It landed a week ago. Right in the middle of a football field at a local High School. Luckily, there wasn’t a game that night. The only witnesses to its arrival were a young couple tangled up in the throws of passion under the Visitor’s Bleacher section, and a guy running laps on the brand new 400 meter track that surrounded the football field.
The guy running swore he never heard a thing. One second the football field was just a dark gap in the oblong circle he was jogging on- the next second... a five story shiny metallic object stood there. Needless to say, he stopped jogging or he would have tripped over his own jaw.
The teenage couple under the Visitors Bleachers saw it next. Well, she did. Looking over the shoulder of her boyfriend, who was busy nibbling on the soft nape of her neck while trying to puff her blouse up enough to see some boobs, she stared in awe at the sudden appearance of a five story shiny object in the middle of the field. She didn’t scream, just a sudden sharp intake of breath was the only giveaway.
Her boyfriend whispered a muzzled: “Oh, that’s the spot is it?”
He was as surprised as she was when she just lifted his head and jerked it around to see the football field. She was surprised because she didn’t know she was that strong, he was surprised because she almost pulled his head from his shoulders.
He let out a yelp and started to say some rather nasty things, when he saw what she had pointed his head at. Unlike her, he did scream.
“What in the World is that?”
By daylight half the town was standing behind the yellow caution tape the Police (and later) the Military had throw around the entire football field. There was no secrecy…even the Government had to admit there was no way to hide this object. Besides: YouTube, Twitter, and FACEBOOK, had already alerted anyone in the world with a smartphone, computer, or television, with a steady stream of videos, texts, and tweets.
The Young couple and the Lone runner had joined forces and walked around the entire five story shiny metallic object a dozen times, taking streaming videos from every possible angle. The young man had even darted up the steps to the Press Box, to get a picture of the five story metallic object from four stories up. The Entire Classes of 2019,2020,and 2021 were over there taking their own pictures and videos of the five story shiny metallic object before the first Police Car even showed up.
Teens, it seems, are truly connected.
On the fifth day, with the whole world watching it, the five story metallic object let down a ramp. As far as anyone could tell, there weren’t any spaces, edges, or joints on the bottom of the five story object. The bottom of the object was two stories up…so there was lots of room for the Scientists to use their fancy technology to laser map the doggone thing. According to them, the ramp shouldn’t have been able to come out of what looked like a seamless bowl of shiny metal.
But it did.
The other strange thing was the ramp curled. Yep. Like walking up the Guggenheim in New York City, or those curled ramps at Pro Football or Baseball Stadiums. No railing at all, just a circular ramp that was angled perfectly for a person (Human Being) to walk up with ease.
I guess that wasn’t the only “other strange thing” because the lighting and smell were strange too. Not strange weird, but strange familiar. I know that doesn’t make sense, but the light was both soft and inviting, but not any color you or I (or any other Human Being) would have a name for. It was pleasant though. Pleasant enough that you were drawn towards it almost without thinking. Like a Moth.
And that…well… scared the bejeezus out of most of us.
Especially when you combined it with the other “strange thing”…the smell. A smell wafted from that opening and down the ramp to drift out over the throngs of folks milling about behind the tape. Just like the light pouring out, the smell was strange, but not strange weird, but strange familiar. Like combining garlic with cinnamon, or vanilla with bacon, smells that couldn’t be named by any combination you or I (or any other Human Being) could pinpoint.
And that…we…that scared the bejeezus out of all of us.
So we waited.
And waited some more.
A month had passed. The ramp stayed in place. The lighting and smell stayed in place. The five story shiny metallic object stayed in place. The Military stayed in place. The crowd shrunk. Oh sure, we all checked our phones and whatnot every few hours to see if anything happened, but nothing ever did. No one, or no thing, came down the ramp. Thirty days of staring at a ramp, no matter how cleverly lit, or beautiful it smells, gets old. Boring. The Novelty wears away.
I don’t know how many people jumped, or how high, but I know I was one of them when the sound came out of the ramp opening. From the smell coming from the small crowd of diehard Civilians outside the restricted area, more than a few lost control of their bowels in surprise. I don’t blame them. I damn near jumped out of my skin myself.
The sound was so unexpected that it shocked everyone. What it said was even more shocking - and it kept repeating that message over and over again:
“Earthlings. Welcome. For reasons we can’t explain to you, we are unable to come onto your planet. However, we can invite you to join us on our ship. You will be perfectly safe. Trust us. “
And that was repeated every single hour, on the hour, since that first announcement. The Government stepped in. You had to undergo a battery of tests if you wanted to go up the ramp. As the President said (and the whole world agreed - for once) no one wanted the Aliens to be greeted by some psychopath, or idiot trying for fifteen minutes of fame. Or even worse, someone who was so xenophobic that they wanted to carry a bomb up the ramp to get rid of the Evil Beings that nobody has seen.
There were literally millions of volunteers from around the world. The battery of tests and interviews whittled that down to a mere hundred or so. (and that is a scary statistic all by itself) The hundred or so who passed the tests were bussed to the ramp and past all the Military checkpoints to be released at the foot of the ramp.
Forty three days after the five story shiny metallic first landed in that football field, a hundred human beings stood poised to go in it. Milling around the bottom of the ramp basking in the light, taking in the pleasant, if unnamed,smell and looking around to see who would be first to start up the ramp.
The first people to start up that ramp in what has to be Universal Irony, were the young boy and girl who had been necking under the Visitors Bleachers when the ship first appeared. Hand in hand, they turned, waved to the crowd and started up the ramp. The crowd swelled in closer to watch them go up.
A chant started:
“Wait. Wait. Don’t go. Wait.”
Even the hundred or so chosen to go up the ramp with them, held back joining the throng in their chant:
“Wait. Wait. Don’t go!”
The young girl stood at the top of the Spiral ramp, as close to the opening of the five story shiny metal object as you could get, without going inside. Still holding the hand of her boyfriend with one hand, she waved with the other as she yelled out:
And with that…she and her boyfriend stepped off the ramp into the five story shiny metallic object. Everyone heard her scream of delight. And his happy yell too.
“OH MY GOD, they are so pretty!”
A moment later and the chant changed from one of worry and fear to a simple Geronimo like yell of:
Two hundred feet pounded up that ramp. A hundred thrilled voices linked in harmony:
When the last set of feet pounded up the ramp and inside the ship…the ramp was gone. It didn’t slide in, retract, or raise up…it just…was…gone. A moment later…so was the ship.
Seven Billion people took up the chant:
“Wait. Wait. Wait.”
“Why? Why? Why?”
The Field is monitored day and night. People leave flowers, notes, even chocolates. It is the World’s most visited tourist site. Friends and family of the hundred or so folks who got on the five story shiny metallic object keep a constant vigil near the South End of the football field, where the Government had set up temporary housing for them.
“Why are you waiting here, it has been months since the ship “left”, why wait?”