“‘This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.’ – T.S. Elliot.
I am Francis W. Smith, and I believe quite the opposite. I believe the world ends with a big loud bang. I think that the world will have a Grand Finale. I just feel it in my bones.”
“This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.” – T.S. Elliot.
I am Francis W. Smith, and I believe quite the opposite. I believe the world ends with a big loud bang. I think that the world will have a Grand Finale. I just feel it in my bones.
When people first meet me, they think I’m a boy. Mostly because my name is Francis. But I also wear my hair up in a bun, and put a cap over it. That gives me an advantage. People in my town don’t expect boys to follow the rules as much as girls do. Some of the neighbors think I’m a boy. So whenever I break a rule or two, they aren’t as harsh on me. James, Martin, and Steve are my best friends. Those aren’t really our real names. I’m Francesca, James is Jamie, Martin is Maria, but Steve is just Steve, because he’s a boy.
Steve believes that aliens are going to attack. I don’t believe in aliens. I wonder if there are really monsters lurking above the dark black skies, watching our every move. It creeps me out that there might be aliens up in the big swirl of darkness of outer space, sort of like that fat man in the red suit they call Santa. My parents do not let me believe in Santa.
I hear my mother yelling at my father downstairs.”Get the door Harry! I still have my curlers in!”
“You get it! I’m on the phone with the accountant!”
I stumble down the rickety stairs, and open the door. Steve stands there thin as a pencil, mumbling theories about aliens. He looks up, his glasses falling down his nose, finally realizing that I had opened the door.
PROOF!!!” Steve says.
” Wow dude, calm down, I can’t understand you.”
“Aliens are going to attack, Francis you gotta believe me. I have proof.”
Steve brings me to his house, an old but quaint building. He digs through his baggy jeans, looking for the keys. As he walks in, his dog, Mop, jumps up and licks his knees. Mop sniffs me, and slowly walks away, as if to say I smelled horrid.
Steve says, “Come on, I’ll show you! You have to be quiet, we can’t wake up my little sister.” He takes me up to his room. Steve says, “Sorry it might be a little messy.”
I look around and I think to myself, it looks like a tornado came by and threw up another tornado. I have been to Steve’s house before, but it’s never been messy at all. We shuffled across the room, through the piles and piles of books and papers as tall as skyscrapers. They were mostly books about alien abduction, but the rest were for school. He took out his telescope, and pointed it up to the sky. I looked in the telescope, and he said, “Do you see it?”
“No. I don’t see anything.”
He looks in and says, “Oh, maybe it moved.” He looked around through the telescope, and gives me a sad look. “Maybe you should go. It’s almost dinnertime.”
He shut the door, and I hear him moan. I can hear him, “My dream. Gone. Never. Going. To. Become. The. First. Person. To. See. Aliens.” I leave his house, trudging my way to my house.
My father opens the door, with his long hair tied up in a ponytail. I know it’s kind of weird, but my dad’s going through this hippie phase, where he does everything hippie style; tie dye, bandanas, skinny jeans, the whole package. He’s kind of upset that his work has a dress code. They have to wear a suit, but unfortunately, he couldn’t find a store that sold tie dye colored suits. He also went through a “Star Wars” phase. Every day when he drove me to school, he would wear a Jedi robe. My teacher told him no “pajamas”, and he went bananas.
Don’t even make me bring up what he named our dog. Chewbacca.
He says, “How are ya doin’ kiddo?”, in his fake southern accent. Just hearing my goofy dad made me feel better.
“Good, kind of good, not so good, bad. I don’t know.”
“What’s wrong?” He says. “Steve saw aliens, then he showed them to me and they weren’t there, so he’s embarrassed and sad.” He looked at me, puzzled. I just told him it wasn’t a big deal, and flopped down on my bed.
I pick up the phone and call Maria, and she answers, “The Caldwell residence, Maria speaking.”
“Hi, it’s Francis. Want to hang out?”
“Sure. Meet you at 3:00. At the movies?”
“Sure. See you.”
“Bye.” I hang up, take off my jeans, and change into my sweatpants. I tell my dad I’m leaving, then shut the door. I walk up to the curb and wait for the cars to pass by.
