Sunglasses at Night - A Short Science Fiction Story
Hello? Can anyone hear me? I've been trying to call back home for God knows how long, I don't even know what year it is anymore. For anyone that can hear me, I need you to listen. I need you to listen and record what I am saying. You may not believe me and what you're about to hear, but what you are listening to right now needs to be heard and told to the right people if it isn't heard by them.
My name is Corey, Corey Sweet. The last time I was here on this earth was the summer of 1988. I was in a band with three other people: Lexi, the singer and the girl of my dreams that I could never seem to get, Doug, our bassist and my best friend since grade school, and Joe, the drummer and our technical guy. I'll fully say that we were the best - Lexi could hit those high notes and I could shred the guitar better than Eddie Van Halen, but I digress. We had just finished a show in some small town in the Midwest; biggest show we had yet, about twenty people showed up. Didn't know if they liked our music or not, but hey, at least they paid the money for tickets to see us. After the show, we decided we should travel north to see if we could get a gig in another town sort of close to the one we played in, and so we packed up and went on the road to our possible next show. But if only I knew what would happen.
The drive was actually much longer than we thought; we must have gotten duped with the map we purchased. We drove for about an hour with not much happening, just Doug talking about how many girls he hopes to see at the show and Joe's mixtape playing in the cassette deck, with Sunglasses at Night coming out of the cheap speakers the car came equipped with. Joe always said he liked playing that song around me because he couldn't recall a time when I haven't been wearing my aviators. Eventually, we reached some dead-end gas station on the side of the road. Doug went out to fill up the gas tank, while Joe ran in to the store to get an ICEE or something. That left me in the car alone with Lexi, free to talk about whatever we wanted. Naturally, I tried to flirt with her, and why wouldn't I - she was the prettiest girl I knew, even if she had quite the temperamental personality.
"So, after our next show, what do 'ya wanna do? I'd like to make a pretty lady like you happy, after all...", I ended up saying. I always tried to compliment her at every opportunity, even if she didn't really appreciate it. "Something, but if we do, I hope you don't try and hit on me the entire time," she replied. "For the record, I'm an independent woman, and I'm not one to easily fall for bad boys like you." I just brushed off that whole thing, bluntly saying "Alright, whatever, Shoulder-Pads." She always got really offended by that nickname, and it was the funniest thing seeing her get all pouty when I said it. She turned away for a few seconds all angry while I smoked a cigarette. She turned back to me and said, "Well, aren't you something of an independent man yourself? I mean, you're seventeen and you're far away from home playing with us, wouldn't that count as independent?" I thought, shoot, why does she have to always come up with smart-aleck replies like that? I threw the cigarette out the window and just shot back a simple "Yeah, I guess so." I couldn't really refute what she said.
She gave a satisfied smirk, put her feet up on the wheel, leaned back and chuckled. "Yeah, I had a feeling you'd be willing to say that," she remarked. I just sighed and looked outside the window. Doug finished with the gas, and hopped back inside, saying "Hey, guys, what'cha talkin' about?" Lexi looked back at him, saying "Aw, nothin', he was just flirtin' with me again." I looked over at Lexi and said "Yeah, and making fun of me for being on my own." Doug just laughed while she shouted at me for a bit. Lexi turned back to him and said "Hey, weren't you the one that convinced him to drop out in the first place?" Doug thought about it for a second, then just replied "Oh, yeah, I was... I forget exactly why he wanted to though, aside from being in the band. Didn't you have one of those 'flower-power' moms, Corey?" I just shrugged and said "Well, yeah, I guess you could describe her like that..." Lexi looked at me, puzzled, and asked if that was really the only reason I ran away with the band.
I had to think about it for a bit - why was I so insistent on being away from Mom? I mean, yeah, she was a total hippie, but for a while I knew that she had loved me with all her heart, if deep down. As I grew older, though, I noticed she started to get way stricter with her rules. Maybe it was suppressed anger with Reagan being president, I'm not really sure, but she grew more and more at odds with what I valued in life. On the same day that I left with the band, we had a huge argument over me being around them, saying that all that metal music was rotting my brain and that I had become too free-spirited or something. On that day, she seemed to have lost all feelings of raising her child, and were replaced with feelings of raising her perfect child. At that moment, she looked like she had completely lost her mind. So what did I do? I just turned around, walked out the door, convinced Lexi to let me go on tour with them... and that was it. I never spoke to Mom after that.
