An Alien Capital?

Seriously, a small town in New York claims to be just that.   You can even find more answers with a UFO group the leader lives on Sleepy Hollow Rd.  Nothing on whether he had a house or holds his head in his right hand.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/photographing-the-tiny-upstate-new-york-town-obsessed-with-ufos?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura&utm_campaign=8275762acc-Newsletter_12_31_201512_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_62ba9246c0-8275762acc-60609717&ct=t(Newsletter_12_31_201512_30_2015)&mc_cid=8275762acc&mc_eid=4a70697cd0

Buried

The following was one of my first posts.  It was written as a prompt in which you find a letter and read it, you know to find out whom it belongs too.

In figuring out the seemingly mandatory year end review.  I’ve taken a footprint from the sands of time.  While I really appreciate the 2300 or so people with 8800 views, kill you with numbers isn’t the best way to say thank you.  I look forward to 2016 and the stories and pictures that we get to share.

To you and yours..Happy New Year.
Buried
I have a secretary. It’s a desk, the top lifts up like a car hood. The innards reveal a pyramid of rectangular cubbyholes. This is eighty years old. Grandma’s stuff carefully arranged as if it was yesterday not ten years she has been gone. Cleaning out items opens windows to her as person.

An old letter yellowed with age hides in a corner. The date is May 15, 1923 and the ink has spread into paper. It seem extra bold. Grandma had finished business school. The letter from someone who will dearly miss her. Somewhat charming, even playful, it reads on. Grandpa’s name doesn’t appear in signature.

Sleepy Town Awakes

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Copyright Jean L. Hays

Written as part of a weekly challenge. See https://rochellewisofffields.WordPress.com for details.

It’s a restless night journey.   Max had taken the wrong road.  The winding road spills out into a crossroads. His eyes heavy. The bridge and river seem a mirage.

His stomach calls out for breakfast.   The mind tends to forget food when driving.   A beacon pierces the fog in his mind.  A glowing sign from above.   Coffee shop door cries out for his attention.

He finds a spot across the street.  His mind swims. His directions were lousy.  He was told he would know when he got there.   His target might be through the same door. A human hunter is never an easy job.   They’re most unpredictable once they leave their routine. He secures the small case out of the backseat. 

The door pops open before him.   He steps back to let another customer pass through.   In the background, those long blonde curls fall against the face locked in his mind.   A busy cafe wasn’t the right place for a man of business.

Forty minutes crawl by.   His egg platter special drawn out as long as possible.  Four coffees that he well regret later.

The chance to make his move finally comes. Her last customer leaves.

“Crystal, you are a hard person to find.   This is yours! It’s all you have left.” Max hands her the case. Smiles and leaves.

“I don’t understand.  How do you know me?” She asks to the man fading into the street.

It’s a Space ship

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Photo Credit Sonya of Only 100 Words
This was written as part of a weekly challenge.   Details can be found below. https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/fffaw-week-of-12-29-2015/

“It’s a space ship! Alex, I know it’s a space ship!” Michael points frantically with his right hand.

“Michael, it’s a water tank! Mom tell him it’s a water tank.” Alex dismissing his little brother as Mom drags them across Green Park.

“Alex, when I get bigger. .. I’ll go up there and fly off with out you! I’ll look down from Jupiter at you and laugh.   You’ll be sorry. You’re be here all by yourself!”

“Michael, you are stupid! You get soaked climbing in there and I’ll have to climb up there to get you out.”

“Boys! No-one is stupid! Got it! It’s what ever he wants it to be! We’re late for doctor. So fighting is over.” Mom gives the look every child knows.

In the Desert

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/earworm-2/

“I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight. With a million stars all around.” Ross smiles at Stephanie singing the words slightly out of tune.

“Dream on buddy!” Her words not matching the eye contact that goes with them. “I’m not going out there at night! I’d trust you more than the snakes, scorpions, and coyotes out there.  And I’m not rushing at trusting what else you have in mind.”

“Have you ever seen the sky miles out of town? We can sit in back of pickup. Grab a couple beers.   Leave the radio on to scare of the critters.” His own words not quite as bold, slowly trail off.  Ross never really figured out this closing the deal part.

Stephanie stares back at him. She likes the idea but isn’t giving in that easy.  it’s not her first trip to the desert. “Why on earth am I crawling into that old truck of yours? Hell, I’ll be covered in dust and old dog hairs.   I get myself all made up, and you want me all covered in dirt.”

The words hang in the air.   Two people state back at each other. Each one waiting for the silence to break.   Eyes of each locked on the others face.   A high stakes game being played out in split seconds.

“I. … guess you better. .. wwear something. .. that can look good with a little dirt and dog hair.  I can come get you about 7.” Ross spits out a stuttering response that smooths out quickly.

“What makes you think that’s going to happen?!” Stephanie put her right hand on her hip and leans back slightly.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s what got us married in the first place.  Mom can watch the kids tonight.”  He winks at her.  Five years from their first trip to the desert. He’s still nervous at times around her.

