Editorâ€™s Note: â€œCracks in the Cloudsâ€ is a piece of creative non-fiction. All of the events in the story are true. This is the fifth part of an eight-part series that will run weekly in the Collegianâ€™s Verve section.
Joan looked at Mary with eyes of plea and sadness. Her cheek curled under her nose. Mary shook her head.
â€œI only watched X-files with my parents and sister, I promise,â€ I said squirming in my seat.
â€œItâ€™s just that something weird happened here Lucas, something not normal. Do you promise not to tell anyone what Iâ€™m about to say to you? Youâ€™re a strong boy,â€ Joan said.
â€œAnd a smart one too,â€ Mary added trying to lighten the mood.
â€œI promise,â€ I said.
I walked into the living room leaving Mary at the kitchen bar. I stared at Joan and she sat down in front of me. She grabbed a freshly folded pelt and put it over her lap.
â€œMary and I sat down to read our books last night just after Mary had gotten off the phone with her mother. We had our stove on and JohnLuke lay on the rug in front of it. We were very quiet. We were almost ready for bed when the lights in the house shut off. They flickered, made a snapping noise and thenâ€¦just shut off. We checked the electrical box but it all looked very normal. No fuses were blown. When I pulled the curtain back from the windows in the living room I saw a strange light in the front yard near the driveway. It shone straight into the sky, like a flashlight-â€œ
â€œWas it the Indian ghosts?â€ I asked impatiently.
Joan ignored me. â€œIt, it, it looked like, Iâ€™m going to sound funny for saying this, but a, a spaceship almost. We sat there hiding behind the curtains for an hour. Maryâ€™s hands shook so hard. The light came from something that looked like a five-foot-wide beer barrel. I couldnâ€™t see any color. Neither could Mary. But the weirdest thing was that at one point I could have sworn I saw three or four people, all five-foot-tall or so walking around it. When JohnLuke came to the window he barked wildly; we couldnâ€™t get him to shut up. It spooked whatever was in our yard though. We think they saw us. Something was there and saw us. We saw them.
When I ran to the front door to see what was outside and get a better look at our driveway and front yard it was empty. The lights left. Without any sound, it just vanished.â€
â€œWere there any friends of yours messing around up here last night?â€ Mary asked, even though she knew I had no friends and spoke to no one but them.
â€œOf course not, but donâ€™t you think it was the Indian ghosts! My father says he hears them all the time and I know you guys do too. It could have just been the ghosts sitting around a fire, right? Next to the old cavalry station by your driveway. Have you asked any of the other neighbors?â€ My voice was hurried. I pulled the sleeves up on my turtleneck.
Staff writer Lucas Dean FiÅ¡er can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.