"Yeah, that's the only reason, she was just stupidly strict. I'm totally fine being away from that crazy ol' woman," was all I replied. I wish I hadn't, considering what I just described. We eventually saw Joe come back, with four ICEEs all cobbled together in his hands. I opened the car door as he was walking, ready to take one. He ended up tripping over something, I still don't even know what, and ended up spilling all four of them over my Def Leppard T-shirt. To this day, I still wear that same T-shirt, ICEE stains and all, because over the course of the next few hours... it happened.
After a few more hours of driving, day eventually turned to night. Like the one before it, it initially started off with not much happening. But eventually, we noticed that the road seemed to be much, much longer than we had anticipated. We must have gotten lost, because there weren't even any signs or anything where we were driving. After asking Lexi if she even knew what she was doing, I looked out the window. I saw what looked like a star brighter than any others. After looking for a bit, I noticed it was getting larger, and as it did all of us noticed a low rumbling noise that continually got louder, to the point where it started to get deafening. Before I could even say anything, I noticed it was not getting bigger, but actually moving at blazing fast speeds towards us.
Right before I was about to yell to Lexi, we saw this bright light flash right past us with an ear-destroying noise akin to an explosion. Our entire car almost tipped over from shaking so much. The phone lines near us broke, with one toppling over and landing right behind the car. Lexi screamed in fear, Doug froze up, and Joe started quietly crying. His mixtape had gotten messed up in the process, slowing down and constantly repeating the phrase "west end girls". We saw that thing slowly descend right in front of our car, crawling to a gentle hover above the ground. It looked almost like a gigantic egg, although it looked like it had circular windows on top of it. A door on the front, which I didn't even see at first, slowly ascended.
To this day, I still can't describe the creatures that inhabit the inside. They almost look like they have the heads of dogs or rabbits with human-like bodies. They even have bright white fur covering them, much like a dog or rabbit would. Their eyes, however, are something else entirely - they're empty black voids that almost look flat on their heads. They extend upwards like vertical lines, and they always blink slowly and asymmetrically. They can speak, as I've discovered, but how I've still to figure out, as they have no visible mouths. And one of these things was right there, in front of us, staring quizzically at our car.
At that time, I was just as scared as everyone else, but I had the feeling I could take these things on. How, or why, I don't know, but I wasn't going to let these aliens attack my friends. I grabbed my guitar - my black Gibson SG with a yellow cross design on the front - stepped outside, and held it by the fret board like a bat, ready to beat the hell out of these freaks. I inched ever closer, waiting to strike, while the alien looked down at me ever so slowly. We made eye contact for just a moment, with it looking like it was staring right into my soul. While it was really only for a second, it felt like an eternity looking at each other, with this animal of God's creation sending back a completely unreadable emotion.
Suddenly, I saw it push against a button on the inside of the ship with lightning reaction time, and heard a loud metallic clang from inside of it. A hatch opened up on the top of it, and out of it came this large metal claw, constantly opening and closing. It snapped towards me, grabbing me by the waist, with its grip not loosening as I tried to wrestle free. Suddenly, it pulled me towards the ship, with me getting nauseous from how fast it was moving. I was flung upside-down as it straightened out, ready to pull me inside. It shot downwards, pulling me into a vast black void of a room, with my head hitting against the side of the ship violently as it did so. It dropped me to the floor of the room, and the door on the top shut. This was the last time I ever saw Earth.
What happened in my time on the ship, I can't even begin to describe. Any possible words to describe what I've seen, what I've done, and what they've done, are completely lost on me. Even if I can't describe anything that happened, I can say that what did happen has forever fractured my understanding of reality. I don't know what is going on anymore. The only tangible thing I can describe is this - after many otherworldly experiences, I eventually found a chance to explore around the ship. After waiting for the creature to leave their control room, I have tried almost every single button in the room, hoping at least one of them can contact back home. This is my tenth attempt, and I pray to God this is the right one.
If anyone can hear this right now, please, someone relay the message to everyone I mentioned. If any of them do hear this; Lexi, I'm sorry for trying to flirt with you all the time. Doug, I'm sorry about forcing you to be the bassist. Joe, I'm sorry for yelling at you after every single time you did something minutely wrong. And Mom... oh, God, Mom... I'm so, so, sorry about the fight. I'm sorry about all the terrible things I said to you. I'm sorry for never calling you. I'm sorry for not being there for you. I'm sorry for everything. If you ever hear this, please... I want you to forgive me for all that I did.
I love you, Mom.