'Can I go outside, please? Please can I go outside? Please!' The young boy pleaded to his disapproving parents. It was past 7:30 in late September time. Too dark to go out alone, ‘It’ll be fine! Who'll take me?'
'No, Dan', they said, not looking at him once, ignoring his presence. Dan didn't like to be ignored. Not by the parents who supposedly loved him. He'd go outside, no matter what they said. It was a free world; he could do whatever he liked.
'Fine', he said and tiptoed towards the back. His parents were gullible, too gullible. Never would they guess that he'd do this. "Never would Dan go somewhere without our permission!" they'd say. Incorrect and gullible. Not until they went up to bed was the door locked, so as long as he slid the door open silently, not one thing would be suspected. He'd play football, then come back inside just before bedtime. Little did he know that his sister, Rosie, was watching the entire time. A slight squeaking sound was made as the rusty door was opened, but not loud enough for his mum and dad to hear.
Rosie ran into the living room to inform her parents of Dan's happenings as he stepped outside into the dark, cold. The flick of her pink spotted dressing gown could be seen as she flew behind the door. Fear bit at him like a hungry lion, but still he grabbed his football from the corner of the garden, and begun kicking it against the fence, aiming between two imaginary goalposts.
'Daniel! Get inside now!' he heard his mother scream through the glass doors. All he could do now was hide. The overgrown fern bush was only a few meters away from him, so quickly he sprinted across, and curled into a ball behind it. 'Daniel!' his mother screamed again. She'd find him at some point, but he had now, and that was enough.
Wind blew hard against him, and a loud, roaring buzzing sound entered his ears... It was like a helicopter, flying low to the ground. But this helicopter was low, very, very low. He took a quick look at the sky to find out whether his prediction was correct, not being able to hear his families screams and warnings. A beam shone into his eyes, making Dan fear being blinded. It was coloured green, and controlled by a flying hovercraft. A spaceship was the first explanation to enter his mind. But spaceships didn't exist... did they?
No longer could he feel anything, Dan predicted he'd gone numb from the biting wind, and the coldness of the beam. No. That wasn't it. Dan hadn't gone numb, he realised this after daring to open his eyes. Nothing other than thin air touched him at that very moment; he was hovering above the ground getting higher by the second, soon to reach the inside of the spaceship. His once strong mother was curled up into a ball on the ground, fingers covering her ears blocking out what was going on. Joining her was his father, knelt beside possibly saying comforting words. Although he was concentrating on his wife, his pupils didn't leave Dan for one second.
Then his sister, the girl who brought them here to witness his leaving stood against the door, disbelief covering her face as well as salty tears. The one who should've been the most scared at that moment was Dan, but somehow he wasn't... More the most curious.
Every night for the past eight years I've been having that very dream. The one that replays the moment in the garden when I was taken away from my family at the age of ten, and was put into the care of another's hands. Those hands belong to aliens.
Yes, actual aliens. Not until that night had I truly believed in them, then everything changed. Apparently, the reason for my evacuation was for a test, a study on human kind. What area they're working on is unknown - they won't tell me. One thing I do know is that it'll soon be over, as this afternoon I'll be free on my own planet, free to continue my life. Just that, things won't go straight to the way they were before. A whole eight years of school have been missed, and there's no where for me to stay... My parents clearly won't recognise me, and by now they would've figured that I'd be dead, and stopped any searches. It's been eight years - and I've seen families give up in as little as one.
Oddly, the thought of staying up in this spaceship appeals to me. It's safe, it's warm, no one cares about things you know, or don't. Maybe this is the life for me, a life where you don't have to worry...
For what could be the last time ever, I throw off my bed sheets and glide over to my cupboard. The entire thing is made out of smooth metal, an extremely good source for reflecting light, and acting as a mirror. Inside are tiny bulbs, dotted along the corners and edges so tiny, and so crammed together you'd consider it to be just a strip of one.
Despite being completely solid, the inventor crafted the cupboard so that the door smoothly shapes itself so that it fits into the cracks. I feel a force of oxygen push against me, helping my body to feel heavy and strong. The motivation gave me to confidence to trust that somehow life will turn out okay, no matter what path I conclude on taking. A strong person could fight through anything no matter how bad it may be. Even moving back to planet earth.
Once seeing the railing before me, I realised, I had little memory on what the average human kind wore. The only knowledge I had that was certainly true, was the knowledge that it didn't match my wardrobe. If only the outfits in my dream didn't change every night... This could be much simpler. My mind was taken back to when I first arrived on the ship, and I realised what I was taken into. Human shaped figures, with red tinted skin, faces holding four bead sized eyes, and a pair of lips stretched across half their faces. They didn't have a nose.
As a ten year old who'd been nagged about aliens being fiction and nothing but, it was a terrifying experience. Unsurprisingly, I blacked out, and woke up cradled in one of the creatures’ arms. She was a woman named Yutfra, who constantly blinked whilst staring down at me. Already I began to feel safe and comforted around the species, despite the information they kept from my mind. Not until now did I consider the facts better unknown to me. What I don't know cannot do any damage.
Their clothing. A metallic, stretchy material was used on all of their outfits, most commonly in colours black and dark yellow. The only ways that they'd wear it would be as a full, hugging suit or as separate leggings and jacket. Whether you're a man, or whether you're a woman, the outfit options would always be the same. But there's something else they do with their clothing, that I find particularly odd. Although you can already tell the difference between gender by their body shape and hair, they choose to express further identification through the shoes which is the continued material as a slip on, covering the entire foot. Men are selected to wear green whilst women have red.
