Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Chapter 1: The Invasion

    I woke up to a loud boom that came from outside. Fully awake, I looked at the alarm clock and it read 12:25 A.M… I looked out of my bedroom window to see what looked like fire coming from the woods not too far behind our house. I put on my fuzzy bear slippers my dad decided to get his sixteen-year-old daughter for her birthday, “You’re forever my Boogie Bear” he said. I am fully convinced he is determined to ruin my entire life.

    It’s bad enough I’m the lamest kid in school. Well, me and my two friends Jubee and Glen. Jubee’s real name is Julia Brienkstein. We’ve been friends since the third grade when she came to school with hot pink hair and a lizard named Carl. She brought him for show and tell and it scared Ms. Bachor to death. Jubee has had my back when the popular mean girls made fun of me for my glasses and being a late bloomer. She called Brittney Allen an over privileged twit that stuffs her bra more than her loud mouth. Then there is Glen Howard, and Glen is that scared little dog you see on those commercials shaking because everything is scary. He moved here to Yazoo, Mississippi in the fifth grade and Jubee and I pretty much adopted him.

    Then there’s me, Shyan Stonesmith, the leader of the losers. I’ve never fit in and it’s probably because I’m too tall to fit in anywhere. My long arms and legs dangle and stretch like pasty pasta noodles. My mom died giving birth to me, so it has been me and my dad who knows nothing of fashion. So you can image why the other kids look at me funny with my paint covered overalls and bowl cut hair. I love my dad to death but I need to have a talk with him about a wardrobe change.

    Pushing the thought from my head, I headed out the back door and into the woods. As I got closer to the light, the smell of burning wood from the trees started to sting my nose. Then, there it was…AN ASTEROID! I couldn’t believe it! It was glowing green and blue with these little purple crystals that spread across the surface. A real asteroid! Here in Yazoo! The only excitement we get here is if Farmer John’s cow Betsy gets loose and we have to go out and track her down. Or down at the ol’ barber shop where Jesse and the rest of the old geezers talk about the good ol’ days of Yazoo’s championship football games.

    Jubee is going to love this! I thought, also cursing myself at the same time for not bringing my camera. This would make a perfect head liner for the school website. Then all of a sudden I heard a snap of branches behind me.

    “Hello?” I said.

    No one answered. Starting to get freaked out, I decided to go home and come back tomorrow with Jubee and Glenn. As I took one last look at the green glowing rock, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched.


Chapter 2: The Cover Up

    “Boogie Bear, you’ll be late for learning if you don’t get up!” my dad shouted from down stairs. Groggy, I rolled over not willing to respond to my dad’s antics. Then, I suddenly remembered the asteroid. I got up and jumped into the shower. I quickly put on a T-shirt and my jeans that dad says are too holey even for church. I kindly remind him that if he would go shopping at a quality place instead of Ms. Minnie’s thrift store, my jeans wouldn’t have so many holes in them.

    “I don’t trust dem big city stores Shyan and you know that,” he said. “One minute you’re there to buy groceries, the next thing you know they’re talking you into buyin some fancy shmancy cologne made by some French guy they’ve sprayed in your face that smells so bad, it would run off the skunks” he said. “Now which would you prefer, to have holey jeans or to smell like Mr. Lepieu?”.

    Rolling my eyes, I kissed him on the cheek and headed out of the door to meet Jubee for school. I met her where I usually do, two blocks away on the corner of McGyver Street and Parton Avenue. As she stood there waiting for me, her purple hair stood out against her black leather jacket. One thing I have always admired about Jubee is that she is never afraid to be herself. She always says, “People who try to fit in by being someone they’re not, makes for a weak chicken wire fence the fox sneaks past.” I’m not exactly sure what she means by that.

    We meet up with Glenn another block away. His shaggy brown hair hangs to his eyes just over his glasses. His backpack was so full; he looks as if a stiff wind would carry his frail frame off into the distance without it anchoring him down.

    “HI GLEN!” Jubee screamed sneaking up on him.

    “Julia Brienkstein! you purple haired mongoose!” exclaimed Glen picking up his books, “what if I would if I would have had a myocardial infarction?”.

    “First of all, Dr. Howard, by statistics you are still at least four decades away from suffering a heart attack.” replied Jubee. “Besides, the Cheerios mommy makes you every morning is part of a heart healthy breakfast” she adds with a peppy voice.

