I don’t usually write Science Fiction but growing up it was one of my favorites. I also loved watching reruns of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Here’s a story I just wrote that sounds like it could go many different directions but I thought I’d ask for your input/help. Obviously, I’d love to know what’s in the box but I haven’t figured that out yet. What do you think? I have ten questions for you at the end….
Gift from Roswell
The sound of approaching footsteps neared the house. Crunching steps pulverized the gravel, on the side entry by the back door. Tammy jumped up from the couch and quickly closed the kitchen blinds. She ran into her room to wait it out. Whoever it was would leave if she didn't answer she figured, but the beating of her heart drowned out the steps. In fact, her heart thumped against her rib cage and strummed up the side of her neck. She strained her ears and heard birds squabbling in the feeder. She also heard a truck out on the street. When the doorbell didn't ring, she decided to return to the kitchen slowly. Thump. Thump went her heart but now she didn't hear anything but her own thoughts and the loud beating that vibrated from her chest to her ears. She peeked out the peephole and saw nothing, but when she turned around toward the kitchen, she heard it again. Loud, boot wearing steps.
Tossing fear aside, she ran to the side door and swung it open. On the welcome mat was a small brown package. The box had a white, neatly typed shipping label with a New Mexico return address. Whoever sent it didn't live far away. “Hello?” She yelled out towards the driveway. Taking a few steps outside, she looked around and didn't see anyone walking down the street. “Hello?” She said a little louder, looking across the street and wondering whether little children were playing a prank.
“They left,” said an old woman sitting on her front porch. “Are you looking for the man who brought that box?” The woman looked vaguely familiar. She lived in an adobe style home catty-corner to her own.
“Yes, yes,” said Tammy. “Who brought it? UPS? FedEx?” She held up the package and walked to the middle of the street. The old woman gingerly moved closer and talked very loud as if she didn't hear very well.
“No, it was them,” the woman replied, pointing up toward the top of a towering tree in her front yard.
“Them?” Tammy stared at the tree.
The woman smiled and stepped closer. “You know. The aliens.”
Tammy looked at the elderly woman and decided she had dementia. Pink polyester pants, a thick red sweater and gold leather tennis shoes certainly made her look eccentric.
The old woman gazed beyond her tree into the sky. “Harold brought us here with our Airstream camper so we could see them. That’s why we moved here over fifty years ago,” she smiled again and kept looking up when her phone began to ring inside the house. “Wonder what they sent ya?” the lady said heading inside. “See ya.”
Just for fun, tell me what you think.
Answer all or some of these questions in the comment section below.
- Why is Tammy afraid at first?
- Could Tammy be an alien?
- Is the old woman an alien?
- Has the old woman actually seen aliens?
- What’s in the box?
- Who might be on the phone?
- Who brought the package?
- When do you know if you've said enough? How much more does the reader need?
- Would answering all these questions make it a novel instead of a story?
- What should happen next?