Nathan and Jane stood at the edge of the woods. Even in the bright sunshine they were foreboding to Nathan. He did not share Jane’s almost exuberant curiosity for what secrets this place held. She explained what gray aliens were in what seemed to Nathan to be one long stream-of-consciousness expressed without taking a breath. They trudged deeper into the forest and the trees seemed to close in around them, blocking out the high sunshine. It was colder inside these woods. Darker, menacing. His focus was on his steps. To look forward could mean encountering something terrifying. This was the equivalent of covering his eyes in a scary movie, which he was prone to do. He hated that about himself. EIther Jane was oblivious to this or simply didn’t care because she continued on about Roswell and Barney and Betty Hill and government conspiracies and even a couple of guys fishing in Mississippi.
“How do you not know about all of this stuff?” she asked him. “Don’t you read?”
“Only when I have to for school,” he said. “Where do you find time to read all this stuff anyway?”
Jane didn’t respond. Her silence stopped Nathan in his tracks and he turned back to her. She looked straight ahead, mouth agape in shock. Her eyes were wide with fright. Nathan turned to where she was looking and spotted two short gray figures standing in a celestial glow. He turned back to Jane to tell her to run but stopped.
Susan Carpenter stood behind Jane, smiling.