Lost In Another World
The Green World
Part One: The Vortex
Tom Ackley brushed his long black hair back over his head as he came out the door. He stood on the porch looking at the grocery list his mom had written up for him.
Both sides of the street were lined with one family houses. Tom wanted to go to the local convenience store. But mom wanted him to go to the super market that was about five blocks away.
Tom didn't like going to the store for mom because he felt mom was too picky. The truth was that mom wasn't picky at all. She just preferred the super market because it was less expensive.
Englewood park was only a block out of his way. So Tom decided to take a quick walk to the park. It wouldn't take very long at all. The park had a beach, a baseball field, a tennis field and a playground for young children. The playground contained monkey bars, a swing set, a sand box and a slide. A few children were playing on the monkey bars and one other child was on the slide.
The grassy area of the park behind Tom had a few trees in it along with a dirt path to Washington Ave.
A mist came through the park. The mist was about five feet wide and ten feet tall. As the mist came over Tom, he could not see the playground.
Someone tapped on Tom's shoulder. He turned around and saw his friend Jim. After the mist passed, Tom saw a wooded area behind Jim. Then the wooded area momentarily disappeared.
"What's the matter?" asked Jim.
"Oh ummm" Tom rubbed his eyes and shook his head, "Nothing.
The parents had been sitting on the benches on the opposite side of the playground. They got up and called their children. Then they rushed the children out of the park.
An old man standing on Washington Ave had not seen the wooded area even though he was looking across the park. He asked the parents what the matter was, But they hurried their children passed him without speaking a word.
Again, the mist came through the park. Tom and Jim saw a wooded area for a few moments, then it disappeared.
"What is heck is going on?" Jim sounded annoyed and fearful.
A little creature suddenly appeared near the boys and rushed away.
"What was that?" asked Tom.
Jim did not respond.
The mist came through for a third time.
Jim took off his eyeglasses and rubbed his eyes. Then he used his shirt to wipe the eyeglasses clean before putting them back on.
Jim and Tom were bewildered by what they saw. The sky was bright orange. The trees were fifty feet tall The wooded area extended out as far as Tom and Jim could see -- in every direction.
"Whoa! What happened?" asked Tom, "Where is Washington Ave? Where are all the houses?"
"Where are the telephone poles? The cars? What the heck is going on?" asked Jim.
That's when they heard the growl so deep it resonated through their chests.
Part Two: The Planet
Mrs Ackley opened the front door and glanced up and down the street. She watched Mr Ackley park his car in the driveway.
She raced to the car. "Did you find him?" She asked anxiously glancing at the passenger seat.
"I talked to an old man who was on Washington Ave. He said his name is Liam. I've seen him before. He's always on some street corner asking for change. Anyway, I described Tom to him. He said he saw Tom and another boy in the park."
"Well . . . You said that Tom left here at about twelve this afternoon. So Liam must have seen him about ten past twelve -- Because Tom never showed at the grocery store."
"Liam doesn't know what happened to them." Mr Ackley paused, "However, people who live on Washington Ave said they saw a huge sphere in the sky just before Tom and his friend disappeared."
"A huge sphere? That's crazy."
"They said it looked like ... a planet." he frowned.
"Really? Did you talk to the police?"
"Yes. They said we have to wait 24 hours before reporting Tom missing."
"Twenty four hours? We can't wait that long! What do they mean twenty four hours!" She pause, "Did you tell the police what you found out?"
"No. They would think I was crazy. I went into the park to see what I could find."
"Did you find anything?"
"I saw two pairs of footprints -- one pair directly behind the other -- exactly where Liam claimed Tom and his friend were standing. Those footprints were the only footprints in the park."
Part Three: The Two Suns
Tom and Jim had climbed about 30 feet up a tree and had sat on one of its sturdy branches.
"Haven't heard that sound in two hours." Jim said, referring to the growl they had heard, "Maybe it's time to search for a way out."
"This is where we came in. There must be a way out right here."
"Where is it?"
"I don't know. Besides ... When my dad comes looking for us. He'll come in the same way we did. Right here."
"What makes you so sure?"
Tom shrugged his shoulders.
"I saw a movie once where a bunch of guys in a jungle decided to leave a trail." Jim said.
"What kind of trail?"
"One guy had a knife."
"All I have is a quarter."
Jim reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a key. "Maybe this will do."
Tom looked up at the sky. "Look! There are two suns!"
One of the suns was setting.
They heard another deep resonating growl. Only this time it was much louder.
"That sounded close." Jim looked down at the ground. "I don't see anything."
Suddenly the tree start shaking. Tom almost lost his balance.
