Aaaand… we’re finished! Thanks for joining Bones on another adventure. New serial story coming soon!
“Oh my God!” Matthew stood, gaping at the silver door that barred his way. It shone in the light of his headlamp, smooth and perfect, just like the one he’d found back home. He took out his camera and snapped a few pictures. Maybe his book wasn’t dead in the water just yet.
A touch pad was set in the wall to the left of wall. He reached out, then hesitated, his hand hovering an inch above its surface. What if it was dangerous?
“Idiot,” he muttered. “The others went through here; so should you.”
He’d crept back to the chamber where the masked bodies lay, hoping to sneak up on the Indian, maybe cave his skull in with a rock. When he’d arrived, he found the room empty. He’d followed them down the passage they’d uncovered and ended up here. Obviously, they’d gone through the door. There was nowhere else to go.
Swallowing his fear, he pressed down on the silver pad. A green light shone, swept up and down his body, and then blinked out. A moment later, the door slid open.
He stepped through and followed the passageway, always on high alert for sounds that might indicate someone up ahead. Finally, he saw something in the distance—a greenish light. He turned off his headlamp and crept forward.
The glow grew brighter, and soon he could see that a large, open space lay up ahead. Reaching the end of the passageway, he peered out and gasped.
Below him, a group of aliens, Greys, by the looks of them, milled about. Green light bathed the many dwellings carved in the rock. It was incredible! This was what he’d been searching for!
Awash in the joy of success, he took out his camera and began snapping pictures. Down below, one of the aliens looked up at him, its featureless face betraying no emotion. Matthew kept on taking pictures until something poked him in the side. He looked down to see one of the aliens staring up at him. The creature held a silver rod, like a baton, tipped with a crystal.
“Whoa! You’re one of them.” Matthew turned and snapped a picture of the alien creature. The thing blinked and took a step back. “Sorry about the flash,” Matthew said, “but it’s dark in here.” He took another picture of the Grey, then returned to photographing the alien dwelling.
Again, the creature jabbed him in the side.
“Look, little guy, take your baton and go practice your twirling, or else I’ll throw you over the…”
He stopped in midsentence. The crystal at the end of the rod had begun to glow brightly. So bright, in fact, that Matthew had to shield his eyes.
“I appreciate the light, but it’s a little bright.”
The light continued to shine brighter.
And with it came heat…lots of it.
Matthew tried to back away but found himself caught between the high ledge and the alien with the thing he now recognized as a weapon.
“Cut it out! I’ll leave, all right?” He dared to open his eyes and the light scorched his retinas. His clothing began to smolder, and then the acrid smell of singed hair filled his nose.
When his skin began to sizzle like bacon, he knew it was time to scream.
Hours later they crawled through a narrow crevasse and emerged in a deep valley. The moon hung low on the horizon, casting long shadows across the parched earth. After so long in the chilly caverns, even the scant heat rising from the earth was a comfort.
Bones stretched and looked around. In the distance, he saw the ridgeline that marked the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns. They’d come a long way, and could look forward to a long walk back.
“Too bad it couldn’t bring us out a little closer to our destination. I’ve done enough walking for today.” Padilla sucked in a deep breath of night air and let it out slowly. “It was worth it, though. I still can’t believe it.”
“No one will believe us,” Jessie said.
“Welcome to my world,” Bones said.
“Tell me about it. I’ve got a story to write and what do I have to prove it? Nothing.” Amanda shook her head. “I suppose I could go back, but it just seems wrong, you know?”
“And dangerous,” Bones said. “I don’t think visitors would be welcome a second time.”
“Speaking of danger,” Krueger said, “I guess I need a new identity.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Shame. I liked the Roswell museum.”
Jessie looked up a Bones. “Do you think we’re in danger from ICE?”
Bones considered this. “They know my name for sure. Just to be on the safe side, I think I’ll touch base with a friend. She can deal with them. If that doesn’t work, I’ll personally take care of the sheriff and his friends.”
A contemplative silence hung in the air until Jessie forced a laugh.
“On that happy note, what now? Do we just go back to our ordinary lives?”
Bones put an arm around her shoulders. “I hate to tell you, but that’s pretty much how these things work.”
“So, I sit around for two weeks, waiting for summer classes to begin, and trying to figure out how I’m going to cover tuition next year.”
“I think you’ve got that covered,” Padilla said. “We’ve got a bit of the Glade Treasure left. Even split five ways, you should be in good shape.” He glanced at Bones. “We found it on government land, but I’ll bet our resident treasure hunter can help us out there.”
Bones nodded. “My uncle owns a casino, so I’ve got connections.”
The others nodded approvingly and resumed their trek back to Bones’ truck, but Jessie held him back.
“This is amazing. Thank you!” She lowered her voice. “I don’t suppose I can talk you into hanging around for a while?”
“I’ll come back for a visit,” he said, “but once we’ve gotten Mari taken care of, I’m going to Vegas.”
Jessie stuck out her lower lip. “All alone?”
“My friends are waiting for me there. You can come along if you like. Just remember, what happens in Vegas…”
Jessie laughed. “I don’t think that would be much fun for me. Just promise you’ll drop by on your way home.”
Bones smiled. “It’s a plan. Just don’t hold me to a date and time. I don’t go out of my way to find trouble, but it always seems to find me.”