    “Enough you two, did you guys hear that crash last night?” I asked.

    “You mean from the storm?” asked Glen.

    “If it stormed last night it would be wet out boy genius, it’s dryer than your mouth when you speak in front of the class.” Mocked Jubee.

    “Anyways,” I interjected, “It was a meteor! It landed in the woods behind my house.”

    Both Jubee and Glen looked at each other and started to laugh.

    “Are you feeling okay Shy?” Glenn asked.

    “Yeah maybe you should lay off the Sci-Fi movies” agreed Jubee.

    “I’m not kidding guys and I’m not crazy, I saw it with my own eyes!” I exclaimed. “If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’. After school I’ll take you to it.”

    Later that day we went out to the woods behind my house. When we got to the place where the meteor was, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    “ITS GONE!” I said.

    The only things left were burnt trees and a hole filled with fresh dirt where the rock had landed. “It was right here, I swear!” I said looking at Jubee and Glen.

    “Are you sure you weren’t dreaming?” Glen asked.

    “Look at this fresh dirt Glenn, obviously there was a hole here. And what about these burnt trees?” I replied.

    “Guys look at this!” Jubee said turning to us from a tree a couple of feet from where me and Glenn were standing. She was holding a tiny purple crystal.

    “It came from the meteor!” I exclaimed. “There were millions of these crystals all over the surface of it!”

    “Okay,” said Jubee, trying to wrap her head around everything, “If there was a meteor, where is it now? And why is there no report of it in the news or the local paper?”

    “Who’s out here?” shouted a deep voice.

    All three of us turned around to find Sherriff Allen, Brittany Allen’s dad, coming out of the trees.

    “What are you kids doing out here?” he asked with the mean look he carries everywhere.

    Local legend says he was born a crude man and I believe it considering his snob of a daughter, it must run in the family.

    “Nothing” said Jubee, slipping the crystal in her back pocket.

    “There was a meteor here last night, where did it go?” I asked.

    “I don’t know nothing ‘bout no meteor.” He said.

    “Then explain the burnt trees and the filled hole in the ground.” Jubee said with a sarcastic attitude.

    “I don’t have to explain myself to the likes of three kids. Anyhow, this here is the result of a fire. Happened last night after lighting hit one of dem’ trees.”

    “Told you guys.” whispered Glenn. Me and Jubee gave him a piercing look in response.

    “Ya’ll just run along now,” the Sherriff said. “And stay away from this area you hear? Or I’ll book you for interfering with official acts”.

    We made it back to my house and in my room Jubee pulls out the crystal she found and put it on the microscope on my desk.

    “Interfering with official acts? On a lighting strike? Okay, I’m convinced,” she says, sitting on my bed. “Something is definitely going on around here.”

    “I told you guys it was a meteor!” I replied, studying the crystal through the microscope.

    “Oor,” Glen slowly says, “It was just a lightning strike, like the sheriff said.”

    “Glen if you believe that, I recant my comment of you being boy genius.” Jubee mocked.

    Focusing the lens of the microscope on the crystal a little more, I started to see these tiny parasites crawling all over crystal. They resembled an ant colony the way they moved in and out of the microscopic holes in the rock.

    “Guys! Look at this!” I exclaimed.

    Jubee and Glen both took turns looking at the micro beings on the crystal. Jubee looked at me and Glenn in shock.

    “Do you guys realize what this means? We have in our hands….aliens!” she said.

    “Your right!” I replied with excitement. “What do you think we should do?”

    Glen turning white started to stutter “I-I think that we should not with-hold evidence from the authorities and w-we should tturn it int to the Sherriff.”

    “What are you nuts?” I replied, “You saw how the Sherriff was trying to cover this up! If we take this to them, they’ll take it and throw us all in the psych house or worse.”

    “We have to find the meteor. We have to find out where they are hiding it. This would make huge news not only in our school website but world-wide! We would be famous!”. I agreed and with some scare tactics, we got Glenn on board.

    “But where would we even begin to look for a giant space rock?” asked Glen

    “Well Yazoo isn’t that big, there are only a few places that they could hide it. I say we start our investigation with the Sherriff.” I said.

    “Right! If we follow him, he’s bound to lead us to the rock eventually.” Agreed Jubee.

    “Guys spying on a law enforcement officer is illegal.” Glen said.

    “Yeah, and so is interfering with official acts of a lighting strike.” Jubee replied.

