Word Count: 100 x 10
Notes: For primeval100challenge 250: Past challenges
Using prompts:193- stargazing, 106- picture prompt, 9- star wars, 79- anticipation, 89- fools rush in, 80- All that glitters, 162- Shadows, 95- Something wicked this way comes, 135- wishful thinking, 8- forest of dean.
Notes: Set pre-series.
“What would you do if you saw an alien?” Connor wondered aloud as he and Duncan looked up at the sky, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Meteor shower that had been forecast tonight.
“I dunno,” Duncan replied, huddling deeper into his coat to fend of the chilly night air. “I like to think I’d be all cool and calm and say ‘welcome to our planet’.”
Connor nodded. “Imagine how cool it’d be to meet a real, live alien.”
“Almost as cool as seeing a dinosaur,” Duncan agreed.
Suddenly, he pointed into the woods behind the house. “What’s that?”
Connor looked to where he pointed. There, in the trees, was a light. It was faint but growing gradually brighter as it neared.
“It’s probably just someone out walking their dog, using a torch to find their way.”
Duncan gave him a ‘don’t be stupid’ look. “Who walks their dog at two in the morning?” he asked. “And besides, it’s near the tops of the trees and so unless they’re thirty feet tall, it can’t be a person.”
It was then that Connor saw the hint of panic creeping into his friend’s eyes.
“Maybe we should go back inside now.”
“Maybe it’s an advance landing party for an alien civilisation!” Duncan mused, his voice raising in pitch and showing Connor just how worried he was.
He had to admit that it looked rather eerie, and he wasn’t sure what it was himself, but unlike Duncan, he wanted to find out.
“Oh God! I’ve read all about what happens to people who get abducted,” Duncan said. “They experiment on them!”
“What was all that you were saying about being cool when you met an alien?” Connor teased.
“That was before I thought they’d probe me,” Duncan told him miserably.
Despite his objections, Connor knew that Duncan wouldn’t miss out on this for the world. They had speculated on life on other planets and UFO’s for years, musing about what would happen if they saw one. If they did and got actual hard proof, it would be the discovery of their lifetimes, instant fame and respect, unlike the ridicule they both received at the moment from their classmates.
As the pair of them made their way toward the end of the garden, closer to the woods, Connor felt his skin begin to tingle in anticipation of what they might find.
“You know, maybe this isn’t the best idea.”
Connor sighed. “You can go back if you’re scared.”
“I’m not! But maybe we shouldn’t be so hasty about this. You know what they say: Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”
“Yes, but the fools always get the best seats,” Connor finished as he climbed over the garden wall, stepping into the edge of the woods.
From the noisy landing behind him, he knew that Duncan had followed. This was a stupid thing to do- neither of them were what you’d call outdoorsy people- but his curiosity had been piqued.
Connor stopped in the clearing in the trees so suddenly that Duncan walked straight into him.
“Look up,” he said, not looking away, not even turning to Duncan as he spoke to him.
In the air above their heads was the source of the light they had been able to see between the trees, strong enough to illuminate the clearing they were standing in and be seen from Duncan’s mother’s house outside the woods. It looked like a shattered mirror, hanging in the air, the pieces all shining and glittering as they moved in the pitch black night sky.
Connor just had time to wish he’d brought his camera- because no one was going to believe this- when the light went out. The clearing went back to being night, the forest suddenly seeming even darker and more sinister than it had from the garden. Connor wasn’t even sure he could remember the way back. The little torch that he had with him didn’t help ease his concerns any when, from deep in the shadows, there was a rustling sound.
“Um, Duncan? Was that you moving?”
“No. I want to go home now.”
Connor couldn’t agree more. “Duncan? Walk fast.”
Had someone told Connor that he would be running through the woods in the dead of night and scaling a wall in under three seconds, he would have laughed in their faces. Right now, however, with his mind telling him he could still hear the thing from the clearing following them, he seemed to have found his inner athlete.
Duncan tumbled over the wall to land next to him, scrambling to his feet and toward the house, hurrying inside and bolting the door behind them.
Behind them, a large tabby cat leapt nimbly over the wall, heading home as well.
The next morning, after breakfast, when Duncan’s mother had gone out, they sat in the lounge, occasionally glancing out at the woods.
“What do you think it was?” Connor asked. “I’ve never heard of anything like it before.”
“Maybe we should go back and see if it left any trace behind,” Duncan suggested. It was a lot easier to seem brave in the daylight. “I don’t think it was a UFO.”
Connor sighed. “No, it wasn’t.” That had just been wishful thinking. He’d still like to know what the thing was, though.
“And we missed the meteors, too.” Duncan said.
Two years later, Connor stood in the Forest of Dean, alongside Professor Cutter and Stephen, and stared at a very familiar, glittering, fractured light in the air. It brought back memories of a night of running about in the woods, of strange lights and UFO’s, and something that had haunted his dreams since then.
He and Duncan had talked of that night often, speculating, but now he stood in front of another anomaly, grinning as the magnetic field snatched his pen from his hand. He knew he should be scared, but all he could think was how awesome it was.