The Welcome - By Dennis Langston

It caught the corner of my eye as I walked by my office window, bright enough to draw attention to on a dark, cool clear night with the usual parade of stars in our New Mexico sky. It’s fall, and winter isn’t far behind. I retraced my steps back to the window to get a better look, ever the vigilant citizen because area 51 is a short 900 miles away.  It’s been over 50 years, but as they say “ya never know”. There was something about this light that was captivating me, perhaps because it was obvious it was not an airplane due to its lack of movement. I crossed off my second thought, of a star or planet. Way too close. I was trying to be as objective as I could at one o’clock in the morning in Roswell, New Mexico, and Area 51 a short flying saucer flight away. 

When the light began to slowly move what appeared to be in a decent,  I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.  I had been on my way to bed, but now I was wide awake with cautionary thoughts going through my mind.  No question there is always skepticism when someone confesses they experienced something out of the ordinary, making them sound like they’ve gone off the deep end.  I felt I was wading into that end of the pool the more my thoughts leaned towards an out of this world explanation. 

If I just go to bed now I could stop this, this, no I’m not going to say it trying to encourage my sensible side to settle me down.  But what if it is….?  Come on sensible side kick in, tell me this can all be explained with a simple explanation.  Well I gave it a little time with negative results, no simple explanation came so I began thinking of the things I needed to do in the morning.  I was about to turn away from the window when the light began  to bounce, stabilize, then bounce some more.  A helicopter, it could just be a helicopter that is having problems staying up.  I should have heard an engine because sound travels a long way at night.  But nothing, as the bouncing descent continued until it looked like it finally hit the ground.  I wasn’t sure if I imagined or actually heard a muffled thud just after the brief sound of a very large fan coming from the light’s direction. 

The light seem to be growing dimmer to the point I could barely see it, making it hard to judge how far away it was from my house.  There wasn’t a conscious decision to go.  It was just a natural response to go help if I could.  I was sure help was probably on the way, but one shouldn’t assume anything when it comes to accidents, and people needing help.  I would need to take my four-wheel drive vehicle because the terrain is a little iffy in some places out here, and I may have to transport any injured so better be prepared.  I grabbed a jacket and some blankets for the cool night of New Mexico.  Keys in hand, a thought crossed my mind, so I grabbed it too.  I’d rather not need it, than not have it and wish I did.  I checked the 15-shot magazine and holstered it, ready if needed.  Meeting me at the front door was Tucker my eight-year-old golden lab who wasn’t taking no about going with, so out we went into the cool night air.  My shivers stopped when we got going, tracking the dim light that was about a half mile away.  

When my head lights first illuminated what looked like  some sort of aircraft, definitely not a helicopter or anything that I was familiar with.  We were about 150 yards away when I slowed to a stop thinking that I should turn around and call the authorities when Tucker squeezed out of the half rolled down passenger window and making a bee line towards the craft.  I turned my head lights off, jumped out of my jeep and yelled to Tucker to come back.  Tucker wasn’t listening but the light from the craft turned off perhaps in response to our presence.  I started jogging towards the craft when someone or something appeared to be standing on the craft than jump down to the ground as Tucker reached the craft.  My heart was in my throat, feeling no good was going to come of this. Why hadn’t I just gone to bed?  

I cautiously slowed to see if I could make out what the darkness was not letting me see.  I unholstered my model 19 Glock and crouched low and approached the craft not knowing what to expect.  There they were Tucker licking the face of the stranger, while he laughed and petted Tucker.  I was about to introduce myself when through the darkness something didn’t seem right about this person.  Stepping closer I could see the left side of his face was black, and the other side was white.  I immediately thought of the mime Marcelle Marceau.  The stranger looked up at me and laughed.  Did he read my mind? 

  

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