Night of the Supermoon

What’s a UFO? The acronym stands for Unidentified Flying Object, and is commonly used in reference to suspected alien aircrafts. Over the last century, thousands of people have claimed to have seen UFOs. The most famous UFO sighting happened in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Locals believed they saw an alien spacecraft crash at nearby ranch. But the U.S. Air Force claimed it was simply a weather balloon. Many people STILL don’t believe the Air Force’s story; believing instead that the U.S. government is covering the crash up and hiding aliens!!

Do aliens really visit us? It remains a mystery. But S.P.I.R.I.T. kid, Hans Smit, and his friend, Amir Ali, had their own encounter with a UFO. Here’s their terrifying story.

Before Amir could finish focusing his telescope, he found himself lying in the dirt! Standing directly above him was a large, shadowy creature with dark eyes and saliva pouring between its fangs. As Amir was about to scream for help, a sloppy, wet tongue slapped against his cheek.

“TESLA OFF!!!!” Hans shouted.

Amir stood up and wiped the slobber from his face. “It’s okay,” Amir said, petting Hans’ dog, Tesla, on the head.

“Nice jacket,” Hans said smiling. Amir and Hans were wearing matching navy blue NASA flight jackets, with a patch on the right shoulder with the letters A.C.E. — Astronomy Club of Elmwood. They were the only members.

It was the night of the Supermoon — the largest full moon since 1948! Amir loved staring at the stars, and Hans loved anything to do with science. They had been waiting for this night since they started A.C.E. The boys set up their observation post on the shore of Lake Strano, just outside of town. It was their favorite spot to look at the night sky.

“Funny name for a dog,” grumbled Mr. Dalton, another local stargazer. He sat in his regular red camp chair with his binoculars hanging from his neck, sipping coffee out of a Star Trek mug. “Just like the car.”

Hans hated when people assumed that about Tesla. Hans named his dog after the famous inventor, engineer, physicist, and futurist Nikola Tesla — not the car! Hans usually corrected someone’s assumption, but he didn’t feel it was worth it with Mr. Dalton. The boys didn’t really like him. He was always sitting at the lake. The weirdest thing about Mr. Dalton was that nothing ever seemed to impress him. Not Jupiter on a clear night. Not the defining rings of Saturn. Not even the glowing tail of a comet!

Soon after their telescope and chairs were set up, clouds floated over the lake, blocking the Supermoon. The boys waited. And waited. And waited. But the clouds didn’t clear.

“My brother Faraj is picking us up in ten minutes,” said Amir defeated.

“I wanted to get a good look at the Copernicus crater,” Hans said sadly. “I was really hoping it could give me some perspective on the sinkhole forming in my backyard.”

“I thought it was the start of a black hole?”

“My calculations were off,” Hans declared. “If it was a black hole my house would’ve been swallowed by now…and, the whole town, too, actually.”

They sat staring up at the dark, cloudy night sky. The crickets were singing. The frogs were crooking. And Mr. Dalton was snoring.

“Hungry?” Amir asked. “I’ve got some astronaut ice cream!”

Hans ripped open a package. “Did you know,” Hans started to say, with a block of freeze-dried strawberry ice cream in his mouth. “Astronauts never actually took ice cream into space.”

“Makes sense,” Amir said. “Ice cream provides no nutritional value.”

Suddenly Tesla sat up and stared out over the lake. He tilted his head left and curled his eyebrows the same way he did when a squirrel ventured into the backyard.

“Look!” Amir pointed out over the water at a strange yellow light. It hovered for a moment. Then floated left. Stopped. Then quickly flew right.

“Interesting,” said Hans.

The boys placed their ice cream down on their chairs and stood to observe the UFO. Amir tried to zero in on it with his telescope, but the object moved too quickly. Before they knew it, the glowing object was floating directly over them.

“What is it?” Amir asked, shielding his eyes from the bright light.

Hans shrugged. “I have my theories. But I can’t say for sure.”

For a moment Hans and Amir both wondered if they were about to be abducted. Amir was scared. Hans was oddly excited.

