, not to create a stir in the stillness around us.
“I’m afraid so,” my father agreed, but then said,” Noah, now we must attend your party. Turn around.”
That’s when the darkness had been lifted by an invisible cover because the tinted windows of “N” gradually turned white. The walkway that led to the entrance of the building lit up with a blinking neon phrase that said “Happy Birthday Noah! You’re eleven-years old. Welcome to your celebration.” Along, with my father and my friends, I was led into the recreation room, where my party was to be taken place.
“Happy Birthday Noah,” the robots, lizards and other humanoids announced holding up sapphire and silver balloons in each of their hands. These creatures then lead me into a room, where displayed on the floor was remarkable arcade. But, above me I was awe-struck by mini-machines crushing balls, which I believed were asteroids. The rest of the debris had rolled into a gum ball machine, which appeared to process itself into balls necessary to play the game of choice. I knew destroying asteroids was something my father was tiredly working on.
I held onto the envelope. Just like I had done with The Heirloom” when my friends and I escaped my father’s ship in an emergency. “The Heirloom” was the navigator of my father’s ship.
“Who are these beings? Are these your friends?’ Ian asked me.
“I don’t know,” I answered,” They must know me somehow.”
“We should open it,” Xavier suggested.
“No, don’t open the envelope,” my father said.
“Then why is a secret?” Xavier asked.
My father wouldn’t answer. He only said, “Enjoy the party. I will tell you afterwards.”
A couple of robots took my hands and let me up a small staircase ahead, where my cake stood erected on a platform. It was covered in chocolate icing with my name written in neon blue. I had a feeling the inside was vanilla, since that was my favorite. My father had been right on that one.
Before I could enjoy my desert splendor, eleven tiny robots gathered around me, placing candles in a circular fashion in the middle of the cake. Then everyone in the room sang “Happy Birthday” to me and afterwards my father said,” Make your wish Noah. Then blow it out.”
“I wish I knew what was in the envelope,” I muttered.
Then the stony heavy case slipped open.
I was amazed by this telepathic communication.
The envelope unfolded itself into a multitude of fuzzy images.
The robots, the humanoids, my father and including my friends and I all laid on the floor to take cover.
The released data stored in the envelope, wrapped itself around the walls of the party room we were in. That’s when I saw a glimpse of the small part of a world, my former planet with its’ hundreds of craters and buildings that reached high into its’ atmosphere. To me it was like pixels from a picture on a camera or in this case a highly designed computer. But that only lasted briefly until the room turned dark and a spark of energy was left on the candle.
A trick candle I had believed.
My father had “The Heirloom” in his hand. It was hovering a beam of light over the envelope like it was the mothership hunting down its’ crew. He stood beside me, as well as my friends and warned,” We must run. ‘The Heirloom’ is only a temporary fix. Noah, hold on to the envelope.”
My father poured a glass of water over the trick candle. But this didn’t look like water found on earth because once it hit the candle, all eleven of them froze, just like time had for that moment.
The recreation room we stood in was now dark, except for the eyes of the other beings whom followed my father, Xavier, Ian and I somewhere. I didn’t know where.
Unlike the “I” building, “The EXIT” wasn’t as obvious, but here in the “N” I knew it had to be a zigzag path to leave the building. Somehow the front doors had automatically locked the moment we pressed our shoes to the ground, releasing the pressure of being trapped by something my friends and I didn’t know anything about. My father on the other hand, I believed knew something.
Racing down the first hall, I asked my father,” How did the envelope open? Did it read my mind?”
“No, I don’t think it was sealed right,” my father explained,” Whoever got a hold of it must’ve planted a mechanism, so he or she could open it. It just so happened to be at that moment.”
“To good to be true,” Xavier admitted.
“No, a government official could be in the building,” my father explained as we turned another corner that led to the next corridor,” He waited to have it released when you blew the candles. He might’ve figured out your wish.”
“Why is this invitation a secret?” Ian asked.
“It’s not an invitation,” I yelled.
“Partially it is,” my father corrected. He then went on to say,” ‘The Invitation’ is a welcome to your native planet.”
“What?” I didn’t understand.
