Those Eyes

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“...So you want to talk about flying saucers? I was afraid of that.

 “This happens every damn time I'm blackmailed into babysitting you insomniacs, while Talkback Larry escapes to Bimini for a badly needed rest. I'm supposed to field call-in questions about astronomy and outer space for two weeks. You know, black holes and comets?  But it seems we always have to spend the first night wrangling over puta UFOs.

 “...Now, don't get excited, sir.... Yeah, I'm just a typical ivory tower scientist, out to repress any trace of unconventional thought. Whatever you say, buddy.

 “Truth is, I've also dreamed of contact with alien life. In fact, I'm involved in research now... That's right, SETI... the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence... And no, it's not at all like chasing UFOs! I don't believe the Earth has ever been visited by anything remotely resembling intelligent...

 “Yes sir. I bet you've got crates full of case histories, and a personal encounter or two? Thought so. I got an earful when some of us tried studying these “phenomena” a few years back. Spent weeks on each case, only to find it was just a weather balloon, or an airplane, or ball lightning...

 “...Oh, yeah?  Well, I've seen ball lightning, fella.  Got a scar on my nose and a pair of melted binoculars to show just how close. So don't tell me it's a myth like your chingaso flying saucers!”


We commence our labours this night in England, near Avebury, braiding strands of yellow wheat in tidy, flattened rings. It is happy work, playing lassos of light upon the sea of grain. These will be fine circles. Humans will see pictures in their morning papers, and wonder.

 Our bright aether-boat hovers, bathed in the approving glow of Mother Moon. The sleek craft wears a lambent gloss to make it slippery to mortal eyes.

 To be seen is desirable. But never too well.

 Fyrfalcon proclaims -- “Keep the edges sharp! Make each ring perfect! Let men of science jabber about natural phenomena. We'll have new believers after this night's work!”

 Once, he might have been called “King.” But we adapt to changing times. “Yes, Captain!” we shout, and hurry to our tasks.

 Our Listener calls from her perch. “We are being discussed on a human radio program! Would all like to hear?”

 We cry cheerful assent. Although we loathe humanity’s technology, it often serves our ends.


 “Let's cover your second question, caller. Are UFO enthusiasts so different from us astronomers, probing with our telescopes for signs of life somewhere?  Both groups long to discover other minds, other viewpoints, something strange and wonderful.

 “We part company, though, over the question of evidence. Science teaches us to expect -- demand -- more than just eerie mysteries. What use is a puzzle that can't be solved?

 “Patience is fine, but I'm not going to stop asking the universe to make sense!”


The boy drives faster than he wants to, taking hairpin turns recklessly to impress the girl next to him.

 He needn't get in such a lather; she is ready. She had already decided when the night was young. Now she laughs, feigning nonchalance as road posts streak by and her heart races.

 The convertible climbs under opal moonlight. Her bare knee brushes his hand, making him muff the gears. He coughs, fighting impulses more ancient than his race, swerving just in time to keep from roaring over the edge.

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