These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up. Enjoy!
I was never told that I couldn’t talk about it, it’s more that it was implied. Well, it wasn’t even that really…it was more like, oh, I dunno, like they made it clear it was out of their hands entirely by that point.
It all started back in the summer of 2009 when I was back in the States for a few weeks. I went down to New Mexico to visit an old friend that’d moved down there.
James was living near the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and one night when we were sitting out there he pointed out the lights going in and out of the ground there.
“They’re UFOs, no bones about it,” he said, drinking his 12th Pabst.
“Oh yeah, then what’re they doing here?” I asked back.
James licked his lips and moved his jaw about and grabbed another PBR before answering. “They’re hear by treaty,” he said.
“Shit,” I laughed, “here by treaty – what the hell are you talking about?”
“The treaty Eisenhower signed with them back in the 50s,” James said, looking over at me askance.
“Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I laughed.
“That’s just as well,” he said, and that was that – we quickly passed out.
I came to the next morning and didn’t think much about it – I didn’t think much about anything my headache was so bad – and was soon back to Montana and then back to China. Another four years would go by before what happened next.
I was working in Missoula in October of 2013 when I got an email from a guy trying to get a book written. It was about this mine down in Arizona, the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. I told him that I’d actually been down around there – I had no idea where it was, but what the hell, right? – and he asked me more precisely where I’d been.
“Oh, around the Jicarilla Apache Reservation or something like that,” I said, remembering the name of it suddenly, somehow.
“Oh, well that’s about 400 miles northeast of where the Lost Dutchman is,” he chortled, but then leaned in closer, “what the hell were you doing down there?”
“I was visiting a friend that moved down there.”
“What was he doing down there?”
“He was working in a donut shop.”
That seemed to flummox him and he leaned back. We drank our drinks and a short lull in the conversation developed. After a moment he leaned back in, his interest in this now greater than that in his book.
“That whole region is part of what’s called the ‘four corners,” he said.
“You know what happened down there, don’t you?” he asks me, a sly grin on his face. I look over my coke at him and shake my head. He nods. “It was in ’75 when it got away from ‘em down there…the base that is.”
“I imagine it started down in the depths, where the tanks are and the vats…and the ones that even we don’t know about that are brought in.” He looked over me and through me and back into some other place or time. “I imagine too that some of those forty-four that never made it out might still be down there, in some form or…another.”
I got one of those chills you get when something cryptic is said, perhaps something important in the whole cosmic fabric of things. It could’ve been the Coca-Cola too, though.
“What are you talking about?” I narrowed my eyebrows.
“Nothing,” he said with a shake of his head and a wave of his hand over the table.
The waitress came just then and by the time she’d gone again we were back to talking business and I forgot about it again until July of 2014 when I got a call out of the blue one day from a guy named Kevin.
Kevin told me that he’d read my comment in the Missoula Independent article about UFOs in Montana and cattle mutilations.
“I followed it back to your website then got your phone number off the contact page there,” he said first thing over the phone, as if to justify his call.
“Alright, well, uh…I comment on most stories on that site, each
Thursday usually…have been since the election.”
“No, no, it’s not about that,” he said, his voice sounding a bit more hushed all of a sudden, “it’s about Carl.”
“Yeah, Carl Haywood, who you helped last year with getting his books up on Amazon.”
“Oh, yeah…Carl, the Dutchman Mine guy, right?”
“Yep,” Kevin said, “that’s the one.”
“You know,” I said, thinking back to that conversation we’d had at the Red Robin restaurant in the mall the previous fall, “I just stopped hearing from him all of a sudden when we were working on this second job.”
“Was it around December 18?” he asked.
“I don’t know – but yeah, it was probably around December or so…I’d have to check.”
“Doesn’t matter – Carl’s gone.”
“Well, where’d he go?”
There was a long pause. “What’d he tell you about his prospecting down in Colorado?”
“I don’t know,” I said quickly, flustered, feeling this was a waste of my time all of a sudden, “we just talked about his book.”
“In 1978 Carl went down around the Dulce Base and began prospecting around, first with his metal-detector, and then when that became useless because of the high readings, his mining equipment…you still there?”
“Yeah, go on – now that you mention this, he talked about some people going missing somewhere around there or something.”
“They didn’t go missing, they were taken by the–”
There was a horrible static sound over the line and I had to pull the phone away from my head. It faded after a moment and I pulled it back.
“Hey, are you there?”
There was no answer and I looked to see that the call was finished. I tried calling the number back but it said the number could not be reached or some such. I shrugged and put the phone down and got back to work on whatever it was I was doing and didn’t think about it again.
Didn’t think about it again, that is, until the night of August 10.