Becky sat under the canopy of stars, holding a mug full of whiskey. The night air felt thick and constricting. She breathed in, deep into her lungs before kicking dirt over the fire. She walked to the tent, where Matt was snoring.
Knowing she’d be unable to drift off to sleep with Matt’s impersonation of a leaf blower, she went back to the smoking embers. Becky really loved to camp rough. Matt didn’t; it was something he endured for her. He was more of a five-star glamper than a camping enthusiast.
Sitting back on the smooth stone, she stretched her legs straight out and put her hands behind her head. She closed her eyes, allowed her thoughts to go back to their last camp. Last year. That explosion of light shooting across the night sky. The light changed then to a downward tunnel, beaming with a dazzling glow so bright she had to turn her head and look away.
Matt had been asleep that night, too. She’d rushed into the tent to wake him.
‘Matt! Wake up,’ she had yelled while shaking his torso.
He’d groaned. Something indeterminate. She shook him again, and said, ‘Matt, you’ve gotta wake up. There’s something here.’
Matt sat up, groggy, unable to focus his gaze on her. She stormed out by the fire.
By now the light was dimmer, but still a tunnel from the sky. She estimated it was about five kilometres from their site. Becky looked back to the tent.
It all happened in a blur. Becky had run back to the tent grabbed the car keys, murmured something to Matt, who’d snuggled under his sleeping bag again. She had driven towards the light like The Stig from Top Gear. She remembered reaching into the glove box for her camera. She would be famous for capturing astral visitors’ arrival on earth.
Then…nothing. Her memory was blank. Devoid of feelings, emotions, events. Everything.
The next thing that was clear in her memory was waking up, next to Matt with the bright morning sun splitting through the fabric of the tent.
He assured her it was all a dream. Of course. But she knew something had happened. She’d met aliens that night.