Strange Encounter

A short story based on the image shown
from a prompt from Writers Unite! – November 2020

Strange Encounter

A short story by Lynn Miclea

Marcie pulled her long hair back into a ponytail, grabbed her purse, and ran out to her car. She couldn’t wait to see Kevin. Being with him was always the high point of her day. She wished the relationship would become even more, and she trusted that would happen someday. For now, she didn’t want to push too hard.

Marcie pulled her long hair back into a ponytail, grabbed her purse, and ran out to her car. She couldn’t wait to see Kevin. Being with him was always the high point of her day. She wished the relationship would become even more, and she trusted that would happen someday. For now, she didn’t want to push too hard.

Glancing at her watch and seeing that she was running late, she decided to take a shortcut to his house. The road ran along the beach, curving with the shoreline. She rolled down the window and smelled the tangy, salty air from the ocean. A few minutes later, she slowed down as she spotted a barrier across the road with a large sign printed in red letters: ROAD CLOSED.

Why was the road closed? She was already running late and didn’t want to go back and take the long way. Maybe it would be okay. She maneuvered her car around the barrier and slowly inched forward, staying alert for any problems. Sand covered the road in patches, but she didn’t think it was bad enough to close the entire road. Thinking the worst was over, she kept going.

Ten minutes later, she wondered if this was a mistake. The sand swirled over the road and it was hard to tell where the pavement was. What if she got stuck? She’d never get to Kevin’s. Stopping the car, she reached for her cell phone and called him.

He picked up immediately. “Hey, babe.”

“Hey,” she replied, already smiling. “I’m halfway to your place on the beach road, but the road is closed and covered with sand. I’m getting worried that I’ll be stuck here.” Would he think she was stupid for taking this road past the warning sign?

He laughed. “You won’t believe this,” he said. “I did the same thing. I was on my way to meet you and surprise you, and I also took the shortcut. And it’s closed on my side too.”

Marcie gasped. “It is? Where are you now?”

“Close to you. Stay put. I’ll be there in a few minutes. See you soon, babe.”

She hung up the phone. No matter what happened, he always made her feel better. But why would the road be closed? A shiver ran up her spine.

A couple minutes later, she saw his silver SUV coming toward her. He waved at her as he stopped his car in front of hers and got out.

Marcie got out of her car and gestured toward him. “Hey, you’re in the way. I’m trying to get through,” she joked.

Kevin laughed, picked her up, and spun her around before putting her down and planting a big kiss on her lips. “I missed you and I love you,” he murmured.

“Mmm, that was nice. I love you too.” She gazed into his warm hazel eyes. She could look at him all day. “Hey, doesn’t the air here feel different?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like it’s thick. Something is weird. It feels uncomfortable.” Movement and reflected light caught her attention and she glanced to the side. “What the …”

Kevin followed her gaze. “Is that …”

Marcie stared at what looked like an alien spacecraft and two dark gray alien beings studying something on the beach. “That can’t be …”

Kevin’s voice was quiet. “Well, that explains why the road is closed in this section.”

Marcie’s palms were damp as her anxiety increased. “Maybe we should get out of here.”

“You’re probably right. We don’t want to get caught here. And who knows what those aliens would do if they saw us.”

“Yeah, let’s go. Something feels really eerie. Maybe that’s why the air feels thick here. Something’s really wrong.”

“Yes, something does feel off. I don’t like it. We need to get going.”

“I agree. I’m hungry anyway.”

Kevin nodded. “Me too. I would love a big fat burger.” As the words left his mouth, the air in front of him sizzled. He gasped as sparkles formed and it slowly morphed into a hamburger floating in the air in front of him. He hesitated and then grabbed it. Inhaling deeply, he glanced at Marcie. “This smells wonderful. Do you think it’s edible?”

Marcie stared at him, her mouth open. “I’m … not sure. I don’t think we should trust it. But I’d really like a burger too.” The air sizzled, sparkles formed, and a burger materialized in front of her.

The tantalizing aroma of the beef and spices reached her and she grabbed the burger, which was still warm. “I’m starving and this smells too good. Bizarre or not, I’m eating it.”

“Me too,” Kevin mumbled around a mouthful of his burger. “This is really good.”

They finished their burgers in silence for a few minutes, then Marcie licked her fingers. “Hey, we need napkins now.” The air sizzled and sparkles formed, and a small pile of napkins appeared in her hand. She gaped at them for a few moments, and then handed one to Kevin and wiped her mouth with another.

Marcie stared at Kevin. The air around them felt electrified. “What if whatever we ask for appears?”

Kevin gave a nervous laugh. “Then I’d like a thousand dollars.” Within a minute, a large pile of money appeared in his hand.

Marcie gasped. “I want a million dollars!” Many large stacks of bills appeared on the ground in front of her, and she started laughing and picking up a few handfuls of bills. “This is impossible. It must be some kind of joke.”

Kevin shrugged. “Well, the burger was real. And delicious, too.”

Marcie giggled. “All I really want is to be with you.”

Kevin leaned forward and kissed her soft lips, then wrapped his arms around her. “You already have that,” he murmured in her ear.

He pulled back and gazed into her eyes. After clearing his throat, he spoke slowly. “I want the most beautiful diamond engagement ring.” Within moments, a gold ring with a large diamond appeared in his hand.

Marcie’s eyes grew wide. “Is that … for me?”

A shout from the beach startled them, and they turned toward the sound. Two uniformed men were confronting the aliens. One of the aliens pointed at the officers and the men instantly vanished in a cloud of gray smoke which quickly dissipated. The officers were gone, nowhere to be seen.

Kevin pushed Marcie toward her car. “We need to get out of here. Now. Before they see us.”

