Isabelle and the Alien
Isabelle Price was too human. She had a personality like a split atom. When she opened up, every color of her soul beamed like a prism. She kept it locked away, though. Only a few people she considered special could open her up.
Isabelle lived in a neighborhood in Roswell, New Mexico. Most people kept their ancient animosity buried within them, but she didn't. Occasionally immature, she would hiss playfully at people. Snapping and growling at her friends, she seemed more like an animal than a teenager. People either found her very strange or enchanting. Others might find her intriguing and intelligent. Slightly temperamental, she had a sense of honor about her. Her abundant imagination gave her a world all her own. So powerful was that world to her that she felt the need to serve and respect that world.
A vigorous exterior masked Isabelle's internal darkness. She hid it well; she'd spent a lifetime hiding it. Her costume was a slender, beautiful face, as though sculpted by some agile god with heavenly clay, and punctuated by her radiating smile. Her icy blue eyes peered like a pair of binary stars. Her perfect, tiny nose was a mere protrusion compared with her thin, wide lips. She had a vibrant personality, sheltered by a fragile innocence, and encased by a thick shell of pain and fear.
The stars appeared slowly. They remained inconspicuous, as though shy to the earth. Twinkling, they whispered a silent nothing into the night, their secrets vast and infinite.
Isabelle drove down an empty road just east of Roswell. Her parents had bought her the car a month ago for her seventeenth birthday. Her friend of four years, Brittany Powell, rode beside her. They had a campsite set up near White Sands. Isabelle's parents had left for a week to visit their family in Arizona. She had convinced them to let her stay at Brittany's for that week. However, Brittany's parents thought that she was staying at Isabelle's, oblivious to her parents' absence. They slept in a tent near the famous Roswell Crash. They spent their nights watching movies on a portable DVD player and scaring each other with tales of alien encounters.
Isabelle paused suddenly while laughing over Brittany's comment about a friend from school. Her eyes trailed to her left where she spied something strange in the sky. Among the stars, a bright green light intensified. "What the hell is that?" Isabelle muttered, pulling the car over. Brittany looked as the green dot turned white hot.
Slowly, they stepped out of the car, their eyes fixated on the falling object. It approached with incredible speed. They were too dumbfounded to realize the danger it presented. Hypnotically, they walked across the road.
The object flashed blue. A wave passed through Isabelle and Brittany, a ripple twisting reality like an intangible wall of water. The windows in the car shattered and Isabelle and Brittany were thrown backward. Isabelle struck the car. Brittany's head hit the road, and she fell unconscious.
Moaning in pain, Isabelle lifted her head. Screeching, the object slammed into the ground a few hundred meters ahead of her. The ground shook beneath her. She covered her face as the wind blew dirt at her. An explosion of debris and soil flew into the air, momentarily masking the crashed object. The dirt cleared, and the groaning engines quieted. Finally, Isabelle could see the massive metallic disc embedded in the ground.
Isabelle hesitated. She didn't want to believe her eyes. Gently, she rose, brushing dirt off of her. She found her hands scratched. Her forehead burned, and she discovered the blood from a gash in her temple. Grimacing, she looked back toward the spaceship. Suddenly remembering Brittany, she gasped and ran to her.
Brittany was lying on her back covered in dirt. Isabelle uttered her name repeatedly but didn't get an answer. She made sure she was alive and considered calling for an ambulance, but she didn't know what she could tell them.
Her eyes shot at the thing that had crashed. Brows furrowed, she cautiously walked toward it.
Isabelle knew well of the supposed crash in 1947. Having never believed in the crash, she could scarcely believe what she saw. She'd always found the story of the crash somewhat interesting for what it was, but, save for the annual crash festival, neither she nor the people of Roswell gave much thought to mysterious crashes happening over a half century ago.
The air turned hot and crisp. An unthinkable heat engulfed her. Steam rose from the ground. Bushes and trees caught fire. Isabelle choked on cooked air. Sweat drenched her. She winced, but her curiosity won her over. Frowning, she wiped the sweat from her face with her shirt.
She reached the tremendous crater from which the ship protruded. Carefully, she slid into the barren pit. The crater engulfed her, rising almost fifteen feet above her head.
The ship appeared to be in pristine condition. The glimmering hull had no scratches or breaches, and it seemed to repel the dirt and steam still settling in the air.
Isabelle moved closer. Only ten feet away, she heard a click and then a whoosh. A river of steam began to pour from the craft. Swallowing her, it burned at her eyes, nose, and lungs. She waved her hand around to clear it. A pounding came from inside the craft, rhythmic, like several doors opening one after another. She heard a beep, and a small, rectangular hatch opened in the dome of the saucer.
