Written by Danielle E. Pasqua
Copyright © February 21, 2018
How I had wished for the clouds to disappear, so I could see the sun at its’ highest peak. But it had been like that since the start of my break from school. I was disappointed I couldn’t do any activities with my friends Xavier and Ian. But what made up for the lack of sunshine, was my mother’s homemade mac ‘n cheese, bubbling its’ comfort into my nose, that I soon forgot about the weather.
“Noah, stop looking out the window. The rain is not going away,” my sister Lacey commented. Apparently, my gaze got in the way of her piano playing.
“What makes you think that?” I asked turning around, my face red with anger.
“I remember last summer. You were obsessed with ‘The Lightning Rod,’” Lacey reminded me as she brushed the keys on the piano.
“Yeah, it was from Dad’s company,” I stated with sarcasm,” We’re not from earth.”
“Yes, I know,” Lacey smiled, only to turn a page in a songbook that had “The World’s Easter Parade,” written on it.
“Children don’t argue,” my mother scolded. She stood in the doorway of the kitchen, right outside the living room and stated,” Lunch is ready. Today your father will be joining us.”
“Since when does he like mac ‘n cheese?” I asked jokingly as I closed the blinds.
“Since the first time we came to earth,” my mother gave a clever smile just as my father opened basement door. Although my father was really a lizard from another world, he looked like an ordinary human, disguised from earth’s disclosed society. He turned the light switch off. Then he reached into his pocket, where a silver key appeared in his hand. He then handed it to me.
“What is this key for?” I asked,” A car? I’m too young to- “
“Drive,” my father finished my sentence, but then added,” But your old enough to play games. This is a key to the game room. It’s made just for you. That way you and your friends, that is Xavier and Ian can play safely with the balls.”
“But why now?’ I asked.
“It will give you an early lesson on responsibility,” my father answered and then alerted me,” But the key does contain your secrets. Make sure you hold on to it.”
My mother was dishing out plates. For a moment I forgot about the key, as I stuck my fork into the melted cheese on the elbow macaroni. While we ate I said to my father,” Thanks for the key Dad. Can I use the balls today?”
“Of course,” my father agreed.
“It’s supposed to rain again,” my mother announced, “Then again that’s more fuel for the ships.”
“On and off they said,” I reminded my mother.
“Very well,” my mother agreed with me, only to say,” Your old enough now. You’ve survived a few adventures. I believe Lacey is out of babysitting business forever with you.”
Lacey groaned. Her face was covered with cheese.
I just laughed.
“Not funny,” she said.
Lunch didn’t last that long for us travelers had our human agenda to attend to. Pretending we were Americans living in the most powerful nation on earth, yet while trying to live as normal as possible. We were barbaric without our disguises.
I was a kid living on the Sound.
At least that was what I was told.
But the “Unfolded Truths” were before my eyes.
The game room had looked so empty without my mother’s Christmas decor except for the Ping Pong table. In the back corner I found the cabinet labeled “baseball.” I unlocked the cabinet and retrieved three balls. Then next to the cabinet also lied three baseball bats and three gloves with my friends and my initials on it. I knew this was destiny, when a basket lied at the door for me to place my sporting toys inside. I grabbed my phone and my raincoat and headed outside to introduce my friends to this treat my father had given to me.
As usual my friends were outside waiting for me, a connection we had since last summer when we discovered “The Rock” behind our neighborhood. It might’ve been a little misty and little chilly, but we wouldn’t let the dreariness of the weather spoil our day.
“Are we going on another adventure?” Xavier asked.
“Nothing in the works yet,” I stated as I tossed each of my friends their gloves and balls.
“Where did you get this these?” Ian asked as he slipped the glove on his hand, tossing the ball with the other.
“With this,” I took the key out of my jacket’s pocket. Then I explained to my friends how I ended up with it.
“That’s cool. Let’s start our game,” Xavier spoke up.
“There’s no bases,” Ian mentioned.
“I’ll go in the garage and get some spray paint,” I stated,” That way we can play like pros. Hopefully it won’t rain. It looks like the sky is beginning to clear.”
Just as I was about to walk back up my driveway, a rain cloud appeared over me. I looked on the radar of my phone, but it was all obscured, as if communication had been lost at that moment. I put the phone back in my pocket beside the key, while I tried to get an understanding of this dark gray mass above my head. Then rain washed over me like a sudden waterfall and the world around me turned black.
“Noah,” Ian and Xavier were calling to me.
I opened my eyes as I laid hard on the pavement.
“Wake up. There’s a man running,” Xavier warned,” We must follow him. He has your jacket. Did you put your-“.”