RUFFFFFFFFFFF!!!! Tesla’s howling bark broke their concentration! Mr. Dalton snapped awake, his eyes bulged out of his head, and his Star Trek coffee mug went soaring into the air, nearly striking the UFO.

The boys turned and spotted a dark creature running off into the woods carrying their ice cream packets! The creature was short and stumpy with strange pointy ears. It scampered on two legs, holding the ice cream packages in its small hands.

“What is that?!” Amir shouted. At the same moment, their eyes went back to the UFO, which was now flying erratically from side to side. It then sped off into the woods, breaking branches as it came crashing down!

“Tesla no!” Hans shouted, watching his dog chase after the creature in the direction of the crashed UFO.

Hans and Amir chased after Tesla. When they entered the dark forest, a sense of dread came over Amir. Hans, on the other hand, was completely focused.

“This way,” Hans said, turning on two small lights attached to the frames of his eyeglasses. Hans had a gadget for every situation.

Amir followed close behind. The woods were terrifyingly quiet at night, Amir thought. The tree limbs looked like monstrous gnarled hands ready to grab and pull him into the darkness.

“Look,” Hans whispered, pointing to a flashing red light on the ground.

The boys tiptoed toward it. The small UFO was mangled and covered in sticks and leaves. Hans bent down to get a better look.

“Be careful,” Amir warned. But before Hans could investigate further, they heard a frightening growl just a few feet away.

“Tesla!” Hans said. The boys ran toward the sound and found Tesla, with his lips pulled back revealing his large canine teeth, pinning a frightened boy against a tree.

“Get it away!” The boy shouted.

“Faraj?” Amir said. Amir’s brother Faraj looked over at them. He held a small remote control in his right hand. “What are you doing?”

“It’s okay Tesla,” Hans said. Tesla ran to Faraj with his tail waging and spun around so he could pet his butt.

“I was just flying my drone,” Faraj answered. “Thought it’d be fun to mess with you guys.”

Hans smiled. “I knew it,” he said.

“So then what took our ice cream?” Amir asked. At that moment they heard a rustling sound coming from a nearby bush. All three boys, and the curious Tesla, carefully approached it. Faraj stepped ahead and pulled back some branches.

“AHH!” Faraj shouted.

“EEEEEKKKK!” Screeched a raccoon, dropping the foil pouches and hurrying up into a tree.

The boys let out a deep breath and laughed. Faraj then went and picked up his drone. “It’s ruined,” he said disappointed.

Hans inspected it and didn’t agree. “Mind if I take this?”

Faraj looked strangely at the excited glare on Hans’ face. “Yea…sure,” he responded.

They all went back and jumped into Faraj’s car. Tesla sat between Amir and Hans in the back seat.

“So…how did the Supermoon look?” Faraj asked.

The boys glanced at each other disappointed. Then Amir’s face lit up. “My telescope!”

Hans and Amir walked back toward their observation spot. As they got closer, Hans grabbed Amir by his jacket and pulled him behind a tree. “Hey! What are you doing?”

“Shhh!” Hans said, putting his finger to his lips. He then pointed toward the edge of the lake. Mr. Dalton was standing next to a small, two-legged creature, with blue scaly skin and pointy antennas on its head. It had a big, wide mouth and large gaping eyes.

“I guess they’re not coming for us tonight,” Mr. Dalton said, looking out over the water. The small creature made some strange clicking noises. “Yea…I know. Those raccoons are real thieves.” The creature made some more clicking noises and pointed toward the lake. “You’re right. I think we should just get some sleep.”

Hans and Amir watched in horror as Mr. Dalton and the small alien creature walked into the water. The creature disappeared under the surface first, followed by the much taller Mr. Dalton. Neither ever came back up.

Thanks for stopping by! Come back next week for an all new story.

All stories on Knocks & Taps are written by Dan Cappello, based on the adventures of his S.P.I.R.I.T. kids characters. Copyright © 2017 Dan Cappello All right reserved.

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