My life was what is known as “normal.” I lived in the suburbs of a small town in Connecticut, in a house that was better than mediocre, and with a family that I loved. There was my dog, Skip, my mom, Megan, my dad, Chris, and my 10 year old sister, Emily. It was a life I was proud of. It was almost the end of school for the year, which meant only one summer before High School. I hoped summer would come soon because school was getting on my nerves. If it weren’t for my friends in school, I wouldn’t know what to do. It seemed that once I showed them how I could bend my pinky, they were friends with me. It seemed like that with everybody I knew, or even a stranger on the street. Sometimes someone I didn’t even know would give me this odd look, like they knew me. Well, my life first started to change when I found something. Something inside me.
I was taking a shower, one of my daily routines, when I felt something that was behind my ear. I was told that I might feel different ever since the “accident,” as my mom calls what happened to me as a little kid, but somehow this seemed different. I pulled the object off, with some pain, I might add, and it looked like some kind of chip. As soon as I was done with my shower I headed downstairs to where my mom was chopping carrots.
“Mom?” I asked.
“What is it, honey?” she replied back.
“I was in the shower and I found this chip—or whatever it is—behind my ear.” At that last word she froze and turned to look at me. It looked like she had seen a ghost.
“Oh, really?” she said, as though just out of curiosity. “It’s probably nothing. Here, let me take it. It’s probably trash from when you worked on the yard last week. Yeah, that’s it.”
I gave it to her reluctantly, because I wanted to know more about it. I knew it wasn’t trash and that she was lying. She pretended to throw it out, but then slipped it into her pocket.
A couple weeks went by and I was starting to forget the whole thing ever happened. It was probably nothing, just a piece of trash from some yard work. That is all it was to me until one day. I was in my room, pretending that I had just faked out Michael Jordan and drove to the hoop, jamming in his face, while listening to some radio station.
“James?” my mother called. I pretended I didn’t hear. “James Mackenzie?” Oh how I despised that name. I don’t know why but I felt like it wasn’t mine. It was better than Jimmy, though.
“What, mom?” I called back, knowing that I was going to put to another chore. “Can you put the clean sheets in the closet upstairs?” she asked. I knew it was more an order than a question.
“Yeah, I guess,” I said. I sighed. It looked like Michael Jordan would have to wait. I went down into the basement, got the laundry, and came back up to the closet nearest to my mom’s room. I went in, and put the sheets on the shelf. I was about to leave when I slipped and fell on one of Emily’s toys. I reached up and grabbed onto the shelf, and I was pulling myself up, I slipped again. Desperate to stay standing, I grabbed a bottle and when I turned it, the back of the closet opened.
My first though was that it was some kind of room that was here before we bought the house and none of us knew about it. I was about to tell my mom, but deep inside I knew that wasn’t a good idea. So I went inside. The room was fairly small, though it held what looked like large amounts of information. File drawers and computers, big and small, filled the room. I knew this wasn’t here before we bought the house. Curiosity filled me and I went to the file drawers, opened it, and pulled out a file. It read:
“UFO’s” as we call it, are invading our territory, searching for the subject, getting closer and closer every mission. We must take full precautions, and keep the subject convinced of his life here
Strange, who is this subject they are talking about? I pulled out another:
The government is creating, “Area 51,” which will monitor and destroy any Real Earth vessel that comes within a half million miles of our Earth. The subject, “James Mackenzie,” is to be under restriction so that we know he is safe within our hands.
My stomach turned. What is my name doing on there? What the “Real Earth” and “Our Earth?” I was dying to know more. I picked out another file:
We have successfully completed our mission in relation to the subject, whose Real Earthling name is “Arthur Mandoza.” The Real Earthlings know that one of their own have been abducted, yet do not know his location. We have chosen two of our own kind to lead the roles as his parents, and small child to play his sister. From now on the planet we know as Corat will be referred to as “Earth,” for the time period that the subject is alive, or, if another subject is needed, until that subject dies. All measures have been taken so that Our Earth is exactly like Real Earth. The subject will be monitored and tested to lead us to more information about Real Earth, so that we may take it over when we know enough. Our kind will be taught about the subject in “school” as the Real Earthlings call it, and how to react to the subject. Tell the subject his reality is punishable by death.
