Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #1940183
A day that comes around every 30,000 years. A day I should have not survived but did!
| CHAPTER 1:|
"What is that noise? I don't want to wake up yet," I thought as I lay in bed between the world of blissful nothingness and reality.
It was a very normal thing to have the wind show it's obnoxious attitude in the early fall around here. In the Mojave desert at least two sand storms every year would leave the town in shambles. The sturdy stick built ranch homes of California City would lose a roof or two from the high winds. Tumbleweeds invaded front yards like poor folk at a soup kitchen and in such great numbers that the large well groomed yards were barely visible. Drainage canals that surrounded the housing developments would be full of garbage cans, BBQ grills, kids swimming pools, deck umbrellas, and so forth! God forbid you should ever find yourself outside in a sand storm! I mean even indoors, behind the walls of these fairly well built homes, people would have to wear dust masks or kerchiefs in order to breathe. On one occasion, I remember sand pouring out of the air return vents near the ceiling like a waterfall!
The good thing for a 16 year old boy like myself was the promise of a few dollars cleaning up for the neighbors. A few homes down our street was a favorite client of mine, Major General Robert M. White, one of the X15 test research pilots who I never had the pleasure to meet since he stayed at Edwards Air Force Base most of the time. After a particularly nasty storm in 1968, his wife hired me to vacuum the windowsills (inside) that held a healthy half inch of sand on the worst hit side of the house. I made $30.00 for a few hours of work which gave me enough money to purchase a three foot telescope.
I had always been a star gazer and was thrilled to open the finely printed blue and white box when we finally arrived home! My dad had to drive me 30 miles away to find a shop that sold the scope I had been hungry to own. We left home a little late, so it was already a half hour or so till sundown when we left the shop.
We were about half way home. Hardly any traffic on the long, flat two lane highway. The sky was starting to turn that purpleish blue that it turns just before full darkness seeps in and envelopes the landscape. Just enough light to show the dark outlines of the high mountains that surround the desert floor. My dad had the car radio on some country music station when the hourly news came on. I guess some 20 people reported seeing strange lights and sounds in the eastern sky of the Mojave City limits. The reporter said that some video footage of the events would be telecast on the TV news later that night.
"Do you see that Sean"? My Dad suddenly spoke out.
"What"? I replied.
" That thing on the mountain that looks like a house on fire."
"Yes," I said as we drove toward the area, some sixty miles ahead of us.
As both of us looked at this "house on fire" the phenom shot straight up from the mountain and into the sky! Much faster than a chopper could! It must have gone three miles high in a fraction of a second, then veered right and disappeared over the mountain.
"Wow! I wonder what that was"? (Dad said)
"I don't know. Do you think it could be something the Air Force base is testing"?
"You know Sean, I've never seen anything like it! We may have just seen a UFO, like the people on the news reported."
"Ya, maybe we did Dad. That thing looked like a shooting star! Pretty cool huh!"
"Alright," I exclaimed as I opened up the box on the sofa. I had about an hour to assemble the telescope before the late news came on. "What a beautiful piece of equipment!" I hurried out of the sliding glass door to the back yard which lay at the edge of the desert, stretching out as far as the eye could see and without any lights to obscure the beautiful starry treasure!
Mars was bright in the East so I turned my scope on it first. What fantastic clarity!
"Sean", my mom called out. "The news is coming on and I'm dishing up some ice cream."
Officer Danton was one of the witnesses on the news.
(Reporter) "I'm here in Mojave with Officer Chad Danton. Officer, would you describe what you saw today?"
"Well, I was on a domestic disturbance call on the north side of town, when I heard a very loud sound similar to a freight train accompanied by a blinding orange and white light that appeared to be about a quarter of a mile wide. It hovered over an empty field a block away from me and created about a dozen wind funnels on the ground before taking off to the East."
(Reporter) "Can you tell us if any damage was done?"
"The thing toppled a couple of wood fences down on Jasper St. but that's all I know of".
(Reporter) "What was your reaction when this happened?"
"I was Terrified and in shock! My heart started racing and I found myself suddenly believing in UFO's after many years of doubt."
(Reporter) "Thank you Officer Danton. Now Officer Danton happened to capture part of this event on his cars dash cam which we will show you now."
The video showed part of the field and the bottom of the UFO. A couple of the wind funnels were captured on the footage as well. My dad said that he thought that was probably what we saw earlier that evening.
I went to bed after the news, my brain twitching over the idea that I actually saw a UFO!
I was at the very edge of sleep when I suddenly heard a faint buzzing sound which grew louder with each second, seemingly coming from above the house. I felt the sensation of the buzzing coming through the ceiling before finally filling my whole body! I was terrified! I tried to get up but I couldn't move, couldn't call out or even open my eyes! As I lay there, I felt that I was being scanned by whatever force had me pinned down.
