The Carriers; Part Three
March 12, 2013 2 Comments
The traffic on Main Street was busy. David rode his bike along the side of the road and up a couple side streets. He hadn’t heard from Robbie in two days. Not since he found that rock by the creek. He doubted Robbie would even come out today. That guy was a nerd of the first order. His room was filled with geeky science stuff. David never understood it. Well, not in the same way as Robbie.
The Wiseman house was big and old. One of the first homes built in the area. David liked coming over just because it was so creepy. Even more so since Mr. Wiseman painted the whole thing a soft olive green. Now it looked like the house was ready to puke.
The gentle breeze moved the swinging chair on the porch and it creaked as David knocked on the wooden screen door. Small wind chimes rang out in the gentle wind, and he could hear kids playing in the neighbour’s backyard. The summer break was just starting and this year it was going to be great. He was old enough not to need a babysitter, which meant plenty of free time.
The inside door opened and the chubby face of Mrs. Wiseman appeared on the other side of the screen. Her eyes twinkled when she saw him.
“Good morning, David.” She opened the screen door half way. “How are you?”
“Good, Mrs. Wiseman. Is Robbie up?”
“Probably not. He hasn’t come downstairs for breakfast yet.” She opened the screen door wider. “You can go on up, get Lazybones out of bed.”
David stepped inside as she walked away. The house smelled good. It always did. Mrs. Wiseman didn’t have a job like his mom, so she was always baking or cooking something. How Robbie wasn’t three-hundred pounds was beyond him. The house was always clean too. Not one thing out of place. It looked nice, but it was too clean. Like a museum. A scene frozen in time from one of those old television shows.
He turned right at the top of the stairs and knocked on the first door. “Hey, Robbie. You up?” This wasn’t like his friend. Robbie rose with the sun. He was one of those people that couldn’t sleep once it was light out.
No answer. David knocked on the door again. “Dude?” He opened the door a crack, just wide enough to get a look at one side of the bedroom. “Are you in here?” he pushed the door all the way open and stepped inside. Robbie’s bed was on the other side of the room, and the long lump in the middle stirred.
He kicked at the mattress. “Dude, get up.”
Robbie pulled the blanket back away from his head. His face was pink and sweaty, and strands of dark red hair were plastered to the side of his cheek. His eyes opened just a crack. “What are you doing here?”
“I thought we were gonna hang out today?”
“Then get up.”
Robbie sat up and looked around. “What time is it?”
Slowly the teen got out of bed. “Shit, seriously?”
“I was studying that meteorite last night.” He stumbled over to his desk where a small microscope was set up. “It’s really weird.”
“You’re not gonna sit inside all day and look at that thing, are you?”
Robbie slumped down into the desk chair. “I guess not.” He looked over at his friend. “So what’d you wanna do?”
David shrugged. “We could go hang out at the park.”
Robbie looked back at his microscope and touched the black rock next to it. “I guess.”
The meteorite looked more menacing than before. David turned and headed out of the room. “I’ll meet you outside.”
By the time they got to the park, Robbie was looking a little better. At least he didn’t look like he just got up. They dropped their bikes near the wood climbers and made their way to the top.
“You know,” Robbie said as he made himself comfortable on the top wooden tier. “If you ask her out, she might just say yes.”
David frowned. “What are you talking about?”
He motioned toward a small concession stand at the far end of the park. A teenage girl was paying for some ice cream.
David sunk down next to his friend. “Or she might say no.”
“You won’t know until you ask.”
David looked at him. “But what if-”
“What if, what if, what if. Can’t go through life always saying what if, my man.” He nudged him on the arm. “Now’s your chance. Here she comes.”
David didn’t move and his mouth went dry. What was he supposed to say to her? What if she turned him down? Or worse, what if she laughed at him?
The young girl flipped back her long brown hair. Her eyes lit up when she saw the boys on top of the climbers.
“Hey guys.” She took a lick from her cone. “What’s up?’
David shrugged. “Nothing.”
Robbie shook his head. “You’re pathetic.”
Robbie stood up and climbed down. David followed.
Robbie gave a quick wave. “See ya, Beth.”
David frowned. “Where are you going?”
Robbie turned as he walked. “Home. I’m not feeling good.”
Beth turned to David. “Is he okay?”
“Probably hungry.” He glanced at her, but quickly looked away. “So, what are you doing?”
Beth walked to the climbers. “I’m supposed to help my Mom clean, but couldn’t do it anymore. It’s so boring!”
“I know, right?” David followed her. “It’s only gonna get dirty again.”
“And then you have to clean it again.”
“I know. It’s stupid.”
He kicked at the ground. “You wanna go do something?”
“Can’t. My mom only let me come out to get some ice cream. If I don’t get home, she’ll send Dad out to find me, and…”
“Yeah, I get it.”
David shrugged. “S’okay.”
She got up from the climbers and David followed. He walked beside her to the edge of the park and got his bike. Should he ask her to the dance? Would she turn him down? He picked at his handlebars as they walked up one of the side streets. He’d better make up his mind fast. Her home was just around the corner.
“Hey I was thinking if you’re not doing anything Friday did you want to go to the dance at the Firehall?” It came out so fast he couldn’t believe he’d said it.
Beth stopped. She looked shocked. That was a good sign. At least she didn’t look mad.
“Sure. I guess.”
David nodded and tried to keep his excitement from showing. “Cool.”
Captain Alan Miles hurried through the corridor and entered the Base Commander’s outer office. Whatever was up the commander’s craw, his phone call was less than pleasant. He gave a quick nod to the receptionist as he passed by.
“Still in a bad mood?”
“Like a pit-bull.”
Alan smiled. “And here you were complaining he was a bulldog.”
The receptionist smirked. “The bulldog I can handle.”
Alan knocked before quickly opening the door. Colonel Hank Norris sat behind his desk, the receiver of the phone against his ear. He motioned to Alan to come in and sit.
“Yes, sir. As soon as possible.” Norris let the receiver drop back on its hook. “That didn’t take long.”
Alan leaned back in his chair. “Considering the tone you used, I figured stopping off at the base Tim Horton’s wasn’t an option.”
Norris pinched the bridge of his nose. “I wish it was that simple.” He looked up at him. “Alan, we may be heading into a world of trouble.”
Alan frowned. It was rare for his C.O. to address him by his first name. “What are you talking about?”
“That meteor shower a few nights back, I just got word from the N.D.Q.H. They’ve been talking to the P.M.O. who’s been talking to the White House, who’s been talking to NASA, who’s been talking to-”
“Spit it out, Hank.”
The Colonel leaned forward. “The American’s don’t think those were normal meteorites.”
The Carriers; Part Three
© 2013 Dark Conteur Collection of Works