I had a bad feeling about this, really bad. This profile seemed to be about me, but, that was crazy. Abducted by aliens? Ha, really funny. It seemed all too unreal, but I wanted to know more. The last file I pulled out:
Subject’s name: James MacKanzie.
What? How could this be? I had to sit down and think this over. Oh, man, I was in big trouble. What could I do? I couldn’t live my life knowing that I was the only real human being. I would be bound to tell someone and then I would probably be killed. My whole life was a lie: my dad helping me practice my basketball, my mom caring for me when I was sick. These were all done by aliens?
“Hello? Is anyone there? Arthur, are you there? Hello?” There was a voice coming from some kind of transmitter radio. I picked up the receiver and answered.
“Hello, this is James, I mean Arthur.” Arthur was my name, wasn’t it?”
“Good, God! Arhtur, are you alight?
“Yes, all except for me finding out that I don’t belong here.”
“Oh, so you found out?”
“Yeah,” I said.
Another voice took over.
“Arthur, listen to me carefully. Does anyone else know that you know your true identity?”
“No,” I said.
“Ok, good,” he said. “I have to make this quick. We have been searching for the planet Corat, the planet that you live, for some time now. The flying objects that you know as UFO’s are really us. We have finally found a way to enter your atmosphere without being caught. So here’s what I want you to do: meet me at your school on Thursday at 9:30 pm. You must be there at that time.”
“Alright,” I said.
“Good luck, Arthur, and remember, no matter what anyone tells you, you belong with us.” And he was done.
I left the room and closed it up. It was Thursday. I had one day. I knew what I had to do. I fell asleep dreaming of my escape.
It was Friday at 8am, thirteen and a half more hours until I was going home, to my real home. School got out yesterday, so I had time to plan my escape. I tried to act like everything was normal, like before I knew the truth, but it was hard. I knew I had to leave, but I loved my family, even if they were aliens. Wait, what was I thinking? They betrayed me from the start, watching my every move. I had to leave. My dog Skip came up to me and put his head on my lap.
“Hey, Skip,” I said. I bet even he was in on it.
It was 12:30 pm, 9 hours to freedom. I figured if I said I was going to bed at 9pm it might be obvious I was up to something, since I stay up to about 11pm every non-school night. So my plan was this: I would say I left something at my friend Bob’s house, and walk in the direction of the house, and then, when I was out of sight, I would sprint to school. It all sounded too easy.
It was 9pm. I was ready. I went downstairs to where my mom and dad, or rather, the aliens, were watching TV.
“Dad?” I said.
“Yes, son?” he answered.
“Umm, I left something at Bob’s house and I was wondering if I could go and get it?
“You can get it in the morning,” he said.
I started to sweat. It wasn’t going as planned.
“Well, I have to get it right now,” I said.
“What is it you want to get?” he asked, turning to notice my nervousness.
“My pillow?” I said. It was a lame excuse for going over to a friend’s house at night.
“Alright,” he said.
I was so relieved. I was home free. Then my dad exchanged a glance with my mom.
“Go,” he said.
So I went out the door, trying to walk as fast as I could without attracting any attention. I looked behind me and my dad was sprinting up the stairs. I knew I was in for it now. He knew. I started sprinting in the direction of the school. It wouldn’t be long until someone was after me.
It was 9:25pm and what seemed to be the whole army of the Earth drove right past me. I dove into some bushed because I knew they were looking for one thing: me. After I was sure they were far enough away, I started running to the school again. The distant rumble of trucks that drove past me started to come closer and closer again. They knew where I was! I tried to run faster with what little energy I had left as I saw the school in sight. As I was getting closer to the school, so were the trucks to me. I could see that the ship that was taking me home had landed, and the door had opened, and they people inside were beckoning me to run faster.
I looked behind my shoulder to the world I had lived in for so long. As I reached the ship, the army wasn’t even 30 feet away. A man with a bull horn, the man I knew for so long as my father, told me not to go, as everyone else had a gun pointed in my direction. But I knew they weren’t going to shoot. I got on the ship and never looked back.
“Welcome aboard,” said one man, his voice the same as the last man I had spoken to on the radio. I shook his hand and I noticed something. His middle finger didn’t bend. Neither did anybody else’s. That’s odd.