I pull on the first thing I find, close the cupboard and look at my reflection from the outfit layer. My sandy, brown hair is naturally slicked back, leaving my face uncovered and in full view. I have nobody human to currently compare myself to, so it's unknown whether my hairstyle would help me to blend in on earth. Deciding I'd be noticed anyway, I switched to clothes. Abandoning my normal one piece suit, the clothes lay before me consist of a murky yellow top with long sleeves, and some slightly large black trousers. I'd become sick of the itchy material forming rashes all along my thighs, occasionally swarming across my lower legs. I prayed that the extra space would prevent it from happening this once, then I could change into something more comforting back at home. My home...
The place I was born, the place I grew up.
It seemed amazing how everything suddenly came back to me; the fresh smell of grass as I rolled down the hill - aged six. How my eyes stung whilst capturing the fuzzy picture on the TV - aged eight. The strength of the love between each me and my parents as we embraced - all my life. But then again, another picture ran through my mind, one of my family staying there completely motionless as their poor son was taken away. Their eyes laying on the figure floating up into the air, or in my mother's case looking away, not daring to take a glance at the impossible - aged ten. Nothing was done. No phone calls were attempted to the police, or fire station just incase they made it in time. Just in case they stopped the aliens getting their paws on me. Maybe they didn't want their son that badly, perhaps it wasn't worth the stress and panic. It was understandable.
Then again, I was easily paranoid. Or the aliens made everyone else seem bad, even the kindest human. But they took me away from home, potentially not caring about the mess left behind. How could they still appear like Gods to me? How could they still appear like the greatest friends? Neither of the questions had an answer.
After my continuous trail of thoughts, I decided it was best to leave my room and face the future I was about to step into. The biggest turning point of my life, something I needed to approach looking brave. Bravery wasn't my strongest point though; I was full of cowardice panicking at the slightest bit of movement. So for me, the best I could do was look prepared - Now I was prepared to take action. Ready, set...
On the lower deck, somebody would soon tell me 'go'. I wasn't so sure if I could react to it...
Sparks flew through me as they fiddled with wires round the back of my head, and injected multicoloured liquids into my upper arm. By now, my body was used to unknown chemicals pumped into my circulation, so I no longer felt as queasy as I once did. My head didn't spin anymore. My feet stopped tripping one another up as I aimed to walk. I wondered what would happen when I realised that they were no longer in my system - would I feel better, or would I twist and feel worse? Another clutched my hand, and I rose up from my seat. A crowd of them guided me to another room where screens covered every inch of every wall.
Similar to the beam the night I was evicted, a light shone in my eyes, bright and blinding, dazzling and distracting me. I figured that there was a camera hidden somewhere too as suddenly my face appeared on the screens coloured emerald from the miniature beacon.
Only then did I realise that it was the exact colour that matched my eyes. A jade green... so rich and mysterious. Eight years it took for me to forget the little things I once found so important. When I was six years old I spent the whole day gazing into a mirror, fixated on my eyes - mainly the colour of the iris and how my pupil grew, then shrunk again. If I wasn't taken, perhaps I could've been an optician. All I had to do was stay inside, then the opportunity would've been in my hands. It's too late now though - I'll never get that time back. Aliens were true, but I doubted time travelling was.
'Daniel, it's time to let you go', one of them said to me in English. They had their own language but oddly, didn't teach me it. My only guess was so that I remembered how to speak my own, 'your aim is to find your family. That's your main hope of surviving, otherwise you have no home'.
I nodded in agreement. That was the exact method I had in mind, but opened my mouth to speak, 'Where will they be?'
'That's something we cannot help you with. I apologise deeply'.
'Isn't there anyway of tracking them down with the sources -' I begin, but they cut me off once getting the jest of my question.
'No', he shakes his head, 'we cannot do that. I once again apologise' we each take a deep breath at the same time, his smooth and calming while mine comes out wobbly. I lift up my arm into my sight, and realise it's shaking. No, I was not prepared. This was too big, too dangerous. But could I back out now? Would they even let me? 'In thirty seconds you'll arrive back on planet earth, hopefully near to where we first found you. Perhaps this may help you to find your family?' I nod, it may help me indeed if my memory comes back in time, 'Good luck, Daniel. You've helped us a lot'.
Whatever it was, I liked to think I did. Nearly half of the life I lived, nearly half gone to waste. I was pushed backwards, the chair beneath me slipping away. My eyelids closed in over my eyeballs, leaving nothing for me to see. Thin, damp bristles brushed against my palm. Something I strongly recognised. After recovering from the travel. I open my eyes to see the familiar blue sky above me. Bright and shining, beautiful. I missed it so much, I missed everything planet earth had to offer and now I was back. Letting out an emotion I just couldn't contain, I begun to sob, allowing water to trickle down my cheek. I had no idea where I was, or if anyone was even watching me. Their reaction would be the same, crying or not.
I sit up, getting my first glimpse of the luscious green, more natural and satisfying than the colours experienced in the spacecraft, before falling forwards and settling my face into my hands. As once again, I rested, an image flew into my head. Just me and my sister taking a stroll across a field. That very field was the one I sat it at that moment. Where I sat was only a ten minute walk away from home.
I was almost there, were they?