My alien abduction didn’t go as I would have imagined. I don’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this.
It started with a classic saucer-UFO appearance. I was walking home from middle school when it happened. It was broad daylight, and the thing was bizarrely tiny, hovering what looked like just twenty feet or so off the ground. I don’t know why, but I somehow got the feeling that they chose a saucer not because it was their favored mode of transportation, but because they didn’t want me to be too confused about what was happening to me. Like they were trying to make it easier to understand.
There was a flash of blinding light, and the next thing I knew I was coming to from a deep slumber. The sound that woke me up sounded like my own alarm clock, but the room I was in was nothing like my bedroom. But it wasn’t especially strange either, just a bed with white sheets in what looked like a hospital recovery room.
There was a television hanging on the wall across from my bed, and a remote on the stand to my left. I pressed the power button and a blue screen displaying white scrolling text appeared, accompanied by a computerized male voice. “Hello. You are on a space flight bound for Priplanus. Priplanus is a currently undiscovered moon of Jupiter. It is undiscovered because it is small and emits little radiation compared to other space bodies, but it is dense enough to have a gravitational pull similar to the gravity of Earth. If you look out your bedside window, you’ll see that we are almost arrived.”
Sure enough, there was a black curtain covering a small window I hadn’t noticed before on the wall that my bed was up against. I drew the curtain, and what I saw took my breath away.
There, before my own eyes, was the planet Jupiter. It was so close that I could clearly see one of the rings. And in the distance, against the orange glow, was a tiny black dot that grew larger with each second.
I got dizzy and had to look away.
The craft made several banks and came to land next to what looked like an empty highway with no markings. I barely felt it as it touched down. A section of the floor opened (I hadn’t previously noticed that my room had no door) and revealed a set of metal stairs.
I descended the stairs and found myself standing by the highway that stretched on far beyond the horizon. The terrain was off-white, much like Earth’s moon, with small, rolling hills. The air was still, and it was strangely warm and comfortable.
Above, I could only see stars. I must have been on the side of the moon facing away from Jupiter. The saucer craft launched back into space with barely a sound and was gone in a matter of seconds.
I waited for what seemed like an hour by that road, my mind too overwhelmed with confusion to let fear sink in. Eventually, I saw movement far, far down the highway. It weaved over small hills, eventually revealing itself to be, of all things, a yellow school bus.
The bus came to a halt right in front of me. It wasn’t quite like a normal school bus. It didn’t have the familiar engine rumble, the yellow paint was brighter than normal, and the body of the bus seemed more rectangular. The doors to the bus opened, and I saw that there was no driver inside, only an empty driver’s seat.
I climbed the short stairs leading up to the passenger deck, and saw that there was no one else inside. I sat down in the back of the bus, feeling an oddly familiar sense of dread. Strangely, the dread seemed no worse than the general nervousness I felt getting on the bus the first day of school.
The doors closed, and the buss immediately took off. The ride was smooth, and I felt relaxed watching the moonscape out the window, as a kid sometimes feels highly relaxed on the bus during cross-country field trips. I opened the window once, but the relative wind made it impossible to breath. The bus must have been moving at over a hundred miles an hour.
I had nearly fallen back asleep when the bus arrived at its destination. All of a sudden, the vehicle pulled into a small and empty parking lot. The doors opened, and I reluctantly got out.
Before me was the entrance to a building, with embossed signage that read “Buzz Armstrong Middle School”. There were no other signs of civilization for as far as my eyes could see.
The building looked like a normal middle school, but slightly smaller. Like most schools during the school day, all doors were locked except for one. I found the unlocked entrance door and entered the lobby.
Immediately I was greeted with that familiar but subtle and somewhat indescribable smell that seemed to exist in every American K-12 school building. The first thing I noticed was a trophy case containing trophies that were not engraved or embossed. The floors and walls looked like they had been recently cleaned.
A robot came up to me. It was short and rolled on wheels, looking like something out of a Star Wars knockoff film. It had no head or eyes, only long, thin arms with pincer-claws. It used one of its arms to hand me a piece of paper before wheeling off and disappearing down the hall. The note just said “Home Room 105”.
I started walking down what looked like the main hallway. I passed a cafeteria, as well as what looked like the administrative office, but it was locked and the lights were off. I started passing small classrooms with blue and white signs that displayed room numbers. The lights were on in these rooms, but they were all empty, except for 105.
