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‘Wrong Turn to Roswell’

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Heather Donahue Art Alan's mother is an artist whose favorite medium is welding metal sculptures. Will she be able to hide the aliens?

Episode 12: Let Them In …

By S.E. Smith

The children’s story, “Wrong Turn to Roswell,” by USA Today and The New York Times bestselling author S.E. Smith started with episode 1 and 2 in the Vision Magazine published on Dec. 21, 2017. The magazines are available for free at rdrnews.com/special-publications.

The story continued in the Vision section of the Roswell Daily Record, Sept. 23, with Episode 11: The Plan.

What happened: A spaceship with a vacationing robot family had to land for repairs in the back of an artist’s welding studio in Roswell. The robot father Copper and their mother Diamond warn their son Iron and his sister Carbon to not get into trouble. Despite the warning, the kids run out after their dog Rover and encounter two human boys, Alan and Matt. The boys promise to help, but the robots are in danger of being found out by Stanton Friedman, Roswell Daily Record reporter Christina Stock and one of the instructors from Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. While Friedman and the reporter keep their cool, the instructor Dr. Lancer collapses. An ambulance is called and takes him away to the hospital, but the secret is out and a mob gathers. The Roswell Police Department’s Chief Deputy Shane Baker arrives to interrogate the robots and is soon convinced that they are friendly. He contacts the publisher of the Roswell Daily Record, Barbara Beck, for support. The adults don’t have any idea how to protect the robots, but Alan has a plan he tells his mother.

Alan couldn’t help but think how crazy his life had become in one day! Yesterday, he was a normal kid — well, sort of normal if you factored in that he actually liked going to school and doing homework. He was on his way to receiving another award for Nerd of the Year.

He watched as Miss Christina and Miss Barbara led Diamond and Copper up the stairs to his mom’s workroom. He looked over at where Stan and Chief Deputy Baker were talking. They were discussing the best way to handle the news without seeming to be lying.

“Hey, Alan, there’s a group of people outside. Do you think we might go viral? I bet Mr. Gabon would give me a passing grade if that happened,” Matt said, peering out the window.

“Why don’t you fetch the helmet you got earlier and put it on. Maybe they’ll think you are the alien and take you away,” Alan replied, his voice laced with a tinge of hope.

He looked at Carbon when she snorted. “I tried that with Iron once. No one would take him,” she chuckled.

“Ha-ha, Carbon. Where should I hide, Alan?” Iron asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe by the door?” he suggested.

He watched as Iron walked over to stand near the door. There was no way anyone would think his mom had created Iron. The robotic boy looked too … real. He was about to suggest somewhere else when his mom walked by him with one of Alan’s jackets and a lamp shade.

He watched as she perched the lamp shade on Iron’s head. She adjusted Iron’s arms so that his hands were curved upward. She hung the jacket from Iron’s fingers. Carbon giggled when Alan’s mom told Iron to turn his eyes on every time she touched him.

“Voila, you are a touch lamp,” his mom said with a flourish of her hand and a grin before she turned to look at Carbon. “Now, for you.”

He watched as his mom had Carbon stand in a corner of the living room. She pulled a painting that she was planning to hang on the wall from behind the couch and instructed Carbon to display it like an easel.

She stepped back and looked at Carbon with a critical eye before she disappeared into another room. A moment later, she reappeared with her paint-splattered smock and hat. She arranged both on Carbon before she stood back again to assess the effect.

“That looks great, Ms. Whitehead,” Matt said with a grin.

“Jennifer, I think you’d better open the door,” Christina said.

“Places, everyone,” Jennifer instructed.

Alan scooted over closer to Matt. He motioned for the other boy to sit down on the couch. A quick look at Matt’s excited face had him cringing. He leaned forward and picked up the helmet Matt had purchased earlier that day from the thrift store and shoved it over Matt’s head at the same time as a dozen people swarmed into his home’s living room.

“Hey! Who turned out all the lights?” Matt exclaimed.

* * *

Carbon watched with curiosity as more humans came into the room. She was fascinated by the aura of excitement and all their different sizes, shapes and colorful clothing they wore. She almost emitted a squeak when she saw the man from the car enter the room.

“Where are they?!” the man yelled.

“Dr. Lancer, should you be out of the hospital already?” Jennifer Whitehead asked with concern.

The man’s wild eyes flashed around the room. His gaze swept past her to the couch. He pushed his way through the maze of people and stopped in front of Alan and Matt. He reached down and pulled the helmet off of Matt’s head.

“Ouch! Hey, that’s mine!” Matt complained, reaching for the helmet even as he rubbed his ear.

“Where are they? Where are the aliens?” Herb Lancer demanded.

“Herb, I think you need to calm down,” Chief Deputy Baker said.

Herb turned to face several people looking at him with skeptical expressions. He swung around in a semi-circle, pausing when he saw Iron standing by the door. Someone had hung their hat from his other outstretched hand.

“There! That’s one of them,” Herb exclaimed, pointing a shaking finger at Iron.

“That’s a new touch lamp that I’ve made,” Jennifer stated in a soothing voice. “Touch him.”

Carbon watched as a woman standing next to her brother tentatively reached out and touched his arm. She fought to hide her grin when he turned the lights in his eyes on, then off again when the lady touched him a second time. A slightly uneasy laughter filled the air.

“No … I’m telling you, I saw them. I saw the aliens! I … Here’s another one!” Herb desperately asserted, walking toward where Carbon was posed.

“Don’t touch that! The paint may still be wet,” Jennifer quickly admonished before he could get to Carbon. “You know, since everyone is here, I was planning on having an open house. Why don’t I give you all a tour of my studio?” she added, clapping her hands together and drawing everyone’s attention back to her.

Carbon watched as Christina and Barbara corralled the wild-eyed man between them. Within minutes, they had him heading back out the front door with Chief Deputy Baker following closely behind them. Only when everyone else was gone did Alan fall back against the couch cushion with a soft groan.

“This is crazy,” he muttered, running his hands down his face.

“And it’s only Friday! Can you imagine what tomorrow’s going to be like? I love this town!” Matt exclaimed falling back against the cushion as well, clutching the helmet in his lap.

The story continues Nov. 18 with Episode 13: And … Here comes Day 2.

S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, international award-winning author of science-fiction, fantasy, paranormal and contemporary works for children, young adults and adults. She enjoys writing a wide variety of genres that pull her readers into worlds that take them away. Smith was part of this year’s UFO Festival and GalactiCon where she gathered more information about the town and its people to include in her story.

Smith has also a book series published about the fictitious town Magic, New Mexico, which was inspired by her first trip to our area in 2015 and is located somewhere between Roswell, Artesia and Carlsbad.

Smith’s newest short story “Heart of the Cat: Serafin Warriors Book 3” is featured in the USA TODAY bestseller, “Pets in Space 3,” science-fiction romance anthology, which is available for a limited time as an ebook at online shops. For more information, visit sesmithfl.com/embrace-passion-pets-space-3.

Proceeds from this anthology go to hero-dogs.org, which provides service dogs to veterans.

Readers can check out her website at sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at facebook.com/se.smith.5.