Both boys were looking down in horror. There was a furry lump at the bottom of the tree. It's long arms were wrapped around the tree. It's arms were the exact same color as the tree.
Now Tom understood why they could not see it. The creature's colors matched the colors of the vegetation around it. The creature let out one last roar. As the creature moved away, it's colors were constantly changing to match the changing colors of the vegetation around it.
Tom and Jim remained silent for a few minutes. They were totally perplexed by their new predicament.
Jim reiterated the need to search for an exit.
"How?" asked Tom.
This time it was Jim who shrugged his shoulders. "We can't just sit here."
Tom felt the branch move. "What was that?"
"I don't know."
One minute later Tom felt the branch move again. "We have to get off this tree!"
"The branches are folding up!"
"The branches are folding up like an artificial Christmas tree!"
After feeling the branch lift one more time and seeing all the branches on all the other trees lift, Tom and Jim scrambled down the tree as fast as they could. They walked a few feet away from the tree.
"What are these trees made of?" asked Jim.
"Feels like wood." Tom paused, "Looks like wood."
"But it isn't. Wood would have cracked."
"No leaves fell off the tree." Tom observed.
"What about the creature?"
"It is in that bush." Tom pointed to the bush that was about 100 feet away from them.
"How can you tell."
"Can't see the tree in back of the bush when I try to look through the bush. Something solid is in that bush and I think it's the creature."
"What if it comes after us?" asked Jim.
"That is a chance we'll have to take."
Tom and Jim did not see the only human footprints that existed. Those footprints were about 10 yards behind them.
Part Four: Coming Together
Mr and Mrs Ackley were at home when they heard a knock on the door. Mr Ackley opened the door.
"Hi,' said the tall thin man, "My name is Fred Thorton and this is my wife Julie Thorton."
"I'm Sam Ackley and this is my wife Helen Ackley." Sam paused, "Come in."
"My son, Jim was with your son when they disappeared ---" Tears flowed from Julie's eyes as Helen hugged her.
They all sat down in the living room. Sam made tea and served pastry with the tea.
This is when Sam heard a noise at the back door. He walked to the back door and peered out the window beside the door. He heard a loud growl.
"What was that?" asked Fred.
"There's some sort of animal on the back porch."
Sam grabbed a kitchen chair and wedged it under the back porch door knob as the animal began banging on the door.
"That's not going to keep it out." Fred said as he took out his cell phone and dialed the police.
Fred looked out the window. The animal was laying on the front porch. It growled at Fred. Fred backed away from the window. He signaled Sam to do the same.
The animal left the porch and started eating the leaves off the bush sitting at the far corner of the yard.
"Amazing!" said Sam. "This animal camouflages itself."
They did not know that this animal was a creature from the other world.
They walked away from the door and sat at the table. A few minutes later they heard a loud growl as the animal banged on the door again.
Sam and Fred rushed back to the back door.
"Helen, Call animal control." Sam said.
"Animal control?" asked Fred.
"I have no idea." Fred admitted.
"Look!" Julie shouted as she raced toward Sam and Fred. She was pointing toward the bush in the back yard.
Just above the bush was a rectangle in mid air. "Jim!" Tears were streaming from Julie's eyes.
They could see through the rectangle into the other world. There in a wooded area filled with vegetation stood Jim and Tom!
A few seconds later, the rectangle disappeared.
Part Five: The Tiny Object
"I'm getting hungry" Jim said.
"I wonder if any fruit is growing among all this vegetation." Tom used his shoe heel to dig a hole in the ground.
"What are you doing?"
"Leaving a trail so we could find our way back."
"Better hope it does not rain."
"Don't have any other way to do it." Tom replied.
"No rocks. Very strange."
"There has to be something --- anything."
They started walking. They kept their distance from the creature in the bush.
They stopped about ten yards from the first hole to dig another hole.
"Stay still," Jim said pointing to two creatures that were approaching them.
"The other sun is setting too. It will be dark soon."
"Look! They're eating the leaves." said Jim.
"Why did one of them attack us?"
"My mom said that animals attack when they're scared."
Twilight only lasted a half hour. Then dusk set in and the stars became visible. Tom searched the stars for a familiar asterism like the Big Dipper but couldn't find any.
The boys decided to sit against a tree and rest until morning.
The boys woke up before the first sun rose above the horizon. They heard the creature that had been hiding in the bush growl.
Then to their surprise the creature charged them. The boys got up and ran. The creature chased them through the woods. They ran for five minutes before the first sun rose.
The branches on the trees lowered to their day time position. Tim and Jim climbed the tree and sat on a branch.
