Chapter Five: The Six
“And now we return to Star Hunters: The Journey of Astronomers!” announced a woman on the television.
Adam and Luke were sitting on the couch in Cara’s living room. Cara had invited everyone to her house so they could decide what they wanted to do. Adam and Luke had arrived first, so Cara invited them to watch T.V. while she took a shower and got ready.
“What’s an astronomer?” Luke asked.
“They’re crazy people who spend all their time thinking about outer space. I think they’re about to explain it now,” Adam replied.
“Most astronomers entered this field of study in search of an explanation for the Star Phenomenon. The bright dots that appear in the night sky were once thought to be sources of energy in the deep reaches of outer space. After World War II, it was discovered that stars are an illusion caused by the highest level of Earth’s atmosphere. However, that explanation is vehemently opposed by astronomers.”
“So they’re trying to prove that stars are a real thing that exist in space? Sounds useless,” Luke said.
“Hey, are you falling asleep? Everyone else is going to be here in a few minutes!”
“I’m just resting my eyes and listening to the star stuff,” Luke said.
Adam knew that Luke wasn’t typically a lazy person, but when he wanted to fall asleep there was no stopping him. Adam sighed and returned his attention to the T.V. program. He wasn’t all that interested in Star Hunting, but he did find the belief to be strange. Of all the things that someone might want to prove to exist, why stars? They’re just lights in the night sky. It doesn’t matter whether they exist or not.
“We’re here now with a well-known Star Hunter in the astronomer community. What would you like to say in defense of astronomers?”
“We’re not just about stars, you know. There are many more objects in space that others deny. Concepts like planets and asteroids have existed in records throughout human history. Just because we don’t have evidence of them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.”
“Is it like that time when people thought the Sun revolved about the Earth?”
“Yes. If you read those theories, you will also find talk of planets.”
“What do you say to people who say that this is evidence that planets don’t exist? If people were wrong about the Sun revolving around the Earth, then surely they were also wrong about other planets existing.”
“I say that there is just too much evidence suggesting there’s more to the world than the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon. There are other planets besides our own and there are other stars besides the Sun!”
The doorbell rang and Adam got up off of the couch. He looked over at Luke who was sound asleep and the proceeded to answer the door. John, Martha, and Tracy had arrived and Adam invited them in. Cara walked down the stairs and greeted them as well.
“Star Hunters?! That’s my favorite show!” Martha exclaimed.
“It’s all nonsense,” said John.
“I like the ideas of the show, but I have to agree with John,” said Tracy. “That’s good stuff for science fiction, but it just doesn’t work with reality.”
“Adam, why is Luke lying on the couch like that?” Cara asked.
“What? Oh, no reason Cara…”
Cara smiled and Adam rushed to defend Luke. Cara enjoyed pulling small pranks on Luke whenever he fell asleep. Because Luke was such an alert person when he was awake, the times when he slept were rare and the only time he showed any signs of weakness.
Despite his general attitude and tendency to show up to everything late, Luke was actually quite perceptive.
“Cara is showing her sadistic side again,” said Martha.
“What? I haven’t even done anything yet,” Cara said.
John smiled and joined Martha in teasing Cara. Luke woke up before anything could happen and eventually everyone calmed down and decided that they wanted to go and see a movie. Because Cara was the type of person who got cold easily, she went to get a jacket while everyone else went outside. Even though it was April, the nights were still cool.
After she retrieved her jacket, she noticed that the T.V. was still on.
“How can you explain what happened on April 16th?” the interviewer continued.
Cara stopped herself from turning off the T.V. and listened to what the man had to say. April 16th was a day that something impossible had happened to her. She had gone exploring in underground passages with her friends that day. She saw herself, a glimmering ghost-like version from another world, who told her to live her life. The chances that there was a connection between her experience and the event they were talking about on T.V. were low, but Cara was compelled to listen.
“It’s proof that stars exist! There were strange fluctuations in energy everywhere. An odd pattern of solar flares from our Sun, changes in power levels from nuclear power plants, and strange patterns in the sky.”
“For a moment it looked as if there were objects similar to our moon. We believe these were planets and the strange energy fluctuations made them temporarily visible.”
