I've continued writing this story. Here is Chapter 2! Enjoy!
Jake, Tonya’s older brother, her hero, was gone, and that was all there was to it. He had been gone for two years. The last time she had seen him she knew that he was going somewhere far away on a mission for his ambiguous, mysterious agency. But she did not think that as she hugged him in the driveway of their parents’ house, as he backed down the black tar in his silver Acura with its darkly tinted windows that it would be the last time she would ever see him.
Flash forward two years. She thought about Jake every day and their final moments together. Each time she did memories of sensations came flooding back. She remembered what she was wearing that day: her long-sleeved gray hooded sweatshirt with the name of her community college on it. He was clad in a black suit and tie with dark, black sunglasses and an earpiece. She could almost smell his vaguely fruity cologne and the warmth and pressure as he hugged her.
“You take care of the family now, okay?” he had said.
Tonya Towers walked to class on this gray September morning about a year after her first sighting of unidentified flying objects chasing each other in the stars thinking about these events. She had not put her life on hold for the family. She had always known she would start small, slow, at community college and live at home in her parents’ house with her father and younger brother. She and her family her a tight-knit, close group, especially since her mother had passed several years before Jake disappeared. She wanted to stay with them for a while, then transfer, possibly to a big state university, and get a career in a larger city.
She still did not know what she wanted to be when she grew up, though.
So she remained in community college, taking course after course, of different, and various subjects. She loved everything. It was a blessing. It was also a problem. She could not narrow down her interests. She just liked, well, school! If she could become gainfully employed as a lifelong student in America, she would do it. But this was not an option. She needed to choose a field, a career area, and stick with it if she wanted to get anywhere at all in life.
Tonya walked, then, the half mile from her home to the college, as she did every day that classes were in session, on the first morning of the fall semester, to begin her inaugural class of her third year in community college. It began boring and predictable, like every other walk to school had ever been.
Then something weird happened.
“Excuse me, miss, I was wondering if you know the way to the nearest gas station…” asked a tall, odd, bald man in a dark gray suit who came out of the shadowy alley in front of Tonya as she rounded the corner like she always did, one block away from the college.
Several other tall men with mustaches and long, unkempt sideburns crept out of the shadows and inched their way towards the young woman. They wore gray trench coats and fedoras to match their gray suits and dark gray ties, as well as their leathery, sickly looking gray skin. As they approached, a strange feeling came over Tonya. She could feel butterflies fluttering on her insides. The fight or flight response began working within her, yet she felt numb in her extremities and could not move.
“Umm...n-no…” was all Tonya could muster saying, in a breath.
The men smiled, their lips curving ever upward in forced, practiced parabolas as if smiling were something they had had to learn, not something natural, like someone sat them in front of a video of humans smiling and said “here, do that!” They inched ever closer to her. The first tall gray man grabbed her wrist. Tonya struggled, trying to free herself, but found her body completely immobilized.
Suddenly, a stranger’s voice rang out.
“Hey! Stop that! Unhand her!” A young man stepped forward from out of nowhere. He wore red basketball shorts, a black Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, long black that was done up in a ponytail, and a pair of large, square, red sunglasses. He had a red Stratocaster strapped across his back.
The men glanced at him and began to quiver in fear, as if recognizing the young man. Still, the leader among them remained gripping Tonya’s wrist fast.
“I said,” reiterated the young man, “unhand her. You don’t want any trouble, do you? Just do as I request, please.”
The eyes of the suited men suddenly began to glow hot red. As their leader stepped forward to confront the man with a guitar, the others began foaming, frothing from their mouths. Bubbly, effervescent saliva poured down their chins from out their mouths and they made a loud hissing noise. Tonya was terrified.
“What say do you have in what we do?” the leader of the suited men in dark gray hissed. “You are out of your jurisdiction here on this backwater planet!”
The young man smiled and shook his head.
“I’m afraid you have it all wrong. Now, listen here. You let that girl go, turn around, and leave this town and this planet, and I’ll not trouble you. Stay and you’re gonna regret it. Last chance.”
The other three suited men lunged forward at the young man with the electric guitar.
He wasted no time.
Pulling the guitar around from over his shoulder and clutching the instrument by its neck, he swung it and struck each of the men with great force right square in the chest, knocking them backward with a loud twang of a chord. Each man split straight down the middle from their skulls to their toes, their formal garments ripped and torn. A spew of black blood burst from each of them and their bodies crumpled.
At this, the leader let go of Tonya’s wrist and, in a wild rage, stepped forward swinging at the young man armed with a musical instrument of rock n roll. When he did so, the man’s appearance changed to Tonya, for his attention was full on his enemy, and he no longer projected his psychic hold on the girl. She could neither believe her eyes, nor could she believe that she had ever believed that the being attacking her who had held her wrist was a human man! He now appeared as a tall gray-suited, gray skinned alien with bulbous, enormous, almond-shaped black eyes. His head was humongous, round, tapering at the neck. Sharp teeth jutted out from his frothing mouth as he leapt forward towards the young man.
The young man reeled his guitar around, his time holding it like a proper musician would, and aimed the neck at the assailing alien. With a strong downward strum of the strings a resounding C-chord played as if hooked up to an amp, and a bright, fiery laser bolt flew forth from the end of the neck of the guitar, hitting and disintegrating the violent alien before it ever reached him. The gray skinned extraterrestrial was reduced to a pile of smoldering ash topped by a glinting silvery-gray tie pin.
Tonya stood transfixed in fear and astonishment for a few moments before the young man slung the guitar back over his shoulder and brushed off his clothing from the humanoid dust that had blown onto him at the apex of his altercation with the alien man.
“They won’t be troubling you any more, no sir!” the young man said, smiling. He had perfect, white teeth. Something about him was likable. He seemed nice and rugged, handsome even, if dangerous and terrifying based on what Tonya had just witnessed him doing.
The man stood smiling at the young woman for a few moments, attempting to make some small talk. Tonya’s heart rate increased and she found herself blushing. She kicked herself on the inside and felt embarrassed that this was the case.
Presently, the man looked down at his watch and gasped then jumped in the air a bit.
“Shit!” he exclaimed. “I’m going to be late for school!” then he took off running down the road and turned a corner, vanishing from Tonya’s sight.
As Tonya stood, puzzled and dazed for a few moments, the wind picked up. Looking down, she saw the sudden burst of cool air with a hint of a coming autumn whisk the alien-dust up and away. The other bodies faded gradually, like a film fading into the next scene. Tonya rubbed her eyes in disbelief of what they were showing her. But the bodies were gone.
After a few moments Tonya continued on the rest of the way to her community college. She was only a few minutes late to class. Once she began her day of academic studies it continued normally, with nothing bizarre or otherworldly happening the rest of the day.
Friends of T.D. Smith