I’m Jimmy Dickerson, and my buddies and me are UFO hunters. We all live on Maple Street. We’ve investigated twelve cases of strange phenomena, and all of them are as yet unsolved.
Damien Scorelli is the adventurer. He hikes and bikes and hangs out at the doughnut shop, looking and listening for any sign of something. Dad calls Damien the Dirk Pitt of the group, whoever that is.
Harry Crawford is the brainiac. Ask him something about science and be prepared to hear him rattle on for a while. We call him Beadle, but I’m not sure why.
Al Kaiser is some kind of genius mechanic. He took apart his dad’s Acura and put it back together. His dad didn’t even seem to mind. He’d fix a broken balloon if you asked him. He’d find a way.
And me? I don’t have a lot of brains or adventure, but I’m sort of in charge. I just kind of cheer the team on and bask in the glory. Mom always said I’d be a good CEO someday.
I was helping Al put together a Jet Ski in his garage when Damien rode his bike in yelling.
“Bright lights are zipping all over the place above the woods by the the college,” he said.
“This could be it,” I said.
“Let’s go kick some alien butt,” said Al. He always said that, but he didn’t really want to hurt them. He was just excited that way.
We dropped our tools and jumped on our bikes. We stopped at Harry’s and pulled him away from a science fiction movie about spidery aliens.
“They could be attacking the university to steal all the human knowledge there,” said Harry. He grabbed his bike and followed us.
“Yeah,” said Al. “And they could be taking over their bodies right now.”
We pedaled at top speed. The sky was darkening, and as we approached we could see red and white lights zipping around above the trees, not like any kind of human ship at all. Damien took video of it on his iPhone as we approached the edge of the forest.
We ditched the bikes and entered the woods. We were all pretty good at running through them without getting hurt. A lot of our investigations took place in the woods.
We lost site of the lights, but kept going in their direction until one of the spookiest things I’ve ever seen appeared off to our left. We ducked behind a fallen log. A line of guys, they looked college age, walked through the woods in a line, all with the exact same jackets that had the exact same alien lettering on them. Harry thought they were Greek, but we couldn’t know for sure.
“Marked by the beast,” I said.
“Look at them,” said Damien. “They’ve got to be possessed. Same jackets, same haircuts, same empty souls.”
“Like zombies,” said Al.
“Do we follow them or keep going?” asked Harry.
“Good question,” I said. “Harry and Damien, you two go on and see what you find. Al and I will follow them.”
We parted ways, and the zombies led us to the college dorms, sick yellow lights flooding the entrance, and they went in. There were several postings on the door so we looked them over. On the activities sheet there was an entry for the drone flying club scheduled that night, but it hadn’t been checked off.
Damien and Harry joined us.
“We didn’t find anything,” said Damien, “but the eeriness was palpable.”
My mom always uses that word when something feels real even if you can’t see it.
We never saw any drones, and they certainly wouldn’t explain the undeniably palpable eeriness of the night, so under ‘X-File 13’ in my notebook I marked it “unsolved.”