“The key. Our adventure’s recordings. Dad trusted me,” I yelled, trying to lift my head off the ground, without feeling a bit dizzy.
“At first we didn’t see anybody. Only buckets of water around you,” Ian explained as my friends helped me stand up,” Now we understand. We’re being watched. He must’ve heard you speak to us.”
“Let’s go,” Xavier ordered, “We must follow him.”
“We really should tell my Dad,” I tried to argue with Xavier, but I knew he was right.
“Noah, while you were underwater, the rest of the sky was blue. The sun was out. The land was dry. Your father left to- “Ian started to explain.
“High Tech Star Gateway Machinery,” I finished, knowing that my father was probably tricked into this storm.
“What did he look like?” I asked as we started to run into the woods.
“He looked like a man. An older man,” Ian explained,” I took pictures.”
“A government official,” Xavier said.
“Let’s just call him “The Official,’” I stated as my friends and I began our tenth adventure.
“The Official’s” tracks, led us to the end of the cul-de-sac and through the woods. As usual I lead the triangular path, Xavier on my right and Ian on my left, a gravitational bond that had started last summer at the beach, while I held “The Heirloom,” a cosmic seashell with a lot of power. But right now, we were on the same path that took us last fall where we saw the hot air balloons or otherwise known as “The Ride.”
Then we stopped at a familiar sight, where we had once past hunters, but this was not hunting season. In the same spot that had appeared dry and desert like, there was “The Official” and two other people having a meeting in a glass dome. But we couldn’t hear their conversation, only “The Official” swaying my key back and forth in front of my face. I could see the silver trace of my phone on his feet as well as the neon blue of my raincoat.
“What do they want from you?” Ian asked.
“His stories,” Xavier had guessed, but I knew he was correct.
My father had told me, these adventures of mine were my stories and I had to protect their history. It was as if “The Official” and his comrades wanted to destroy my well-being, but I wouldn’t let them. Then fear struck me, as well as my friends, as “The Official” began to draw a picture on the glass dome with my key, possibly for my friends and I to see.
“The Official” took his time drawing the picture. Because of the moisture in the air, the translucent sketch, started to spread, but I was able to make out the description he had laid out for me to see. There was the earth’s solar system, but when he drew another circle, further away I recognized two things, my original planet and the projected vision that “The Invitation,” my coded “birth certificate” had reflected on my ceiling. He had seen it all. Ian was right, we were being watched.
“Why is he drawing that picture?” Ian asked.
I then described the night, when “the Invitation’s” data had shine light upon my bedroom’s ceiling.
“Does he have “The Invitation?” Ian asked.
“No, it’s safe in my room,” I answered.
But an engine began to churn from the dome. Then the dome’s top opened and “The Official” tossed my jacket, my phone, and my key laughing along with his group of devious onlookers.
I was angry.
I started to charge at the dome.
My friends held me back.
I broke free from their grasp.
The dome began to rise from the ground. Then wheels emerged from underneath it.
I tried to run. But I tripped over some rocks and fell cutting my right knee.
Then the convertible vehicle took off on a road that headed North. That was not the entrance to the highway that would take them South to the capital.
“Noah are you alright?” Ian asked, as Xavier and he helped me to my feet.
“I think I sprained my ankle,” I admitted as the throbbing soar spread from my ankle, to my scratched knee,” I need to find a place to rest.”
“I have some band-aides. I thought it would come in handy. Our adventures, you see,” Xavier pulled a band-aide out of his pocket.
“They’re gone. My stories are doomed,” I feared, as my friends helped me walk to find a place where I could heal for a short while. Because where my father was I didn’t know.
“Look in the sky,” Ian said.
Sure, enough in the sky, were thousands of ships. I knew that “The Bridge” was nearby. I remembered what my mother had said that morning. Rain was the petroleum for the future.
“Maybe that’s where the bad guys went,” Ian guessed.
“No,” I disagreed, reminding Ian the direction the vehicle had gone,” Those sky birds are going in the opposite direction.”
I tried not to let the fumes of the vehicle poison my regret.
Besides it wasn’t gas, it was steam.
And I my body was losing energy.
Though the sky was clear, the sun still managed to hide behind a cloud. The steam that the vehicle had left, was enough to create a haze that made it hard to see any of the trails in the woods. But we pushed ourselves on, to get out of this maze of unending doom and fear, so I could regain my secrets back from “The Official.” I had slipped my torn jacket around me. The key and my phone were in my pocket, carrying empty data, that now lied in the hands of spies.
It wasn’t long when the haze began to disappear, and a spectrum of visible light began to rotate around and around. I was timid to go near this ray and questioned the source it was coming from. Yet I was eager to know what this peculiar rhythm of energy was.