I became nervous again when I found room 105. Once again, it was more like the nervousness I felt coming late to class or something rather than the abject terror I should have felt about the surreal situation. I peeked inside, and saw four kids my age. I was relieved. They were the first life I had seen during this experience. I hardly even cared if they were actually aliens.
I knocked lightly at the door, but they just looked at me nervously. I found the door to be unlocked and stepped inside.
The other kids barely looked at me, but one girl briefly smiled at me. It was like in those cartoon schools were there are only five desks lined up near the teacher’s desk. I sat down at the empty desk and took in my surroundings. The only decorations to speak of were some of those lame laminated posters with inspirational quotes, all displaying pictures of outer space and featuring quotes by famous scientists.
“Are you the new exchange student” the girl asked me. I simply nodded, assuming that I was. What’s Earth like?” she inquired brightly. At this I began stammering. While I was fumbling for the words to answer this most innocently loaded of questions I’d ever been asked, the teacher walked in.
The only thing especially strange about the teacher was that he was wearing sunglasses. He looked like a normal man in his early sixties, and wore a suit and tie. “Good morning class” (was it morning?), “today we have a special visitor. I’d like you to welcome our new exchange student.” He then introduced me by name and the other four students clapped for a split second.
“Since you’re new, here is your class and room schedule.” He handed me a printout. “It’s the second week of class, but you shouldn’t be too far behind. Most teachers here don’t give out a lot of homework until the second quarter.”
Then the bell range, and everyone got up and started leaving for the next class. As we were filling out, with me being last, the girl turned around and winked at me.
My first class was math. The girl compared schedules with me and we found out she was in all my classes that day. Her name was Luna. We didn’t have a lot of time to talk, but she was curious about Earth. Apparently, her parents, along with the parents of all the other kids, were from Earth, but weren’t allowed to talk about the circumstances of them coming to Priplanus in detail.
The next class was science. The unit was on astronomy. In addition to Priplanus I found that the authors of the textbook were aware of several other bodies that were not yet known to NASA. After that was English. We read two short stories by Ray Bradbury.
All of the teachers were normal men and women, with the only especially odd thing being that they all wore dark sunglasses.
The 6th grade lunch period came next. The cafeteria was noticeably smaller than the one at my middle school and held only about fifty students. The tables and benches were stainless steel, and the ceiling was higher than at my school. The food selection was about normal, but I wasn’t hungry. There was a courtyard connected to the cafeteria, and I went out there to think.
The courtyard had trees and a couple wooden benches. It was still a starry night outside, but it was a bright night, like when there is a full moon and a lot of snow on the ground. It was bizarre how normal the courtyard was, especially with the the couple cardinals and squirrels I saw, awake and not seeming to mind the night.
Luna came out a few moments later. She sat down next to me on one of the benches.
We sat in silence for a few moments. Then she asked something similar to her first question to me. “What is school on Earth like?”
I fumbled some more, and told her it was pretty much like this school, except that the teachers didn’t wear sunglasses. She then started talking about how she had always wanted to visit Earth, and told me some other things about life on Priplanus, like how the sky was always orange during the season when this side of the moon faced the planet. We looked up and saw one body glowing somewhat brighter than the other stars, and wondered if it was Earth. It started to rain lightly, so we went back inside.
The bell rang, and we were off to Social Studies. The unit was on the Cold War, which seemed a strange period to start off the year. Next was art class, where we painted scenes of the solar system. My last class of the day was PE. During this class I didn’t see Luna much since the boys and girls trained separately.
While we were playing some ball sport I wasn’t familiar with, I fell and hit my head. I was rushed to the nurse’s office and heard two adults talking about me. They said I had a concussion and needed to go home early.
I was led by hand into the parking lot, and escorted into the saucer craft. The next thing I remember is standing in the spot on the sidewalk I had been abducted at, looking up, and seeing the saucer fly away.
Sixth grade is about that time in your life when your brain finishes leaving behind those last remnants of childhood magical thinking and irrational fantasy. You’ve already learned years ago that Santa isn’t real, but once you hit 12 or 13 he’s officially dead. As time went on, I convinced myself that the experience on Priplanus was nothing more than a false memory, a hallucination brought on by heat and thirst, or whatever.
Recently, I haven’t been able to do that. NASA has discovered an unnamed moon of Jupiter. They sent an unmanned probe which deployed a droid to the surface.
