It feels good to be outside on a Saturday morning without the glasses that my father designed for me. I take a deep breath of the humid air and can’t get enough of the vibrant summer colors. Hints of the coming autumn peek through the leafy shades of green in touches of reds and yellows. How do people live in the shadows all the time? How will I survive an entire year in school wearing glasses that turn everything nearly monochrome? One week down, many long months to go.
The swing on the porch looks inviting, and I sink into the plush cushions, pushing myself back and forth with a toe. I’m beyond frustrated that my parents are avoiding my questions. If I approach them about what I overheard, Dad disappears into his lab or leaves for the observatory, and Mom always finds a way to change the subject.
Looking off the porch, the meadow grass is thick and rich in the lingering summer heat, alive with the life-forces of small animals. A squirrel stills, sits up, and sniffs the air before it resumes its search for buried treasure. A mouse scurries into a hole, while a red-tailed hawk circles above and screeches. Their bodies glow like overgrown fireflies. I breathe in the peace of the moment.
A wall of trees surrounds our property, cut by a path that leads through the woods to the twins’ house. Sky is in most of my classes and we meet for lunch every day. It’s only been a week, but I like her company. She and Pax don’t look much like twins, the only resemblance between petite Sky with her long red hair, and tall, blond Pax being the shape of their eyes huge and slightly tilted, like cat eyes. I see the same shape on myself when I look in the mirror.
High above the meadow the silver disk of my lonely Sentinel glows in the sunlight. Mom and Dad don’t see it. Dad says it’s cloaked, which makes it invisible to most people. The hawk flies below it, scanning the meadow for food.
I catch the glint of an aircraft over the trees to my right and look for it. The local Cherokee have a regional airport in that direction and often fly their small airplanes near here. However, this one isn’t making any noise. Where’s the sound of the engine?
I watch it clear the treetops and my jaw drops. I can’t believe it. A second silver disk rises to the level of my Sentinel and floats next to it. Where did it come from? Why is it here?
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