• Dzama

Chennauk’s Aliens

The snow was grey and hard, riddled with pebbles from the road. Little black squirrels ran to and fro, too fast to seem natural. Chennauk waited for the school bus, the winter sunlight too bright and her backpack too heavy with books. The bus was late and all that passed were rusty pickups spraying muddy water and gravel. The birds chirped and it should have been a happy morning but she had lost the drawing and nothing could make up for that.

Davin drew the picture with crayons a few days before- it showed the two of them and a spacecraft shining down a yellow beam of light that he said would lift them up from the ground. They would be able to ride the spaceship out into the stars and the other galaxies, just the two of them and several aliens. They’d be able to raise a family together on one of the ringed planets depicted in salmon-colored crayon.

But now the picture was gone- it wasn’t in any of her spiral-bound notebooks or in any of the pockets in her bag. And without it the space trip seemed that much more imaginary, like Mrs. Croukle had said it was. A small squirrel stopped and gave her a knowing stare before zipping away very quickly.

Just then a car pulled up and it wasn’t the bus or her Mom, it was a police car. The police man with little pale blue eyes leaned out and called her name. She took off running over the crunchy snow and down across the field. She ran and ran, across a little stream getting her rubber boots wet, and when she looked back the officers were out of their car and had a dog with them. She ran up to where another brook curved along the meadow and ran in the water, like she remembered people did in movies to elude dogs, the ice water splashing her jeans.

Whenever she looked back they were closer but never seemed to be looking directly at her so she thought she might still have a chance. When she got to the silo she ran around behind it, breathing hard. She was so tired she collapsed against the back of the silo and that’s when she saw Davin. “You gotta come back with me and the cops,” Davin said. “Bring that picture.” She slapped him, knocking him down, and took off running again, crying because she felt so betrayed.

When the alien spacecraft arrived the cops had cornered her by the Brent barn and she was still crying and couldn’t run anymore. The alien tractor beam whisked her up into the sky and deposited her in a plush cockpit with colorful couches and a bunch of aliens. A cute boy alien gestured for her to join him by the porthole and they watched together as the Brent barn and all the cops got smaller and smaller in the distance then the whole American continent was getting smaller then they were above the clouds watching as the entire Earth got smaller and smaller until it was the size of a BB. She turned to the boy alien and smiled. Then all the running caught up with her and she leaned back, sinking into the fuzzy couch, and fell into a very deep sleep.

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