A short story
The Man With An Alien Heart
As I write, I’m sat out on my Japanese veranda overlooking the most beautiful garden you ever saw in all your life. A step down onto a tidy little lawn, just a few steps from my very own pond where I keep some Koi carp.
My view is right up close to an amazing arrangement of small to medium-sized trees with a splendid array of colours, green, gold and salmon pink. Rising up behind is a small patch of pale blue sky with a passing fluff of cloud or two.
Standing behind me, watching over me is my lovely oriental wife. She’s twenty years younger than me and doesn’t look a day over fifty. I guess that must be the Japanese diet, that or she’s from another world far from the orbit of the earth.
I met Kyoko quite by chance when I was sixty-one years old. I say we met by chance, but these days I am not so sure. She was born on the day that I hit twenty, way, way back in seventy-four. I think about that sometimes, and with good reason. See, her birthday happened to coincide with an event I will never ever forget.
2104 looking back to 1974.
Whilst Kyoko was busy being born, I was hitch-hiking en-route to a place called Hawkshead in the Lake District of England. I was on my way to camp for the weekend with my brother Arnie and a friend Alan and his younger brother, David. They had left the day before without me as I had to stay behind and work the Saturday morning as a motor mechanic at a local repair shop.
At 10.00 pm I set off and got lucky with catching a lift all the way up the motorway to the exit for Lake Windermere. From there I caught a lift to a place called Newby Bridge at the bottom end of the lake.
All I had to do was walk ten miles north on a little-used twisting country road and with a little luck, I’d be in Hawkshead by the break of dawn, just in time for a sizzling sausage and bacon on toast campfire breakfast. With that delicious thought in mind, I set to.
The walk up that old road was something of a spooky one I can tell you. Bats, mosquitoes and at one point a small group of pairs of eyes staring at me right up ahead. I stopped dead in my tracks right in the middle of the road.
In the all-enveloping darkness, I was trying to make out exactly what those eyes belonged to. I got the impression that who or whatever those intriguingly shaped eyes pertained to, was as curious about me as I was about them. I just stood my ground for about two or three minutes when suddenly the eyes just disappeared. I let another minute or two pass before setting off once again.
A short time after setting off I began to hear noises behind me, rhythmically keeping step with my own regular footsteps. When I stopped, they stopped. When I set forward again, so did they. I was being followed for sure. But by who or what I didn’t know. I looked behind into the darkness and couldn’t see a thing, just the soft glint of cats eyes down the middle of the road reflecting the moonlight. I decided to just walk and try to be calm about it, it could have been nothing more harmful than a stray animal for all I knew.
Within an hour I could see a light up head. It looked like it was beginning to dawn already, which surprised me as it was still only two-thirty in the morning. The light was spread across my entire vista. There was a brilliance about it that was so strangely inviting I felt compelled to keep walking towards it.
Eventually, I got about a hundred yards from a break in the dense foliage up ahead and stopped. I let my bag drop to the road beside me and stood with my transfixed gaze concentrated on the centre of where the light was emanating from. Whatever it was, it certainly was not dawn, I figured that much out. I cannot remember how long I stood like that, maybe five minutes, maybe half an hour. Time just seemed to stop still. After a while, I began to gingerly step forward into the light.
Bright as that light was, it wasn’t as blinding nor hot as I had expected. In fact, it was really quite cool. There was what looked like an early morning mist which reached up to my knees as I inched ever forward to the centre. There the mist gradually dissipated to the extent that I could see the rough ground. Looking down, something suddenly caught my eye.
Surrounded by a little moss and some loose pebbles and stones I saw two bright glistening rocks, about the size of a couple of tennis balls. I got down on my haunches and was absolutely mesmerised by these roughly-hewn round objects giving off a luminosity I found impossible to describe.
Right next to the two rocks I suddenly saw a much smaller rock that hadn’t been there a few seconds ago. Where it came from I do not know. I lifted my head and looked all around, but I saw nothing nor nobody else around. What the hell? I thought to myself. Have I just seen a small rock being born?
