“You think anybody is out there?” Grubb ask as he and his dad scanned the night sky. “My teacher says there is.”
“If there is maybe they’re here already and not out there. Just waiting for us to get bright enough to spot them. Sort of like the roaches in that movie.”
“Nah. We’d see them. They’d bleed green or something.”
“But what if they were smart enough to change that too? Then what?” he baited him.
“Nah, we’d know.”
“Think so? We’d better get back before your mom sends out a search party for us.”
“Night, Grubb. Watch out for those ET’s.”
“Right, Dad. I’ll let you know if I see a flying saucer or something.” Later unable to sleep, he got up to check outside his window. He looked hard into the darkness. So hard in fact, that his eyes felt like they would explode from the effort. “Hmph, thought I heard something.” he thought as he crawled back into his bed.
“One called Grubb, awake. Come.” Grubb bolted from his bed and stared toward where he thought he heard the voice, but he couldn’t see anyone. “Come.”
“Who’s there?” He hoped no one would answer.
“Salinbalp.” the voice said and then a light flowed down onto Grubb from somewhere outside his room. “Come.” Grubb’s mind refused, but the light drew him into itself and then into an enclosed area. He watched as this area took on the appearance of his own room. “The wall is too bright. My poster is missing. The corners aren’t right, either.” As the thoughts formed in this mind, the area conformed to match.
”No. The walls aren’t blue at all. They’re orange with purple splotches.”
“Do not think lies trying to trick us. You will not succeed.”
“Worth a try.” Grubb thought it was strange that he wasn’t afraid in his situation.
“You are correct. We will not harm you.”
“Where are you? Kind of creepy talking to somebody who’s there but isn’t.” He received no answer.
“One called Grubb, look out your window.”
The window now stood before him. Grubb hadn’t moved. “Whoa. What is that?!” He stared at an enormous gray dome, then into the blackness beyond. “Looks like space.”
“So it is. You doubted that we could exist without your knowing. We do and have for a very long time, by your measure of time. We protect your home from the twisted ones.”
“Twisted ones?” he repeated. He continued to stare out his window. “How do you do this?” he said currently more interested in the view before him.
“Tubizibro? But he does not hear what I say to him. As you wish.”
“What? You talking to me?”
“The twisted ones are similar to us, but are bent on destruction of all that is different from themselves, as your kind are.”
“Oh. Sounds like a bad plot. Got anything better to give me? All this for a B rater?” The idea of protectors and predators began to take root in his mind. “You mean like good and evil?”
“In your means of understanding, yes. But larger. Much larger. You cannot understand now.”
“When then? I can handle it now.” His bravado overtook him and he proclaimed again, “I can handle it.”
“One called Grubb, you cannot see me, you cannot find me, you cannot understand this place and yet you speak such insolence.”
“I can too handle it.” he insisted. “I’m nearly twelve, a man. I can take it.” He turned around slowly expecting something, what he didn’t know, but he waited, shoulders squared, chest out. “Come on. Bring it on.”
Silence ensued. The light in the room dimmed into darkness. Darkness so complete Grubb didn’t know up from down. The view from the window disappeared. A feeling of aloneness permeated the place. Grubb thought he was floating, but he wasn’t quite sure.
“OK, OK. Enough of the tricks. Turn the lights back on.” Nothing changed. “So stop whatever you’re doing. This is getting too weird.”
“One called Grubb, does this disturb you? We will not harm you. But you must learn your place.”
“I give, I give. You can do stuff I can’t. Just turn the light back on.”
The light returned. He blinked at its brightness. “That’s better.”
“What’d you say, Grubb?” his dad asked as he walked passed his room.
“Um, nothing. Just the sun’s pretty bright this morning.”
“One called Grubb, you have been returned to your home. We are here.”
“Check. You’re here.”
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