As the sun pulled the horizon over itself for a night’s rest, the life of the darkness shook sand from its eyes. Fireflies began popping up in twos and threes, dogs howled in the distance; the low murmur of the 9:30 B Train could be heard. Crickets stirred and mosquitoes set out to bother. Two little girls, Beth and Barb, sat against a blue ’53 Buick Skylark rusting away in the scrapyard. The pink and purple sky cast down a crepuscular light any artist could bathe in.
A ruffle, a clickclickclick, a ruffle, a clickclickclick. Two young cats wrestled away on top of the car. Pouncing and leaping, gnawing at each other. Beth, the younger of the two twirled a dandelion. Barb drew letters in the dirt with a twig, humming a tune to a song she did not know the name of. As the color continued to dwindle, while the gray scales overthrew the world, as the girls sat there, something extraordinary began to happen. The same marvelous happening that always happened.
The headlights of the Buick began to slowly glow brighter and brighter. The cats stopped wrestling, lifting their heads with quick sniffs of the surrounding air, they casually hopped down and trotted away into another area of the wasteland of useless heaps. The crickets seemed to stop cricketing as sudden as the manner in which they do if you actually were to poke around for them. The fireflies glowed further and further away. Even the mosquitoes seemed to find somewhere else to go. This occurred every night as the sun slipped away.
Beth told Barb, “it’s goin’ on again.”
Barb told Beth to shut it.
As the last of the sunlight slipped away, the headlights of the rusty blue Buick, that had no motor, pointed two perfect beams of blue light at the tire pile in front of the only other ’53 Buick Skylark in the whole junk lot. The other one was rusty red. So there, in the fresh darkness between two little girls and a tire pile, in between two rusty ’53 Buicks appeared a figure. A short hooded figure, no taller than Beth. The mysterious character of apparition stepped forward.
“Hi Beth. Hi Barb,” said the hooded ally.
“Hi Michael,” the girls spoke in a welcoming unison.
“Did you have a good day?”
Beth nodded. Barb spoke for the two of them, rambling on about her day and how Mrs. George is terribly boring and math is dumb. “How about you?”
Michael went on to talk about how his folks still can’t seem to get their ship lifted so he has been running through the woods most of the day, tasting different bugs. Barb about gagged. Beth was impressed.
In the distance, a voice was yelling.
“Uh-oh, Gramma’s calling.” Barb pulled out her book bag, unzipped it, and retrieved a grocery bag from within. “Here we got you some of these today. See if your folks can make use of them.”
“They’re called batteries; they make the TV work proper!” Beth enthusiastically spit out.
Barb shook her head. “She’s right. Kind of. They’re like our source of power. Could help your ship.”
Michael pulled his hood back with one slender hand and reached for the bag with the other. “Oh wow, thanks. Mother and Father will appreciate your generosity.” Even in the darkness, the two massive black eyes covering a well sculpted hairless head was easily distinguishable. “Thank you very much friends!”
Gramma was still yelling somewhere in the distance. Beth danced around eagerly. The thought of potential trouble always got her dancing. Michael tucked the bag of batteries into his pocket.
“Here I thought you could use this for food.” Michael handed them a box of flowers.
Barb laughed. Beth made a face.
The two girls and the visitor said goodbyes and hugged, agreeing to meet again tomorrow, the same as they did every night. The lights of the Buick lit up once more and Michael vanished as the girls skipped through the waist-high grass and the scattered cars and shopping carts, laughing away about flowers and ‘boys are so dumb.’
As the girls came into the visibility of the house, their Gramma scolded them and began yelling about responsibilities, prayers, and brushing their teeth before bed. She scooted them with a broom. The girls ran into the house with ‘yes ma’ams’ and ‘it won’t happen again ma’ams.’
Back in the field, the two cats returned to the blue Buick the girls sat in front of every evening waiting for Michael. The crickets went at it ten-fold in chirping to make up for their brief moment of missed noise making. The fireflies flooded in. The mosquitoes bothered whatever they could bother. The moon casts down a soft shimmer over the Buick and the night went on.