The darkness from within the vessel seemed to scream. Lights flickered like lightning in the night. Isabelle had gasped, slowly stepping backward.
Slowly, three green, clawed fingers appeared and grasped the rim of the hatch. Isabelle choked on her heart. Overtaken with fear, she stood paralyzed. Her mind raced. She hoped that somehow she might become invisible to whatever lurked within. Its every move sent a chill through her spine.
After a moment, the fingers returned to the darkness. For split seconds, flickering lights revealed a black figure in a small shaft.
Beside the hatch, a new vent suddenly opened. Isabelle drowned in the steam. Her skin flushed red and burned. Her sopping clothes clamped onto her like vices. Coughing, she fell to her knees and covered her face. She melted, sweat dripping from her face like wax from a burning candle. Weak and empty, she crawled out of the path of the steam.
When she opened her eyes, darkness enveloped them. She focused on two small, glowing red dots, and soon realized they were the pupils of the creature's eyes.
Crouched on its knees, the creature raised its enormous hand and grabbed Isabelle by her head. The creature stood and held her up in the air.
Screaming, Isabelle kicked him in the chest, and he dropped her with a growl.
The creature crouched again. It snarled and slashed at her. Isabelle cried out as its claws scratched her left cheek and the marks turned red with blood. The steam and sweat had left her skin wrinkled and fragile.
In a vengeful rage, Isabelle kicked at the creature's face.
Dodging her foot, the creature hissed. Multiple rows of sharp, triangular teeth could be seen in his mouth.
Isabelle's eyes narrowed.
The creature's skin was green and scaly, though it appeared smooth and rubbery on his head. His black, oval eyes bulged like thin, oily lenses. He seemed nearly a foot shorter than Isabelle, with thin, snake-like arms that could almost reach the ground when he stood straight.
Suddenly, the creature turned. He crawled up and out of the crater and fixed his eyes on the street where Brittany began to wake. He shot at her, running on his hands and legs like some ferocious mountain lion.
Curious, Isabelle climbed out of the crater after him.
The panting creature reached the road and lunged at Brittany. His hand engulfed her head. Her muffled screams did not last long.
Isabelle ran toward the road.
The creature saw Isabelle and crawled away from Brittany like some awkward ape.
Isabelle glared at the creature as he stood. She kneeled next to Brittany and repeated her name, but she only lied there, staring emptily up at the sky. Though relieved that Brittany was still breathing, Isabelle's gaze shot fiercely at the creature. "What did you do to her!" she demanded.
The creature's eyes darted from left to right. He hissed. "She will live," he said in a low, grave voice. "No injuries."
Agitated, Isabelle stepped toward him and pointed at her cheek. "Yeah," she shouted, "I wish you could say the same about me!"
He looked away from her toward his ship. "I can repair your lacerations," he said. "Medical supplies in my ship."
Isabelle watched him begin to walk toward his ship and followed.
The creature stopped suddenly and faced her.
"What?" Isabelle said. "I can't follow you?"
He glanced toward his ship and then back at her. "The temperature is high. Plasma containment failed." He looked over her body. "You have already suffered burns."
Isabelle's eyes widened. She touched her face and felt it sting. Cursing, she examined her scarred arms, and then peered at the spacecraft. "I don't care," she said.
The creature hissed and continued without further objection.
"So you're an alien, right?" Isabelle asked.
With a slight growl, the creature answered, "By your definition."
"Why are you here?" she persisted.
Annoyed, the creature blinked. "It is complicated."
The curiosity in Isabelle continued to swell, but she stopped. Her caution turned to awe. The full impact of what was happening suddenly struck her. Her eyes focused intently at him. She realized then that the creature before her really came from another world. It opened an entire universe of questions to her. The provocative creature she followed made her want to know everything.
Isabelle was ecstatic.
"Stay here," he said as they reached the crater.
Gently, Isabelle wiped the sweat dripping from her brow. The intense heat sucked her dry like a leech. "Why can't I go in?" she asked.
The creature began to crawl down the pit. "There is massive internal damage," he said. "You would sustain further injury."
As the creature disappeared into the ship's hatch, Isabelle began to stride along the crater's periphery. She eyed the ship's hull curiously. She reached the back of the ship where the disc loomed over her like an immense awning. Chewing on her lower lip, she decided to investigate further and slid down into the crater.
The sky disappeared beyond the disc above her. But for the various lights along the craft, she wouldn't be able to see at all. Anxious, she pressed her hand against the hull. It burned for a split second before cooling to her touch. Something within pulsed weakly, like the beating heart of a dying beast. She felt along purple and black plates and the silver beams, like chrome, integrated into the hull. Brows furrowed, she ran her fingers over the symbols superimposed in the alloy, written like scripture, and reminding her of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Inspecting them closely, she attempted to commit them to memory.