    Since tomorrow was Friday, I told Jubee to tell her parents that she was staying at my house and we would meet up with Glen and head out to find the meteor. We had no idea what we were about to walk in to.


Chapter 3: The Infection

    On Friday night, Jubee, Glen, and I were all in my room. I was getting my camera ready so this time we could catch whatever we may find on film.

    “Where do you guys suggest we start?” Jubee asked.

    “Well, we could check out the original crash sight. Since you found a crystal out there, and it’s not a coincidence that Sherriff Allen just so happened to be out there. My guess is that they weren’t done cleaning up the mess.” I said.

    So we started out to the crash site, on the way Glen stopped to tie his shoe but me and Jubee kept going. When we reached the crash site we noticed that Sherriff Allen and a couple of other deputies were out there already. Jubee and I crouched behind some bushes and I pulled out my camera and started filming. There was something weird about the way Sherriff Allen and his deputies were acting. They weren’t looking for anything they were just standing there around where the hole was and holding hands and looking down.

    Glen caught up to us but because he is super clumsy he fell and made a loud thud. That’s when Sherriff Allen and his deputies all looked up at us. Their eyes were replaced with glowing blue lights. They turned toward us and opened their mouth and this loud fog horn sound started coming out. We covered our ears and my head started to spin from the loud noise. Then they came for us.

    “RUN!” Jubee screamed.

    We all took off running through the woods. I tripped over Glen who could not see because his fall had broken his glasses. I helped him up and kept running. We finally made it back to my house and up to my room where I locked the door.

    “What the hell was that!?” Glen asked in exasperation.

    “I-I don’t know, it was Sheriff Allen and his deputies, I-I think!” Jubee said clearly shaken up by the whole thing.

    I checked my bag and realized I didn’t have my camera. I must have dropped my camera when Glen and I tripped on each other.

    “We have to go back and get it!” I said.

    “NO!!” Glenn said blocking the door. “You can’t go back out there Shy! We don’t even know what that was. What if you don’t come back, then what?”

    “Glen, it’s the only evidence we have!” I replied pushing him out of my way. I didn’t mention it, but that camera was the only thing of my mothers’ that I owned. I was not going to lose it. No matter what.

    I went downstairs and grabbed the Louisville Slugger baseball bat my dad used as a kid. Jubee followed and grabbed one my dad’s golf clubs. Glenn came back from the kitchen with a skillet pan. Jubee and I both looked at him.

    “What” he said, “I’m kind of out of options here.”

    We headed out of the door and back into the woods. We split up from each other but stayed within seeing distance in order to warn each other if anything happened. Finally, I found my camera, “I got it!” I yelled. Just as I stood up, I felt a force knock me down. I hit the ground hard and the bat flew from my hands. Sherriff Allen had tackled me. Except, this was not Sherriff Allen. His eyes were still glowing blue and they were so bright it was blinding me. He kept trying to hold my arms down but I fought and screamed. That’s when I saw it. Imbedded into his hand was one of the purple crystals! It looked like it had grown into his hand and became part of his body.

    Then I heard a THWACK! And the weight was lifted off of me. Jubee had landed a good swing to the side of the Sherriff’s head.

    “Let’s get the hell out of here!” She yelled.

    I grabbed the camera and started to run. The Sherriff wasn’t down for long. He and his deputies were right behind us but they stopped as soon as we reached the clearing of my back yard.


Chapter 4: The spread

    Monday, when we got to school, we all had the feeling that something was not right. People were being nice, too nice. They weren’t just being nice to each other, they were even being nice to us. The captain of the football team, John Stevenson, walked up to Glen and instead of a shove into a locker or any other of his rude “jokes”, he gave Glen a high five and invited him to sit with the guys at lunch. Glen didn’t find anything weird with it until Jubee and I reminded him that the nices things those jerks ever did for him was give him a towel after giving him a dunk in the bathroom toilet. Even then, the towel was a dirty gym towel.

    At lunch, Glenn went to sit with the jocks anyways, I grabbed my food and went to find Jubee. Then, Brittany Allen called my name.

    “Shyan, over here!” she yelled.

    I walked over there expecting her to make fun of my overalls or my hair but instead she made room for me to sit with her. I looked around to be sure she was talking to me.

    “Umm, are you sure you’re talking to the right person?” I asked.

    “Why of course I do.” she said with her preppy voice.

