Enveloped in darkness, it felt as if the whole world was swimming, my consciousness engulfed in the tumult of a churning flurry of movement. I felt my arms reach out to my side and brace themselves on the floor. With my eyes still closed tightly, I took a few deep breaths to regain my equilibrium. Nausea overtook me like a wave, but I kept breathing, squelching the desire to vomit as I became one with the floor.
How did I get here? Amidst the sea of thoughts that overtook me, I tried to retrace my steps. From the maelstrom I remembered the orb. I recalled the vision of my life, the vibrant ups and the spiraling down. I remembered the pain I had caused others and the shame that overtook me. I felt myself swooning again and shook my head to release the vision of the orb. I remembered going to the office in search of a public relations firm. I recalled the press release about my book on marketing aliens. I once again saw the swirling lights flash across the sky.
I opened my eyes with a few blinks as reality rolled to a stop like a slot machine register. I saw two faces look down upon me. They were unlike any faces I had ever seen before. They were… well, alien. Large, soft black eyes blinked at me from cocked heads shaped like eggplants. Their skin was the color of ivory and just as smooth, their eyes the only protrusions with two small holes for nostrils beneath them and small slits for mouths upturned as if they were… smiling?
I didn’t know what to do? I didn’t know what to say? Though I recalled what brought me here and how the events took place, I didn’t understand what happened.
As if reading my thoughts, one of them spoke. “You fell,” he said. He had a voice like melted pudding, smooth and silky with a slight bubbly rasp to it.
“Yes,” the other one said with a slightly higher lilt to his voice. “It happens quite a lot with your kind.”
“What happens a lot?”
“You fall. Would you like some help up?”
I looked back and forth between the two of them. They looked almost identical except for a slight difference in size and color. “Who are you?”
They looked at one another, and then back to me. The lighter, darker one said, “You may call me Yewell.” He nodded to the other,” And this is Iman.” Iman instantly grew a bit in size and deeper hue.
“Are you… aliens?” I asked.
“Not where we come from.”
“And where is that exactly?”
“Somewhere else,” Yewell said.
“It’s a lot closer than you think,” added Iman. “You can call us Estralarians if you need to categorize us.”
“Estralarians? What are you doing here?”
“Trying to help you up,” said Yewell. “Are you ready?”
They each extended a set of long fingers and smiled a toothless grin. I grabbed their hands, and they effortlessly lifted me to my feet.
They were both about six inches taller than me, with long slender limbs protruding from torsos shaped like whoopee cushions. Their clothing emitted a metallic sheen and seemed to change color with their movements.
I scanned the barren room quickly and noticed that the orb that had drawn me in was no longer there.
“Where did it go?”
“The life window? We put that away. I think it’s served its purpose, don’t you?”
“Its purpose? What exactly was its purpose? To freak me out? To give me brain damage?”
“No. Only to bring you to now,” Iman said.
“What happens now?”
“Now you begin.”
“Now you begin your journey.”
“The journey you’ve been on since the beginning.”
“The beginning of what?”
I looked at the two of them. “I’m lost.”
“We know. We’re trying to go slow.”
This is an excerpt from How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. Order your copy today!
Steve McAllister is the author of The Rucksack Letters and How to Survive an Estralarian Mind Meld. He posts regularly at InkenSoul.com, and sometimes posts at Anything Arts, Sarasota Music Scene, and Elephant Journal, and is currently the Director of Operational Development for the Common Wealth Time Bank in Sarasota, Florida. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.