Hidden (flash fiction)
Oh man, threw it too far.
No Labrador—with or without a flying disc in its jaws—lumbered out of the tall weeds, so Felix sighed and dove in.
“Albie! Where are you?”
Difficult to wade through, the weeds pressed against Felix as if wanting him to leave. Finally, the jingle of Albie’s tags, and then Albie sniffing crazy at something in the ground. Felix leaned down to look closer at the black metal peeking out the thick greenery.
A red light popped on and whirring began.
[below is a continuation of the story, written after the Friday Fictioneers’s entry]
The black metal rose slowly from the ground, uprooting a clump of the weeds, and as it rose it formed a dome that elongated and became an oval. Fully out of the ground, the thing looked like a sleek, black football, but perhaps three times the size of the football Felix had thrown with his dad in the backyard. A silver cable snaked from underneath the metal oval down to the hole where it had come from. The whirring stopped. The red light on the oval glared at the dumb-struck Felix, who had the feeling he’d had before when being filmed, but no mom or dad now stood behind a camera and encouraged him to grin.
Since Felix couldn’t find his voice, Albie talked for both of them, barking his head off. The black thing swiveled so that the red eye stared at the dog, who’s barking turned into growling. Whirring again from the machine. Albie crouched down, his head and front legs bent low, his body trembling and ready to surge.
The machine barked. Actual barking came from some unseen speaker on the black oval. Much like Albie’s barking, but it raised volume at the end of each bark. As in questioning. This odd sound caused Albie to quit growling and fall as silent and befuddled as Felix. The alien barking filled their ears as the red light filled their eyes. Neither boy nor dog could understand the questioning barks to answer them.
Then the barking stopped. As suddenly as it had began. Felix and Albie watched as the thing lowered, as if in slow motion, until it settled back into the ground. They blinked at the spot where only a small black mound remained, noticeable in the dirt to only those who knew where to look.
Sounds from the park snapped Felix’s staring. “Dad! Dad!” Felix called, rustling through the tall weeds back to the expanse of short grass. Panting, he caught up to his father after Albie had reached him.
“Where you been, bud?” his dad asked.
“Over there.” Felix pointed to the tall weeds just before the start of the woods. Between gasps for breath, Felix recounted what had transpired.
His dad looked amused but tried to cover it up. “No little green men, huh? C’mon, bud. Let’s go back in and find that flying disc.”