I reached down to touch the larger of the three rocks, what I called Poppa Rock, and as I stretched my arm downward I could see on my cheap watch that it was exactly five past three in the morning. As my finger tips gently touched the surface of Poppa Rock I felt a great force of energy totally course through my every sinew. It felt electrifying. And for some reason, I could not pull my hand away.
I felt a strong burning sensation in my chest that went right deep inside and caught my breath. I felt like I was in some sort of hold I could not get out of. I was trapped in a field of extreme energy that seemed to have taken possession of my whole body and mind. Then, as suddenly as it had taken a hold of me, it let me go and I fell back on my ass.
As I sat on that rough patch I looked around and suddenly saw off in the distance, about 100 yards away, a couple of diminutive figures. How long they had been there I didn’t know. The male appeared to be a little taller than the female. I couldn’t make out much detail due to the mist and the distance, but they had what I can only describe as ovoid features and a languid look to their build.
Next to the female was what looked like a newly born lamb stood stock still. No skitting about as you normally expect to see a young lamb, it was so still it could have been a stuffed toy. Huddled together like a scene from the bible, they didn’t make me feel at all threatened.
For about a minute or so the couple just didn’t move a muscle. Then, in unison, they both put their hands out in front of themselves, joined them together as if in prayer and tilted their heads forward a little. It seemed to be some sort of greeting. Then they put their heads back again to their normal position. The male seemed to move his gaze towards the small group of rocks and gave a gentle nod of his head as if to say, it’s ok, take them, they’re yours.
For whatever reason, I quickly grabbed a hold of the smaller, baby-sized rock and stumbled to my feet. I backed away about six feet or so then I turned and ran as fast as I could to get away from there. I quickly grabbed my backpack and headed on up the road, constantly looking behind me to see if anything or anybody was following. There was nothing and nobody there to be seen.
I must have walked about two miles before I let up a little and decided to have a rest on a little drystone wall at the side of the road. My mind was still spinning from what had happened back there. I was trying to make some sense of it all when I heard something behind me.
On the other side of the wall, about twenty feet below was a shady glen. And as I stared down into that soft spot I saw a mature deer with a doe. They were right next to a babbling brook just chewing on something in the short grass. Suddenly the adult deer seemed to detect my presence and looked up at me. She just stared at me for about two or three minutes before dipping her head and getting back to her business of feeding.
I don’t know if it was the amazing natural beauty of the scene below me or what had happened with the brilliant light back down the road, but I suddenly found myself crying. As the tears rolled down my cheeks a thought entered my head, there is a god and this morning I have met him in all his awesome glory. After a break of about half an hour, I collected my thoughts as well as my bag and once again set off for Hawkshead.
In just over an hour, I finally reached my destination and made my way to the local campsite to hook up with my brother and his friends. I never said a word about what had happened earlier, he would only make fun of me anyway.
As I sat down on the ground to get stuck into that much-anticipated sausage and bacon on toast breakfast, I surreptitiously brushed my hand across my pocket to make sure I still had that smaller, baby rock. It was safe for now. Later I would find an even better place for it. In fact, I kept that rock safe and sound for the rest of my life. Even as I write I have that little gem of rock no more than ten feet away from me.
At one time I showed that Little Rock to a geologist friend of mine and he and I went to his lab back at his house. He put the rock under a microscope and asked me where I got it from. I said I just found it in a field on a camping trip. He said he’d never seen anything like it. In fact, he said it was not even from this planet. “ This, young man,” he said, “…..has travelled one hell of a cosmic distance. Do you mind if I take it to our lab at work over at NASA? We’ve got some amazing analytical tools there we could run it past and see just how far it has come. Looks like it’s had an incredible journey through time and space.” I declined his offer fearing I would never see it again and hurriedly made good my escape from his envious eyes. After that, I just cut contact with him.
For many years I kept that Little Rock hidden safely away. Whenever I moved home that was the very first thing I made sure I had safely tucked in my pocket. Wherever I went, the rock went with me. Little did I realise what a future hidden treasure had in store for me.