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1. Signs - Wooden Signs

October 16th, 2006 | Posted by pftq in Possibility | #
   I gazed out the window into the stillness of the cool, summer night.  Not a single star stood in the sky, but there hung a beautiful aurora, with hues of green and purple, lighting the sky up and leaving a colorful glow on all the neighborhood.
   The last time I had seen such an aurora since when I was really little; in fact, I believe the last time I saw one was the night my parents disappeared.  I had been sitting at this exact same window that night.  There had been an aurora similar to this, just as magnificent and just as beautiful.  I was the only one awake.  Everyone else had been asleep.  I ached to wake somebody to show them the aurora, which there had never been one before in our town, but the aurora put me into a deep trance.  I felt as if I had not a worry in the world, as if I had reached a form of enlightenment, as if I were in a dream.
   I must have fallen asleep while watching it that night, for I recall my younger sister shaking me and waking me up.  Somehow I was on the floor and I felt rather awkward, but that didn’t matter at the time.  My sister whispered to me that she heard someone slam the front door.
   At first I thought it was a joke.  I asked if she told Mom and Dad about it.  She said she didn’t find them in their room, and came upstairs to my room to wake me.  I told her that it must have been our parents leaving the house then, but she replied that she thinks they had been kidnapped.  I laughed; usually it’s the kids who get kidnapped, not the parents.  We woke my little brother, who was about the same age as my sister, and went to search the house.  I realized then that she was right about Mom and Dad being gone, but I didn’t think they were kidnapped.
   “Maybe they went outside to watch the aurora,” I suggested.
   “What aurora?” my brother asked.
   I went up to my room and pointed out the window, but the aurora had disappeared.  The sky was hideously dark; the stars were still gone.  A few dogs barked in the distance.  From that night on, we never saw our parents again.  They were proclaimed missing, and my sister, my younger brother (who was asleep at the time), and I were sent to an orphanage until we reached legal age to own the house.
   I was twenty-one now.  My sister had gone to live on the other side of the town, partly because of her job as a veterinarian, but also due to her belief that the house was now haunted.  She wanted to stay as far away from it as possible.  I thought she was crazy; she had always been superstitious like that.
   My younger brother, on the other hand, wanted to see more of the world, and so he left the city.  It wasn’t very easy either.  The roads to the city had been under construction for as long as I could remember.  There was no airport here, but the town was near the ocean where one could travel by sea.  He used up about half the savings from our parents to travel on a ship.  To where, he would not tell us.
   For me, I stayed in the old house, and it was fine.  I had been living in it for a few months already; I haven’t noticed anything strange or out of the ordinary.  There were a few things that needed fixing or replacing in the ten or so years that had passed, but otherwise it was great.
   I continued watching the aurora, slowly drifting in the sky.  The night was incredibly silent.  I tapped the windowsill and pinched myself to ensure I was awake.
   Something caught my eye right that moment.  A bright white speck of light was drifting downward within the aurora.  Had I not been looking at that very spot right that moment, I doubt I would have seen it, hidden among the aurora.  I gripped the wood of the window so tight that a small splinter of wood went up my right thumb.  I watched as the tiny ball of light slowly sank behind the hills in the distance and vanished, as if it never existed.
   There was a sudden flash.  My vision went white for a second, but I must have imagined it.  The whole time, there was not a single sound to be heard.  The air was still without even the slightest breeze.  No dogs barked.  No cats meowed.  No cars screeched in the distance.  I don’t recall seeing anyone driving any cars, or anyone at all.
   Slowly but surely, the aurora started to dim.  The shine left the houses, leaving them gray and dull.  The sky went pitch black.  A few dogs barked from somewhere in the neighborhood.  Just like that, the aurora vanished.
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