I live in Rhode Island, the smallest state. It’s pretty awesome living here. I go to Moses Brown, the best school in the world. The campus is awesome. It has a music room, a theater building, a woodshop building, and a fencing building. Of course, there is the school building too. School starts in 3 days, and I want to run for student council, but I don’t stand a chance against Carly Westminster, the “popular” kid in school.
I cross the street, and see Carly staring at me. She says, “Hey girlfriend!” and gives me a phony smile. I roll my eyes and walk away.
I walk into the movie theaters, and I hear a shooting noise. The sound of a gun. I rush towards the concession stand, but there is nobody there. The whole movie theater is empty, completely empty. But where did the bang come from? Not with a whimper but a bang. THE WORLD IS GOING TO END.
As I walk towards the other theater rooms, I hear screams. Everything is going in slow motion. I am not scared, but something big is going to happen. The doors of the theater room open, and a man in a green suit looks down at me. I feel dizzy, and my body is flopping around like a piece of cooked spaghetti. The weird man in the green suit twitches his hand back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. He is controlling my body. As he moves his hand, he forces my limp body into the theater. I see Maria screaming, but I can’t hear her.
Lights flash brightly on my stone cold face, as a woman wheels me through a hospital. The ground is slightly shaking. Why is the hospital moving? I tug at the tubes in my arms, and I know I couldn’t have been shot. I didn’t even feel anything! No blood, no scars, I don’t see anything wrong with me. Except the fact that I believe in aliens.
I look through a window that I don’t think was there before. And guess what! There’s earth! Wait, what? How can that be earth! I’m in a hospital on Earth! If I can see earth, then I’m not on earth… Holy crap! I’ve been abducted by aliens! Ok, don’t panic. I’m just going to ask the nurse how I can get out of here. But, she’s probably an alien! I try to get off the stretcher, but my legs are tied to it. I lie back down, and think for a minute. My last option is to actually talk to this woman.
“Excuse me, miss, will you tell me how to get out of -”
“Reklg mekl gooihj,” the woman says.
She finally turns around and looks at me. I gasp. It’s Carly Westminster.
I always knew something was wrong with her, her long white hair, big red eyes, like mine. Out of all the crazy things in my life, Carly Westminster has to be an alien! I knew she hated me, and now she kidnapped me in her stupid alien spaceship thingy and now I’m just talking really fast for no reason!! Ok, let me get back to reality. This is probably all just a dream, and I’m going to wake up. Ow! Pinching does not help! I guess this is really my crazy life.
Carly stares at me creepily, then she says the same thing.”Reklgmeklgjiooihj,djfyyzako!”
Then she makes this face, like she is constipated. Then she grabs her ear, and pulls off her face.
What did she just do?! She pulled off her face from left to right. And under that was an angry crimson face, with only half of a mouth, and a big fat nose. The only thing that didn’t change were those bright red eyes. This is not how I pictured being abducted by aliens. I thought they would be cute little green things, with big black bug eyes, saying “We come in peace” or “ET phone home.”
Carly stares at me and says, “Francesca W. Smith. You are so lucky to be related to the Carly Westminster.” She twirls her hair and looks at me.
“W-what do you mean?” I stammer.
“You were left at your parents’ doorstep, when you were two. Our parents were poor. Very poor. And then grandfather started up the electrical business, and we got rich, just like that. We would have taken you back, but we couldn’t just tell the people to give us their baby. Well, I always hated you because you were normal, and I had to be the alien. Aliens abducted us, and gave us powers. But now these powers have an advantage.”
“What does that mean?” I say nervously.
“Soon you will be like me, an outcast.”
“What are you doing with that needle?” I say.
“Once I give you this shot, you won’t remember anything, and you won’t be able to tell anyone what happened here.” I feel a weird pain in my wrists, and a green light starts coming out of my fingers. Her stunned face gleams in the light. All of a sudden, the light wraps around Carly’s wrist and she unconsciously stabs herself with the needle.
I look at her, lying on the floor, and suddenly something occurs to me. How am I going to get back down to Earth?
