Catch a Falling Star
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by Cheryl L. Daniel
Category: Science Fiction Dream Realm Award Finalist
Description: Did a spaceship crash in the New Mexico desert? Have extraterrestrials visited Earth? Finding the answers to these questions becomes imperative for Robert Clark when cancer strikes his wife, Molly. While on a final vacation, Molly collapses and is admitted in the local hospital near Roswell, where he hears rumors of patients making sudden, mysterious recoveries. As Molly's health deteriorates, Robert is thrown into a frantic search for a wild card that may be her last hope.
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory, 2001 Hard Shell Word Factory
eBookwise Release Date: March 2002
17 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [300 KB]
Reading time: 191-268 min.
"Not your usual Roswell incident novel. A darn good suspense story where all the paranormal events make sense and the ending holds an unexpected twist. Well researched, well written and I'm waiting for the next book in this series."--Lynn Bradley, author of Manic Depression: How to Live with a Manic Depressive,Stand in for Murder, and TIPS on Writing
"This story is for those who enjoy a plot driven tale, not one long on deep characterization. Reminiscent of eighties science fiction movies, such as ET or Cocoon, fans of those movies will be well pleased."--Amanda Killgore, MyShelf.com
"Possibilities beyond our human powers and relationships driven by human and alien care drive this novel's pace, as the reader plunges into a world which appears to be more real than our highest imaginative skill can devise. As the stereotypes disappear, join the adventure for a heart-throbbing, pulse-racing, expanded view of a larger and better world. While the end will bring you back to analyzing the Roswell phenomenon for its pros and cons, you, the reader will not soon forget this incredible story. You may find yourself often thinking, "We are not alone in the universe." ~ Viviane Crystal for The Write Lifestyle
AT DUSK the young scoutmaster joined his group of campers gathered on a rise at the edge of the wash. They watched an ominous bank of inky clouds build over the distant hills. Remote thunder grumbled a warning, and the boys marveled over the flashes of lightning that strobed across the low-slung belly of the storm.
"We're gonna have a rough night if it blows this way," one of the younger kids said.
"Aw, I went through a twister on a campout in Texas," a lanky fourteen-year-old replied. "It couldn't be as bad here in New Mexico."
The scoutmaster shook his head but chose not to respond to the remark. Instead he said, "Go check your tent stakes, in case we catch it. And stow that loose gear," he added as the boys filed back to camp. He stopped with his hands on his hips, warily eyeing the storm. Something about it didn't seem right.
As the troop ate a cold supper of pork and beans straight from the can, the wind picked up. Sand pelted the boys as it blew across the barren flats, and they ran for their shelters. Fat drops of rain spattered small circles in the dust as they ducked under the canvas flaps. A minute later the downpour broke. Sheets of driving rain drummed on the ground and the lightning displays flashed so intensely even the more experienced outdoorsmen in the group winced.
The scoutmaster attempted to move from one tent to another, but was finally forced to settle in with the younger boys. Squatting by the doorway, he called out reassurances to the others through the blast of the storm.
Just then a particularly hard gust of wind slapped the tent. He peeked out between the flaps. "Stay in your tents," he yelled across to the two other shelters. "It'll be all right. This is gonna pass."
Something in the distant sky caught his eye. He stared, perplexed. A dozen bolts of lightning licked across the clouds like neon snakes striking at prey. The long tongues of electricity seemed drawn to a common spot. The scoutmaster watched spellbound. The light show moved across the desert, horizon to horizon.
Suddenly, a combustive burst lit the clouds. The deafening explosion that followed made the boys huddled behind him shriek. He turned to quiet them.
Another gust hit the tent. Abruptly, the clatter of the rain on the canvas walls stopped. Everyone froze in the eerie stillness. The scoutmaster opened the flaps again and peered into the darkness. A low vibration disturbed the air. At first he felt it more than heard it, but in seconds the thrumming grew in volume until the tent trembled as if an earthquake shook it.
The scoutmaster turned his face upward. His mouth fell open. A shape, blacker than the darkened sky, was moving overhead. Its bulk blotted out the clouds and lightning bolts as it advanced over the campsite. The reverberation crescendoed, vibrating the bones of his skull as he stared, his head tilted up.
"What is it?" The youngsters piled against the scoutmaster's back, trying to see out. The boys in the other tents pressed their heads through the openings, their faces whitish blurs against the dark canvas. The scoutmaster paid them no attention. Mesmerized by the object passing over his head, he was too afraid to move.
The object hovered above for a second; then, with a whoosh that could be heard over the thunder, it whisked away from the campsite with a sudden burst of speed. The sky over the tent lightened to normal darkness, and the staccato peppering of raindrops resumed. Through eyelids squinted against the rain, the scoutmaster watched the fiery red and white tail the object emitted. He marveled at its speed.
As he watched, the tail flared. The scoutmaster winced as an explosion rocked the craft. A brilliant crack ran up its side, throwing a shower of sparks into the air. The craft lost altitude as it streaked through the sky, growing smaller in the distance until it dropped over the horizon. Light flashed from the spot where it disappeared. The ground beneath the scoutmaster shook with a rolling tremor.
The whole event lasted only a minute, but it would play in slow motion in the scoutmaster's memory for the next fifty years.
Copyright © 2001 by Cheryl L. Daniel