Chapter 25: Puzzeling the Pieces
Once Bill and Ellie had backed Trevor’s story, Shannon was less inclined to crown Trevor’s with the heaviest object she found at hand. Though she was not convinced Marysfield had been invaded by aliens.
“Listen, so some strange things have happened, I am sure there is a reasonable explanation to everything y’all saw. Billy, are you sure you just didn’t see, I don’t know a balloon. Like Trevor had, to fool the news crew?”
“Mom, please call me Bill. I am not a child anymore,” pulling his phone out again. “Watch what we saw,” holding the phone up for her, “zoom in close. You can see through, the lights. They are not solid objects!”
“I’ve looked at it twenty times, I still don’t believe aliens, are here in Marysfield,” Shannon shook her head.
“Please, Shannon, we’ve no reason to lie. We believed this long before Trevor showed up. We were there, we know what we saw. More importantly, we know what we felt,” Ellie tried to convince her.
“Ellie, what did you feel that made you believe so strongly we are being visited by little green men?”
“You don’t need to be so cynical. I caught you reading that book on UFO’s. I know you at least believe in something,” Trevor jumping to Ellie’s defense.
“Just because I read the books doesn’t mean I think they are my neighbors. Sure, it is a possibility, but why on god’s green earth would aliens come all this way, and land in little Podunk Texas? Why here of all places in the universe?”
“You could say the same thing about me. What drew me here? Half-way around the world? I could’ve chased any number of paranormal events, but I am telling you this one is different.”
“Why did you come here? Surely, you could have run this scam anywhere. Why here, Why now? What really brought you to Texas?”
Trevor had not given his real reason to the small group, he was not sure if he should tell them, they might think he was crazier than before. He needed to convince Shannon, and this last piece of information might help.
Sitting down, he took a deep breath. The sensation he was attempting to explain never made sense to him. Not sure he would be able to find the words to convince others, or describe the feelings experienced about the whole episode.
“I told you, I’ve searched so long for answers, concerning the meaning of my life. When I was thirty-four one of the many places I visited was a Taoist Temple in China,” Clearing his throat.
“Thinking wise men of the East could help me on my journey I sought out everyone I thought had the slightest chance of showing me the light. I happened upon this little temple in Western China, three days’ hike into the mountains, they made me meditate three more days before speaking to the wise man, I asked him the meaning of my life. Do you know what he said? This is loosely translated, but he said, ‘all your needs will be answered when you meet the sunshine.’ What the bloody hell kind of fortune cookie shite is that?”
“That’s it?” Shannon incredulous.
“You’re right,” Trevor continued, “if that was it, I would’ve thought I had lost it as well. A few months after that experience, I grew tired of the constant disappointment, traveling abroad searching for answers. Never finding any, I went home. Barney took me back in and I started helping with the business. This is why I am here. I was in Cardiff, one of those weekends away to get pissed, away from the city. Staggering out of the pub one Saturday night, for a lark I waltzed into a psychic. I’d get a laugh out of them, as they try to cold read me. Paid my money. Sat down and she said one thing to me. ‘Why are you not searching for the sunshine.’ What? I said thinking I misheard her. Damned if she didn’t go and repeat it. ‘Why are you not searching for the sunshine?’ Bloody hell I thought.”
“That’s got to be bullshit,” Shannon muttered trying to hide her goosebumps.
“Wait it gets better. The very next day I was having a bloody beer at the pub, nursing a wicked pissa hangover. Checking out one of the many London rags, reading about Manchester United. I look below the fold, and damned if I don’t notice your picture,” pointing at Bill, “staring back at me.”
Raising, he moves to the front, standing directly in front of the window Ellie painted. Lit from behind by filling station lights.
“Now you tell me if that does not look like the sunlight!” silhouetted by the painting. Striking a pose, he models godlike from a Da’ Vinci painting. Ellie’s graffiti providing the golden-halo-saint-effect perfectly.
“So, you think you’re a saint?” Shannon tried exceedingly hard to remain calm during the overwhelming circumstantial evidence.