I instantly look for an opening in the wall but there is nothing. Wait, there’s a small latch on the floor! Ughhh! I can’t open it. How am I going to get out? An enormous man with no eyes walks towards me, and I think, “Maybe my weirdness will come in handy.” The man sticks his hand in his pocket and brings out a magnifying glass.
“I think I need glasses.” He says. I think he needs eyes. I walk past him quickly before he “sees” me.
Another alien turns the corner and drops a wrench. He eyes it, then eyes me. Then he keeps walking. Why had he not picked up the wrench? A small smirk starts to form on my face. I can use the wrench to escape.
I glance back at the ground. What? My eyes are messing with me. Nope, my eyes aren’t messing with me.The wrench got up and walked up to the latch in the floor. It’s opening!
I didn’t know life could be so happy, breath taking, and sad at the same time. Steve was right. The world is ending, and the aliens are taking over. I have always dreamed about this moment. Except I thought it would be different. Falling to your death isn’t really in slow motion, it’s all at once.
When you die, it’s not a happy farm in New Jersey. It’s nothing. Nothing at all, just silence and a bunch of people in white clothes and sunglasses. It’s also very dark. Everybody is marching in a straight, boring line to a small elevator. Maybe we were wrong. It’s a elevator to heaven, not a staircase. I look to my left, then to my right. A couple of old women take off their sunglasses All of a sudden, I hear a noise. “Francis! Francis! Wake up! Please Francis! Don’t be dead!” It’s Steve. Am I still alive?
I feel Steve patting my back, saying, “Please wake up!” Why aren’t I waking up? I have a theory: maybe I am DEAD. Ok never mind I’m not dead because I AM BREATHING.
Providence Place Mall. I am here. Here, as in alive. My eyes slowly open, not fully adjusted to the light. Steve looks down at me stunned at what he just saw. It’s not every day you see your best friend falling to their death. Except I’m not dead. He suddenly looks up at the sky, and down back at me.
“What happened?” he says.
“Just my everyday routine, you know, fighting aliens, falling from the sky.” I reply.
“No, seriously. Are you okay?”
“I’m serious. That’s what really happened.”
He looks at me, obviously not satisfied.
“Steve, you know how you were so confident that aliens were real?”
“No,” he says angrily.
“Well, in a not so distant past you were. And they are real. I swear.”
“On your life?”
“Still. I don’t believe you. My dreams were crushed, and I don’t believe in aliens anymore. I’m over it.”
He trudges away, and doesn’t look back. I whisper back to him, “I know you still believe.”
Suddenly the ground shakes, and the alien ship comes crashing down. There is no one there. Where has everybody gone? It’s an aliena incursio. An alien invasion.
Steve looks back at me, surprised. Then he says, “I believe you.”
I start to say “watch out!” but it’s too late.
He’s been dead for two days now
… … … …
He’s been dead for three days now. It doesn’t feel real. I feel dead. It’s excruciating.
I have to tell the world. I can’t keep living with no one else knowing what had just happened. I am the only one who knows, and the only person who will know. But I have to find them. I have to find the aliens.
I say the words Carly said on the ship: ‘Reklg Mekl Giooihj,” and a small alien appears, about the size of my arm. This one isn’t too frightening, and it looks like ET.
ZZZP. ZZZP. My lamp sparks and drops to the floor. I spoke too soon. It shoots lasers from its eyes. He walks up to me and says, ”Greetings. Sorry about the lamp. I’ll fix it. Now let’s get to business. I have a compromise. You never tell a soul about the invasion, and I will give you the boy.”
“But Steve is dead!”
“I can fix that too.” he says.
The second he leaves, someone knocks on the door.
“Ugh, who is it?”I say.
“Uh…yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”
They erased his memory. I should have known. I break down in tears. Nooooo! Why?
I wish I hadn’t made the deal. I wish I hadn’t.
We walk to school, me pretending that it is a normal day, and Steve not knowing. Suddenly I stop and say two words: I believe. He looks back, and his eyes change color.
“I believe. I remember.” he says.
He stares at me, and we walk to school. It’s better than before, but life will never be normal again.