    I sat down and all of her friends started being nice to me also. They were telling me how much they liked my hair and my clothes and wanted to know where I got them. It was all too much for me. Something did not feel right. As I got up to leave, Brittany grabbed by arm.

    “Where are you going? Don’t you want to sit with us?” She asked.

    “I, uh, have to go to the bathroom, then me and Jubee are going to study in the library” I replied.

    I caught up with Jubee in the library. As I looked around, I finally found her in the Sci-Fi section.

    “Enjoy lunch with your new bestie?” She asked sarcastically.

    “Oh yeah, we agreed to spend the night at each other’s house and braid hair.” I replied. We both cracked up laughing.

    “SSHHH” snapped the Librarian

    “Where is Glen?” Jubee asked.

    “I don’t know; I haven’t seen him since lunch. Hopefully the jocks haven’t drowned him the toilet again.” I replied. “What are you looking for anyway?”.

    “Books on alien invasion.” Jubee said in all seriousness. “I think that the beings on the crystal infected Sherriff Allen and his deputies and that’s why the crystal was inside of his hand. There is this worm that does the same thing to snails, it infects the host and takes over their eye sockets.”

    “First off, gross. Second, if that’s true then anyone who comes in contact with it should get infected right? Including you?” I said jokingly.

    “The day I have blue light bulbs for eyes and sound like a New England docking port when I open my mouth, Shoot me?” Jubee said laughing.

    We both turned to leave the isle but then stopped dead in our tracks. Brittany Allen and here team of minions were blocking the way.

    “What were you guys talking about?” she said tilting here head sideways just an inch.

    “Just nerd stuff, you know Star Wars Verses Star Trek. How a quadratic equation can be mapped on your huge forehead considering the acne on it.” Jubee mocked.

    “That wasn’t very nice Julia.” Brittany said.

    “My name is Jubee. Since when you do you care about being nice to anyone but your reflection.” Jubee snapped back.

    Brittany took a step forward and as she did, in between the books she was holding I saw in her hand, a tiny purple crystal.

    “I think we got off on the wrong foot, can we just start over?” Brittany asked still moving closer.

    “Jubee,” I said and she looked at me, “She has the crystal.”

    Jubee looked and seen the crystal. Looking back up there was a dead silence for what seemed like eternity. “Go!” she yelled as she threw the book at Brittany hitting her in the forehead, knocking her on her butt. We took off running through the halls.

    “We have to find Glen!” I yelled heading for the gym. Right before we got there, we were stopped by Mr. Delmont the English teacher.

    “Woe woe woe, shouldn’t you girls be in class?” He asked.

    Jubee looked at me and lifted up her foot and landed it in between Mr. Delmont’s legs and we took off running again.

    “Did he have the crystal too?” I asked.

    “No, he gave me detention last week for being late to class.” She said with a slick smile on her face. We entered the gym to see Glenn at the top of the bleachers being chased by three jocks.

    “Glenn, buddy ol’ pal, we just want to make you one of us!” said John.

    Jubee and I grabbed hockey sticks that were sitting close to the door and ran after him. When we caught up with them, Glenn was cornered between the wall and the jocks who were slowly closing in on him. As I got closer to John, I took a good swing at his legs. He tripped and went tumbling down the bleachers, as the rest of the group turned to look at me, all of their eyes were replaced with the blue lights like we seen with the sheriff. Jubee popped up behind the two others swinging at one, who ducked, and sticking the other who fell. I took advantage of the jock being turned around taking out his legs as Jubee swung for his head. He collapsed faster than I could blink.

    “T-Thanks guys” Glen said, “I thought I was finished.”

    “Let’s get out of here” I said.

    We heard the door open and there was Brittany Allen, her group of friends, and Mr. Delmont. They must have infected him now too.

    “Ya’ll come down from there right now!” Delmont shouted.

    “What do we do?” Jubee asked.

    “We’ll act like we’re coming down and as soon as we hit the bottom, we’ll run the other way.” I said.

    As we started down, the jocks started to regain their senses. We picked up our speed as Brittany and Delmont started toward us. When we reached the bottom of the bleachers, we took off running the other way where the other set of doors were waiting for us. We finally reached the doors and we all three pushed on them, only to be knocked back. It’s locked!!! My heart started to race.

    “Wh-hat are we going to do!?” Glen stammered.

    I looked back to see that the group of the infected were slowing to a stop and started to surround us. “There’s only one way out.” Jubee said turning around with a determined look.