All sorts of ideas were running through my head. Was I being attacked by a demon or even worse THE DEVIL? Finally the force began to leave my body, exiting through the ceiling. I literally jumped out of my bed and ran into the hallway, pacing back and forth, afraid to return to my room, and certainly unable to fall asleep again. Watching a little TV helped me settle down some, so when the Sun rose I reluctantly returned to my bed for a 2 hour nap.
That brings us back to the beginning of this story. "What is that noise?" "I don't want to wake up yet," I thought as I lay there in a sleepy fog. Another wind storm was brewing and it sounded like it was going to be a doozy! "Mom, dad", I called out, but with no response as I entered the living room at 9:20am. After having a good look around it appeared that I was all alone. No one even left a note, which was unusual. The refrigerator door was open which was also very unusual.
The wind was really picking up outside so I went to take a peek out of the sliding glass door. It looked like the wind was blowing about 70 MPH so I turned on the radio to catch a weather report. I couldn't get the local radio station to come in so I turned the dial to AM 1120 but only heard static. I went to the stereo console in the living room and couldn't find a station there either.
It was close to 10AM when I started to hear things banging against the house. A board nearly crashed through the sliding glass door which drew my attention to the Sun in the distant horizon. "Wait a minute!" (I said out loud). The Sun should be allot higher in the sky by this time. I grabbed the telescope and aimed it at the sun, nearly burning my retina at first glance, so I attached the Sun filter to the scope. You know, the lens that you use if you want to see solar flares. That was just the trick! The sun was a huge spacecraft with a rotating bottom and a stationary top. The rotation was creating a tornado which was sucking everything up from the ground and into the ship. Every tree and plant along with sand and dirt! The craft was moving in my direction and began to sweep through a part of the subdivision in the south east, sucking up entire homes and semi trucks as if they were made of Styrofoam!
I was helpless to do anything but watch the event. I dare not go outside for fear of being impaled by debris, or suffocated by sand.
Within a few minutes the UFO had sucked up everything but our house and the dirt on the ground! Even the mountains around California City were gone! Not a curb or vehicle was left and I was amazed that our house was still standing!
The wind was dying out slowly as the ship moved over (what used to be) the valley floor. The bottom of the ship stopped rotating and it's glow became more subdued, more like a campfire than a sun. Soon there was no wind at all, only dead silence. Now things started getting really freaky!
Particles of dirt started to rise up from the ground in slow motion, like a very light snow would, only rising rather than falling. This anti-gravity spectacle went on for about a half hour, when suddenly I noticed bright shiny areas emerging on the landscape, becoming larger and larger as the dirt left the Earth. Another ten minutes went bye. All of the soil had vanished disrobing the earth which was now only an enormous chrome ball!
I walked outside and stepped onto the metallic surface. I decided to walk far enough away from the house to see if there was anything left anywhere. I was probably about an 8th of a mile from the house and saw nothing but the steel earth and the sky so I turned to go back, but he house was gone! It had vanished into thin air, without a single snap crackle or pop!
What was I to do? I had no food or water and no shelter!
Suddenly I saw a figure in the distance walking in my direction, about a mile or so away. It's difficult to estimate distances when there are no points of reference.
Having had few other options, I headed out to meet the stranger. As he grew closer I could see that he was wearing a long leather jacket, boots and a leather hat, somewhat like Indiana Jones but with long reddish brown hair. He had a staff of some kind that looked very modern. Probably made of steel. He was within shouting distance now so I yelled out "did you come from Mojave?." The man offered no response but kept walking toward me. Finally he spoke. "Sean", as if he had known me his whole life.
"Yes, my name is Sean. Should I know you?"
"No, but I know all about you! My name is Tuttle, Jim Tuttle. I'm gonna explain things to you shortly but I'll have to show you something before I can do that. Follow me."
As I followed behind, I could see that his leather coat was branded with all sorts of geometrical designs and symbols that I had never seen in geometry class. His staff was about five feet long with a shape like a cobras head at the top. It appeared to have all sorts of controls built into it. Buttons that could be pushed and digital windows to view. I called out "hay Mr. Tuttle, what sort of staff is that?"
"It's a multifunctional remote," he said as he pointed it toward the Earth ahead of us.
The staff had activated a door (the size of a pickup truck) that rose up out of the steel Earth. Mr. Tuttle said "here we are Sean."
A stairwell went down into the Earth.
(Tuttle): "You know the book Journey to the Center of the Earth?." "Yes, it's a great story!". I replied. "Well you're gonna experience that journey right now." He said as we began to descend.
(Tuttle): "You see Sean, the Earth isn't only a planet, it's a spaceship and what happened today happens here every 30,000 years. They call it The Day of Transition."
