Homeward Bound

by Wesley Lambert

"Here they come," Linda said, tilting her video camera at an angle to catch the ballet of lights as it swooped overhead. The scent of roasted hotdogs and the sweet yet acrid aroma of illicit hallucinogens wafted on the breeze.

The globes in the sky had performed these same maneuvers every evening for a week in Roswell, New Mexico. Four members of the crowd, gathered around us and staring at the sky, had claimed receiving telepathic messages that the visitors would land, tonight. Each now stood with his or her eyes closed, beatific countenances uplifted, saying "Ommmmmmmmmm" in a concerted sigh.

"They're making a turn," Linda gasped, backing into me and nearly knocking the notebook and pen from my hand. She stayed right on them with the camcorder as a man with a hookah shook his fist at her when she almost stepped on his hose.

"I think they're landing!" hissed the woman next to me. A yellow flower peeked from above her ear, providing stark contrast to the natty, unwashed hair surrounding it. A pear-sized crystal hung from a rope around her neck. Hemp, of course.

I nodded as one sphere branched off from the rest and touched down in front of us. I shielded my eyes until the brilliant glow faded.

Before us sat a metallic object. A ramp lowered from the underbelly. A wizened, gnome-like creature with bulging eyes stumped down to meet us. It, too, wore an absurdly ponderous crystal about its neck.

It looked up at me and grimaced in what I assumed was a smile—or the manifestation of a particularly irksome case of gas—then addressed the crowd in perfect English.

"Thank you for being patient with us these many years, my children. We will answer all your questions, in time. For now, let me just say that you were right about our existence. But there's so much more.

"We are your progenitors, your fathers and mothers. You, the people of Roswell, are our offspring. We've been mixing our DNA with the gene pool of this town for a long time. And now, we've come to take you all home!"

He spread his arms and beamed his afflicted smile. "Come to Daddy!" he cried.

"Phone home!" the throng screeched with one accord, clustering toward him.

Linda rolled her eyes. "Someone's seen one too many movies," she whispered. "Still, I keep pinching myself."

I scribbled frantically on a blank page, glancing at the man next to me. He sported a helmet made of aluminum foil and chicken wire. His faded T-shirt said: "Take me to your leader." It all made perfect sense.

As Linda caught my eye, I said, "Did you get all that?" with a bewildered grin.

She nodded, raising her camera in mock-salute. "You can't make this stuff up. Mike, what on earth are you going to call this story-to-end-all-stories, when you file it with The Inquisitor?"

I chuckled. "Oh, that's easy. I'll name it 'Roswell That Ends Well.'"

© 2008 Wesley Lambert
Original fiction debuting at Residential Aliens.