The Missing Evening

The Missing Evening He was always punctual, at least for his own agenda. Each evening Jim would run through the forest just for fun. This summer night was no exception. The night had grown dark but he was not worried, for he knew the woods well. He sped across an old beaten path and glided over rotten old fallen trees.

The damp air was wonderful, he thought, because he could run and never get too hot, and if he kept running he’d never get too cold. This forest was made mostly of pine trees, and the needles put a bounce in the young boy’s step and kept him cheerful. At the clearing he stopped, as he always did, and rested upon a large rock and observed the inky-black sky. This was his favorite spot, his secret spot. Stars shined far brighter here then they did in town, and Jim always felt like he could stay forever. He sighed, and pulled his arms behind his head and stretched out his legs.

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For some reason this night he was especially relaxed. Either school letting out last week or just one of those giddy days, he didn’t know. It is a wonderful day to be alive. After looking into the sky for a few minutes he saw a falling star. It shimmered for merely a moment and went out. Then another came, and another, and after a dozen or so he sat up and beamed, awed by the glowing sky.

It seemed that just above him there was a whole meteor shower, purely for his delight. They fell straight down and glowed longer then Jim had ever seen before. Soon the whole clearing was shining a bright white, like on Forth of July. The dozens became hundreds until finally a large radiant circle seemed to be coming straight down above Jim. He let out a sharp little scream of excitement and sprang from the rock, twirling around and around singing to himself as he always did when he was really cheerful. It was another minute before he realized that they weren’t meteors anymore, but actually the colorful bottom of a spaceship.

He stepped back slowly, alert but unafraid. Slowly the craft hovered toward the widest part of the clearing and fell to the earth. Jim stood erect now, excited or scared he didn’t know, but he was going to know which it was before he did anything. He decided it must be excitement. “And anyway, I couldn’t just leave.” He told himself. The intense light faded away, and by moonlight Jim walked around the small spaceship.

The wings of the craft were torn up. Wires leaped forth from the tears and melted plastic had oozed out and hardened, creating an elliptical half baked purple pancake covering the craft’s exterior. The black tinted windows had small cracks throughout. The only orifice was a small door underneath the ship. Jim bent his knees, ducked his head and tugged at the door.

He yanked hard and ended up falling onto the moist earth. The door had opened, and a plume of powder emerged blanketing the boy with grey dust. After rubbing his eyes and brushing his pants off as was his habit, he stood once again, poked his head into the ship and peered about the hull. The air was still filled with more gray dust, and Jim couldn’t make out a thing. He pushed himself up into the ship despite the discomfort of the dust and explored. Everything was smooth: the walls, the floor, the door, everything.

Jim felt the wall until he came to another small door. Pushing it aside, he stepped into this dark room. It was damp and terribly musty. A faint tussling sound moved toward Jim. Still undaunted, the young boy flung his arms in front of himself and crawled blindly toward the queer sound.

“Ah!” Jim clung into his hand and screamed. Something had bitten his arm. He rubbed his hand but it was no use. Jim whimpered, he’s whole left arm now throbbing. He pitched on the hard cold floor until he faintly made out the opening from where he had entered this pitch-dark appalling room. As he put forth his head through the door, something clutched his feet and plucked him back into the ship.

Skidding through room after room, Jim finally found a latter-like object and nabbed unto one of the rungs. He kicked his feet hysterically and broke free momentarily, but something thrashed around his legs once more, pulling him harder and hastily now. Jim grunted. Finally his fingers let go, and he was pulled deeper and deeper into the strange musty ship, his whole left torso tingling, and his legs bleeding tremendously “No, no, oh please!” His eyes were wide, and blood spat from his mouth. The boy became so nauseated he was about to blow chunks when, almost in slow motion, Jim felt as if he was lifted into the air. He felt weightless and benumbed.

He remembered this feeling when he had ridden the Pirate Ship at the carnival. It was a most stupendous experience. Air whooshed by and his ears buzzed with static. Then suddenly it all went away, and everything became silent. He grabbed at his leg and felt for the thing that had grasped him.

Nothing was present any longer, but he could feel his leg gushing with blood. There was no light, and the musty air had cleared up. “Is anyone there?” he asked in a doubtful shaky voice. Clicks and pings stuttered all around the young boy, tensing and terrorizing his every muscle. All the comforts he had cherished to help him during his nightmares were gone. The stars weren’t there to look out for him.

The distant lights of town no long reached him. His mother couldn’t hear him if he screamed. He felt faint. His eyes were about to flicker close when finally there was light. It came from now where, yet everywhere. The room was shaped like the inside of a Skittle.

He sat in the middle of the room in a pool of his own blood. His leg looked terrible, but the tingling from his torso had now traveled to every corner of his body. A strange peace came over him. Just like at the dentist. There wasn’t any mark on the walls, no door, n …