In a Trance
As Jack crawled after Archie through the low rocky entrance to the cave he wondered what he would find inside. He got a big surprise when he crawled into the cave and stood, up finding the whole area lit in a strange green light. He could see that Archie had crossed the cave to join Sally at the far end with the big white bird perched on a rock looking at him.
Jack crossed the smooth floor to join his friends when he saw the large marked stone with the green light appearing to come from the two eyes on its surface.
However, before he could speak the white bird flew to him landing on his shoulder. Jack screamed with fright as the bird moved its head close to Jack’s face putting its beak against his forehead.
“Get off me!” he started to shout wildly waving his arms to knock the bird off, when suddenly every thing went black and he collapsed onto the cave floor.
Sally and Archie looked on in horror at Jack’s sudden collapse. The white bird had fluttered up above Jack’s prone body as he lay on the cave floor, before flying around him in a circle, then landing beside him. Once again the bird grew bigger and bigger until it had transmuted into Starbird who turned and looked at then with his one large sparkling eye.
The children both screamed with rage at the space pilot together, demanding to know what he had done to their good friend who had risked his life to join them. Starbird told them not to worry, but he had to put Jack into a deep trance, in the same way he had done to them earlier. He had done this so that he could put Jack’s mind to rest regarding who and what the space travellers were.
Starbird also explained to Sally and Archie that when Jack woke up he would not be afraid, nor worry about the strange appearance of the creature standing before him. A short time passed in silence, then they watched as Jack slowly sat up, looking first at Starbird and then Archie and Sally. They could see from the happy expression on his face that he was totally relaxed.
As Jack stood up and crossed over to join his friends, Sally told the other two about the plan that she and Starbird had discussed while Jack had been lowered down the cliff face to join them.
She explained what Starbird had revealed to her, and how it could be the only answer in moving the space probe out of the cave. Starbird had explained that the probe could probably have enough power to lift itself up from the cave floor, but it was unlikely it would be able to move forward unaided. The three children might be able to push the spacecraft towards the cave entrance while hovered above the floor.
Jack said “OK let’s try.” They all crowded around the craft that still looked like a big smooth stone to them.
Starbird told the children to stand back while he took control of the spacecraft probe. He explained that although they would not be able to see him, he would still be able to communicate with them by using his mind power.
Then Starbird slowly turned round to look at the children in turn with his single sparkling eye, thanking them for trying so hard and so bravely to help him. As they watched spell bound, Starbird began to dissolve into a plume of green smoke.
“Wow!” said Jack. “That guy certainly knows how to surprise you. There is never a dull moment when he’s around”
A small opening appeared in the spacecraft and with a swirl; the green smoke disappeared inside the probe, and Starbird had gone.
The children did not speak but stared in amazement at what they had seen. The small door in the spacecraft closed silently and the green light that still was being emitted from the craft slowly dimmed, until the cave became almost dark. There was a few seconds of complete silence, and then they heard a low throbbing sound that quickly got louder and louder. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light from the base of the spacecraft and a grey steam rose up forming a mist that almost obscured the entire end of the cave.
Very, very slowly, the probe began to lift off the floor of the cave until it hovered about six inches in the air, with a bright light and sparks showing from beneath the spacecraft. All together in the minds of the children they heard the soft voice of Starbird telling them not to be afraid but to walk round behind the probe and try and push it towards the cave entrance.
Again without speaking, and almost as if they were in a trance, they slowly walked together into the grey mist that surrounded the spacecraft. It was then that they got another big surprise. The large smooth stone with its strange markings had changed into a pale blue shiny metal like object.
However, an even bigger shock for Archie and Sally was the appearance of their two original stones. They now looked like wonderful diamonds, with a deep blue centre that burned with a bright Inner Light, almost looking alive and dazzling.
As the three children slowly made their way round behind the spacecraft as if in a trance, Sally’s mind suddenly cleared as if a curtain was being pulled back. She went from a warm comfortable feeling to almost blind panic.
She screamed out loud again and again.
Sally looked around the darkened cave with almost a feeling of dread. When she looked at Archie and Jacks faces, they both had contented smiles on there lips, but their eyes had a strange dead look.
Poor Sally was terrified. Images flashed through her brain like pages in a book being flicked through very quickly. London, her sister and Joe’s wedding, train ride. Devon, Archie, the sea and harbour, then suddenly the picture of the strange stone flying back into her hand.
Then she knew. They were not just helping. They were all being controlled by a non-human being!
Sally’s hand flew up to her mouth and another scream started in her throat. Her mind suddenly became blank, and then was filled by the image of Starbird’s single eye that got bigger and bigger, brighter and brighter until it completely filled her mind.
Then Sally joined the others again, with the same half smile on her lips and the same dead look in her eyes.
The three children edged their way around the spacecraft until they were facing towards the cave entrance. The probe was still hovering above the smooth cave floor and the children all raised their arms to push against the metal surface of the probe. However, as their hands were about two inches away from the craft they all stopped still, standing like statues with arms raised, looking like sleepwalkers.
They received the same mind message together from Starbird telling them not to touch the probe surface but to link hands and stare with total concentration at the hovering spacecraft. They were then to imagine the craft moving slowly away from them until it reached the cave entrance.
Slowly but surely the probe began to move with the children pushing it, not with their hands, but with the power of their collective minds! They crossed the cave still in the same trance like state, holding their hands in the manner Starbird had indicated, until the spacecraft stopped in front of the entrance tunnel. It then slowly sank back down until it was resting once again on the cave floor.
The throbbing ceased and the green light appeared again illuminating the cave once more.
All three children staggered back and woke from their trance before collapsing in a heap on the cave floor. They all laid there for several minutes without moving.
Sally was the first to come round. She sat up feeling very tired, almost as if she had run for a long time up a steep hill. Archie and Jack soon revived as well, sitting up but feeling just as exhausted as Sally.
In hushed voices they discussed the way the spacecraft had moved. They scrambled to their feet and backed away feeling very frightened once again by the strange things that were happening to them.
This is horrible” panted Sally.
“I don’t know how you two ever convinced me and Jane to help you,” muttered Jack.
Suddenly the spacecraft disappeared in a cloud of green smoke that came from the probe’s metal sides. Once the smoke cleared, the spacecraft had once more taken on the appearance of the smooth stone they had first seen.
Starbird was standing to one side of the stone; however there were several changes in him that all the children noticed at once.
His scale like skin had lost most of its colour. His tentacles hang limply at his side like long thin withered arms, but the biggest change was in the large eye. Before his eye was sparkling bright, now it was lifeless, almost like dull coal.
“Gosh he looks like he is melting!” gasped Jack.
The spaceman motioned to the children to sit down as he staggered over to lean back against the smooth surface of the stone.
For some time everything was totally still and silent in the cave until the voice of Starbird began to speak slowly and quietly to the sitting children.