(Sean): "How do you know all of this and what happened to everything?"
(Tuttle): "I'm the pilot of this craft which is run by a very large gyroscope. There are 9 of us that work here. The other 8 have various responsibilities keeping the ship in tact and monitoring the process of creation. On The Day of Transition we create a vacuum that collects everything on the planet."
(Sean): So you know about the UFO
(Tuttle): "Know about it, (Laughing), heck son I'm the pilot!"
(Sean): "What about all of the people, where are my parents?"
(Tuttle) "Everyone is just fine! All of the living creatures are collected first. Remember that feeling you had of being scanned last night?"
(Sean) "Remember it!! I'll never forget it!"
(Tuttle) "Well that was when we gathered up all of the people and animals. They are all here inside the Earth see."
We finally made it past the fifty feet of solid steel that protected the interior of the Earth and stepped onto a platform. There were hundreds of thousands of rooms of different sizes, all encased in glass, attached to the inside of the mostly hollow sphere that I knew as the Earth.
Each room had a specific breed of animal living in it. Sort of like a giant Noah's Ark. Ventilation and supply systems were built like a honeycomb surrounding every room. The humans were at the top of the enormous room. A massive ocean was at the bottom of the sphere and the ship that looked like a Sun hovered in the center of it all, providing light for the entire structure.
(Tuttle) "Lets go see your parents", as we stepped into an elevator, or should I say rocket ship, since we had to strap in.
It wasn't a long trip at all from the bottom of the world to the top. Probably 5 minutes or so. When the elevator door opened, I was greeted by my mom and dad who laughed and cried at the same as we hugged!
(Tuttle) "Well Sean, I'm gonna let you visit with your folks for a while while I go attend to some maintenance."
Mom, dad and I sat down in a lavishly decorated room that could have come from a European Castle.
(Dad) "Sean, The Day of Transition has to happen, because every 30,000 years a huge asteroid belt comes directly through the earths orbit, so everything living thing has to be collected for their own protection. Jim has to navigate the Earth in order to avoid a collision during this 3 day asteroid storm."
"Then why wasn't I collected with you?"
(Mom): "Honey, when everyone is collected everyone is scanned at the same time. When you were scanned last night the 9 keepers of the planet were searching for an individual with the most perfect polarity set points. A perfectly balanced mental, physical and spiritual person. You Sean turned out to be that person."
(Dad): "You see Sean, you could not be collected because the ship uses a magnetic field that would have altered your perfect polarity. A person like you is found every time this Day of Transition comes around and each one has to be hand picked, so to speak."
(Sean): "So why is it so important that my polarity remain the same?"
(Dad): "Because only a person in perfect balance can run the Gyroscope, otherwise, The Earth would be undriveable. You can think of it this way, Jim Tuttle is the pilot, and you will be the guidance system. You will sit in the center of the gyroscope which is designed to operate biologically since no machine or computer has ever been perfected to a biological degree. Let's go have a look at the control room."
Mr.Tuttle greeted us as we entered the control room. "Howdy Sean. That cage that looks like a ball floating in the middle of the room is the gyroscope that you and I will be controlling. Right now the Earth is on autopilot which it normally is, but for the next three days, we're gonna have to dodge some big old rocks!"
(Sean): "How can I learn to operate the gyroscope by tomorrow? It looks pretty complicated!"
(Mr. Tuttle): "You don't have to do anything with your mind Sean. Your balanced polarity controls it. All you have to do is sit in the middle of it. I will do the brain work. The only problem for you will be that you will be asleep and a little hungry after three days of unconsciousness."
The time finally came for me to enter the sleep chamber. Mr. Tuttle said that everything would be recorded for me to view when I woke from my state of suspension. I laid down in the sleep capsule which was located in the center of the twenty foot gyroscope. A nurse gave me an injection that started causing me to feel very sleepy. Mom and Dad were there to say "we'll see you in a few days son! We are all in good hands. Mr. Tuttle has worked as a pilot in two wars and flew experimental aircraft for NASA."
"That's good to know Mom," I said as I drifted off to sleep.
" Son, Son, How are you feeling?"
It was my Dad waking me up. "I'm feeling a little nauseated" I replied.
(Dad): "That will pass soon! I have a special chocolate milk shake that nurse Butler made for you! She said it would make you feel brand new!"
I was able to watch a video of the flight while drinking my shake. It was a pretty remarkable performance by Mr. Tuttle! Nearly 200 asteroids had to be avoided over the 3 days that I slept.
After the video Mr. Tuttle took me to a large auditorium full of people. As we entered a platform above the crowd, everyone started applauding and cheering! I asked Mr. Tuttle "why they were all cheering?" "Because Sean, we just saved the world! "