Discovery channel used to have this show on “Close alien encounters”. Being a space freak and having the usual curiosity of a seven year old, I used to watch these episodes with bated breath and half-closed eyes.
Although the show would be pretty enjoyable, sleeping alone at night would usually mean pulling the blanket over and pretending to be in a huge orb of “unkidnappable” steel. I was sure I would be safe, because people in the show who got abducted usually lived in some remote area or were alone at the time of being abducted.
So everything was fine until that one freaky day when they showed the aliens abducting a kid of my age, right from her bedroom in a city. Then all hell broke loose.
I’d spend half the night staring at the curtains for the tiniest hint of light (which meant that a spaceship was landing) or glancing below my bed to see if there were fingers trying to pull me down. I’d eventually fall asleep and wake up cursing myself for not being more attentive.
After I fell asleep in class a couple times and got scolded, I decided to stop watching the show. After a few weeks, I’d forgotten all about it. At least I thought so.
‘No one has really seen aliens,’ mom told me when I asked her about it.
‘Yeah, that’s all made up stories,’ I chirruped.
And aliens always went to America anyways.
On an eventful night, just as I was about to fall asleep, I saw some lights and heard a rattling noise. I pushed myself against the back of the bed and waited. In the show, the aliens would sedate the people before taking them away. I pulled out a pencil and paper from the nearest drawer and wrote down “Aliens” on it as fast as I could. At least my parents would know what happened.
The light became stronger and stronger and I decided I had to scream.
So there I was, screaming at the top of my voice. My father rushed out from his room and opened the door with panicky hands.
‘What happened?’ he shouted.
The lights outside dimmed suddenly.
‘Outside!’ I whispered.
My dad parted open the curtains. A pickup van was parking itself on the lawn next to the house, making an awful lot of noise.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked me, closing the curtains.
‘Of course, of course!’ I croaked, pulling the blanket over my head again.
The aliens had deceived me this time by changing their spaceship into a van. Whatever it was, I now knew the trick to keeping them away.
I just had to call dad.