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    The Missing Evening Essay (2142 words)

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    He was always punctual, at least for his own agenda. Each evening Jim would run through the forest just for fun. This summer night was no exception. The night had grown dark but he was not worried, for he knew the woods well.

    He sped across an old beaten path and glided over rotten old fallen trees. The damp air was wonderful, he thought, because he could run and never get too hot, and if he kept running he’d never get too cold. This forest was made mostly of pine trees, and the needles put a bounce in the young boy’s step and kept him cheerful. At the clearing he stopped, as he always did, and rested upon a large rock and observed the inky-black sky. This was his favorite spot, his secret spot. Stars shined far brighter here then they did in town, and Jim always felt like he could stay forever.

    He sighed, and pulled his arms behind his head and stretched out his legs. For some reason this night he was especially relaxed. Either school letting out last week or just one of those giddy days, he didn’t know. It is a wonderful day to be alive.

    After looking into the sky for a few minutes he saw a falling star. It shimmered for merely a moment and went out. Then another came, and another, and after a dozen or so he sat up and beamed, awed by the glowing sky. It seemed that just above him there was a whole meteor shower, purely for his delight.

    They fell straight down and glowed longer then Jim had ever seen before. Soon the whole clearing was shining a bright white, like on Forth of July. The dozens became hundreds until finally a large radiant circle seemed to be coming straight down above Jim. He let out a sharp little scream of excitement and sprang from the rock, twirling around and around singing to himself as he always did when he was really cheerful. It was another minute before he realized that they weren’t meteors anymore, but actually the colorful bottom of a spaceship. He stepped back slowly, alert but unafraid.

    Slowly the craft hovered toward the widest part of the clearing and fell to the earth. Jim stood erect now, excited or scared he didn’t know, but he was going to know which it was before he did anything. He decided it must be excitement. “And anyway, I couldn’t just leave. ” He told himself. The intense light faded away, and by moonlight Jim walked around the small spaceship.

    The wings of the craft were torn up. Wires leaped forth from the tears and melted plastic had oozed out and hardened, creating an elliptical half baked purple pancake covering the craft’s exterior. The black tinted windows had small cracks throughout. The only orifice was a small door underneath the ship. Jim bent his knees, ducked his head and tugged at the door.

    He yanked hard and ended up falling onto the moist earth. The door had opened, and a plume of powder emerged blanketing the boy with grey dust. After rubbing his eyes and brushing his pants off as was his habit, he stood once again, poked his head into the ship and peered about the hull. The air was still filled with more gray dust, and Jim couldn’t make out a thing. He pushed himself up into the ship despite the discomfort of the dust and explored. Everything was smooth: the walls, the floor, the door, everything.

    Jim felt the wall until he came to another small door. Pushing it aside, he stepped into this dark room. It was damp and terribly musty. A faint tussling sound moved toward Jim. Still undaunted, the young boy flung his arms in front of himself and crawled blindly toward the queer sound.

    “Ah!” Jim clung into his hand and screamed. Something had bitten his arm. He rubbed his hand but it was no use. Jim whimpered, he’s whole left arm now throbbing.

    He pitched on the hard cold floor until he faintly made out the opening from where he had entered this pitch-dark appalling room. As he put forth his head through the door, something clutched his feet and plucked him back into the ship. Skidding through room after room, Jim finally found a latter-like object and nabbed unto one of the rungs. He kicked his feet hysterically and broke free momentarily, but something thrashed around his legs once more, pulling him harder and hastily now. Jim grunted.

    Finally his fingers let go, and he was pulled deeper and deeper into the strange musty ship, his whole left torso tingling, and his legs bleeding tremendously “No, no, oh please!” His eyes were wide, and blood spat from his mouth. The boy became so nauseated he was about to blow chunks when, almost in slow motion, Jim felt as if he was lifted into the air. He felt weightless and benumbed. He remembered this feeling when he had ridden the Pirate Ship at the carnival. It was a most stupendous experience.

    Air whooshed by and his ears buzzed with static. Then suddenly it all went away, and everything became silent. He grabbed at his leg and felt for the thing that had grasped him. Nothing was present any longer, but he could feel his leg gushing with blood.

    There was no light, and the musty air had cleared up. “Is anyone there?” he asked in a doubtful shaky voice. Clicks and pings stuttered all around the young boy, tensing and terrorizing his every muscle. All the comforts he had cherished to help him during his nightmares were gone. The stars weren’t there to look out for him.

    The distant lights of town no long reached him. His mother couldn’t hear him if he screamed. He felt faint. His eyes were about to flicker close when finally there was light.

    It came from now where, yet everywhere. The room was shaped like the inside of a Skittle. He sat in the middle of the room in a pool of his own blood. His leg looked terrible, but the tingling from his torso had now traveled to every corner of his body. A strange peace came over him.

    Just like at the dentist. There wasn’t any mark on the walls, no door, no actual lights. Just a little boy sitting in a dark-red puddle in a dull brown room. “He.

