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 continues in the Vision section of the Roswell Daily Record, which started Sept. 23.
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 One and encounter two human boys, Alan and Matt. The boys promise to help, but the robots are in danger to be found because of Dr. Lancer who is an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell. A mob gathers, but Alan has a plan. Together with the help of Stanton Friedman, Roswell Daily Record reporter Christina Stock, the Roswell Police Department’s Chief Deputy Shane Baker and the publisher of the Roswell Daily Record, Barbara Beck, the robots hide successfully in plain site as art in the welder studio of Alan’s mom. The next morning, they find out that photos were leaked, and the decision is made to announce the reality of alien robots in Roswell at the UFO Festival and GalactiCon planning committee meeting in the UFO Museum. The reception is friendly, but Iron and Matt sneak downstairs to meet the tourists with Alan and Carbon in pursuit to stop them, but they are too late …
Are you really aliens?” a boy asked.
“Maybe they’re military prototypes. They sure look real,” a woman commented.
Alan tried to peer through the crowd, but the bodies and the flashing lights of cell phone cameras blinded him. He turned when he heard Carbon release a startled squeak. A teenage boy was pulling on one of the coils on her head.
“How rude!” she snapped in outrage.
He grinned when Rover One twisted in her arms and lifted a leg. A stream of dark oil sent the teenager and more than one observer stumbling back several steps. The sudden opening in the crowd allowed him to grab Carbon’s arm and pull her and Rover One through the gap. He’d only taken a few steps to do just that when a loud voice rose above all of the excited chatter.
Alan grimaced when he turned and caught sight of Dr. Herbert Lancer. The older man was striding toward them with a determined, fierce expression. He instinctively stepped in front of Carbon as the man pointed an accusing finger in their direction.
“I knew it. You tried to make me think I was crazy, but I’m not! I knew aliens really existed,” Herb growled.
“Dr. Lancer…,” Alan started to say.
Alan stumbled back when Herb poked a finger into his chest. Rover One growled at Herb in warning. Concerned the man would try to get to Carbon, Alan spread his arms to block Herb from reaching her.
“Don’t you ‘Dr. Lancer’ me! They were in your house last night. I saw them,” Herb loudly declared.
“Chill out, man. They’re cool,” the teenager who had touched Carbon’s hair said.
Everyone in the room turned when Diamond’s frantic voice cut through the air. Alan shot his mom an apologetic expression when he saw the worry on her face. She shook her head and responded with a rueful smile. The local committee members, along with Christina, Alan’s mom, Diamond and Copper walked toward them. The crowd parted and Alan heard murmurs of awe as the robotic parents hurried toward them.
“We were looking for Iron and Matt,” Carbon explained.
“Iron…,” Copper said with a disapproving look at his son.
“Aw, Dad. We were just exploring. This place is awesome and so are the people,” Iron muttered.
“Iron’s a really cool dancer,” a teenage girl commented, flashing Iron a flirty smile and a wink.
Alan wanted to roll his eyes when Iron grinned in response. The sound of Herb Lancer’s grumbling and stuttering protest jerked his attention back to the man. Herb pulled off his hat and ran his fingers through his thinning hair. Confusion and frustration clouded the older man’s eyes. Alan blinked in surprise when Carbon’s mom stepped over and gently took Herb’s trembling hand in hers.
“I’m sorry we scared you, Dr. Lancer. This has been a bit overwhelming for my family as well. My name is Diamond. Let me introduce you to my family. That’s my husband, Copper, with our son, Iron, our daughter, Carbon, and our family pet, Rover One. We are all glad that you didn’t die,” Diamond quietly stated.
Herb Lancer’s mouth opened and closed several times before he finally swallowed and slowly nodded his head. Alan looked around at the museum. He hadn’t realized that the number of people had swelled until the lower floor was filled to overflowing. It would appear that the news of their visitors was quickly spreading through social media.
He turned and blinked when Christina stepped forward with a wave of her hand. The crowd shifted when the members of the committee, his mom, the aliens and the rest of them gathered together to pose for a photo. He turned his head when Carbon stepped up next to him.
“Say Hello World!” Christina said, lifting her camera.
“Hello, World!” the large group said.
Alan grimaced as the flash from the camera blinded him at the same time as Rover One decided to run a very large, cold metal tongue up his cheek. The loud sound of cheering almost deafened him. He turned when he felt Matt’s bony elbow jabbing him in his ribs.
“So, do you think I’d get an A from Mr. Gabon if Iron, Carbon, and Rover One came to school on Monday as my Science Fair Project?” Matt asked.
Alan nodded his head in agreement. “Only you would be this lucky, Matt,” he reluctantly acknowledged.
“Man, don’t you just love this town?” Matt happily sighed.
“Wrong Turn To Roswell continues Feb. 17 with episode 16: A New Life in Roswell
S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY and 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 last year’s UFO Festival and GalactiCon where she gathered more information about the town and its people to include in her story. Smith has a book series 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 book, “Core’s Attack,” is about a chief security officer going through a portal and finding the planet Baade, a world filled with an annoying, male-dominated species called Prime. Readers can check out her website at sesmithfl.com and chat with her on Facebook at facebook.com/se.smith.5.