The undecided tale
This is an entry in Junior Dispatch’s alien short story contest. The effort earns the writer a free book from the York Emporium and a chance to win a $50 movie gift card and a $50 gift certificate from The York Emporium. The submission deadline was Aug. 1.
By Ashley Fife
Age 13, Wrightsville
November 16th, 1778. Williamsburg Virginia
My name is Elizabeth Collier, I am fourteen years old. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburg is a very beautiful and lovely place in the Fall, but the story that I am about to tell you is far from lovely, nor will it make you laugh; for the tale that you are about to read will make you believe that some things you would have never thought were real … are true.
One morning I was awoken to a sudden start; for the past few weeks there had been a rumor going round that the ghost’s of men who had perished during the war were looking to be re-united with their families and loved ones. My grandfather had told me the same tale, but he said that it was not ghosts … but Aliens.
Alien … the word sounded so foreign, I had no idea what to think at the time. When the rumor started I did not believe in such tales, but after that morning my thoughts changed …
As I said, I was awoken to a sudden start, I sat straight up in my bed and listened, until I was sure that what I had heard was just my imagination. I waited, and waited, and waited, until I was sure that it was just me imagining it, and lied back down; just as I did my mother came rushing into my room, her face looked pale and worried.
“Elizabeth!” she said, “You must go and get your brother … NOW!” Maybe I did really hear something.
“Yes Ma’am,” I said, even though I was very confused, “What has happened Mother? What is going on?”
“Elizabeth, please do not ask questions, just go and get William, then come down to the pantry, do you understand?” she was trying to stay calm, but it was not working very well. She rushed out of the room and down the stairs. I quickly slipped on my shoes and started down the hall.
As I was going down the hall to get my brother William, I stopped and looked out the window to see if I could spot anything … un-normal; and un-normal is exactly what I found.
Looking out of the hallway window I could see Duke of Gloucester Street, and at the far end, The Governors Palace. The Governors Palace looked quite normal, but what I saw above, did not. There were big black rushing clouds that looked like huge waves crashing on the sand in the sky. I had never seen the sky like that before and all that I could think of was that the stories about the Aliens might just be true!
I was just going to stop looking out the window and fetch my brother, when something caught my attention. There in the sky were bright green and blue flashes coming from the crashing wave clouds; it was so eerie, and yet so fascinating that I just could not pull myself away.
Finally I came to my senses and went to get my brother. When I got to his room I found him sound asleep in his bed. He looked so sweet when he slept that I hated to wake him, fortunately he was just two years old, and if I was carful enough I could easily pick him up without waking him. Thankfully, I was able to pick him up and carry him to the pantry where my mother was waiting. My father was not with us because he had lost his life fighting for the freedom of our country in the Revolutionary War just two years before.
I handed William over to my mother and she started to say something, but before she could finish I rushed out of the room and ran outside (May I remind you, that for a young lady to run was considered wrong and indecent in my time). My grandfather, James A. Wyeth, owned and lived at the Blacksmiths shop, which was only a block away from my house. If I ran I could reach his home quickly without having to ride my horse. The trouble was that it had just rained the night before, so by the time that I sprinted across the street and arrived at his house my dress and petticoat were soaked and filthy from all of the rain and mud.
Before I even get inside the door he started talking to me, “Elizabeth, dear child, what on earth is the matter?” he looked concerned.
“Grandfather,” I said in despair, “Have you seen the Governors Palace? What is happening over there? What is going on?” My mind was racing a billion miles a minute.
“Now, now child, slow down and take a rest, I’ll explain as best as I can, for even I do not fully understand all that is happening,” he said. He had a faraway look in his eyes.
“Grandfather, does this happen to be about all of those things that I’ve been hearing … about the aliens?” I asked trying to understand.
He looked at me with those wise and compelling gray eyes, when you stared at his eyes for more than two minutes, you automatically felt like you were staring straight into the atmosphere.
“Oh child, lots of folk seem to take their fears and make a big nonsense story about them, that’s where that ghost story came from that you’ve heard, but I’ve researched and taken time to figure out my own explanation; what I have found out that is every sixteen years there are strange lights and sounds coming from the Governors Palace, now that’s not much information but I’m still working on it, and all that I can think of that would explain that, would be aliens.” He said it like he really did believe that.
“I would really like to find out more about this though, it still is very confusing,” I said.
“Tell you what,” he said, “why don’t you come over after school and we’ll work on the case together! Sound Good?”
“That actually sounds fun, Grandfather, thank you! Oh, I should get back to Mother and William now, they will wondering where I went,” I said.
“Of course child, remember whenever you need to talk or have questions about anything you’re always welcome to come by and ask!” he said and gave me a hug.
By the time that I left, the Sun was just starting to come out, and a pinkish color was cast everywhere. It was a beautiful November morning!
I reached home and found my mother getting William dressed to go outside. She was going to go look for me. When she saw me she gave me a look as if to say, “Where have you been Elizabeth Collier?” I explained everything and she understood, thankfully she did not stay mad at me for very long.
It took six days for the strange happenings to finally end, and for everything to go back to normal. My grandfather and I studied what happened at The Governors Palace for forty-eight years, and never did actually find out what it truly was. But my grandfather believed that it was aliens, and so do I; if you ever did fully understand it, and told everyone what it was, no one in the world would ever believe you! So you see, when some things seem too impossible to be true, don’t overlook it because something as absurd as aliens might just be … TRUE!