Posted in English, Stories

Encounter Of The Special Kind

They usually came on Thursdays, sometimes on Wednesdays, rarely on Fridays, but always once a month. Sometimes the spectacle lasted for hours, other days they just whizzed by. It has also happened that they darted from west to east in the early evening and from east to west around midnight.

Tino sat on his tiny balcony on the ninth floor and tried to shield the embers of his cigarette against the wind. The camcorder lay at the ready in his lap. It was his third night in a row, and so far, it had passed uneventfully. But Tino would not be deterred. They would come back, and he would record them. And then, no one would laugh at him anymore.

He took a greedy drag and stared out into the night. No longer was there any light over the roofs of the city. Only the red one of the distant transmission mast pulsated comfortably in the darkness.

Last time they had swooshed past him, almost within arms reach, but it was not always like that. It started with small dots in the night sky, seeming to chase each other. Very small, very far away on the horizon. That was half a year ago. Since then, Tino had done much research and had become an expert on UFOs, but none of his friends wanted to hear it.

He had seen the lights more and more often. Sometimes there were entire groups, sometimes just a single one. They danced through the sky, blinking and changing colors.

The lighter fell from his hand as he tried to light another cigarette. He tried to reach it, but only fingered it further under the chair. He stood up, retrieved the lighter, lit the cigarette and leaned against the railing.

Tino turned on the camera and played with the lens. He tested the zoom and focus on the cute neighbor’s window diagonally across the street. She had blond hair and her bedroom window faced Tino’s balcony. A red glow lay over the lens. He zoomed in. He zoomed out. The shimmer stayed. Surprised, he held the camera away from his face and noticed that the red glow was also covering his hands.

He jolted when he saw the huge red glowing sphere hovering less than 20 feet from his balcony. When it abruptly changed the color to a bright white, he tripped over the chair. The camera arced over the railing and crashed into a wide ledge four stories below.

Tino’s heart galloped. He pressed himself against the balcony door, trembling. Paralyzed, he stared at the lightly vibrating sphere, which slowly dimmed its light to a dark orange. With the brightness, Tino’s nervousness subsided. Even though, he remained glued to the door.

The vibrations stopped. For one or two seconds nothing happened. Then the sphere hissed, its skin parting open. Tino broke his paralysis and took a step forward. A soft green beam of light poured out of the opening and shone precisely into Tino’s face until a silhouette obscured it. It grew to the size of an eleven-year-old and sat down on the railing.

The beam of light subsided. The opening closed with a thump. What remained was a strange figure in the foreground of the UFO. The creature wore a yellow jumpsuit and had green blueish skin. Or blue greenish? Tino rubbed his eyes. Yes, the alien had definitely pinkish green skin. That shimmered blue or gold depending on the angle from which it was viewed. It sat legs crossed, the hands folded on its knees, curiously eyeing Tino. A gray aviator’s helmet covered the twitching head.

“Hello.” Tino waved shyly, trying not to give away the sweatiness of his palms.

The alien waved back and cocked its head. He blinked with large green eyes.

“I’m Tino.”

With its long index finger, the alien invited him to come closer. Tino took a step forward. The finger repeated the gesture. Tino followed the request and stood next to the creature, his skin tingling with excitement. The alien tilted its head. Its pupils dilated. It tilted its head to the other side, the pupils contracted. Then it leaned forward. It got so close to Tino’s face that he could smell that the alien didn’t smell like anything. He opened his mouth but remained silent. The alien leaned forward even further, as if about to whisper something into Tino’s ear, but only sniffed and unceremoniously jumped off the railing. It opened the jumpsuit a little and rummaged around in it. It pulled out a small device, on which it pressed a button while aiming it at the spaceship. The device beeped, the ship whirred, and the green beam of light reappeared.

The alien swung itself over the railing and dove into the light. Tino’s eyes widened because the being did not fall.

“Wait… Don’t go… I have so many questions.”

Again the finger curled to the universal gesture. Tino hesitated, but climbed over the railing. The alien waved him over. He looked at the parts of the camera below him. The visitor floated towards him and reached out, but he could not loosen his grip from the railing. The alien typed something into the device before turning it over to him. Letters lit up on the screen: tractor beam.

Tino took the offered hand. It was neither warm nor cold. Hesitantly he stepped into the emptiness in front of the balcony. His body immediately accelerated. Tino’s fingers slipped out of the velvety hand and gravity grabbed him mercilessly. A second and a half later, he lay among the debris of the camera, trying to breathe, what caused a painful rattle in his lungs. Hot thick liquid filled his mouth. Unable to move, he stared up at where the alien floated in the air gazing back at him. The tractor beam went out, but this had no effect on the visitor. It just hung there, in the air above Tino, looking down at him like a bird. It shrugged and put the device to his lips: “Subject cannot fly.”

The alien disappeared into the spaceship, which vanished into the night. And then Tino’s world went black.

Understand German? Read the German version here.

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