The Summer Children
The next day, Alexis was washing dishes with Mom after breakfast. She hadn't worked up the nerve to tell her about her little night walk outside last night, or the flash of light, or the sonic boom, or the aliens (or at least, what she thought were aliens). Finally, as Mom was wiping the fog off her glasses, Alexis blew it all out. "Aliens, Mom! Last night, outside, there were aliens!" Mom looked up from her glasses. "What?" she said, confused.
Once she was done explaining the whole thing, being outside, eating the ravioli, seeing the flash, hearing the boom, getting freaked out by the alien kids, Mom just stared at her, probably more confused than ever. Finally she decided. "A dream, honey--it was all just a dream. You probably ate that ravioli and went to bed, and you were so tired you didn't even realize it. That food before bed probably gave you a bad dream. Don't worry, sweetie, there's no such thing as aliens," Mom reassured her daughter. But Alexis wasn't so sure. The boom, the flash, the kids--it had all been as real as her toes. But she went along with it. "Oh, yeah, I was probably just dreaming," said Alexis.
"That's right, honey. Dry this one for me, will you?" Mom handed Alexis a plate. But that wasn't on Alexis's mind. All she was thinking about was that "dream" last night. She wasn't concentrating at all and dropped a plate. She grabbed for it as it fell, but she couldn't reach it. She anticipaited the crash. She waited.
But it didn't come.
Alexis opened her eyes. There, hovering a mere inch or two above the floor, was the plate she had dropped, perfectly intact, not a crack in sight. Alexis couldn't believe it, but Mom hadn't noticed, and her stack of dishes to dry was getting bigger. Alexis put the plate gingerly away in the cupboard, and then turned to the rest of her dishes. She dropped none of them, and none of them appeared to float or fly away. But Alexis was still creeped out beyond imagine. Once she was done with the dishes, she decided to go outside.
Thanks to past summers, Alexis was an avid explorer, and her night vision was great. But it wasn't great enough to lead her to entirely new places every day. The woods in her backyard were full of little crawl spaces and secret hideouts, made out of some fallen tree or a past avalanche, from the times when the slopes of her backyard was actually a mountain, back when the dinosaurs lived. Alexis could see everything in the light of day, explore ever tunnel, crawl under every fallen tree, shimmy through every hollowed out log, see every frog and bug out on the swamps and puddles. Alexis loved it.
But there was one tunnel. One tunnel just like all the others, a little bigger in size, but perfectly the same. It was covered by a rock formation that Alexis thought was hardly "natural", because it looked like the maker had selected very specific shapes of rock and limestone to make the cave. It was like the opening to a subway tunnel--like a piece of macaroni cut in half sticking out of the ground. The doorway looked like something out of Stonehenge. Alexis couldn't wait to explore it.