In the alien energy beam, it’s warm blue.

The warm blue is gone. Your head is spinning. You look around.

You don’t know where you are. You are alone. Near you is a tree with a message scrawled into the trunk.

A message is carved into the tree:


You’ve carved your initials into tree trunks enough times in your life to recognize it immediately as your own handwriting.

But what does it mean?

So it’s settled. You have to tell someone about being abducted by the aliens who left you here alone.

You are in the woods at night.

It is nighttime in the woods.

You stick your arm up in the universal sign for “taxi.”

A cab immediately bursts from the forest. It screeches to a halt.

“Where to?”

You look to the sky, but nothing looks back. Not even aliens.

“Aliens! And here I thought I’d heard it all,” says the cabbie in disbelief. “Aliens! I’ve never even heard of such a thing. Aliens! Now what kind of a thing is that? Aliens!”

“Whatever you say, bud. Aliens! I swear,” says the cabbie. “Now, where was it you wanted to go?”

“You got it, pal!” says the cabbie, and he shoots off into the gloom.

“Sister’s apartment. Got it,” says the cabbie. He floors it, and pretty soon you’re out of the forest and surrounded by the lights of the city where your sister lives.

“So, aliens, huh?”

You begin describing small aliens…

“They were small.”

“Ah man,” says the cabbie. “Just some little small aliens, huh?”

He seems disappointed.

You begin describing the big aliens…

“They were big.”

“Wow! Big aliens,” says the cabbie. “Now we’re talking. I never heard of anything like that. What were the big aliens like? Did they have legs?”

You don’t tell the cabbie about aliens.

“That’s okay,” he says as he drives on. “Aliens! Gee. Makes sense, I guess. I never heard of nothing like aliens.”

“Ah, that’s too bad,” says the cabbie. “Like I said, I never heard of anything like aliens before, but I was getting ready to believe you, especially if they had big, nice legs. Ones like you just described, though? Thanks but no thanks.”

The cabbie nods excitedly.

The cabbie is rapt with awe.

The cabbie signals you to keep going.

“Ah, the legs! I can picture it perfectly,” says the cabbie. “Aliens! I never heard of nothing like that before, but I can practically see those legs kicking, so nice and so big!”

The cab begins to swerve as the cabbie becomes more excited about how big the aliens’ legs were and is no longer paying any attention to the road.

“Yes, those big alien legs!” the cabbie shrieks as he completely loses control of the vehicle, which goes careering up a nearby volcano. His last words as the taxi plummets over the verge and into molten lava are, “I believe you!”

Someone believed that you were abducted by aliens, but at what cost? At the cost of dying in a volcano.

“Here we are! Sister’s apartment!” says the cabbie.

“This one’s on the house!” says the cabbie.

You’re outside your sister’s apartment complex, which is where your sister makes $1,111 per day working from home.

You super trust and super admire your sister. She is a master of logic and facts, and you know she’ll have a high bar for believing your story. You’ll need to remember a lot of good detail if you hope to convince her, and you’ll need to hurry, since your memory is already feeling a little fuzzy…

Your sister answers the door immediately. She invites you to sit down on the couch and hands you a microphone with the local news channel’s logo cube on it and asks you to tell her what happened.

“Aliens, eh?” your sister asks. “Abducted by?”

“Go ahead then,” says your sister. “Tell me a story about how aliens stole you from the atmosphere.”

You begin your story…

“The alien light dissipated. I was alone in the forest at night.

I decided to hail a cab, so I stuck out my arm in the universal sign for ‘taxi.’ Immediately, a cab burst from the forest.

‘Where you headed?’ the cab driver asked.”

“It was then I remember the cabbie got out of his cab.”

“So,” says your sister. “If I have your story right, you hailed a cab in the forest, and at some point the driver got out of the vehicle, and that’s all you remember.”

“The next thing I knew, he was back in the cab.

‘Where you headed?’ he asked me again.”

“I believe you about the driver getting out of the car, but I don’t think you saw any aliens,” says your sister. “I’m sorry, but that’s just how I feel.”

Your sister doesn’t believe that you were abducted by aliens. You have failed.

“The cabbie floored it, and pretty soon we were driving through the city on the way to my sister’s house, which is where you live.”

“When we arrived, I got out of the cab. The cabbie and I pointed at each other and waved goodbye in silence for three minutes.”

“Well, it certainly sounds like you took a taxi from the forest to my apartment, but I’m sorry to say I’m not convinced that you saw any aliens,” says your sister. “Is that really the whole story?”

“Then I don’t believe you saw any aliens.”

Ouch. You really bungled the story about how you were abducted by aliens. You are a miserable bard of the supernatural, and your sister didn’t believe you at all. You have failed.

Your sister settles in as you begin your alien testimony…

“It began like any other night. I thought it was Guy Fawkes Night, so I was in the forest setting off fireworks by myself.”

Boom! Good riddance, Sir Fawkes!”

“I lit the firework, stepped back, and looked up. I expected to see a sparkling skyrocket. What I saw was…”

“Yes, it was a skyrocket. My expectation was on the money.

I prepared to launch another firework into the sky. I loaded it up, sprinted back to safety, and looked to the sky again, this time expecting to see the gorgeous blue and purple firework known as the Butcher’s Delight…”

“I was right again. In the clear sky above me, I saw the firework called the Butcher’s Delight.

I set up the last firework, drew a match, and lit the fuse. It was a quick fuse, so the firework had already launched by the time I turned around and looked up, thinking I would see the unmistakeable multicolored burst of the Salute to James Buchanan firework. But is that what I saw, looking to the skies?”

“Yes, my sibling. The Salute to James Buchanan firework exploded as planned.

I applauded at the fireworks finale, congratulating myself on another successful night of fireworks even as I realized that I had bungled the Guy Fawkes date again.”

“Thank you,” says your sister. ”That was a very nice story about how you set off fireworks in the woods by yourself. And did you see any aliens while you were at it?”

“Well, I don’t believe you. You only told me about fireworks. I was expecting to hear more about aliens.”

You have not convinced your sister that you saw aliens.

“Okay,” says your sister. “It’s too bad nothing happened with aliens.”

You have not convinced her that you were abducted by aliens.

“A strange light appeared in the sky.”

“Science enveloped me.”

“When the light faded, I noticed that I was on a spaceship.

This part of the ship was clean and triangular.”

“Okay, I think I understand that you were on a spaceship,” says your sister. “Get to the aliens, though. How about some aliens in the story? When you were on the spaceship, were there any aliens that you saw?”

“My boss from my first job was there, and he was happy to see me.”