About Lovers' Lane:
This is a short story of 6200 words or approx. 20 print pages.
The radio gave out first, static drowning out Mickey Mantle’s latest home run, before it suddenly went dead altogether.
I sighed under my breath. It was going to be a long night.
Next came the humming, a low and ominous rumble in the distance, like an oncoming thunderstorm.
Finally came the light, brilliant, blinding, streaming in through the windows and blanking out the night sky, almost as if we’d parked right next to a floodlight.
“Crap,” I thought, “It’s the cops.”
For the cops sometimes patrolled Lovers’ Lane and shone into the parked cars with their flashlights. And now they’d found us, Cody and me, doing sinful and dirty things here at Lovers’ Lane. And everyone would know…
My poking and the radio dying hadn’t woken up Cody, but the light did. He suddenly jerked upright, banging against the steering wheel in the process, and stared out of the car window, blinking against the lights.
“What… the… hell?”
I was still pinned underneath Cody, so I couldn’t see. “Is… is it the cops?” I whispered.
Cody shook his head. “No. Something a lot weirder.”
He shifted aside, so I could finally sit up, could finally see. So I crawled right up to the driver’s side window and pressed my nose against the glass.
“Oh my freaking God!”
For there, hanging in the night sky above the town, was a flying saucer, a bona-fide flying saucer. It was enormous, its diameter easily eclipsing the entire town, and lit up like a Christmas tree all over. On its bottom, there were more lights, gigantic spotlights brighter than the floodlights at the Yankee Stadium in far off New York City, where Mickey Mantle was probably still scoring home runs. And all of those lights were trained on the town, lighting up the streets brighter than the sun on a midsummer noon.
We both scrambled out of the car. I pulled up my panties and smoothed down my skirt or rather I tried, for my best dress was hopelessly wrinkled by now. Even worse, the once pristine white organdy skirt was now marred by an ugly bloodstain. I swore under my breath. Of all the stupid times to get my period.
I hoped, prayed that Cody wouldn’t notice. But I needn’t have worried, for Cody’s attention was riveted on the UFO floating above the town.
Together, we stepped up right to the very edge of Sighing Pine Ridge and looked out across the town below and the saucer hovering above.
Under the bright spotlights of the saucer, we could see the people of the town running about in the streets, looking so much like those little miniature toy figurines in my little brother’s train set.
Occasionally, beams of red light would stab down from the underside of the saucer. They looked quite beautiful really, surprisingly beautiful. When one of those beams hit the street, it would explode in a shower of gravel and dust. But should they hit a building instead, that building would suddenly burst into flames.
“Death rays,” Cody whispered, “They’ve got death rays.”
“More like fire rays,” I whispered back.
They were doing their job, too, for several houses in town were already in flames. The general store was burning, the first Baptist church, the movie theatre and the bank as well as several homes. Another beam stabbed down from the saucer and the gas station exploded in a shower of sparks and flames, hurling cars all over the street. One hit the front of the post office and got stuck halfway through the red brick façade.
“Oh shit!” Cody suddenly exclaimed and it was testament to the fact how extraordinary the whole situation was that I wasn’t even shocked by this display of profanity.
“That’s my house.” He pointed at a spot down in the valley. “And it’s on fire.”