“This celebration is like earth, only higher in technology,” my father said just as we reached the last section of the “N” building.
My father’s triangular ship laid before us. There were also many other Express Interstellar Traveler Ships or “The EXIT” ships they had been called, which unearthly creatures had boarded upon. When the last worker had escaped out my father put a code in the door. I asked him what it was for. He said,” I need to protect our information.”
“What about the government official?’ Xavier asked.
My father pointed to a figure boarding a helicopter around the bend, where the “X” shaped airfield had lied. The helicopter’s propellers raced against time, as it took off heading towards the capital, where secrets were kept from the citizens.
“Where are we going?” I asked my father as we strapped ourselves in the ship.
“On the far side of the moon. That way the earth’s radio interference can’t get in the way.”
The moon I saw outside the window was only half of a crescent sinking below the horizon, but soon I knew would discover something greater, not about the moon, but just what The Invitation” was supposed to be and what it meant for me.
Being away from earth, not seeing it rise out of the darkness, made me cold inside. But the more I held onto the envelope, the warmer I had become. I wanted to cry, but instead anger empowered me to ask the question again and so I did,” Dad, what is ‘The Invitation’?”
“’The Invitation’ holds everything about our home planet,” my father explained as the ship wobbled above the cratered dark-sided moon.
“What do you mean everything?” I asked.
“Well, let’s start,” my father sighed with compassion. He then said,” Your ‘invitation’ is the master one. Xavier’s and Ian’s are duplicates. We did it that way, so we could conceal what you really have Noah. That invitation is your birth certificate. ‘Invitation’ is a code name for it. Someone must’ve figured it out. Someone following us all along.”
“Why did you give it to me now?” I asked.
“Government officials know you have a power. You control the role of sci-fi stories on earth. It worked out that way because it happened to be your birthday. This envelope is not only a birth certificate, but a large microchip that contains all the stories from the past and other worlds you don’t know that you have written.”
“So, your protecting me?” I asked.
“You can say that. This ‘invitation’ is a part of life on our planet.,” my father explained,” A message that traveled from space.”
“When did you get this? Have you had it all along?’ I asked.
“It was delivered to me the day we brought you to earth. It was guarded at my company,” my father explained, but then said,” Someday we will return. That is after the long-term project is completed.”
“How long will that be?” I asked.
“This is just the beginning. This is your story, Noah,” my father announced as he maneuvered the ship away from the far side of the moon,” When the moment is right, I promise we will travel there.”
I looked down at the earth.
I was an alien after all with a discreet birth certificate containing information about everything everywhere.
But later, while I slept, tucked tight in my bed, a river of fear caused a swell in my head. I stood straight up, staring at the stone package lying across on my desk. The more I looked the more I realized it was gravitated above. I wondered why my father let me keep it. I knew he probably thought it belonged to me.
But someone else wanted it.
Who were these government officials?
Then a circular light surrounded my “birth certificate.” I turned around. There were a pair of headlights nosing through my window. I had nothing to defend myself, until an aural spectacle of light surrounded the house. There was a knock on my door,” Noah it’s your Dad. Don’t worry they won’t come for you. Keep those stories going.”
Then I turned the light out. I watched the fictional astronomical light show on my ceiling. I saw a planet I didn’t recognized. It wasn’t part of the earth’s solar system. In fact, it was coming from “The Invitation.’”
On the opposite side of the ceiling where the illustrated solar system glowed, there were eight square images and the ninth picture was almost completed. There were words on the visual show that I could not read. Though my eyes were fine, I had them tested at school. So, I decided to grab my binoculars. Racing across the lens like shooting stars were “The Rock,” “The Lightning Rod,” “The Heirloom,” “The Globe,” “The Ride,” “The Bridge,” “The Tour,” “The Exit,” and finally “The Invit-.”
I put my binoculars down.
I tried to make sense of it.
Then another square block appeared.
I didn’t need my binoculars for this one.
It read “Noah’s Stories.”
I then whispered,” I wish the envelope would go to sleep.”
Then the light show stopped.
All was dark.
Perhaps destiny had found me.
In a way I wasn’t prepared for.
I knew I had to deal with it.
Sooner or later.
At the dawn of my homecoming.