Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
A science-fiction murder mystery
By Evelyne Martin
What happened before: A mysterious woman achieved to kill the father of 16-year-old Will Martinez and made it look like a hit-and-run accident — it hadn’t been her first attempt. While the family tries to move on, Will struggles with the loss of his father with whom he shared an affinity to tame even the wildest animals. Will Martinez is not alone, his friends Maria and Isa Chavez, and Pierre Guillaune “Frenchy” Jones are worried about him. Why was the father killed? What secrets are hiding behind the surface of the small town of Roswell, New Mexico?
The sun was going down over the roofs of Roswell, everybody was heading home. While the last patient left the veterinarian clinic with his owner, some patients were not so lucky:
They were cold and scared. The friendly, two-legged sentient being had not returned. They were left with the torturer. Miserable, they connected their brain waves to feel some comfort in the dark cages that separated them. They were still young and it was difficult to keep the connection between them up for a longer period. The youngest closed the connection first being exhausted. The oldest hummed, remembering the warmth of their home, safe with others working within their group to help the tall ones. They had collective memories of the time the tall ones had asked their forefathers and -mothers to join them on their journey through the vacuum. It was a journey that ended in the tall ones’ destruction, and their family diving into the next wave of existence, leaving them. They had survived the crash of their ship, but didn’t know how to survive on this strange planet. So they had approached the local two-legged talls, trying to connect and find help. Instead of help, they were caught, put in cages and were now being tortured. They knew they were all alone because there was silence where once other connections were.
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Suddenly the light turned on in the room below the veterinarian’s clinic, painfully bright for the caged creatures who hadn’t seen the light of day in months. Each of the young ones scampered into the far back of its cage, though it wouldn’t help if the tall ones wanted to grab them. The oldest one stayed at the front of the cage. It was stronger than the others and felt protective toward the little ones, even though it had hatched only a week before the others.
The staccato sound of heels echoed through the room and within a minute, a woman in a white veterinarian’s coat came in sight, walking down the stairs and then toward the cages. “Well, well,” she chirped in almost a singsong voice, “Who’s turn is it today, hmm?” Looking at the cage of the oldest creature, she smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “You’re volunteering, No. 1?” She opened the cage and snatched the creature. “Gosh, you are so ugly, you are almost cute,” she mumbled to herself. Strapping No. 1 into a harness, she looked at him and frowned; it was a little loose. “If you lose too much weight, I’ll have to force-feed you. You will not like that one bit.” She hadn’t believed her colleague when he told her that he thought the creatures were more intelligent than animals. Now her colleague had found an untimely end. The creatures, her findings and her book would make her rich and famous and she wouldn’t have to share.
She was just getting ready to draw blood from the creature when she heard the doorbell ring upstairs. Huffing, she put the syringe aside. It must be an emergency, which means after-hour fees she could pocket without the veterinarian knowing. She looked down to the creature who looked as if it was dozing. The doorbell rang again, “I’m coming, I’m coming,” she grumbled, removing her gloves. That critter was too weak to try to free itself. She would take care of the business upstairs and return to continue her work, she decided. It would be a waste of time to put the test subject back in its cage.
As soon as she walked up the stairs and out of the door, No. 1 started to shake and stretch, slowly slipping out of the harness. It ripped part of his tender skin raw, but he didn’t stop until he was free. He connected with his fellow prisoners and their excited thoughts made him dizzy for a moment. He growled and the barrage on his brain ended. He looked at them, there was no chance that he could free them by himself. He needed to find an ally, he needed to find somebody he could connect and communicate with.
He transferred his plans to the others and all agreed. Swiftly, No. 1 turned and hopped up the stairs; luck was with him, their torturer hadn’t completely shut the door. He heard her talking and another of her species answering. Carefully he looked around the corner and, seeing that the tall ones were thoroughly distracted, he sped along the wall from shadow to shadow, using furniture and pots with vegetation to hide his escape. He got as far as the door leading outside when he had to stop. This door was shut. Desperate, he looked around and up. There — a window was open. With two of his front paws, he grabbed onto cloth that framed the window and hauled himself up. Squeezing through the open window, he suddenly lost his hold and tumbled down toward the ground; a rocky ground with spiky vegetation that pierced his right side.
He looked down, fortunately the spikes hadn’t pierced him deeply, but the wounds were bleeding. No. 1 knew the blood trail would give him away if the torturer would come looking for him, and she certainly would. He grabbed some of the dirt and packed it against the bleeding wound, sealing it. His body could fight off any bacteria or virus that may be in the soil, he knew. A shiver ran through him, time to run, to hide and then to find help so he could free his fellow Markwens. Markwens was their species’ name, not that he had any way to let anybody know. He needed to find somebody who could understand him. An angry yell pierced the night, his escape was discovered. Turning around, he ran off into the darkness.
To be continued.
Evelyne Martin is originally from Toronto, Canada. As an Army brat, she said she traveled all over the world. In 2004, she finally settled down with her cocker spaniel and several horses on a small ranch between Albuquerque and Jemez Springs. Martin has worked for other authors as a copy editor and as a ghost-writer in England, Ireland and the U.S. This mystery story about five Roswell teenagers was inspired by her visits during the UFO Festival, which she never misses since she moved to New Mexico. For more information, visit her Facebook page @EvelyneMartinAuthor.