Ivory sat at a school desk staring down at her history book, barely listening to the teacher. As he babbles on about the final exam, Ivory finds herself drifting to sleep. Her eyes get heavy and her head lowers to her desk. Ever since her mom started working night shift at the hospital, she hasn’t been able to sleep in her empty house. She wakes to the sound of the loudspeaker saying, “All students are to stay inside their class until further notice. There is an issue outside. Remain calm.” This was odd to all the students in the class, but it didn’t seem to really bother anyone. We all just went about our business as usual until someone in the back opened the window. Everyone turned around to see what had administration so concerned. We looked outside to see nothing but darkness. It was eleven o’clock in the morning, and it looked as if it were midnight. Students started talking among themselves about what could have caused this darkness.
Eventually, the school had to release students from their classrooms and send them home. When the student body began to file out of the building, everyone looked directly to the sky. They were astonished to see a huge black block floating in front of the sun above them. It was like an eclipse but darker than they’ve ever seen. Ivory stood in front of the school staring in awe. What is it? Who is it? Are we safe? Is the world ending? Whispers filled the courtyard as buses began to file in. Instead of erupting in chaos, everyone was quiet. Ivory stepped into her usual bus and sat down. She immediately looked at her phone to see texts from her mother that read, “Are you okay?? I’m working late tonight but I will be home ASAP. Lock the doors when you get to the house. Everything is going to be okay. I love you Ive.” All she could respond was, “I’m okay. I love you too.” She wished that her mother had a day job so she could spend more time with her. Ivory hated being alone.
The bus stopped abruptly in front of Ivory’s driveway leading to their little white house on the corner of Mable Street and Adams Avenue. She hopped off the bus and used the flashlight on her phone to guide her to the front door. Ivory slid the porcelain flower pot over slightly and grabbed the key that was hiding underneath. As she walked inside, she flipped on the light switch and locked the door behind her. The heavy blue bookbag she had lugged around all day slid off of her shoulders and hit the floor. She slipped off her shoes and headed to the couch to watch the news.
Every channel was ranting about the “UFO” and debating whether the government should “shoot it down” or consider it a terrorist. Ivory was unphased. Since her father passed away last year, nothing seemed to surprise her, and everything, no matter how exciting, seemed gloomy. Ivory grabbed a blanket from the back of the couch and laid down. All the news channels were repeating themselves, and she became less and less interested in what they were saying. Once again, she drifted to sleep, avoiding the mess outside.
CLANK! CLINK! CRASH! Ivory shot up from the couch and rubbed her eyes. She assumed one of the vases holding the many flowers her mother kept in the house tipped over and shattered. She rolled her eyes and stood up. As she rounded the corner into the kitchen, she saw a pink glass vase broken and spread across the floor with flowers and water mixed in between. She turned around to find her shoes and put them back on so she didn’t get glass in her feet as she cleaned up the mess. Ivory slipped her shoes on and turned back around. All the flowers that were mixed into the broken glass were gone. She scratched her head in confusion. The pitter-patter of little, heavy feet running up the stairs was audible in the kitchen. She froze. Ivory grabbed a rolling pin from the nearest drawer and yelled, “Hello!?” No response. “Hello!” She yelled again. Silence.
She left the kitchen and slowly made her way up the stairs, rolling pin in hand. “I’m coming up there! I’m gonna find you!” she said, trying not to sound frightened. Ivory made it up the stairs and realized the light was on in her bathroom and the door was cracked open. She crept closer to the door, took a deep breath, and kicked it open. Nothing. There was a buzzing noise coming from the shower but the curtain was closed. She ripped the curtain open and screamed at the sight. In her tub, sat a small blue creature with ears like a rabbit and an antenna sticking out of the top of it’s head that made a quiet buzzing noise and glowed. In its hands were the flowers that had been in the broken vase. The creature looked terrified and held out the flowers offering them to Ivory. Ivory covered her mouth in shock. She sat on the edge of the tub and cautiously reached out for the flowers and grabbed them. The little creature smiled. “What are you?” Ivory whispered. No response. “Okay.. Do.. Hmm.. Do you have a name?” she asked, not expecting an answer. The antenna on it’s head lit up and the creature looked up at her with it’s lime green eyes and said squeakily, “El-i-o.”
“Elio?” Ivory choked. The creature’s antenna lit up once again. “I’m going to assume that means yes.” Ivory whispered. She sat there and contemplated calling her mother or the police or anyone at all, but she didn’t. Instead, Ivory took the hand of the small blue creature, named Elio, and led it back downstairs to the living room. She closed all the curtains in the house so no one could see Elio from outside. “Why is that thing in the sky?” she asked him. Elio did not glow or respond. “So, yes or no questions only I guess.” she said to herself. “Is the thing in the sky what you came from?” Ivory asked. Elios antenna started flashing and he started jumping and pointing to the sky. “Okay, Okay. So.. that’s your home.” With every question Ivory asked she got more nauseous. “Do you need to go back?” she said. Elio’s antenna lit up once again. She sat down on the couch, hoping she wouldn’t pass out. Elio sprung up to the fire mantle and perched himself there like a bird. “Get down!” Ivory shouted. Elio ignored her and pointed to the urn beside him. “What? Don’t touch that.” she said. Elio pointed to his heart and then back to the urn. “Yes, I loved him. I miss him everyday.” Elio shook his head no and pointed back to his heart and back to the urn. “Dad loves me?” she asked, tears swelling in her eyes. Elio hopped back to the floor from the mantle and his antenna lit up again. “Is that why you’re here?” Ivory cried. The antenna glowed and Elio reached for her hand. She took it and he led her to the door that goes to the backyard. “You want to leave?” she asked him, not wanting him to go. His antenna glowed. She opened the door and they walked out to the yard. Elio held Ivory’s hand once more and ascended to the craft in the sky. In the blink of an eye the craft was gone and Ivory stood in shock with a single tear rolling down her cheek.
“Ive!” she heard her mom yell from inside. She walked inside and saw her mom standing in her scrubs. “What a day, huh kiddo?” her mother said to her. “Yea, what a day.” Ivory said with a smile.