Without another word, they got into their vehicles. Marcie placed the money she had grabbed and the remaining napkins on the seat next to her. After Kevin backed up his car and gave her room, Marcie made a quick U-turn, and they drove down the road toward the barrier.

Marcie struggled to breathe. She could not take a deep breath. The air felt heavy and thick, even oppressive, pressing on her throat. Sizzling sounds permeated the air, and she drove faster, the hair on her neck standing out.

As they approached the barrier that closed the road, the air thinned out and felt more normal again. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

After driving a short distance beyond the barrier, Marcie pulled to the side of the road, and Kevin pulled up behind her.

Kevin got out of his car and came to Marcie, and she rolled down the window. He leaned in. “You okay?”

Marcie nodded. “Yes, but …”

“But what?”

She hesitated. “It was hard to breathe back there. Did you feel that too?”

Kevin nodded, and she continued. “And the money has disappeared. Same with the napkins. What we received at the beach has vanished. It only existed there.”

Kevin stared at her for a few moments. “That was the strangest thing I ever experienced.”

“Spooky and scary. I hope it doesn’t have any lasting effects.” She glanced around. “But at least we’re out of there. And we’re okay.”

“I know.” He gestured back to where they had been. “Too bad we couldn’t have kept what we manifested there.”

Marcie gasped. “The ring?”

He shook his head. “Gone.” He reached forward and brushed the back of his fingers over her cheek. “But I’ll get another one. A real one.”

She swallowed. “I’d like that.”

“And you know what is real?”

“What?”

“My love for you.” He smiled. “And this.” He placed a soft kiss on her lips. “Let’s go get some lunch. If those burgers weren’t real either, we still need some food.”

She laughed as her stomach gurgled. “You’re right. Sounds good to me.”

“And then we can go ring shopping and get one for real. We’ll do it right.”

She hesitated, then looked into his eyes. “Would you have done that even if it didn’t manifest for free back there? Are you ready for that?”

“Marcie, you are the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t know what happened out there, but whatever it was, it made me treasure what we have even more. That might have been strange and bizarre, but what we have is real. And I want to make this permanent.”

She smiled and got out of the car, closing the door behind her. “I would like that too.”

“Besides,” he added, chuckling, “it has a nice ring to it.”

Marcie broke out in a loud laugh and hugged him. “I love you.”

“Hey, before they come after us and make us disappear, let’s go grab some lunch.”

She nodded. “Still want hamburgers?”

“No, maybe pizza would be better now.”

“And garlic bread.”

The air sizzled around them and a box of pizza materialized on the hood of her car with a bag on top of it. They stared at it unmoving. Her hand shaking, she stepped over and opened the bag. “It’s garlic bread,” she said softly.

His voice cracked. “What happened to us?”

“I’m not sure. Are we still affected by something alien? Was it the burgers we ingested? Or lingering effects from the air back there? Do we have new abilities? Or is something else going on?” She rubbed the goosebumps appearing on her arms.

“I don’t know. I think we need to get away from here.”

She shivered. “I feel cold now. I wish I had my jacket.” The air shimmered and a jacket materialized over her arm. She gasped, her eyes wide, and she jerked her arm back. The jacket fell to the ground and she stood there staring at it. “What the …”

After a few minutes, Kevin picked up the jacket. “Maybe it’s just a leftover residue from the energy there. It probably won’t last.”

Her voice shook. “And if it continues?”

He hesitated before speaking. “We will need to be careful with what we wish for. And, whatever it is, we both have it. We’ll figure out something.”

“I’m spooked, Kevin.”

“Me too.” He took her in his arms and held her for a few moments and then pulled back. “Let’s get out of here — I really don’t want to stay here. And let’s go get lunch for now and think about this for a while.”

“Okay.” As she took a step and started to reach for her car door, it opened on its own, waiting for her.

Marcie shrieked and jumped back, staring at the open door.

Kevin squeezed her hand. “Let’s get farther away from here and give it some time. I’m sure it will dissipate.”

Marcie nodded, not saying another word. After waiting another few minutes without anything else happening, she got in the car. Her hands shaking, she gripped the wheel and murmured, “I want a thousand dollars.” Money appeared on the seat next to her. Tears sprang to her eyes as fear flooded her body.

“Please keep me safe,” she whispered as the car started on its own and slowly drove forward.

—————————————–

Copyright © 2020 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

Please visit my website here for information on all my published books. Thank you!

And visit my author page on Amazon here to see and order any of my books. Thank you!

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About Lynn Miclea

LYNN MICLEA is a writer, author, editor, musician, Reiki master practitioner, and dog lover. After retiring, Lynn further pursued her passion for writing, and she is now a successful author with many books published and more on the way. She has published many books in the genres of thrillers, suspense, science fiction, paranormal, mystery, romance, grammar tips, memoirs, self-help guided imagery, and children’s stories (fun animal stories about kindness, believing in yourself, helping others, and being more than you ever thought possible). She hopes that through her writing she can help empower others, stimulate people’s imagination, and open new worlds as she entertains with powerful and heartfelt stories. Originally from New York, Lynn currently lives in southern California with her loving and supportive husband. Please visit her website at www.lynnmiclea.com.
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7 Responses to Strange Encounter

  1. Donna Wells says:

    Your brain is soooo interesting! Thank you. Donna Cox Wells, Esq. (she/her)

  2. Pingback: Lynn Miclea: Alien Encounter | Writers Unite!

  3. Lynn Boyes says:

    Cool story. A little weird but cool. It was so vivid too, I could picture everything in my head. Awesome job.

  4. Rosie says:

    I wish all my alien encounters were like this!
    Our thanks for your wonderful FB posts … they are very much appreciated.

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