    “Come join us,” the group said in unison, “We are all to be one, together.”

    “Eat my shorts space bug.” Jubee said snapping the stick in half, giving the other half to Glenn.

    “Our aim is to be in one harmony, in one love with one another.” They replied.

    “What you’re doing is not love,” I said “It’s called control. You can’t just come to Earth and take over.”

    “Yeah! Th-this is our planet!” Glen said in half courage.

    “But Shyan,” The group said turning their head slightly, “Your father has joined us.”

    My heart dropped. Those bastards! In a blind rage I ran at the group. Jubee and Glen followed. I swung for Mr. Delmont but was stopped short with a tackle from Stevenson. Then everything went black.


Chapter 5: The Chicken Wire

    I woke up in a room tied to a chair. Jubee and Glen were still out cold. I looked around and realized that we were in the lower level of the school. Perfect place to hide I thought to myself. The meteor was sitting in a corner of the lab room that belonged to the Tech Ed teacher Mrs. Appleton. Jubee and glen were starting to come too.

    “Where are we?” Jubee asked.

    “We’re in the Tech Ed lab.” I replied.

    “Is that the meteor!?” asked Glen.

    “No its our new mascot.” Jubee scowled at him.

    Mrs. Appleton and Mr. Delmont walked through the door, at least, what used to be the two teachers. The alien was controlling them all. When it infected the host, it took over the brain, being connected with all the others it infected, just like Jubee had said. If that’s that case, then why didn’t the crystal infect Jubee when she picked it up? Or me when I put the cyrstal in the plastic bag?

    “What do you want with us?” asked Jubee.

    Mrs. Appleton turned to us while Mr. Delmont was taking crystals from the rock in the corner.

    “We already told you,” they said in unison, “We would like for you to join us. We have traveled to millions of galaxy’s looking for a new host. When we came across Earth, we knew it would be the perfect place. We witnessed how you follow what you see on what is called Facebooking and the Instant Graming and Twittering.”

    “You are creatures of habit.” They continued. “You follow one another.”

    “If you’re going to be on earth, you cannot talk like that.” Jubee said laughing.

    “Of course,” I had thought to myself. The reason why me and Jubee weren’t infected is because we’re losers! We don’t follow people. We think for ourselves, the alien isn’t able to infect our brains. We have a good chicken wire fence!

    “Because you three are not able to be infected through our normal way. We have decided to implant us into your brains manually.” They said.

    Mr. Delmont stood up from the corner and walked over and handed a crystal and a knife to Mrs. Appleton. They started towards us but Jubee had slipped out of the knot she was tied in. As Mr. Delmont walked over to Glen, Jubee jumped up and threw the chair at him sending him to the floor. I leaned back in my chair and kicked Mrs. Appleton in her stomach, she fell backward as I fell in the opposite direction. Jubee ran over with the knife Mrs. Appleton dropped and cut me free. Just as she did Mr. Delmont took her to the ground. Mrs. Appleton was starting to get up. I ran to the corner of the room and grabbed the flag pole swinging it just in time to land a homerun swing against her head.

    I ran over to where Delmont and Jubee were still wrestling and swung another hit to his head and he fell off of Jubee. Glen was still tied up and screaming for us to help. Jubee went over and cut him loose as we all ran out of the room.

    “Wait,” Jubee said, “We can’t keep running! We have to destroy that rock!”

    “And how do you plan to do that?” Glen asked.

    “I have a backpack full of fireworks behind the dumpster in the back of the school. That should be enough to destroy it. If I’m right, when we do that the infection should stop and the alien should die.” Jubee said. Me and Glen gave her a crazy look still stuck on the fact that she had a backpack of fireworks behind the school.

    “Well, lets go!” Jubee said walking off.

    We made it out side and grabbed the backpack stored behind the dumpster.

    “We can’t just walk back in there. They’ll be all over. We need weapons.” Glen said.

    “He’s right.” I said.

    I thought for a second and remembered that the gym should have a gaggle of things to use. We snuck our way back inside and made into the locker rooms. I could not believe the smell of dirty sock and sweaty clothes in the boy’s locker room. We broke into the coaches’ office where some left over football gear was. We slipped on shoulder pads and helmets. Jubee found some wrestling knee pads and slipped those on. In the closet I found the rest of the hockey sticks and baseball bats. We were ready.