Lights in the Night

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Chapter 18: A Little Night Music

Cleaned up in fresh jeans, a baby blue dress shirt, boots and his stick pin, Trevor swaggered down the street, towards Crystal’s. Passing the bank, he waved at the tellers closing for the evening. They were the same workers who witnessed his rendition of a torque, inspecting his bum the evening before. Ignorant, Trevor just smiled and waved, the tellers laughed as he passed.

In an uncharacteristic happy mood, he whistled the song from the peyote trip. Trevor reached the door when he noticed a VW minivan parked outside Crystal’s shop. Two couples, all dressed as modern-day hippies, these were much younger than the group from the previous morning, piled in to leave. Thinking, I guess old VW vans are as common as pickup trucks.

He opened the door to find Crystal behind the counter, putting the rugby-ball sized crystal back into its altar, “You ready?”

“I am. My your aura is much brighter today. Did you enjoy your day?”

“I think it was a pretty good day, all things considered.”

Grabbing her coat, “Did you make plans for tonight?”

Trevor had not thought about plans, only that they were meeting, “Um, no I had not thought about that. I guess we could go to dinner at Junior’s.”

Dismissing the idea with a wave of her hand, “You don’t know the area. I know a place you might find interesting; I made plans in case you had other things on your mind,” leading him out of the store, she locked the door behind them.

Strolling to the truck without the trailer, they jumped in.

“No horses tonight?” finding it hard to hide his delight at the prospect of no late-night horseback ride.

“We can stop and pick them up if you wish. Fireball misses you,” teasing him.

“What’s say we give the horses the night off, they deserve it.”

Turning south at the blinking light they headed off into the late afternoon and the adventure that awaited. Crystal turned on the radio to help fill the silence as they drove. A M Talk radio, the only station.

Trevor preferred to concentrate on the land as they sped past. First flat valley, melding into foothills, lastly blending into small mountains. Pulling off the road, onto a narrow dirt track that cut through the sagebrush.

“Are all the interesting things around here, off the tarmac?”

“Seems to me, what you consider interesting, does it not? I would think most interesting things happen off the pavement, except maybe NASCAR,” she tittered at her own joke.

Smiling at her joke, mentally Trevor agreed.

Bouncing up the rutted track they came to rest at the top of a ridge. The sun dropping in the sky, they overlooked the valley and the mountains beyond to the south. She strategically backed the truck up so the bed faced the best view.

“Here we are,” getting out of the truck, she walked to the tailgate and let it down.

Joining her, Trevor looked at the two folding chairs and a cooler tied down in the bed of the truck. Shocked as Crystal jumped from flat-footed into the bed. He struggled to climb into the back of the pickup.

Busy setting up the two folding chairs with the cooler to act as a table between them, “Do you bring all the British boys you meet here?”

“No, you are the first. I thought you might appreciate it here,” plopping down in the chair.

“As best I can tell this is where Sergei camped when he witnessed the lights. Down in that valley somewhere. I don’t think we want to tempt the Government if he is correct, and there is a base in those mountains. We are less than a hundred miles to the border.”

“What border?”

“Mexico.”

Shocked by the proximity, “For Texas to be so damn huge, why is everything so close to Marysfield?”

Scanning around at the barren landscape. “There is not a lot out here, is there? Things could happen and no one would be the wiser.”

“I think life will always find a way. There is more going on out here than might catch your eye,” the sun setting in the west, they scanned to the south.

Crystal opened the ice chest. Pulling out a sealed pitcher of sweet tea, “One of humanities greatest achievements. Sweet tea, sorry I am all out of peyote,” then offered him a glass.

“I don’t think I will be having any of Sergei’s tea, anytime soon. I found the experience... unsettling,” he didn’t elaborate, and Crystal didn’t press.

The two of them sat, time ticking away as the sun finally set and the valley became darker. Sitting, watching and sipping, Crystal queried, “Trevor, why are these lights so important to you, what do you hope to find?”

