Los Angeles - July 2003
Zack woke up with a start, unable to see anything. Anything at all. Had the power gone out? A subtle vibration permeated the house. Earthquake? No. Earthquakes didnt make the walls sing.
Something was wrong. With no glow from the digital clock or from his computer screen, Zack tossed his blanket aside and felt his way to the window. He pulled up the black roman shade and lifted the glass pane. The sweet fragrance of roses from the front yard filled the room. As he craned his neck outside, the second story view revealed a full moon but no street lights in the whole residential area of Granada Hills. Had all of Los Angeles blacked out?
Outside, the strong vibration shook the foliage of the eucalyptus trees. As far as Zack could see, the streets and houses looked dark and quiet. Too dark, too quiet, with no breeze, no birds, not even the chirp of a cricket.
Moonlight filtering into the room illuminated the life-size poster of Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. As the vibration intensified, something familiar tugged at Zacks mind. Ashley? His baby sister screeched for help in his head! She was terrified.
Rushing out of the bedroom, Zack stumbled over his sneakers and stepped into the ink black hallway. The vibration shook the hardwood under his bare feet. The smell of burnt rubber or heated machinery assaulted his nostrils. How weird!
Feeling his way along the wall, Zack turned the corner and saw an outline of white radiance around Ashleys door. Hed left it ajar last night.
Wearing only his boxers and tee-shirt, Zack shivered when a malevolent breeze coursed across his skin, as if to keep him away. Was he dreaming? He bit his lip. It hurt, and the coppery taste of blood filled his mouth. Wide awake! His heart beat so hard, it threatened to explode.
Outside Ashleys door, their Persian cat arched his back and hissed, spooked. His bristled tail rose straight up in the air, sparking with static electricity.
"Whats going on in there, Dude?" Zack whispered, his heart faltering. He swallowed with a dry throat, remembering the horror movies he used to enjoy watching. But this was no movie, and he couldnt stand the thought of his baby sister in any danger.
Zack moved sluggishly, like through water with weights on his ankles. Had the air become dense? Had he landed in the middle of a strange videogame? Finally he pushed the door open. Blinded by bright light, Zack stood paralyzed. He tried to step inside, to no avail. His legs refused to move.
Unable to scream his frustration, he remained frozen in the doorway, immobilized by a strange force that controlled his body. As his eyes adjusted to the brightness, the unobstructed view of his sisters room chilled his spine.
Bent over the bed, a tall creature of humanoid proportions hovered above the floor, wearing a long, shimmering cape that accentuated its square shoulders. Seven-year-old Ashley, her blue eyes wide with terror, blonde curls framing her tan face, clutched her favorite Barbie Doll, her mouth open in a silent wail.
Get away from my sister, you freak! No word came out of Zacks mouth.
The creature turned to face Zack. Under the hood, the bald skull glowed from within, blue, pink and green, like a see-through phone. The face had large oval eyes, milky skin, elongated cheeks, and a straight thin mouth etched with grim determination.
Hang on, Ashley, Im coming. When Zack attempted to rush the creature, his feet stuck to the floor. He tried to yell but his vocal cords remained mute. He wanted to break the freaks skull, bloody the monsters small nose, make it feel pain. What did this thing want with his baby sister?
The creature turned its attention to a small device it held in spidery fingers. The bright light shrunk to a wide oblique beam that angled out through the gaping window. Beyond it, an ominous shadow hung above the house. The vibration emanated from it. Zack couldnt believe what he saw. A spacecraft?
Howling inside, but unable to intervene, Zack watched as the creature lifted his frightened sister from the bed. Ashley didnt protest when the monster wrenched the Barbie doll from her grip and threw it back on the blanket. Then the monster stepped into the beam of light and floated out the window with its prize. The paralyzing hold ebbed. Zack staggered into the room toward the window. He wanted to call for help but his throat still refused to make any sound.
As Zack stepped after them into the beam of light, the creature had almost reached the waiting craft. The alien pointed a small device at Zack. The shot sizzled and shook him like an electroshock. Zacks legs buckled from the pain. He hit the plush pink rug and darkness engulfed him.
Find this book and many others by Vijaya at Amazon.com:
Blasters, Guns, Swords, Cats, Romance with a kick