They found the highway and the school. The building was abandoned, and all the external windows were completely shattered. What was once just a nostalgic memory of a bizarre daydream now just causes me sadness.
I'm not exactly sure about how I feel about this one, to be honest. It seems kind of generic or bland I guess. It mocks the stereotypical alien abduction tropes but doesn't seem to offer anything new. It seems like this story is over before it started with little memorable things in between. A kid gets abducted by aliens, goes to an alien school, a girl named Luna asks him questions, he gets hurt and goes back to earth. I know a lot of creepypastas don't need to make any sense, and a story should almost never explain things out to you. But when this story was over I was just kind of like confused, and not in a good way. The writing is well done, but I can't say much for the story overall.
This story was a nice little read. Aside from stories dealing with angels and demons, I really enjoy space stories just as much, especially when they incorporate advanced technology. The fact that this "undiscovered" moon houses an environment similar to Earth (schools, buses, etc) is a nice revelation. To review the story, I broke up my thoughts into three sections: good, bad, and overall.
What I like the most about it is how the abduction is not what we're expecting: instead of your classic "character gets abducted and experimented upon" we get a strange and unique moment where a student is taken and essentially becomes (what the inhabitants refer to as) "an exchange student". This actually opens the doors for almost an endless amount of possibilities.
I liked how the protagonist is just dumbfounded throughout the beginning as they're being transported to these different locations (with tidbits of advanced technology showcased), and eventually to the school. Right off the bat, you can tell this isn't first time "an abduction" like this as ever occurred. Through his eyes, we get an idea of where he's being shuttled, but like him, we're waiting to see how it all unfolds, what awaits at the ends of this "road", so to speak.
However, I must mention some of things that hold the story back. The first thing was Luna. The character herself was fine, but I felt she was bit underused. Here we are on a foreign planet with a native young girl eager to talk, but the protagonist does little to nothing to pick her brain. Obviously, he/she is shocked by everything unfolding around them and I understand it, but I'd figure at some point, they muster up the courage to ask at least one question: "How is it possible that you live here?", "How long has the place been going on?", "Why do the teachers wear sunglasses?", etc. These questions shed light for the character, but more importantly, he's basically asking what we want to know. This brings to my next point.
Why are the teachers wearing sunglasses? I don't think it's dumb idea to include it, I actually like it, but it never amounted to anything. Honestly, I thought it was foreshadowing a dark revelation behind them, which I think would've been an awesome way to drop a bombshell -- possibly some horrifying side-effect from not being born out there or something. Yet, that aspect was never explored; it was more of just an observation rather than what I expected to be a major plot point. You could've left it out and the story wouldn't be any different.
You also seem to go through each class which at first was cool to see the comparisons, but really after the first, you could've quickly summed up the events. I felt we lingered too much on the actual class material and I was ready to move on. This is a short story which is fine, but these parts took up the bulk of the its focus. That time could've been better spent expanding more on the moon's lore or having some new event.
I don't think the story is bad by any means, but because of the abrupt ending, it feels short-lived and leaves many questions unanswered, especially the bit about the school suddenly being abandoned -- it felt shoe-horned like a cheap way to play around with the idea that it might've never really happened. Moreover, based off the last sentence, it seems like the highway and school were the only structures on that planet. If that's the case, does that mean no one actually lives on the moon? If so, where does Luna live -- it's obviously not Earth based on her curiosity.
I can see some of things being ambiguous like the overall history and what not, but since nothing was really answered (or happened), it causes us to essentially question everything else: If the parents are all from Earth, why do they choose to go to this planet? Who on Earth gets to decide, who can "populate?" the undiscovered moon? At a certain point, do the kids get to live on Earth? Etc. I would've preferred these questions sort of hover around mysterious, but again, since nothing was given to us, I don't know what to question or what to just accept as a scary reality. Once again, I really feel like the sunglasses bit was a missed opportunity or Luna perhaps.
These are my thoughts on it. Hope this sheds some light.
Forgot to include a few areas where I saw a few mistakes. Please see the brackets below for the corrections:
+The doors closed, and the [bus] immediately took off.
+“Are you the new exchange student[?]” the girl asked me.
+As we were [filing] out, with me being last, the girl turned around and winked at me.
+It was bizarre how normal the courtyard was, especially with [*remove extra "the"] the couple cardinals and squirrels I saw [*remove comma] awake and not seeming to mind the night.