Something woke her. She didn’t know what, but she was suddenly wide awake. Alone and recently widowed, she’d come to her parents’ cabin to get away from life for a while. And now she couldn’t sleep. Wonderful. She got out of bed and walked to the kitchen for a cup of herbal tea. That usually helped her get back to sleep.
Having prepared her mug, she took it to the front porch. If she was going to be up at 2 AM, she might as well enjoy the stars. The country didn’t suffer from light pollution like the city did. When you looked up out here you didn’t just see stars, you saw one of the Milky Way’s arms stretching out across the night sky. She sat in the swinging chair, admiring the sight. She always loved looking at the stars. She’d try and imagine herself out there exploring strange and wonderful worlds. The possibilities were endle– What was that?
A bright bluish light flashed momentarily from in the woods and was gone. “Hello?” she called out in a whisper. She didn’t want to wake her parents. “Hello? Is someone there?” Curious, she rose from the chair and walked down the front steps. She’d grown up coming out here and there really wasn’t anything to be afraid of in these woods. She slowly walked toward where the light had been. “Hello?”
Then she saw it. A silhouette of a person. It had to be a person. It looked like a person, but not quite.
“Hello,” came a voice from the silhouette.
“Are you alright?” she asked, approaching.
“Yes,” came the reply.
She could have sworn she saw the silhouette change shape as she approached. When she was close enough she saw an average looking male in average looking clothes smiling a cheerful, unthreatening smile at her. He looked to be about her age and seemed completely unthreatening in his demeanor. “What are you doing out this late?” she asked.
“Visiting. I’m not from around here,” he replied.
“Where are you from? You must have been traveling a while if you only got in now?”
“Actually, I just left. I came from there,” he said pointing out into the night sky.
“I know, it’s a lot to take in. But it’s true. I really don’t look or sound like this. We change for the benefit of those we’re visiting. It’s easier that way. Doesn’t cause alarm.”
She was incredulous. “Show me,” she said. “If you’re really what you say you are, I want to see for myself,” she stated in a completely unbelieving tone of voice.
“Are you sure? You might not like what you see.”
He closed his eyes and began to transform. What he changed into wasn’t ugly or scary, it was just different. Otherworldly. Even beautiful. She stood there staring in awe. She had no words. Her mind was in shock at what it was witnessing. The sudden lifting of the veil, the casual way in which it was revealed to her. She was stunned.
He finally changed back into the average looking male he’d been a few moments ago. It was then that her mind started racing. Her perception of the universe forever changed.
“Why are you being so casual about revealing yourself to me?”
Why not. She thought about that and then it clicked. *Why not! *It was true. After all, if she was a visitor to another world, would she hide herself in the shadows? No, she’d walk up to the first alien she came across and introduce herself. “How do you do it?” she asked in rapt curiosity.
“Yes. Well no. I mean, yes I’d like to know that too, but no. How did you get here? How do you do it? Please, tell me. I don’t see a ship anywhere.”
“With this.” He held out his right palm. There was a reddish glow in its center. “A Cassandra jewel. Implanted in the hands of travelers. That’s how we do it,” he said as he closed his hand.
“So small. So simple,” she said, completely fascinated. “Our travelers use very large machines and equipment and we haven’t even gotten very far. We’ve been to our own moon, but no further. How does it work, this Cassandra jewel?”
“Long ago, our people discovered the universe is infinitely large and infinitely small. That some subatomic particles are in fact whole galaxies. They’re rare, but not impossible to find if you know what to look for. But that wasn’t their greatest discovery. It turns out that a galaxy’s power output is not proportionate to its size. So, even if a galaxy is the size of a subatomic particle relative to us, it still outputs the same amount of energy as it would if it were at our scale.”
“The power of a hundred billion stars, literally in the palm of your hand,” she said in complete wonder.
“Yes. And with it, we can bend space to take us wherever we wish. Across the room, across the galaxy, across the universe. No distance is too far.”
“So why are you here? Why earth? Why this spot by our cabin? I mean, you can go anywhere! Why here?”
He smiled that cheerful smile again, “Because, I came for you.”
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