She moved further toward the center of the hull. She became mesmerized by a large, circular indentation at the center. It appeared dull white like a burnt out light bulb. Isabelle tried to touch it but it repelled her hands like the end of a magnet does the same end of another.
She jumped when she heard the creature beside her hiss. She squeaked in surprise, and he answered it with a growl.
Roughly, he grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out from under the craft.
"Hey!" she yelped, pulling her arm from his tight grip. "Let go of me!"
They stopped a few yards from the craft, and the creature let go of her. He laid a thin, rectangular box he'd been carrying onto the ground, and it opened up like a drawer. An array of instruments was revealed.
Nervous, Isabelle took a step back from him as he picked out a small, cylindrical device.
"This will repair your damage," he said.
Reluctantly, Isabelle allowed him to continue.
"Shut your eyes very tightly," he commanded. He watched her eyes hut, and then twisted an end of the cylinder while pointing the other at Isabelle. A white light showered her face, bright as the sun, and with a blue halo.
Isabelle twitched as the light shone through her eyelids.
"Do not move," he said tersely.
Isabelle obeyed as well as she could. Her skin crawled and numbed. The sensation overwhelmed her. The light made her eyes water. She struggled to hold in her tears and to keep from turning away. She grit her teeth, her eyes burned, and finally the light faded.
"Can I open my eyes now?" Isabelle asked, letting out a breath of relief.
"Yes," he said, adjusting the cylinder. "Hold out your arms and look away."
Gazing toward the craft as the creature treated her arms, Isabelle asked, "Why can't I touch that thing under your ship?"
"It is complicated," he answered simply.
Frowning, Isabelle asked, "Is there anything I can ask that doesn't have a complicated answer?"
When the creature didn't answer, Isabelle decided not to ask about the cylinder.
The light disappeared again.
Isabelle watched the creature place the device back in the case. "Is that it?" she asked.
"Your damage is repaired," stated the creature.
Isabelle examined her skin and found no scratches or burns. Touching her cheek, there was no sign of blood or scars. Dumbfounded, Isabelle snickered. "That's awesome!" she said. "Thanks."
The creature said nothing.
Isabelle scanned his face for emotion but found nothing. He seemed to hold no sense of respect toward her, and he handled her as though she were a wild animal. However, for all of his lack of sensitivity and humanity, that single act of healing her was more than anyone outside of her parents had ever done for her.
Isabelle smiled. "What's your name?" she asked softly.
"Anar," the creature answered. Blinking, he looked at another device he'd pulled from the case. "I must leave immediately." He crawled up and out of the crater, followed by Isabelle. He peered toward the road at Isabelle's car. "I will use your vehicle."
"Whoa!" Isabelle put her hand out in front of him. "Hold it there, pal! You're not going anywhere in that vehicle without me."
The creature blinked, picked up the case, and started toward Isabelle's car.
"What's the rush?" Isabelle asked, following.
"I must avoid capture by your government," he explained. "A group of air-crafts are moving toward us. If they find you here with me, or the craft, they will kill you."
Isabelle gasped. "…Shit," she whispered.
As they reached the road, Isabelle ran over to Brittany. "Help me with Brittany!"
Anar had already opened up the car.
"She is not a priority," he stated simply.
"She's my friend!"
Walking toward them, Anar countered, "That is not the point."
"Like hell that isn't the point!" Isabelle retorted.
"We need to go!"
"I'm not leaving her here!" Isabelle shouted.
The creature blinked, and then conceded to Isabelle's demand. Reluctantly, he helped Brittany's body into the car. They brushed glass from the windows off the seats and got in.
"Where do I go?" Isabelle asked as she started up the car.
"What was your destination?" he asked.
Isabelle considered it. "We've got a camp set up near the desert." She took off down the road.
"We can not stay there for long," he said. "Your government will search that area."
"I'll get everything packed up tonight," she explained. "We can head out in the morning. My parents will be gone for another few days." Sighing, she ran her hand through her long, chestnut hair. "I'm hoping you'll know what to do after that?" She looked at him for an answer, but he sat still and silent. Isabelle sighed again and looked back at the road. "Right now we should probably worry about how we're gonna get into town without some cop stopping us 'cause we have no windows."
Anar leaned toward her and shot his long, narrow tongue out and caught a bug just before it flew into Isabelle's mouth. He chewed and swallowed it.
Disturbed, Isabelle shifted uncomfortably in her seat and shut her mouth tight. She said nothing the rest of the way.