“Guys you got to see this,” Xavier mentioned. He was taller than Ian and me, so he could see over the small cliff that we had arrived to.
Below us lied a desert-like small rounded area. In the middle sat a rock, but smaller than “The Rock” that we had seen last summer. The beams of illumination didn’t appear harmful but inviting.
“Let’s go down and see this,” I suggested, but mentioned to my friends,” But you have to help me.”
On the side of us there was a trail that led down, probably carved by a hunter or hiker, sometime in the past. As my friends helped me down the rocky path, despite all my aches and pains, the rock stopped its’ rotation of colors and melted into a cushion, that resembled a futon.
I approached cautiously, putting my hands above, to see if I could feel any radiation or heat. Looking around me, besides my friends, were a few squirrels and the chirping of birds, but otherwise these woods were quiet.
“I’m going to sit on it,” I told my friends,” It does no harm, I believe.”
My friends didn’t argue with me, as I sat myself on this small boulder, soft and light, as if it was made of feathers. I felt relaxed and safe, until I heard a vehicle pull up behind me. I thought “The Official” was back.
“Noah don’t be scared,” Xavier assured me,” It’s your Dad.”
“Dad,” I turned around, watching my father carry a first aid kit.
“I’m glad you’re safe,” my father examined my knee and my ankle. He only sighed with remorse and said,” Losing the key and your phone wasn’t your fault., I know.”
“How’d you find us?” Noah asked.
“By this rock,” my father explained,” It is a ground GPS used to track the missing. It also warns of any danger nearby.”
“Is this something new?” I asked.
“Fairly new,” my father answered lifting me off the rock,” We need to take you home. But first I have to show you something.”
“What about the key? My phone? All that information?” I asked as my father carried me. My friends were behind us on either side.
“Don’t worry. I froze the key’s information,” my father promised,” On the way to work I received a message that you were lost. I knew the officials had gotten to you. They use the power of the weather as a distraction.”
“How were you able to do that so fast?” I asked as my father placed me in the passenger seat.
“From times of practice,” my father answered strapping me in,” It’s a substance that can’t be melted. Only a few of our people know the chemical makeup of this.”
“The trick candles,” I recalled,” At my birthday party. You poured liquid on it so that it froze.”
That’s right,” my father closed the door,” But this time I did it remotely, but with a drone.”
“Where to now?’ Ian asked.
“Let’s go for a ride,” my father started the car,” There’s some things I should be telling you Noah. Your friends can listen into as well.”
I looked behind me. The small rock was still there, acting as a rescue object, and possibly for any other child who got lost in these woods in the future. So, as we drove away I watched it grow smaller and smaller. But I never forgot the power it had and how it saved my friends and I from eminent danger.
My father took us down a road, that somehow turned into a desert. I thought it was a strange landscape for the Sound. But I had guessed this was a hidden part, whose radio could be cut off from any satellite reading, hindering any communication. I remember my father with “The Invitation,” when he took us on the far side of the moon, explaining the secrets of my “birth certificate”, I asked my father,” Is this where you hide from government officials?”
“Just the ones that intend to harm,” my father answered as he sped along the endless plain of sand. The sun was large and red, setting itself below the horizon.
“Why would they do any harm?” Ian asked.
“Ian I am going to stop driving. Hand me your phone. I’ d like to look at your pictures if you don’t mind,” my father pulled over. He swiped the picture of “the Official.”
“Who is he?” Ian asked.
My father swiped it again. This time it was a lizard.
The three of us gasped.
“One of our own Dad,” I was surprised.
“Don’t be fooled by these kids,” my father warned.
“Why do they want the key?’ I asked trying to recollect the bits of the conversation,” Besides that it holds my secrets.”
“So, they could get a hold of the other balls,” my father explained, “That way they could test the destruction of asteroids. I gave it to you because I believed it wouldn’t leave home.”
“But it did,” I whispered.
“They don’t want us to go back to our home planet. They also don’t want us to build escape vehicles,” my father explained, “Somehow, they have prisoned us on earth. Asteroids were used to destroy nations on our home planet. Such as our own nation, Noah.”
“Unfolded truths”, I had thought.
“Why did they drive North?” Xavier asked.
“That is where their satellite capital lies,” my father explained,” Isolated from all civilizations on earth.”
The key was in my father’s hand, just like the universe was only ten to billions of times greater than I ever imagined.
We then headed home back to the house.
Just another game of baseball.
Except in this game there were not nine innings.
There were ten. Ten adventures now.
Ten times the power in all the universe.