Sunday, October 1
North Hawk, Nebraska
James Thomas Hatchet had seen plenty of falling stars in his 60 years alive on this godforsaken planet, but this one?
This one was different.
It was well after midnight, and a cool autumn wind blew a scattering of leaves illuminated by the moon across the landscape in front of him. James was on the back porch of his large brick farmhouse knocking down his seventh consecutive Bud Light when he noticed a bright light falling in the sky.
James scrunched up his nose and stared real hard into the sky to see what it was. He edged toward the front of his chair, his large 6’8” frame causing the chair’s foundation to sag and creak. Then James paid close attention to the heavens.
It was curious, this thing in the sky.
It was changing color. At first, it was just a bright silvery white trailing a long line of barely orange flame across the horizon. Before his eyes the speeding mass changed to a deep yellow, then an iridescent blue before turning into a ball of emerald green swirling with purple.
James stared wide-eyed at the thing, sipping from his beer without pulling his eyes away as if he were watching the Huskers going in for a touchdown.
Was that thing getting… closer?
James stood up. Felt his heart quickening. He had maybe a few seconds or so before the falling thing would become one with the Earth, and James saw that maybe… just maybe it might collide right with his home.
It was faster than he imagined and crashed with a thunderous cacophony of violence just fifty feet or so to the west of the porch. Dirt and rock exploded into the sky and surroundings, hammering James and the side of his home. He heard windows shattering and James fell into a fetal position, suddenly muttering a prayer into the hands he had pressed to his face.
It was quiet as he uncurled himself and looked around, a soft, radiating glow came from where the thing collided with the ground. James thought a moment about running inside to call 911, but the pulsing colors kept his attention.
James couldn’t look away.
The light emanating from the impact area kept shifting. Blue, then orange, then purple, and then some colors he found hard to describe. Had he even seen those colors before? To say the scene was beautiful wouldn’t be saying it right. It was more than that.
So James walked toward the glow and a crater the size of his old Chevy Silverado appeared. Although the glow flickered like flames at a campfire, as he edged closer, he felt no heat and nothing was on fire. Dirt, rocks and splintered wood made it so he had to watch where he stepped, but he found it nearly impossible to look away from the radiating light and he stumbled a few times as he walked.
He pressed on and stood at the edge of the hole in the dirt, looking down.
Inside, at the bottom of the pit, was a dark mass. It looked like a small pond of black ink, shifting and moving almost as if it were dancing with the light emanating from it.
James stared with his mouth open. The ink shifted, moved and began to form into something. The ink wasn’t exactly black, he realized. It contained all of the colors — more colors than James had ever imagined.
The dark substance began to coalesce. It was forming, gathering, moving toward the center, and a column began to rise. At first, it was just a wobbling structure but James stared in disbelief and wonder, unable to move, as the thing in the pit formed legs, then a torso, arms and a head.
When the eyes appeared like glowing stars in the ink, that’s when James screamed and the thing moved toward him, embracing him. Enveloping him.
James looked down and watched as it covered his body, moving up toward his face and his open mouth, and finally the thing slithered and pushed inside him from every pore on his body. He could feel it moving on the inside.
As he convulsed, standing under the moon and shaking like he was performing an electric dance, he watched dozens of other balls of shifting light fall from the sky, all heading for various places throughout North Hawk.
Before he lost consciousness, James had a thought: this was bullshit… he didn’t even believe in UFOs.
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Check back tomorrow for more as October 2023 becomes a strange month for the citizens in and around North Hawk, Nebraska.