The creature lay at the bottom of the tree, waiting for the boys to come down.
"Now we're lost" Tom looked around, "How are we going to get home?"
"I don't know." A tear rowed down Jim's cheek.
"Uh oh" said Tom, "It is climbing the tree."
Jim looked down to see the creature approaching them.
Both Jim and Tom climbed to the top branch of the tree.
"Go away!" Jim yelled.
The creature climbed to the branch below them and waited.
"What's it waiting for?" asked Tom.
Jim did not respond. "Go away!"
A tiny object appeared in the sky. The creature descended down the tree and moved away quickly.
Tom felt the branches lifting. "We have to get down the tree fast!"
Tom and Jim scrambled down the tree. All branches on the trees folded up. The creature chased the boys to the first tree with unfolded branches.
Then the trees with folded up branches started sinking into the ground leaving a clearing.
"Cool!" Jim said. "This clearing must be the size of a baseball field!"
Tom pointed up at the tiny object. "Whatever that is -- I think it's landing."
"A spacecraft?" Jim asked.
Part Six: The Alien Ruler
As the boys watched the spacecraft descend, they realized that it was shaped like an ellipsoid. It gently landed on the vegetation. Then the top segment of the spacecraft became transparent. One large creature was inside the sphere.
An alien shaped like a human materialized outside the spacecraft. But it was not human. It's eyes were beady. It had a small mouth and it had no nose. This alien was the ruler of the world. The Alien ruler called it the Green World.
Then they heard a voice emanating from the alien ruler. "You must go back. You do not belong in our Green World."
"We don't know how we got here." said Jim.
"Go back and stand exactly where you were when you first arrived. Stand in your footprints."
Tom took a deep breath. "I think you owe us -- " His voice faded.
The alien ruler's eyes morphed into vertical slits. Suddenly Tom and Jim were surrounded by eight creatures.
"What do you mean by 'owe us?' "
"An explanation." said Jim.
The eight creatures disappeared. The eyes morphed back in beady eyes.
Four arms protruded from the alien ruler.
Tom and Jim backed away.
The alien ruler morphed into a large screen. On the screen Tom and Jim saw a creature munching on the vegetation in Tom's back yard
"There you see our rebellious little one. He is a quick learner. However he is an amatuer vortex operator." The alien ruler explained. "He was playing with our Vortex apparatus. That's how you got here."
"Vortex?" asked Jim
"A vortex is an entrance from one world into another world. Our vortex apparatus works fine when one knows what one is doing.... which our rebellious little one did not."
"We are lost." said Jim, "Show us where our foot prints are."
A creature appeared behind the boys. "This way."
The two boys hesitated.
"A word to the wise" the creature pointed to the alien ruler, "Don't defy our ruler."
The boys turned and followed the creature.
"How will you get the rebellious one back?" asked Jim.
"That is not your concern." the creature replied.
At length the creature approached the footprints. "Now stand in your footprints. Jim, you were behind Tom."
The boys did as they were told.
The creature backed away from the boys. Then the alien ruler joined the boys.
Part Seven: Reunited
Fred and Julie Thorton were at Sam and Helen Ackley's house.
Sam was talking. "I can only guess they will return to the same spot we saw them yesterday. But I have no idea when."
All four were at the back window.
"What the heck is that?" asked Fred pointing to a rectangular mist in the back yard.
The rectangular mist passed over the creature who was laying near the bush.
"Strange. Very strange." said Julie.
"Where is the animal?" asked Helen.
"It's in that weird mist." said Fred.
The mist vanished.
"It's gone!" Sam said, "Just like in the park!"
"But where are the boys?" Tears were streaming down Julie's eyes. She turned and hugged Fred.
Helen ran into the bedroom. Sam followed her.
"Why?" Helen barely managed the words. "Why were they taken from us?"
Sam hugged Helen.
"Sam! Helen! Come here. Quick!" yelled Fred. " I think another mist is forming!"
Sam and Helen came to the back door. Helen opened the door. All four stood on the back porch. They waited anxiously for their boys.
"What?" asked Sam, "What happened?"
The alien ruler of the Green world appeared. Tom appeared on the alien ruler's left side and Jim appeared on the alien ruler's right side.
The alien ruler's beady eyes blinked. With that simple blink of the eyes, everyone understood what had happened.
Tom and Jim ran and hugged their parents.
Now that the boys were safely home, the alien ruler disappeared as quickly as he appeared.
The boys were so excited about their adventure, they could hardly wait to tell their parents what had happened.
After the Thortons left, Tom approached his mom. He held out the shopping list and apologized for not going shopping.