Visitors in the Night

It was after eleven and I was still awake. The printer in the other room kept resetting itself for no apparent reason. The walls creaked…louder than I remembered. Then, I heard footsteps. I sat partially up and looked toward the bedroom door, expecting one of the kids to step in. But no one did. I laid my head back down on the pillow, and like that, I was out.

When I came to—what felt like only minutes later—I noticed that my wife was no longer in the bed next to me. There was a resonating hum. It wasn’t from inside the house. Outside? I looked out the window long enough to notice a dullness to my vision like I wasn’t quite awake. It dimmed the brightness of the stars. I got out of bed to get a better look but even being fully awake, the blur was still there. I opened the window, and immediately there was an electrical wiring, plastic smell, and the air was heavy with static electricity. Just then, my son stepped into the room. It startled me because he came up behind me so fast. He asked if I had noticed it—the strange energy outside. His words faded. I didn't need to know why because we were both seeing it.

The hum was even louder. The blur turned into a glow and it contained elements of movement. The air pushed aside like a clear transmission fluid. The nose of a large object appeared just above the tree tops, not more than sixty yards from the house. It was huge, and although it contained no light, there was enough illumination to see the ghostly outline of a gray U.S. fighter plane. As a career Army Soldier, I knew it was a F-16. It floated into view as large and ornate as a whale would if you were to see it from under the water. It slowly circled, and as it did, another object appeared behind it: An Abrams tank. Its 120mm main gun pointed directly at the house. Whether that was with intent or just coincidence, I didn’t know. That was seventy tons floating thru the air and it moved as if run by remote. Someone or something had taken control of U.S. military equipment, and I knew—because it was inconsistent with all the laws of nature—that it wasn’t being maneuvered by a human or anything on this earth.

Then there was a message. It came to me like a thought. They didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Immediately, figures materialized in the yard. Many of them.

As many as fifty appeared in the tall grass at the edge of the yard and on the driveway. All of them wore white chemist jackets and loose white trousers. They wore white helmets with sunglass windows that wrapped around the front of their heads—where a human’s eyes and ears would be. I heard noises inside the house. Some must have materialized within the house as well. I stepped back from the window and turned just in time to see one moving in the room next. I’m not sure why, but I didn't run. I just backed up into the long curtain that hung between the two rooms. My son disappeared into the shadows of the walk-in closet. There was a buzz in the air around me as the alien came for the room. I tucked myself even deeper into the long curtain but I never took my eyes off of it.

The alien wasn’t conducting a thorough search, only scanning the walk areas, atop the beds, and in chairs. It walked right past me. I could not believe it. Couldn’t it sense heat, smell, or my thoughts, anything. Twice it came by me; nothing. Then it departed to another room.

Again, the beings communicated with me. It said they were collecting humans. The thought said, it didn't pay to run or be violent, and that violence would only reciprocate violence. I believed them. But I also knew they could easily be hidden from so why do either. I hoped the rest of my family was holding tight the same as I. Then everything went quiet.

Suddenly I was back in bed and staring at the ceiling in my room. I looked at the clock and saw it was a quarter after two in the morning. I could still hear the strange hum, but it was getting further away. My thoughts whirled as I reflected on the time that had passed. Hours. Had I just fallen back asleep? Was it all a crazy dream? I remembered it all so clearly: How easy they were to hide from, and their messages.

My eyes opened wide. Had I remained hidden, had I really been invisible to them, or had I reacted exactly as they wanted me to.