I’m with my best friend Sherry and my younger sister. We’ve walked a mile with Sherry to her home so that Sherry can collect her things to spend the night at my house. It’s dusk. I’m 14.

There are no street lamps. The backyards face into miles of woods. The interior lights from the houses we pass barely penetrate the gloom of the falling darkness.

Sherry’s house is alone, the last one on the right after a steep incline. There is no home across from her because the hill rises even more sharply to its peak and is filled with elephant-sized boulders.

As we approach her yard I can see a faint glimmering near the ground in the upland bog beyond the groomed lawn of her home. I wonder what could make such a glow as I stand inside her bedroom and wait for her to gather up her things.

We come out of the house. I continue to peer into the darkness to figure out the mystery of the shimmering light in the swamp as we cross her front lawn. As we begin our ascent down the steep road I share my questions with a bit of exaggeration.

“Is it a UFO? Look at it! What is it?”


They look back. The light rises behind us as our steps take us down the hill. They scream. I join in. We break into a run. I glance over my shoulder only to see that the mysterious light appears to be chasing us. Now, I fall under my own spell of inciting fear and jabber.

“It’s rising as fast as we are running!”

Our hearts pound. Our lungs gasp for air. Our feet hurtle us toward my home.

We arrive out of breath and terrified.

We talk all over ourselves as we struggle to get out our words to describe what we saw to my parents. My father grabs his camera. We scare my mother. My mother locks the doors. She will later tell us she broke into goose bumps.

My dad tosses us into the station wagon and commands us to show him this thing. He has high hopes it is a UFO. We are too frightened to sit up front. We huddle in back with our noses barely above the front seat.

After we turn the corner to drive back up the hill to Sherry’s house, we see the full moon shining down at us.

They’ve never let me live it down.

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