My knees jolt with shock as I hit the floor behind the register. My hands are shaking like a Parkinson’s patients as I press my ear to the wall and listen carefully. Barely breathing I stand, and lean around the corner to peek. The man in the blue suit is two inches from my face. I yelp in fright and throw myself backwards, slipping on a banana peel that must have fallen out of the garbage.
Exactly one day ago, this was not my life.
My name is Wyatt Haynes and I live in Emmetsville Mississippi. I have been completely average my entire life. My own parents deemed me worthy of abandonment when I was two. The only person who ever found anything good in me was my eleventh grade astronomy teacher Mrs. Jarvis.
Mrs. Jarvis was as weird as weird gets. She had coke bottle glasses and was obsessed with UFO’s. I thought she was the most beautiful thing on two feet. I quickly adopted her passion for UFO’S and after graduating I decided that I’d found my intended career path.
Sadly, that was not to be. Now here I am on the floor of the Kwik-N-Klean on what should be a normal Tuesday, fearing for my life. Not at all what I had planned. In fact, on the list of crappy events on the crap-o scale of my life, this one is off the charts.
“Wyatt.” The man’s voice is dangerously quiet. He holds out a hand.
“Wyatt you need to come with me.”
“Uh uh!” I jump to my feet and do what I think is a Jackie Chan move I saw in a movie when I was eight.
The man in the blue suit frowns at me, like he can’t work out why I’m acting like a difficult three year old.
“You haven’t won a fight since third grade and that was against a first grade girl.”
“Yea but she was huge!” I counter, raising my fists. “Wait. How do you know that?”
The man smiles at me and it doesn’t look quite right on his face. He leans against the counter like he’s got all the time in the world.
“I know all about you Wyatt. I know your parents left when you were two, I know that your alcoholic grandmother once tried to sell you to a traveling vacuum salesman-”
“She had dementia!” I interject. The man holds up a hand.
“I also know about Mrs. Jarvis.”
I make my way around the other side of the counter looking for a weapon. Glancing outside, I can see that it’s almost dawn.
Opening time is 7am. I only have to hold my own with this weirdo for about 30 more minutes. Maybe if I keep him talking I can pull it off. If only the owner of the Kwik-N-Klean would’ve sprung for the silent alarm, I wouldn’t be in such a pickle right now.
In what I hope is an innocuous gesture, I pick up the mop that I left behind the counter. The man is still watching me amused. His perfect silver hair is gleaming under the fluorescent lights.
“Put the mop down boy.”
“Don’t call me boy! I’m a grown man thank you!” I hold it in front of me like a javelin. I’m pretty sure if this guy wants to, he could toss me around like a rag doll. He doesn’t seem to want to, is the weird thing.
“H-h-h-how do you know Mrs. Jarvis?” Stupid stammer. I thought I got rid of it when I was a kid. Then again, I feel like I’m going to pee my pants as well.
The man tilts his head thoughtfully. “I’d really like you to come with me Wyatt, there’s something I’d like for you to see.”
He holds out his hand once more for me to take. My heartbeat slams in my ears as I lower the mop and it clatters to the floor. For some reason I can’t quite understand, I find myself nodding.
“Okay.” I say quietly. In a trance, I take his hand and the next thing I know, we’re outside behind the Kwik-N-Klean. That was weird. I shake my head. “Alright man, who are you? How do you know all that stuff and what do you want with me?”
The man smiles and as he smiles he starts to give off a soft blue-white glow. The glow intensifies until it engulfs him completely. I know I should be terrified, but I’m not. My mouth is agape and I’m rooted to the spot in awe. The glow is oddly peaceful.
Suddenly, the man in the blue suit is no longer there. In his place is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. It’s tall, definitely male and iridescent. He…glimmers. Which should be ridiculous, but it’s not.
My breath catches in my throat and I fall to my knees. My head hangs as a tear escapes. I’m not scared of this creature, but I don’t feel worthy to stand in it’s presence. I’m a nobody. My own parents didn’t even want me. Why would he feel any differently?
I feel the being lift me to my feet. He smiles at me as I lift my head, and its as though Heaven has turned its tractor beam on my face.
“Wyatt, your Mrs. Jarvis told us all about you, she told us how special you are. How you helped her look for us. Now we’d like to help you.”
B-b-but, I-I-I-I’m n-n-not…” I stammer trailing off.
It interrupts me. “Do you have hope Wyatt Haynes?”
I answer without thinking. “Yes.”
“Then that is all you need. Come with me.”
I nod my ascent and the creature smiles. The beautiful blue white glow engulfs us both and we disappear, just as the sun begins to rise.