The Visitors

It was a typical night with my parents and little brother when all our phones blared with an emergency alert about an incident in our neighborhood; we all shared perplexed looks just as the power went out. My little brother, Max, peered out the living room window, noting that all the lights in the neighborhood had gone out. Dad returned with candles and flashlights, setting them on the coffee table and handing each of us a flashlight.

"The emergency alert doesn't give any information on what's going on," my mother muttered on the couch beside me. Max and I moaned at the news; we were stuck in the dark for however long it would take for it to come back on.

"Don't know why you bothered. Like the government would tell people what's happening." Dad rebuttal, Max gave an excited yell accompanied by a fist pump; Mom tried to calm the boys down while I huddled on the couch wrapped in a blanket. I do well in the dark.

"It seems the whole city's power is out," Mother muttered again under her breath, and yes, she is always on her phone. She never puts it down. Dad kept going on about conspiracy theories that involved how shady the government was, including alien cover-ups, but no one was listening. Max was still looking out the window. It's not like he is going to see anything. I played with the flashlight, flickering it off and on. Trying to keep my mind occupied with something other than the looming darkness. It was probably nothing major.

An hour passed, and the power was still out; after Dad finished his rant and Mom pulled Max away from the window, Dad suggested we play a nice soothing game of Monopoly, which turned out to be the opposite; the four of us surrounds our small coffee table, the board game in the center, and a few lit candles on each side. Max was currently winning like always; Mom didn't want to play as usual, so she's the banker and making sure no one cheats; I'm referring to Dad. He likes to cheat a lot. I was still a bundle of nerves; it was too quiet. I couldn't help but feel like there was a sense of foreboding in the air.

Dad landed in jail once again as a deep rumbling could be heard from a distance; everyone paused as we continued to listen; it didn't sound like any plane we had ever heard. In fact, it didn't sound like a plane at all. The house began to shake as the thing passed over; lights flashed in through the windows. Max ran out the front door to get a better look, ignoring our parents' calling for him back. I hesitantly followed behind, finding everyone staring up into the sky, mouths agape, along with everyone else in the neighborhood. I looked up, and what I saw made my blood run cold; who knew one of my Dad's crazy conspiracies would be true? But here I am looking at something that could only be true in science fiction movies; we really aren't alone in the universe after all.

We were transfixed long after the thing had passed; breaking the silent night was the emergency alert going off throughout the area, pulling us out of our reverie to check what it could be. Tapping on the notification, a video popped up. I hesitated to play the video, but I didn't need to. Max had already played it. The speaker's voice echoed throughout the dark as other videos started playing. As the video went on, I clutched the blanket tighter around my body, trying to keep the cold out of my veins, but it wasn't working; the visitors, as the spokesperson puts it, are here to stay. We, the people of Earth, have to learn to live together with strange beings from another planet. My mind raced with possibilities, the thought of not knowing what they had planned, what they were doing here, and whether we could trust them. Max is ecstatic about the news of an alien species living among us. Mom keeps her poker face, not giving away how she feels about this situation, and Dad, well, he is just happy that he was right. I gazed at where the thing flew off, wondering if this was the right choice. When the speaker finished their announcement, the lights in the neighborhood flickered back on, and everyone went back into their own houses; not seeming too concerned about what we had witnessed, I stayed behind on the lawn, looking to the skies, hoping that this feeling I had was wrong. But what could this mean for humanity?

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