The Bricolage Project Part 5: Peace Offering

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It was two days before Ellie could bring herself to talk to her little brother, Rory. Bad enough she missed her eighteenth birthday party, worse yet she'd had to undergo a series of invasive physical examinations only to be charged with perpetuating a hoax by the police.

Gram was furious when she picked them up and grounded Rory for a week.

She tried to use her smartphone's photos to prove she'd been at the crash site only to find it missing from her purse. The police didn't dispatch a unit to investigate the crash site though there were reports of a "random lightning strike" on the local news the next day.

"The government must've cleaned it up," Rory said. "Our only proof is the pictures you took."

"I lost track of my smartphone in all the excitement," Ellie said.

"I took it to retrieve the pictures and post them online," Rory said.

"You've got my smartphone! Give it back!" Ellie sputtered.

Gram gave Rory a hard look. He sighed and handed it over to Ellie who checked to see it was intact. All the pictures were blurry, except the one of that tasty astronaut in the cockpit. Gram looked over her shoulder, "That a new boyfriend? I didn't know geeks could be so cute."

"That's the pilot of the spaceship we found," Rory said.

"It looks more like Ellie took a shot while you were out watching a Hollywood sci-fi movie. He's too pretty to be real," Gram shrugged.

Rory gritted his teeth at this, "My instrument says the ship is still out by the highway. I can prove the there was a crash there."

"Write a story down if you want to make something up, Rory. Don't involve your sister, the hospital, and police in your fantasies," Gram said.

Rory became so mad he left the table without bothering to wait for dessert, which almost never happened.

***

Anger couldn't affect Rory's appetite for long. Ellie heard the tell–tale sounds of him rummaging through the fridge for a midnight snack. She turned in bed and went back to sleep.

That morning she got up to make breakfast. There was a message on the fridge's whiteboard in marker: Gone to the crash site on my scooter. I've packed my backpack with M&M's and OJ for the astronaut, and some stuff for myself.

"Rory," Ellie muttered.

Gram walked to the fridge and gasped, "He's run away!"

"He's gone to that crash site. I know where it is," Ellie said.

"Rory!" Gram muttered

***

Ellie remembered the way there, but there was no Rory or ship in sight when they drove there.

"Where's Rory! He should be here!" Gram said.

They stepped out from the car, and called out for the boy," RORY. RORY."

There was only the sound of their echoes in response.

When they walked back to their car the astronaut was there. He gripped Rory by the shoulder, shoving him at them, "Take him."

The Jordans were too distracted inspecting Rory to notice the astronaut vanishing from sight.

"I thought you were smart enough not to take off with strangers," Gram said.

"He's not a stranger. He's an alien. A third–class spacefarer," Rory began.

"What's the point of you being so smart with mechanical parts and electronics if you believe anything some strange man tells you?" Gram sniffed.

Rory got grounded for a month this time. Ellie hoped that would be the last she heard about the crash site and "spacefarers" because she now suspected it was nothing but a ploy to lure Rory.

***

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