Short Story: That Particular Sunday

Sharing another short story from school. The prompt was that particular Sunday and we could do it in any style.

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Sundays were a ritual for me: my day of solace. I’d wake at the crack of dawn and walk the trails through my neighborhood with no destination in mind. It’s the silence and being alone that kept me going. In my hectic life, these are the few hours I have to myself. Until last Sunday that is.

Long before dawn, I threw on my clothes, kissed my wife on her forehead, and walked outside. The air smelled fresh, like the previous night’s rain washed the Earth clean of its sins. The wind tickled the back of my neck and I wished I’d brought along a jacket. I could always return and grab one but knew I’d get hot before too long.

Luck was on my side this Sunday morning. There were usually a few other walkers out and about, but today I had the trail to myself. The sun wouldn’t make its appearance for another hour or so, but already it painted the edge of the horizon a light orange. I welcomed the sight.

In the dark calm of the early hour, I spotted a soft flashing light in the distance. It was peculiar. The flash hid behind the tall trees crowding the smooth pavement of the path. If I were a wise man, I would’ve turned back right then and there. But I’m not and I pressed on.

The flashing grew brighter and I noticed the light’s rhythmic pulse, mesmerizing, and I fell into a trance. Shaking my head to get my wits about me, I crept closer, making sure I stayed behind the trees. There was a large pasture normally filled with cows, but this morning, the thick grass hugged the edges of a ship. Several thin, humanoid shapes stood out against the flashing light. The ship wasn’t large but filled the emptiness of the pasture. The humanoids busily went about their tasks. A shiver traced the curve of my spine and my mouth dropped open. I was transfixed, unable to move.

For several minutes I stared, watching the creatures pack up, readying themselves to leave. One stopped and looked at me. I wanted to duck behind the trunk of the tree, but couldn’t. Its gaze penetrated my soul and I froze. It stared at me for over a minute before nodding its head and flourishing its hand. It climbed the ramp and disappeared inside.

In a manner of moments, the ship lifted off and disappeared in a blur across the sky. In a haze, I returned home. I haven’t been right since. I’m hearing voices and always feel like someone is following me. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was crazy. But that can’t be. I know what I saw. It’s burned into my memory. Or is it? Each day that passes, the details grow murky. I can’t bring myself to walk the trails on Sunday mornings, and my sanity is slipping further away because of it.

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This article originally appeared on J.G. Gatewood Blog

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