The bright full moon bathed the Forest family farm buildings that September night, tinting the white wooden clapboard siding of the farm house faint blue. The house and barn were the only landmarks standing just north of the two fences staking off the perimeter of Minot Air Force base.
It was just after two o’clock and faint breezes carried the warmth of summer through the barely opened window of seven-year-old Christy Forest’s upstairs bedroom, where she sprawled across her bed sleeping deeply.
Under an arm, Christy cradled Raggedy Ann, her closest friend out of the many dolls lined up on the shelf over her bed. Leaning against the wall, a giant stuffed dog sat upright, an oversized tongue flopping out of its mouth. Dancing children filled the scenery of the wallpaper wrapped around the room. On the floor, wooden blocks of the alphabet spilled across the floor, next to the storybook about Jack and Jill, and crayons lay scattered beside big pages on a tablet of newsprint, the top page scrawled over with carefree drawings—diversions of a happy child at play in a world still so very new to her.
The light breezes reached further in, setting to motion the heavenly bodies that hung from a celestial mobile. Six stars dangled on strings, each covered with aluminum foil and in the center of the array, a blue-tinted, half-crescent moon face dangled, adorned with a big-lipped smile that celebrated his place in the dreamy scheme of night time.
On one area of the room’s outside wall, near the window, two spheres of white illumination began to appear. Within those spheres, two separate pinpoints of light formed. Each lit area on the décor of the wallpaper glowed dimly—the prancing wallpaper figures appeared to be lit from behind, softly highlighted by a light source shimmering deep within the wall.
Then, fine-tipped pinpointed ends of two gleaming shafts of white light poked effortlessly through the surface of the wallpaper. The rods of light gradually pushed further through the wall—the diameter of each increased as the procession gravitated gracefully into the room. Their white light began to pulse; bright colors filled each of the figures, casting radiance everywhere. The hues of both changed every few seconds. They transformed from pale yellow to rich violet, then to blue, red and light green―on and on, ever-changing, never repeated, a vivid display of changes in color and brightness.
After finishing this ritual of entry, the spectral intruders penetrated the wall fully and glided freely about the room, then made their way to the foot of Christy’s bed, where they came to a halt mid-air.
One of the two figures stretched its body outward. Its body thinned, became longer. It began to float toward the girl, moving above her. The light level of the shaft intensified. Another wand of light extended itself out from the center of the entity and then tilted upward.
Abruptly, Christy’s body rose from the bed evenly and floated up to rest a few feet off the bed. She remained undisturbed, deep asleep. Long strands of her golden hair floated up along side her body, weightless. Her arms levitated upward as if some force was holding them aloft.
The rod spun in a circle and Christy’s body began to revolve. The rod came to rest and Christy’s spinning stopped. She floated upside down in mid-air.
Raggedy Ann had followed Christy smoothly along on her ascent. The large doll hung slumped freely in space. The rod tapped the unwanted doll on the belly and Raggedy Ann plopped back down to the bed.
The other entity extended a rod outward from inside and the tip turned pale red. The tip of the rod reached a spot over her lower back, centered on her lower spine—and came into contact at that point.
The rods waved round and round. Still asleep, the youngster spun back over and came to rest face up. One of her hands groped the empty space in the air for Raggedy Ann, then reached further to touch the bed. Both were equally elusive and she stirred slightly, let out a whimper of confusion and thrashed around as she edged from dreamland back towards consciousness.
Christy’s eyes peeped open and shut again, yet she smiled sweetly. She extended her arms, waving them about sleepily. Christy thrashed an arm downward toward the bed far below—it was just out of reach. Suddenly awake, her eyes flipped wide open, but all she could think about was that she was flying It was a feeling so simple, flying naturally, so carefree.
Both entities floated closer and began to absorb as much of the essence of the enchantment flowing through Christy into their minds as they could, a thrill so very rare for them to experience.
One of the beings caught her attention. Christy reacted by cocking her head slightly to the side in mild reply.
“Yes, I hear you.” she answered peacefully to a question somehow asked in silence.
The two entities bobbed several feet up higher over the bed, the wand carefully kept in position a foot or so above the amazed girl as both gazed down at Christy. One of the beings angled itself to one side.
“Why would I be afraid?” she responded as bravely as her youth would allow her.
The pair drifted closer still and continued to sense and absorb the jolts of happiness that darted around inside the girl while she experienced pure weightlessness. Each of them savored every moment of her excitement as if it were their own
Wakefulness aroused a certainty within Christy that she controlled the power to lift herself and move about, but other thoughts began to enter her mind about the impossibility of flight and the sheer happiness she had been experiencing started to slip away. Her smile turned downcast—she wanted to know about the power that helped her to lift herself.
“Tell me how I can fly,” Christy demanded curiously.
Her guests put an end to their antics and floated up and down.
“Yes, yes,” she answered excitedly, “I love flying.” She bent herself up at the waist, then folded her upper body down tight, her head nestled at her feet for a few instants, before snapping back upright to give them a satisfied grin. Yet, even as she renewed her exhilaration with being aloft, Christy slowly began a graceful descent toward the bed.
“Wait—just a little longer,” Christy begged them, flailing her arms, her grin dissolving as her flight time shortened, sadness coming across her face. “It’s so much fun. Please,” she pleaded. “Please.”
Her feet touched the bed, but she pushed up and off again, swimming in space once more. But as her weight settled softly onto the surface of her mattress, she knew the greatest of fun was ending and her face wrinkled in dismay.
But not for long. She smiled again, pleased to have visitors who could perform such magic. Christy looked around the room, first at the closed door, then the wall and a touch of suspicion made its way to her face as she posed another question:
“How did you get in?”
One entity pointed toward the wall, yet, at first, it made no sense to Christy. “Through the wall?” Christy asked and shook her head back and forth a few times. “Oh, no, no. You didn’t,” she argued and continued shaking her head and scrunching up her face. She was entirely baffled to think such a thing was possible.
One of the entities nodded positively. He extended a shaft of light down to the floor where a single red crayon lay and floated it upward into position a few feet from the wall. Then, with a sudden sparkle of light, the crayon flew very hard toward the outside wall, but, instead of striking it, the crayon disappeared through the wallpaper, as easily as if it had fallen into a pond of water.
Christy giggled joyfully at the sight. The beings gestured with their arms, their heads tilting back and forth before they settled down again. They lowered themselves onto the mattress, and the conversation carried on in silence, telepathically with the little girl.
“What do you mean by that?” she asked. Christy raised her eyebrows and held them there.
“Where are you from?” she asked. She was concerned. She wanted to be sure she got an answer to something she considered important.
One of the entities pointed over to the celestial mobile, drawing a wand around the stars and moon and soon afterward the figures that were hanging from the display began to twirl gently around.
Suddenly, the Air Force base air raid sirens screamed loudly to life in the near distance.
With a furious bark from the family dog, the beings were startled, the wands disappeared out of their hands and they bolted up, quick as bullets, out through the closed window. They both passed right through it without shattering the glass―leaving two round exit holes behind.
Christy quickly leapt up off the bed, scampering to the windowsill, where she fixed the palms of her hands on the ledge and pleaded in despair. “Come back!” she cried out. The number of alarms sounding were increasing and growing louder.
Again, she called out to them, “Stay with me!” Seeing no sign of where they could have gone, she lowered her voice to summon them again. “Please come back!”
Christy looked out over the front yard, watching the commotion of lights. The sound of two powerful jets taking off on the runways just beyond the family’s wheat field, out there, not far past the front yard, were disturbing and pierced the night with a fearsome howl. But she’d never heard any alarms from the base before. In the confusion, she wondered how odd the scene of what just happened in her room might have appeared to anyone watching.
Another breeze blew through the holes in the window. Christy looked up at the near perfect circles and worried about why her new friends left in such a hurry. Sleepy-eyed, she moved away from the window and shuffled back onto the bed, pulled the blanket over her head to smother the blaring racket and wondered where they went.
Two sonic booms thundered in from the distant fields, shaking the fragile windows.
Slipping fast towards slumber again, deep down on her back. She felt a tingling sensation and then her whole body shuddered as warmth rose back up her spine to her head and she wondered if the visitors were headed back to their home. Sleepiness fell upon her and her thoughts searched the heavens:
Home must be far away for them. If they go back to the Moon or the stars, I hope they remember me.