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Amber Thomas

Bright Lights in the Distance

June 29, 2018

I jolt upright in my bed, dumping my cat Jingles to the floor. He meows angrily, though I don’t pay attention to him. I scan the dark shadows occupying the corners of my room. Something woke me up. I glance at my phone. The screen illuminates my face in a ghostly blue glow. It’s 2:45 in the morning. I’m a light sleeper, so it’s not uncommon for me to wake up in the middle of the night from the house settling, but something feels different this time. My ears are ringing from the silence. I pull back the covers and slowly slide off the bed, inching my way to the window. My heart is pounding in my ears. I don’t know why I’m so scared. I reach for the curtain and yank it aside. A tiny squeal escapes me. It’s just my reflection, I tell myself. I let out a small laugh. Somehow getting startled by my reflection embarrasses me even though no one else is around. Pressing my nose against the cool glass, I notice a strange blue light from across the field. My family owns a small farm in the middle of nowhere. Our nearest neighbor is miles away, so naturally I’m curious.


Quickly, I pull on a pair of boots, grab a jacket, and step into the hallway. I silently close the door, locking Jingles in my room. I tiptoe along the hardwood flooring passed my parents’ bedroom. They’re usually heavy sleepers. They have to be if they want any sleep with Dad’s snoring. On a good day, their bedroom door muffles his snores. On days when he’s sick or having a particularly hard time breathing, it sounds like a bear is in our house. I flinch as a spot in the floor decides to let out a sharp creak. I freeze. Please don’t wake up. I cross my fingers. The house is silent. I make my way to the front door, and finally, outside. The crisp air swirls around me causing stray strands of hair to cling to my face. Stepping off the porch, I search for the mysterious blue light. The first leaves of autumn crunch beneath my weight. I spot the light. It looks much closer now. Squinting my eyes to get a better look. It’s getting bigger. My eyes widen. It’s coming closer. The light gets brighter and brighter, to the point where it seems almost blinding. I’m too transfixed to move. I can’t even blink. An ear-piercing hum echoes through the wind, and the ground begins to shake. It’s almost here. I gasp as something grabs me from behind and knocks me to the ground. I try to scream, but it gets caught in my chest. No sound comes out. A hand covers my mouth and pulls me behind some bushes. The light is so bright I can hardly see. Squinting, I look up to see the face of a boy probably around my age. I’m shocked. What’s going on? Should I be scared? I’ve never seen him before.


“Are you crazy! What do you think you’re doing?” he hisses into my ear not releasing his grip on me. “If they spot you, run.” The roar of the machine above us is so loud that I can barely hear him. In a few seconds, everything is still, like nothing even happened. He hulls me to my feet and drags me up to my front door. I stare into his smoky gray eyes. He never blinks. “Go inside and stay there. Forget this ever happened.” I grasp the handle and step inside. I turn around, but there is no one. This can't be real. I go back to bed confused, dreaming of bright lights in the distance.

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