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    We were herded toward the wall, where a ninja waited. He mooed at the cows, which mooed back for a while. That was simply too silly for me to pay any attention to, so I stared off into space, then practiced looking through the wall. Too bad I couldn't see what was on the other side
    It was a hallway. Made of shiny stuff, like—metal, yeah that was the word. Wow, I'd always wanted to be Wonder Woman. Way cool.
    A horn poked me in the buttock and I realized that I didn't have x-ray vision, a door had appeared in the wall. Darn. I could have aced every exam for the rest of my life. The cows pushed us through and we followed the ninja down an echoing steel hall.
    I think it was then that I realized what had happened. Kidnapped. By aliens. Just like X-Files. Wow. Only they were probably some kind of hideous blobs, and they made themselves look like ninjas so they would frighten us, but not make us die of terror. I hadn't figured out where the cows fit in, though. Lunch? Did aliens eat lunch? I hoped so, because it wasn't even time for breakfast yet, and they might hold off on eating us for a while if that was the case.
    Hall, hall, more hall. I got bored. Being abducted by aliens, ninjas, cows, or other strange creatures is supposed to be exciting, right? Where was the action? Were we on a ship? Another planet? A space station? How long had we been unconscious? My watch suggested I had left the lab less than two hours ago, but maybe they just wanted to mess with my mind, soften me up before interrogation. My hands were sweating, and I wiped them on my jeans. Rick tried to grab one, but I hurried to catch up with our ninja guide and avoided him. When the ninja hurried up to avoid me I realized it was the one who had tried to choke me earlier. Must have given him a complex or something. Too bad. He deserved it.
    I looked back and noticed that Rick was walking on the wall, like the Fly. I can't say it surprised me much, he's always been a slimy sort. Nor did it bother me; stuff was happening again. Nothing worse than missing a night of sleep and work because of aliens and having a dull time, I can tell you. Well, there are worse things, but you don't want to hear them. Or if you do, I only take cash.
    Balls of light began floating through the air around us. The ninja swiped at one with his sword, in a lazy sort of way.
    "Toys," he announce out of the blue. I was surprised he could say anything other than, "You." "No matter how often we tell them to put them away when they're done."
    "Tell who?" I asked.
    "You'll find out."
    Pretty soon there were Fruit Loops crunching underfoot and scattered Twinkie wrappers as well. Gravity had apparently become meaningless; up and down had lost relevance. Then we stood before another steel wall. Everyone was on the same plane for a change, even it did have only one engine left, and that one had just burst into flames.
    A door opened. Even Rick stopped and stared, and I confess I took a trembling breath and fought back the tears which threatened to spill down my cheeks. It was just so beautiful. I can't put it into words. It was a McDonald's playland when you were a kid, it was the rolling hills and valleys of the biggest sandbox in the world, and there were Tonka trucks everywhere. Maybe this was Heaven.
    "Holy shit," Rick muttered, breaking me from my happy daze. I gave him an unfriendly look, and our guide/guard an uncertain one. We had obviously arrived. Now what?
    There came a rushing, swooshing, shushing sound, and the sand began to gather like a wave about to break, towering over our heads, and we watched, stunned and marveling, awed and humble, as the wave of sand approached us, hissing and roaring and sliding and gliding with a noise like a giant wave of sand.

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson