Interspecies Misdemeanours, Pt. 1 (Short Story)

As the three of us witnessed the spaceship descending from the sky, the soccer ball continued its parabolic trajectory and ended up hitting Betty in the head. However, none of us three friends commented on it, because we were mesmerized by the three tiger-orange, glowing lights in a triangle formation, which seemed to be attached to a metallic frame. The spaceship was clearly headed towards the forest near our home, which we had explored countless times.
Both Frank and I took off running in the direction where the spaceship was heading, although there was no way we would catch up to it. Betty sprinted after us and grabbed our shirt tails.
“I don’t like that one bit!” she complained.
Reluctantly, Frank and I stopped and followed Betty back to Frank’s yard, but we kept looking over our shoulders as the three glowing lights passed behind tall treetops. I could tell it was heading to the clearing near the center of the forest. We had gone through a lot of nonsense already, and I could understand Betty’s reluctance. There was that whole thing with the haunted factory last week. Our group of adventurers had never encountered anything as interesting as a spaceship, let alone an alien spaceship, but the last thing we needed was to get involved in some alien drama involving UFOs. Still, none had landed at such close proximity to where we resided.
Anyway, in order to explain properly what we ended up finding, it’s necessary to first introduce myself, Betty and Frank. I’m Sam, and back then I was a fifteen years old kid living in a typical suburban town. My friends were Frank Haimer, who lived a couple of blocks away, and Betty Krommer, whose dad worked at the auto plant. Betty and I were quite interested in space and science, but Frank was a dinosaur guy. The three of us had in common that since we were much younger, we rarely wanted to return home from playing in the street, and we explored around town whenever possible.
Betty crouched to pick up the soccer ball, and she lifted it to her shoulder. She was wearing a pink dress with white polka dots on it, and her hair was tied in pigtails. She turned to face me with a smile. I wanted to tell her that her hair had looked quite nice recently even when untied: it covered the sides of her neck and the top of her ears, giving her a more mature look.
“Forget about aliens. Let’s keep kicking! Although we’ll need a bigger yard if we keep playing with this.”
She kicked the ball down to Frank, and after he caught it, he tossed the ball to me without taking his eyes off the alien spaceship, that was hovering over the clearing in the middle of the forest.
“I’ve got to admit this is pretty exciting,” Frank said.
“Yeah, I agree,” I said.
The alien spaceship slowly lowered itself to the forest floor, and disappeared fully behind the treetops.
“Forget about it,” Betty said as she motioned for me to throw her the ball. “It had to be some kind of secret military aircraft.”
My heart was beating fast. I didn’t want to wake up one day and think to myself, ‘You know, I should have taken the chance to see some aliens’. I could tell that Frank was waiting for me to come to a decision.
“What do you think, Sam?” he asked, both worried and excited. “Do we go or not? The aliens are waiting for us.”
“Fuck no,” Betty said.
“Let’s put it to a vote.”
Betty lost, but she conceded her defeat quickly enough. As we were about to run to the forest, we realized that Frank’s father was staring at us from the big living room window, but he quickly turned around and moved further into the house. Although he may have glanced at us casually, these last few years all of our parents always seemed suspicious about how we occupied our time, and I guess we gave them enough reasons.
“Maybe we should tell my parents first,” Frank said. “I don’t want to deal with the police again.”
I sighed.
“Yeah… And we probably need to get your flashlights.”
“And my camera!” Frank said as he ran to his front door.
Both of Frank’s parents approached us cautiously as we were filling up a backpack in the kitchen.
“What the hell are you kids planning this late already?” Frank’s dad asked gratingly. “Aren’t you tired enough from playing soccer or whatever you were doing?”
“Something more interesting came up,” Frank answered as he made sure a flashlight worked.
I realized that Betty was preparing too many sandwiches. Her butt looked way more appetizing, though.
“What are you doing, Betty?” I asked.
“The aliens are probably hungry, so I’m making them something to eat.”
Frank’s dad snapped his head back.
“What are you talking about? What’s this about aliens?”
“Didn’t you see the spaceship?” I asked the big man. “It had three glowing lights and was flying over the forest. It clearly landed in there.”
The old man’s eyes went white, and he hunched over to grab his son’s shoulders.
“Frankie, UFOs are not a joke. These aliens are dangerous. I already told you what I learned in the war! One night they shot down a bomber as it was heading to Dresden, killing everyone on board, and then it disappeared in a flash of lightning! I also heard that some aliens killed a guy by hitting him over the head repeatedly with something heavy, and then they stole everything the poor guy had, before escaping with no traces.”
“They are just visiting,” Betty said as she smeared a slice of bread with jam. “They haven’t killed anyone. I’ve read about aliens in the paper, and nothing bad ever happened.”
“You’re endangering yourselves! Just think of the consequences if you meet one of those bastards.”
Frank’s dad was getting more and more agitated, and this time it wasn’t because of a football game. He was starting to look like a madman. Frank and I exchanged glances, and I could tell he had also realized we had to get out of there.
“Well, dad, anyway…” Frank said, and he wiped his nose with a handkerchief. “We are leaving.”
Frank’s dad shook his head and grabbed the doorknob, pulling the door shut with a loud click.
“I won’t let you out. This isn’t the time to be playing around.”
“Think about your dad’s heart pressure, honey,” Frank’s mother said weakly.
Frank frowned.
“Dad, this is nothing new. The forest near our house has never been safe. There are monsters and ghosts, and lots of other things to worry about. If you don’t believe me, ask Betty.”
Betty nodded at Frank’s dad. She had finished making all the sandwiches and was now putting them in a box. I attached my usual flashlight to my belt.
“Don’t you want to see the aliens?” I asked Frank’s dad. “They could be the only ones left alive in this whole world! They could help us against the Russians and the Nazis.”
“To be fair, these aliens are probably just some dumb guys from another planet who got lost,” Frank said.
“Frankie, stop acting like a child,” his dad said severely. “This is serious.”
Frank and I looked at each other, and as usual we came up with the same plan. I offered his old man my brightest smile.
“We were just pulling your leg, sir. You’ve been to the forest plenty of times. There’s nothing there but trees and animals. You know that.”
Betty nods.
“Aliens are just stories for kids.”
“We dreamed that whole thing about the UFO,” I said. “Or maybe we were lying. In any case, we are going out for a bit, probably disappear out of sight.”
As I unlatched the door and opened it, Frank’s dad grabbed me by the shirt.
“You little brat!” he yelled.
Frank looked embarrassed, and put a hand on his dad’s forearm.
“Let him go. He didn’t do anything.”
His dad couldn’t face his son’s embarrassment, and hung his head low, but his face remained red and angry. As he stared at the ground, a tear dropped from his eye.
“Sorry, Mr. Haimer,” I said.
“My name is Paul,” Frank’s dad grumbled. “Don’t call me Mr. Haimer.”
“Okay, Paul. But you don’t have to worry about us. Betty and I will be careful, we’ll take care of Frankie. I promise.”
Frank’s dad turned towards the living room, from which came a spirited play-by-play.
“Just make sure you guys don’t stay out too late.”
“Yes sir, we won’t.”
Once we closed the front door behind us and we hurried out of the yard, we sighed in relief.
“Your dad has problems, Frank,” I said in a low voice.
Frank looked away.
“You don’t have to tell me that. And he’ll end up calling the police on us again.”

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