Slide Ten: Spilled Milk
I didn’t start driving till late in the evening and after just a few hours, as I neared Roswell, New Mexico by some back roads, I started to feel a heaviness in my eyelids. Rather than risk falling asleep at the wheel I found a small secluded spot and pulled off the road. As I worked to find a comfortable position to catch a little nap I noticed the dim glow of a light up in the distance hills. Curious, I left the van and climbed towards it. As I inched over a small rise I saw, nestled between two stands of rocks, a very unique metal and glass home and just outside the entrance was a family standing around a small camp fire getting ready to make s’mores.
Startled by my presence, they nonetheless extended a warm welcome and an offer to join them for dessert.
Engaged in a “Getting to know one another” conversation while prepping for the s’mores, they recounted how while en route to a vacation destination they noticed the need to find a place for refueling. They had just pulled out of Warp Drive and needed to make a turn as they approached Milky Way which would get them to the next fueling station.
Henri (the husband/dad) insisted that they turn left against everyone’s else’s opinion to turn right and after traveling for several ‘Light hours’ realized they were lost. They ran out of fuel just as they arrived in this area and had no choice but to pull in and park.
That was 66 earth years ago. With no identification and possibly here illegally they decided to set up home in these hills while working to reconfigure their communication system so they might go home. Over all this time their system has produced only static, but as of late they have managed to filter in some classic “60’s” songs.
Their only close encounter with people was when they first arrived. The kids were out flying a rather large balloon they had made and out of nowhere some local farmer shot it down.
They have avoided anyone ever since.
I asked where home was and they quickly responded in unison “France”.
As the parents went to get a photo album to show me some pictures of their earlier travels, a couple of the older kids started to boast about how they could do this levitation thing with their glass of chocolate milk. The younger ones rolled their eyes and dared one of them to do it.
I took this picture just as Mom came back to find a rather audacious but failed levitation attempt.
A not-so-happy Mom proceeded to scold them, not just for the spilled milk but because they should know that the intergalactic law for levitation is “no one under 16 years old is allowed to do it-period”. Besides being sixteen, she reminded them, there are several hands-off training courses and tests required prior to obtaining a license before you can levitate any objects on your own.
She sent them all off to bed without any dessert, but after they were all tucked in, she at least, with a wink, allowed Dad to read them a favorite bedtime story, the universally acclaimed children’s book, “The Little Prince”.
Later, back in the van and on the road, I reflected on the evening of conversation and several dozen album photo’s of star systems, which prompted a passing question. Were they really from France?
All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt
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