First lines are from “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles. The song can be heard with link below

Teach Your Children Well

Apparently, the little middle market town of Cleveland, Ohio is in the news today.  Last year, the Cleveland Police responded to a call about a black male waving a gun in a City Park.  My news channels local and national seem to have a problem with details.  But the incident caused a great deal of frayed nerves and exposed the divisions of race we foster within the Unites States.  Simple solutions are pushed aside often here.  Both sides are careful to spill as much gasoline over the issue as possible then when the cameras are on dropping the match.  At this point, both sides point at the other and claim it wasn’t them that started the fire.

I’m a white middle aged male raised in a middle class neighborhood by married parents.  I’m also a gun owner.  My point of view may be influenced by attending an inner city college, being a teaching assistant for Physics and Chemistry for inner city middle school and high school kids, working with Santa programs for inner city kids, and working with Senior citizen programs preventing fraud through education.  My view point is my own.  It is meant for dialogue not to be inflammatory.

The idea of brandishing a gun is not socially acceptable.  Be it real, or in this case a pellet gun altered to appear like a real gun.  At some point, this 12 year old who looked older than his age decided to play with a pellet gun in a park where others were present.  Some of these people called the police over a period exceeding 30 minutes about said boy with a gun.  The racial component of the people making the phone call was left to voice determination.  Originally, it was used to say black citizens made the phone calls.  Which brings up the question of why that matters.  White officers showed up and shot said boy with a pellet gun that is identical to many models of real weapons.

There have been many reasons given for the shooting by both sides.  The white police officer shot him in less than two seconds after his partner stopped the cruiser less than twenty feet away from the boy.  The boy is seen on video reaching toward his waist band where the gun was.  

The police explanation is pretty simple.  You reach for a gun.  They tell you to put your hands up and you don’t, well you get shot.  Unfortunately, their training is defend yourself and the other people that could be threatened by a person waving a gun within a City Park. Two seconds is not long to assess a situation.  It’s impossible to determine if the gun is real before they get shot at.  It’s hard to find out the boy is an honor student with a great future where he will make his family proud.  It’s a little more than a rest pulse rate.  But in the two seconds a bunch of lives changed.  In fairness, the officer was clear of the car for less than a second before the shooting occurs.

The family has gone to great lengths to peruse criminal charges against these officers.  The officer shooting the boy was kicked out of another police training program over anger issues. Therefore, should have never been on the police force.  This is a valid concern.  While people can change, under duress that could affect his decision making.  The idea of their son being seen as a thug, common criminal.  His presence alone being a threat, because after all it’s a toy in his possession.  There can be no explanation other than murder.  The family received a settlement from the city, and furthered an effort to bring charges against the officers involved.  In an unique sign of the times, professional protestors (yes, a community group based in New York City paid travel, salary, and legal fees for them) come to our city to stage informational protests.  Their activities designed to be most evident during rush hour while suburbanites left the city after work.

The result was a city with a Federal investigation about use of force became front page news. Why would white policeman shoot a boy with a toy in under a second?! A Black Mayor, a Black Police Chief, and a White Prosecutor were all taken to task over why this could happen.  No one openly questioned the wisdom of letting your child play with a pellet gun in a City Park!  No one asked wouldn’t a child understand the put your hands up, or let me see your hands!  The officer would be trained to announce prior to shooting. The training is designed to meet the threat with comparable force to reduce or eliminate the threat.

The threat of a 5 foot 6 inch 12 year old boy with a gun.  The officer trying to react to someone reaching for a gun rather than lift their arms up.  The same person waving the gun openly for the world to see, was left with an adult decision.  If he was unable to follow the command of an officer pulling out a gun, is society to blame?  Can we accept the officer felt the gun was real?  Can we think if we had a second to save ourselves against a weapon pulled on us, how would you react?  It’s a tragedy.  But most unfortunately it’s a human made tragedy.

Black life matters. But only because all life matters.  Black life matter signs never appears when a young black child is killed in a drug shot out between gangs.  The tragedy here was this was painted in a “color by number” way of racism.  The white police officer was told by dispatcher that a black man with a gun was threatening people in the park.  Although, at least one call correctly identified the gun as a pellet gun. Several reported it as a real gun.  The dispatcher never mentioned the possibility of a pellet gun.

We can either live in a world where no tragedy is free of racism, or other discrimination. Or we can try to understand the world around us.  You wouldn’t have your child play on a freeway.  But playing with a pellet or toy gun unsupervised in a park is pretty close to playing on a freeway. Something bad is bound to happen.  Most of us don’t see guns played with.  We expect a gun to be real.  We expect a policeman to disarm a person with a gun that may threaten us.  When the boy reaches for the gun, I feel for both of them.  Mostly the boy because the family never gave him a chance to fulfill those dreams.  Teach your children guns are not toys!  We can end this if we respect the society in which we live.

Cold Rain

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Grey skies have dropped down to the earth.
It’s tears stream from the heavens.
It’s sorrow steals the warmth in the air.
The heavy heart of the clouds beats slowly.
The Sun, uselessly stands off to the side.
The light and healing power cast aside.
Everything hides leaving wet empty places.
Life stirs on the edges but no-one stays.
The air is heavy in silence, sky weeping still.