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They pushed me out of the portal, dumped me into the sage and manzanita. The great orb’s pastel colors glowed against the clear night sky. As I backed away she rocked, then lifted into the air, the only sounds a scrape and rattle as dirt and pebbles rolled into the hollow she’d left. I saw the sparkle of distant flashbulbs from the perimeter of the landing site, like stars on waves.
I wondered if it was my fault the aliens had stolen my grandmother.
This happened back in the eighties. Like everyone else, Grandma and I followed the story on the news. I remember the first time we saw the ship on television, a soft globe banded in edible-looking shades of pink, orange, and yellow that floated down through the atmosphere and settled lightly on the ground.
Over the next months we watched as they guzzled psychedelic herbal brews in the Amazon basin. We saw them at the pyramids and Machu Picchu. We heard an interview with them when they visited the south of England to marvel at the crop circles.
I even read the book they’d published to finance their tour. It was one of those big-type/wide-margin/one-platitude-per-page deals. “Beware of rationality—it is an enemy of the spirit,” seemed weird coming from a space-going culture. The rest of it was the same kind of thing.
They’d spoken to the Pope and the Dalai Lama and had made an absolutely baffling appearance on The 700 Club, so it shouldn’t have surprised me when they cozied up to my grandmother.
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