“No. I don’t think I am a saint, nor god. I’ve got one more thing to show you,” once more into his office, this time for his laptop, “Remember the Lay Line crap map I spread?”
“This is the real one I started with. I did not have all the information when I doctored that map.”
Zooming into Marysfield, “see where the lines cross, is south of town?”
Shannon nodded again.
“That is where Old Sits was the night the lights first showed up.”
“That could be coincidence. All of this could be a coincidence,” Shannon struggled.
“Look where Cardiff is on this map.” With a flick of his wrist, he moved the map to Cardiff in Wales and there the five Lay Lines intersected again.
“And last but not least, at where I was in China. Best, I can guess I was three days west of Chengdu. Which would put me right about here.”
He traced his finger to his estimated location while meeting the wise-man in China. Again, the intersection of five lines. “I don’t know what is going on here, but I’ve examined all the evidence, and with what was happening at Crystal’s. Something massive is about to happen!”
“It can’t be, there must be some logical...” Shannon’s grip on reality was being tested as Trevor’s was earlier. This whole-time Bill and Ellie had been strangely quiet, taking in all the added information Trevor had to share.
A few minutes after Trevor finished, Ellie spoke up, “Shannon, you asked me why I’m so convinced this is real. The night Billy and I witnessed the lights, I sat in the truck. The lights were... beautiful, it felt like they filled me. A tide of warmth and safe and scared and loved all at the same time. Afterward, I thought that must be what people experienced when god touched them. Full of light. Shannon, I swear I am a virgin, I am now eighteen weeks late,” Shannon moved Ellie to a chair sitting her down and kneeling beside her.
“Are you sure honey, you had any tests done?”
“When and how am I going to find and do a test in this dinky town, with a father that hasn’t left the dark ages? I know I am late. I’ve started gaining weight. What else can I be? I think I am carrying god’s baby.”
His head in his hands, Trevor didn’t need this. Whatever the cause of Ellie’s bun in the oven, Trevor was pretty sure it was not holy in nature. He had seen no star in the evening sky, and he questioned the likelihood of finding three wise men in America, let alone Texas. He was not going to burst Ellie’s bubble; he was sure that would come soon enough. What would it hurt to let her believe what she wanted to believe to get through this crazy happening?
Trevor left Shannon and Ellie discussing woman things, he couldn’t handle all that at the moment. He went to check his web crawler, he had tracking all the news about his little business venture. Now it might be tracking the news of the alien invasion. Shuttering at the thought, “Bloody hell we are live!” peeking out the door they could see three news vans, covering an impromptu stage, set up in the center of the town crossroads, “Someone stole my fecking idea! I was going to stage a concert here.”
Shannon, flicked his ear, scolding him, “Alien invasion, remember?”
That was when the music started. Loud music, not Country or Western. It had been made for someone more of Bill and Ellie’s generation.
“How the hell did they get permission to do that. I saw no permit requests. Sheriff’s going to have a cow!” Shannon was right, there was no permit, and the Sheriff would’ve stopped it, if he had not been out arresting trespassers off Big Jim’s property.
They wanted to free his captives. Most would agree with the animal rights activists, what Jim was doing was heinous. Later many more would find their actions applaudable. Twelve of the town’s visitors had found out about Big Jim’s murder ranch. They started by cutting huge sections of fencing out of his fence line. They then drove on to his property and tried to herd the animals through the holes. Scattered between the town and Jim’s ranch resort was a wide assortment of game animals, making their break for freedom.
Outside the storefront, the battle of the bands had started. Music loud enough, Old Sit’s might be hearing it in his underground lair. The four headed to the back room, trying to distance themselves from the jarring noise emitting from the band’s speakers.
Better by far at the back of the building, the loading dock lacked windows. Trevor thought this night couldn’t get much worse when he heard someone opening the back door to the shop.
Scattering in all directions looking to hide behind whatever they thought might offer any kind of protection, they stared at the door. All holding some tool as a weapon as the door opened. Silhouetted by the security lights in the parking area were two monstrous framed individuals. No one would admit who screamed first, end the day they all screamed to welcome Cuff and Link back to town.