by S. Botello
Terror attack? Space Aliens? Conspiracy?
Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw a portrait of my dog Harley (before he died) fall off my dresser and unto the carpet and then bounce in front of me. I reached out to grab it and just as I had it…
“Stay inside your homes!” A loud voice spoke through a bull horn.
The voice screeched and pierced my ears with pain. It sounded like it was inside my head. I quickly grabbed Harley’s portrait and held on to it like I used to hug my blanket when I was little, after a nightmare.
“This is The Department of Disaster Awareness of the United States of America,” the voice of the man continued, “You are safe inside your homes. Do not leave your homes!”
The message was repeated over and over as both, the helicopter rumble, and the voice faded away into a faint echo.
“Jesus! Steve!” My mom commented in frustration looking at my dad. She looked at him like it was his fault or something. He looked back at her with an expression that seemed to admit that it was his fault. My dad always apologized to my mom over everything that ever went wrong. He was one of those kinds of dads you see in the movies. He was like the dads who always fix the car, and open the door of the car for the mom and stuff like that. He probably was feeling pretty helpless and my mom was beginning to show real fear. My dad left my room and ran downstairs. My mom followed him calling his name. As I sat on my bedroom floor, still holding my dog’s portrait close to my chest, I heard the doorbell ring downstairs. My mom opened the door.
“Chloe!” she said surprised. “What on earth are you doing here? Why aren’t you home?”
“I don’t know where my parents are…please let me stay here for a while, I’m scared.” Chloe was practically crying. By this time I was walking down the stairs, which faced the front door. Chloe looked at me and my mom turned around and saw me.
“Please, mom?” I asked.
My mom stepped aside and Chloe walked inside. My mom shut the door behind her.
“The phones are dead again!” my dad exclaimed as he walked over to us, “Whenever it works, we can only get local numbers. It’s like they’re keeping the communications down.” He looked at my mom with desperation and walked away into the kitchen.
“Steve…what are you thinking?” My mom followed him as he walked past the kitchen into the family room.
Chloe and I just looked at each other and we both ran upstairs to my room. I shut my bedroom door and she sat on my bed. I sat next to her.
“Chloe, did you see the helicopters?” I asked.
“Yeah…I don’t think they saw me.” She answered.
“Are you scared?”
“Aren’t you?” she asked. “I mean, it’s like terrorists or a war of some kind. Don’t you think?”
When she said this, it hit me like a bombshell.
“Oh my God, Chloe!” I shouted in fear, “What if it is terrorists! Oh my God!”
Chloe looked at me really scared now, and she put her hand on my arm as I began to stand up.
“Get a grip, Chelsea…C’mon, it’s not for sure or anything. I am just guessing.” She tried to assure me.
“Okay,” I began to calm down a little, “Okay, you’re right. It’s probably not that. But what is going on?”
I began to get a little panicked. Just then we heard a noise on the window that made us both jump and scream in surprise. We looked out the window and laughed when we saw Ethan and Josh standing below it looking up at us.
“What are you doing?” I whispered out to them.
“Get down here!” Josh whispered back.
“Okay, give us a few minutes.” I whispered back.
Chloe still stood at the window laughing as she watched them go around the house.
Chloe had a crush on Ethan. She wouldn’t admit it to me, but it was so obvious. Ethan was a bit of a rebel type. He lived all his life with just his mom. His dad left them when he was two years old, or something like that. So he grew up pretty much on his own. His mom worked most of the night. She left after dinner and came back right before he went to school. She worked at the same diner his whole life. He always tried to get her to do something else, and she always said she would, but she never did. She smoked a lot and on her nights off she just sat in front of the TV and got smashed on wine. But she was pretty cool to him, and to his friends. She would love to talk about her younger days, and she even had some cool stories about her hippie lifestyle. I suppose I could see why Chloe had a crush on Ethan. I mean, he had rosy cheeks with brown hair and big blue eyes, that stood out nicely. I had known Ethan like, forever. When we were twelve he even kissed me. I mean, I let him kiss me, actually. We had watched a movie and we wanted to see what it would be like to kiss each other. To me it was like kissing my cousin on the cheek, even though we didn’t kiss on the cheek. Ethan turned blood red really fast and turned around so I couldn’t see him blush.
“Chelsea,” Chloe said, “How are we gonna go out there?”
“Let’s see what my parents are doing.”
We went downstairs quietly and looked around. We heard my parents talking in the garage.
“…so you want to get arrested?” My mom asked frightened and mad at the same time.
“Who is going to arrest me? Everyone is too busy. Honey, look…I am going to drive to Henry’s and that’s all. I am sure he knows something by now.”
I looked at Chloe and she looked at me. I decided to walk into the garage, and Chloe followed me.
“Mom, dad…why don’t you both go to Henry’s, and we will stay here at home until you come back.” I said.
My parents looked at each other.
“Chelsea,” my father said as he walked toward me, “You have to promise me that you will stay here. If you don’t hear from us in about an hour, get your bike and go to Henry’s.” He held my hand as he told me this.
“Only if it’s safe!” My mom yelled as she came over and hugged me very tight.
Chloe stood there watching and my mom walked over to her and hugged her too.
“Chloe, you both mind us, okay?” She told her.
So that’s when things really got weird. My parents left. Chloe and I quickly went and got the guys who were at the side of my house waiting for us. They came inside and began to raid my fridge, as usual.
Meanwhile, something else was going on, which I knew nothing about, at the time. My parents were pulled over by the government guys in their white suits. They made them get out of their car and stand on the side of the road with their vehicle lights shining on them. They searched the car taking everything that they had packed out and searched everything. My parents tried to ask questions but were ignored. Finally, about an hour later, they let them go…of course, they were supposed to be going home, but they were going to Henry’s. Henry is my uncle. He writes news stories for the local news. He isn’t a reporter, he just puts the stories together for a teleprompter so the newscaster can read it on the air. My dad thought Henry might have inside information that could help us.
Ethan and Josh stuffed themselves with sandwiches, pretzels and soda. About an hour after my parents had left, I began to worry about them. I checked the phone and it was dead. There wasn’t even a busy signal anymore. I watched as Chloe flirted with Ethan, and Josh flirted with Chloe. Josh was such a dork. Josh was like, one of the cutest guys in town, but he was such an airhead…
The doorbell rang. We scuffled around trying to decide on whether to hide Ethan and Josh, or not…finally, we all just ended up at the door and opening it. The men with the white suits stood at the door.
(Part IV Coming Soon!)