Mars Walk
Ellen L. Baldwin
T here it was--just as I remembered it. Sure, it was a little rusty now, and not quite as shiny as when I first spotted it in the woods several years ago. Memories of that day soared vividly, just as the object had soared before my eyes with sunlight bouncing from its magic circle. A child raised here on a small farm in the country didn't get many chances to see such a cosmic sight.
I knew the little green creatures were inside, even though Mommy and Daddy wouldn't come and look. I watched secretly from the woods as they emerged in bright turquoise uniforms with yellow lights flashing on their helmets. Were they men? women? young? old? They all looked alike to my unsophisticated eyes.
They disembarked two by two, humming as they came down the long, narrow gangplank. Miniature aliens with tiny silver boots and tiny little ray guns. Their spacecraft was only about 10" across and was balanced on four legs. It looked like a flaming disk as sunset's final orange spokes bounced off the chrome, domed surface.
A black, rectangular box sat on top of the dome, obviously some type of microwave antenna. A long black tether snaked its way along the ground, still fastened to the small spaceship, a source of energy, no doubt, once connected to the mother-ship. On each side, towards the top, there was a shiny black platform, where visiting mini-crafts could dock.
Here in the silence with my fiancee, deep in the dark woods, I shared the secrets of my visitors from Mars for the first time. All these years I had kept my promise to honor their privacy and protect their mission on earth.
Jarring me back into reality with a hard poke in the ribs, Janice was looking quizzically at me. "Uh, uh, what'd you say?"
Tapping her foot and frowning, she snapped, "So, this is YOUR idea of a wok in the woods?????"

First published: February 1998