The Abductee
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The Abductee

It started much like any other day in his life. He was quietly drifting from place to place and minding his own business, just as he always did when there was nothing better on. He was feeling a little peckish. It seemed like an age since his last meal, and even that hadn’t been much; times were hard these days, and sometimes it was a struggle to live on the little they had. He was sure that his mother had regretted having him, not to mention most of his brothers and sisters, of which there were six in all. It wasn’t as though his father was ever around to lend a hand.

He looked around, and realised with alarm that his quiet contemplation had brought him to unfamiliar surroundings. He had strayed a long way from home.

He turned around to retrace his route, but felt a presence overhead and came to a halt. A cold chill ran down his spine as the object blocked out the light of the sun. He risked a skywards glance, and there it was - the huge, humming, grey shadow of his nightmares.

It couldn’t be happening! Not to him! He’d never believed the stories, the tales of alien creatures descending from the heavens! They were nothing more than rumours, made up by eccentrics to scare the youngsters! Okay, so they were being told much more frequently of late, but that was just the knock-on effect of so many stories putting ideas into the heads of the impressionable masses! It had to be!

The enormous hulk of the object was floating directly above his head. He wondered whether it had a reason for choosing him, or if he had just been unlucky. Either way, he wasn’t prepared to hang around and find out. He tried to escape from the darkness under the craft, but it was too late - there was an invisible force holding him back. He turned, but now it was closing in from behind as well. There was no way out. He fought to break free, but to no avail. He was now caught so tightly that he could hardly move.

He ceased struggling, and thought again of the stories of abductions that he’d so readily dismissed. He could take some comfort in the thought that those stories had only been told because the victims had been safely returned. He hoped fervently that they were true.

Then, without warning, he felt himself being lifted upwards. Whatever it was that was holding him was now also pulling him towards the craft. He felt the vast object getting closer and closer and-

Suddenly there was a brilliant burst of light. He could see almost nothing as he was brought into the craft and released from the force field, but while he was lowered onto a solid platform in the centre of the chamber, he gradually began to make out the shapes of the objects around him.

It was amazing! The stories were true! The technology in that single room was like nothing ever seen before. Whatever these beings were, he knew they must surely control the universe.

He heard them talking to one another in a strange tongue; they used so many sounds that he could not have even begun to pronouce. He found himself wondering if the two species would ever communicate with one another, or if they would forever be separated by language. Would the aliens even be interested in conversing with a lower life form? Perhaps destruction was their only aim.

Then one came into his line of vision.

It was no smaller than he was, yet it looked so weak that he could break it in two, if only he wasn’t strapped down. Its face was exactly as he’d imagined it - protruding forehead, tiny nose, eyes so close together they almost touched, and a small, thin mouth. As it came towards him he saw that its limbs were long and thin, and it wore strange garments made from unknown materials.

Before he knew what was happening, he felt a sharp pain in his side.

The next thing he remembered, he was back at the spot from which he had been taken. The alien craft was gone, but from the position of the sun he could tell it was later in the day.

He’d lost a piece of his life!

The aliens must have held him captive during those hours, yet he had no recollection of the missing time.

Nobody was going to believe what had happened to him, but that hardly seemed to matter now, after everything he’d been through. Even though he’d had just the briefest glimpse of the alien technology, it made it no less incredible.

He wondered what sort of tests they had done on him, and hoped they hadn’t taken out anything he might be needing later. Now he came to think about it, though, something did feel a little odd. Then he noticed the strange lump on the back of his neck. He couldn’t get a good look at it, but he guessed it must have been planted there by the aliens to monitor his movements, and possibly help them come back for him one day.

But he wasn’t afraid any more; he’d seen it all and he’d survived. He was alive to tell the tale and that was exactly what he was going to do.

He headed home.

Above him, the boat containing his captors - the Eastbourne Dolphin-Tagging Team - was also heading home. It had been quite a successful day, in the Team’s opinion. Their last dolphin had been particularly intelligent, and had seemed almost overwhelmed by the situation, so it hadn’t given them much trouble. It had been pretty co-operative, and was out straight away with the sedative.

They had decided to call it Bernard, because it had looked like a Bernard. They wondered if it already had a name in dolphin language, but decided that even if it did it was bound to be less appropriate than Bernard, because dolphins were a lower life form and therefore less intelligent. They probably didn’t even know what happened to them when they were tagged. Most likely they thought they were being invaded by creatures from another dimension, or something.

Daft buggers.

© Yariv Hastilow

Great story, but I really must be getting back to the main page.