In the safety, of the fading light, Trevor confessed, “My parents died, when I was thirteen. Since then, I’ve had this craving, to find out what life is all about. Why are we here? Is there a purpose to the grind we call life? In one way or another, I’ve been searching to find some meaning in their death and in my life. Sad thing is, I am beginning to believe there is no real answer. That life has no real point. I do, however, have the strongest feeling that the key and the answer, has something to do with these lights. Do you think I’m as deranged as Sergei?”

Crystal sipped half her glass of sweet tea before answering.

“If Einstein was correct, and matter or energy cannot be destroyed, then the energy that makes us, who we are, cannot be destroyed. Logically, the choice becomes what happens to that energy. Some would say, it dissipates, dies off once the power source has left. Fades as life leaves our bodies. Some would say it goes to the happy hunting grounds. Or that place where it can live out its fondest memories, or its worst nightmares if it was a negative energy. I think the last choice is recycling. The way I see it, the universe is the ultimate recycler. Everything we are, see or use has been reused since time began. I believe we are recycled. The human body is in a state of being. Like ice, it can shift to water, then to vapor. Death is a change of state. You doubt the universe recycles, compare most movies,” trying to lighten the mood.

His eyes adjusting to the darkness, he could make out the Milky Way brightening over time, “Your outlook is much more cheerful than Sergei’s. He thinks the invasion has already started.”

“Sergei,” Crystal observed, “is a product of his environment. He has seen the worse humankind has to offer. He might be right. There might be beings out there ready to destroy another species just to drink their spinal fluid. I prefer to think that any race, advanced enough to make it through time or space to visit this planet, would be more advanced than that. Perhaps the gods from mythology were extradimensional travelers, lost on this planet for a time, or even refugees, seeking a better life.”

“I’ve never believed in aliens visiting earth. Why would they come to this backwater planet in the universe?” Trevor admitted.

“You mean like, you coming to Marysfield? I think aliens would find earth more inviting than you give it credit.” Crystal joked.

Clicking their sweet tea tumblers in a toast. “Touché,” Trevor responded.

“Trevor, I can’t answer your question, I think only you can. I can tell you what I believe. When you reach out and touch another, your atoms become entangled with theirs. It has been proven all matter is attached. Stealing from Einstein, it’s been called Spooky Action or Quantum Entanglement. You put negative energy into the universe, I feel you attract it back to yourself. I like to think of it as quantum karma. If we are all attached, it is better to strengthen those bonds. Finding those perfect moments in life where time stops, that’s what’s important. Those perfect moments come during bonding with someone you love.”

“You didn’t bring me out here to entangle our atoms, did you?”

“If you mean sex, no we are not here for sex.”

“Will we ever have sex?”

“With one another? No; I am sorry, that isn’t possible. I see your path leading somewhere else. So, the answer is no.”

She reached into the cooler, pulling out some wasabi covered soy beans, “Nuts?”

“Don’t mind if I do,” he took a handful.

They monitored the sky, mountains, and valley, waiting for something to happen until midnight. Nothing ever did, so they decided to pack it in. Trevor figured it was a long shot to witness something on this one night of the year, but he still put the night in the win column. Even without the sex, he still connected closer with Crystal than most people in his life. Now he just needed to find the right person to share one of those perfect moments she mentioned. In his head, he hummed that same song.

Far above Trevor and Crystal, something did happen. Many people hate to admit their government spies on them. The closer to the Mexican border, the heavier the surveillance. This surveillance had recently been increased along the border. Government officials evaluated the events that took place in the valley below. Combining the proximity to the base, the experience of the unidentified lights and the perceived attack of the sonic weapon, was the justification for the increased presence. That included armed drone observation.

Five thousand feet above Trevor and Crystal, a Predator drone was on routine patrol. With its high-powered optics, the make, model, and license plate information recorded and beamed to the operator’s location, at Cannon Air Force base in Clovis New Mexico. The Air Force passed that information up the chain of command. That is how Trevor got his own NSA dossier.

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