“You believe that the planets are there, just that they aren’t visible?”
“I didn’t until that day. There were strange energy readings in the day around 2 P.M. and then later that night we saw visions in the sky. These signs cannot be ignored.”
2 P.M. was the time that Cara and her friends were inside of the caves beneath the library. For some reason, Cara pressed the power button on the remote and left the room. Had she heard enough or was she scared of hearing more? Cara pushed all of this to the back of her mind and went to enjoy a night with her friends.
Outside, Cara entered Martha’s car as Martha had offered to drive everyone to the movie theater. Even though the car was only supposed to hold five people, Cara, John, Adam, and Luke managed to squeeze into the back row of seats while Tracy and Martha sat comfortably in the front.
“What are we going to see?” Martha asked as she began driving. “There’s a new apocalypse movie about a world where stars have fallen on the Earth.”
“Enough with the stars that don’t exist,” said John.
“Fine, fine,” Martha said. “How about that new romantic comedy that they’ve been advertising nonstop? I still don’t know the name or who’s in it.”
John whispered something to Cara.
“Luke and I already saw that,” Adam responded.
“Knew it,” John said as Cara laughed.
“What?” Adam asked with a confused expression.
“Whenever we go to the movies, you two have always seen everything that any of us would want to watch,” John explained.
“You’re ruining the group dynamic,” Tracy said playfully. “This sort of thing is common in stories. Members of a group start becoming couples and then the group dissolves.”
“I guess we can’t be friends unless I break up with Adam,” said Luke. “Sorry, Adam.”
Everyone laughed as Adam tried to figure out it Luke was serious or not. If there was anyone on the planet who would say such a ridiculous thing and follow through with it, it would be Luke. Eventually, everyone was able to convince Adam that Luke was just kidding.
“There’s nothing that can break apart our friendship,” said Cara.
“You said that in the caves,” responded John. “None of us can figure out why you were suddenly inspired down there.”
“Well, the people on that Star Hunters show were talking about strange energy things happening at 2 P.M. yesterday. Maybe that was it,” Cara said. She couldn’t tell the truth so she used an excuse that had been provided for her.
“See how relevant that show is to our lives?” Martha exclaimed happily.
“Look what you’ve done now,” said Luke.
By that time, they had arrived at Greyville’s movie theater. They decided to see a family movie as that was the only one that began within the hour. Tracy said that she had heard good things about it and everyone was satisfied with their choice by the end of the movie.
Greyville’s movie theater was small and was only able to show a few popular movies at a time. Managing to watch a movie that wasn’t disappointing was good enough for everyone even if it wasn’t anything memorable.
“Does anyone have to use the bathroom before we leave?” asked Martha.
“I’ll be just a minute,” said Cara.
“What a fancy way of saying that,” Adam commented.
Cara smirked as she turned around and went to the restroom. When she exited, there was no longer anyone in the lobby of the movie theater. Even the employees had left and Cara found this strange. As she walked toward the door, she was approached by two suspicious men wearing outfits that made Cara think they were detectives from the 1940’s.
“Cara Klein?” one of them asked.
“Uh, yes…” she replied. She was uncomfortable and didn’t want to speak to these two men. They looked away from her and Cara took this as a sign that they didn’t want to talk to her. She was happy to leave, but at that time she was grabbed and pulled back.
Before she could yell, cloth was tied around her mouth and she had been lifted up by the two men. Cara was flipped so that she could only see the ceiling. From what she could see, the men were carrying her into one of the theaters. Her vision turned dark and she could hear the sound of a movie playing.
Then there was the sound of a door and she could see a red light. Cara knew that they were taking her outside through the emergency exit.
She saw the night sky and knew that she was in an alley behind the movie theater. She continued to struggle, but she was unable to accomplish anything. The two men were holding her in a way that made escape impossible. Panicking, she used all of her strength to fight whatever was about to happen to her.
As her vision began to fade, Cara felt a feeling of dread. Her vision was gone and only the thought that she had been kidnapped remained. And, somehow, she knew that she was headed somewhere far from Greyville. She thought of her friends and the horrible reality that they were about to face. She thought of her parents and everyone else that she knew.
They might never see her again.