I’m Taking Off
I’ve always been curious about extra-terrestrial life, probably since seeing ET as a kid and all those other sci-fi TV shows I love. I liked to think that we weren’t the only occupied planet in the whole universe, and wondered if we (not me specifically, but people from Earth) would ever get the chance to explore further and find out. But now I know that we aren’t alone, and it terrifies me.
It happened one evening in late September. My girlfriend and I were on our way home from a lovely romantic weekend away, just the two of us, and were driving along a long and deserted stretch of road. The sun had set but it wasn’t fully dark, I suppose it was known as twilight, that time which is neither day nor night. All of a sudden, a light so bright it almost blinded me caused me to pull the car to an abrupt stop.
“You OK?” I turned towards Gemma to make sure she was OK after such a sudden stop.
“Yeah…you?” she replied as she touched her neck where the seatbelt must’ve caught her and rubbed against her skin.
“Yeah, I’m fine. What the hell was that?” I said, more to myself. If I didn’t know what it was, then I doubted Gemma would.
“I have no idea” she shook her head “but I don’t like stopping, let’s carry on”. I think she’d seen too many horror films, courtesy of me. We all knew what happened to cars which stopped on lonely roads in horror films…the passengers were usually hacked to pieces by some crazed escaped psychopath.
Although the engine hadn’t cut out when I stopped, I was unable to move the car forward. It was as if some force was holding it back, trapping us where we were.
“Nick…quit the pranks will you, I’m scared” Gemma whined.
“I’m not doing anything Gem, the car won’t move” I blurted out and banged the steering wheel in frustration.
“If you’re trying to frighten me, then congratulations, you succeeded. Now just drive the car” she exclaimed.
“I can’t” I replied as I pressed the pedal to the floor in exasperation. I decided that I couldn’t just sit and do nothing; I had to get out of the car and see what was trapping us.
“What are you doing?” Gemma asked once I’d switched the engine off “you can’t get out!”
“Well what else do you suggest? I have to try and get us out of here” I replied and tried to open the door.
The next thing which happened is something I wouldn’t have believed unless it happened to me.
A funnel of light appeared and positioned itself above us, the funnel expanded and all of a sudden, I was in this beam of light, travelling to god knows where. Before I had a chance to scream or shout, my feet were on solid ground and Gemma was beside me, shivering with fear as we clung to one another.
“What the fuck” I mumbled as I peered around, wondering where we were and how the hell we’d got there. I didn’t have to wonder for long.
Silently, and as if from nowhere, a group of ‘things’ appeared and pulled Gemma and I apart. I couldn’t call them people, nor could I call them animals…they looked like nothing I’d ever seen before.
“Nick…” she screamed as she was carried off in the opposite direction to me.
“What do you want?” I hissed at them as they carried me silently down a dark tunnel. Struggling was no use, there were six of them against me and I was no match for them. For skinny, weird looking creatures, they were strong fuckers!
I was hauled up onto a table-like object and held down with some sort of shackles, I called out again for them to let me go, but it was futile. They couldn’t possibly understand me; we were alien to each other.
For what seemed like weeks, possibly months even, I was poked, prodded, injected, sliced and diced. Sometimes I was restrained on the table of torture, other times I was in some sort of room where they would observe from the outside whilst they filled the room with different kinds of chemicals to test my reaction. The pain was excruciating at times, and then all of a sudden it would be gone…like they knew they were causing me pain and wanted to stop it. I was sure there couldn’t be much of me left to feel anything, the way they were torturing me was barbaric.
I remember calling out for Gemma numerous times, but wherever she was, she was out of my hearing. I just hoped she didn’t have to go through what I went through.
And then it stopped.
I found myself back in my car with the engine still running; I wondered for a moment whether I’d imagined the whole thing. Could I have fallen asleep at the wheel and dreamt the whole alien abduction? But if I had, then Gemma would’ve been here with me, she wouldn’t have let me fall asleep at the wheel…there was no sign of Gemma.
“Gemma” I called out, climbing out of the car and running up and down the road. She couldn’t have just gone. People didn’t just vanish.
I ran back to the car, her bag, jacket and overnight bag were still there. It wasn’t possible that she would just run out on me, she was my girlfriend and we were in love. There was only one possible explanation. She didn’t survive the alien abduction.
“GEMMA” I screamed up to the sky, hoping that somehow it would bring her back to me. Tears sprung from my eyes and I broke down in a heap next to my car, my body shuddering with every sob.
I never spoke of that night, not to anyone. And I never saw Gemma again either.
Eventually and I suppose inevitably, I was charged with her murder. CCTV footage proved we’d been together along the journey, and then she’d just vanished. I could’ve tried to explain about the aliens, but who would believe it? Maybe one day in the not too distant future, I’d be proven innocent, but until then I’d have to take the punishment I was dealt.