“You’re such a freak!” The words came at him like a slap in the face, though a slap would have hurt less. He wasn’t frequently insulted to his face. People usually just stared. Or they joked about him behind his back; within earshot. This however hurt more, as public humiliation usually does. Everyone was staring now. It was up to him to respond. But what could he say? The world was closing in on him. He felt trapped as the myriad eyes around him bored deeper and deeper holes into his fragile soul. He flushed red and the bully let out a laugh, shoving him into a locker. The bully had had his fun and with a “loser,” he walked away.
The bullying started a few weeks ago when Matt made the mistake of confiding in a classmate about something he’d seen. He’d been up late one night hacking on his computer when he saw it. His window is right behind his computer screen and he’d happened to glance up just at the right moment to see what he could only describe as a building hanging in the sky. It was like a giant skyscraper, but much, much larger and mostly made of metal. It sort of flickered in and out of view for no more than a second and then it was gone.
Now he was the laughingstock of the school. High school can be pretty rough when you aren’t “UFO boy.” This just made it hell.
“Hey loser!” The bully was back. He’d brought some of his friends, no doubt to entertain them. Matt just froze in his tracks, the hairs on the back of his neck on end. “Where you goin’, UFO boy?” His brain couldn’t quite figure out what came first. The punch to the side of his head, the blinding pain and disorientation, or the impact with the floor. It all seemed to happen at the same time. Humiliated, he tried to get back up to his feet. “You’d better stay down, UFO boy!” Came the instruction from the bully.
It was then that he saw it. The building. In the sky. It was right there. Right behind the bully and his friends. He became fixated on it. He couldn’t think of anything but that building. Now that he could see it better, in the daylight, he noticed that it wasn’t so much a building as a massive ship. It just hung there, gently rotating on its vertical axis. Before he could say, “look at that!” little black dots began streaming out of the ship. The bully must have noticed that something was wrong because by now he’d stopped his assault and turned. In fact, everyone had fallen silent. Vindication.
Matt didn’t have time to gloat however. As explosions surrounded them and the silence broke into panicked screams, the last thought to go through his mind was that this must be an invasio–
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