    . Hello?” Jim called halfheartedly. The clicks and pings grew louder, and Jim clasped his hands to his head until the sounds faded away. Then the light faded, and Jim almost instantly fell asleep.

    He awoke with his eyes closed. His eyelids were bright red with hundreds of fuzzy little veins running through them. Jim heard people talking, but couldn’t understand what they were saying. “Where am I?! Hello! Why can’t I see?” Jim blurted out, half crying. The voices stopped and footsteps on hollow medal doors filled the air.

    A hiss came from beneath the table or whatever it was Jim was on. His eyes felt extremely sore, but he slowly opened them. At first there was only white light everywhere, but that faded away and Jim now could see the whole area. There were tables everywhere, each with a human on it.

    A thin transparent green ooze covered all the surfaces. There was no ceiling, but just a never-ending dull light. Faint clicks and pings played in his ears, and he was sure if he heard them or only remembered them. Jim heard people calling out, screaming for help.

    He grasped the side of the table and closed his eyes. Please, just let this go away. Oh please don’t be real. Minutes passed, and the calls for help turned to wordless screams, then to occasional murmurs. Jim finally opened his eyes. A beast stood before him.

    The first thing Jim noticed was the slime that covered its body, oozing from all its apertures, dripping everywhere. It was a dark maroon, and humanoid. Its arms however where long and broke into three tentacles. Its face was almost identical to that of some persons, but the eyes were slanted downward towards the nose. Its feet were also just two thick tentacles, and they moved like our legs would in a bean-sack. Its breathing was hissy, and terribly unnerving.

    It lurched towards Jim, and starred at him with dull slimy white eyes. Jim tried to pull away but he couldn’t move. Thick goo covered all of his body except for his eyes and mouth. “Get away! Stay away from me!” The sound of Jim’s voice drove the creature to walk faster. Other humans looked on helplessly. “Leave him alone, don’t hurt him! He’s only a child!” they cried, but to no avail.

    It raised its arms onto the table and started to pull the goo straps away. Jim was frightened, and started to shiver. His arms convulsed wildly, his legs jerking to and fro. The creature was startled by his sudden movements and backed away.

    Now only Jim’s left hand was trapped and quickly he pulled the goo off and flung himself to the ground. His feet couldn’t hold him and he fell onto the slime covered floor with a deafening thud. His leg throbbed. The beast moved around the table slowly, always keeping Jim in his sight. More beasts came from out of the dark areas beyond Jim’s sight and slowly crept toward his position.

    People screamed as the creatures passed their sides. Other cried, and still others just sat there praying, waiting for death to come. Jim stood and leveled himself. He stepped back slowly, and blundered back into a middle-aged woman.

    “Safe me kiddo, come on. Just tear this stuff off of me, and we can get out of here together!” She was white and sickly, as if all of her blood had been drained except for her blood-shot eyes. Skin hung from her cheeks and eye sockets. She looked almost like a old shaven poodle. The sight of her scared Jim more than even the creatures had. He ran done isles of weeping people, carefully moving to keep away from the monsters.

    People called to him savagely. Some were speaking languages Jim had only heard on television. He ran past dozens of rows of people bellowing out to him, but he didn’t stop. Now almost twenty of the creatures followed him, and more still came. Jim turned down an corridor then looked back at where he had come from. The screaming had stopped, but the people were there.

    Why were they so quiet now? Jim grabbed the side of a table and wrenched forward, but slipped on the slime smacking his head onto the floor. Everything spun around him. He crumbled himself into a ball, put his hands in-between his legs and cried. The slime seeped through his thin pants and entered his wounds. Jim bit his lip and made tight fists. He felt something on his left wrist, and pulled his hand out and opened it.

    He wiped his eyes with his shoulder and looked down. He saw a small round object. It looked like a black pin, but much thicker. The creatures were close now. The sound of their breathing was all Jim could hear. The young boy pulled on the object and cried out in pain.

    He looked at his hand and saw blood spluttering out of his wrist at an alarming rate. The beasts looked at him, starring into his eyes, slowly creeping towards him. Steamy moistened air covered the little boy’s body. The sound was enfeebling. Jim’s ears filled with clicking and high-pitched pings that got louder and louder. Then everything faded away.

    No more sound, no more light, no more slime, no pain. Jim leaned just a few feet to far to one side of his rock and tumbled onto the ground. He was shaking with fear. The ground was damp and cool.

    His head throbbed. Slowly the young boy opened his eyes and looked up. There were the stars. Millions of his stars, the stars he had always seen every night. He rose and tried to remember when he had fallen asleep.

    Of course I don’t remember. Jim pushed himself up on the rock and brushed off his pants as was habit and looked down upon town. There is the corner market, and there is the hardware store. There’s the gas station.

    Jim wasn’t scared at all. He smiled and stood up, and began to jog further down the old beaten path, which made a round-about back to home. What silly dreams I have. Jim laughed at himself.Education

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