Konichiwa! Chapter four has arrived!
Yugi: Okay! This is NOT funny Devil!
Leave me alone I'm just following the story!
DISCLAIMER - I OWN ONLY THE ACCOUNT THE STORY IS ON!
Stranger In the Woods
"This ruins everything, Yugi." wailed Yami when I called him to deliver the bad news. "I can't believe you're getting shipped off to... what's the name of that town, anyways?"
"Domino," I said, with a long, very sad sigh. I twisted the phone cord around and around my finger. "I could just cry."
I'm not usually so depressed. Actually, Yami says I'm annoying happy most of the time. But finding out that I'd be spending six weeks this summer with grampa Solomon in his game shop was enough to put me in a bad mood forever. I mean, the games there are boring and there's nothing fun in Domino City! (I know that's not true, but I put it this way, so sue me)
I hoped that something exciting had happened to Domino since my last visit to grampa Solomon's two summers before. But when dad pulled the car into town, the place looked even duller and drabber than I remembered. One grocery, a hardware store, a gas station, and a not-so-big but a not-so-small library.
We bumped our way down the street that grampa lived on and pulled up in front of the small, two-story Kame Game Shop. I climbed out of the car and looked around. Fields and forests couldn't be seen as far as I could see. Grampa Solomon came running out, dressed in his usual light purple shirt under an old pair of faded overalls and sneakers. He looked a little different than I remembered, a little older, a little more wrinkled, a little shorter maybe?
We all greeted one another, then mom and dad followed grampa Solomon into the house to have tea. I started to let my dog, Joey out of the car so that he could explore the yard. (Haha! Get it!) But the big dirty blond mutt pulled back, his tail between his legs.
"Joey – what's wrong boy?" I asked. He acted like a big scaredy-cat, whimpering and huddling in the backseat.
When I finally coaxed him out with a doggie pretzel, he started barking really loud, and running around and around in circles.
The thing you have to know about Joey is that he never barks. He's really well-behaved. That's why he was being allowed to stay in Domino with me while mom and dad went of on their big trip to Asia. I should have known that something was terribly wrong as soon as Joey started barking. But I didn't guess. I just figured the big dog was excited.
Then when grampa came outside to see what all the fuss was about, Joey really went crazy – growling and snapping like a mean old junkyard hound.
"Oh, dear, Yugi?" he said nervously. "Why is he doing that? Maybe you should put him in the yard."
I didn't want to tie him up, but Joey was just going ballistic! So I tied him to a miniature oak tree and ran back to the porch to say good-bye to my parents.
"Sweetie, I'll miss you," mom said. "You won't be able to call us because we'll be moving around so much. But we'll call when we can and send lots of postcards."
After a lot of hugs and kisses, my parents were off on their trip. I waved sadly, until their car disappeared down the street of cars.
*What a boring summer this is going to be,* I thought glumly.
I had no idea how wrong I was.
Grampa Solomon did his best to cheer me up. "I have a surprise for you, sonny." he said. "Your favorite cookies."
Cookies? I'd almost forgotten that grampa Solomon made the best peanut-butter fudgies in the world.
I took a cookie off the tray he offered. Still warm and soft from the oven. I bit into it eagerly. It was chewy and fudgey and peanut buttery – but something was wrong. Something didn't taste right.
Was it too salty? Were the ingredients different?
*How weird,* I thought. *Grandpa's cookies are always perfect.*
I could see him watching me eagerly, so I finished the cookie and pretended to love it. Then I jammed a few cookies in my pocket and threw on my denim jacket. "I'm taking Joey for a walk," I called out. "Just to relax him."
"Have fun Yugi," he said. "But stay out of the old park around the corner okay?"
*That's weird,* I thought. *He never warned me away from the woods during my other visits.* the park was practically full of trees, a building or two could be hidden in there!
Joey and I had a nice walk in the sloping, green fields. At times, the dog seemed as calm and playful as always, but then he would start barking excitedly again – for no reason at all.
I couldn't get to sleep that night. Maybe it was because Joey had to spend the night outside as punishment for his constant barking. At home, he always slept at the foot of my bed. I tried reading a book, but that only made me feel more awake, so I gazed out the window and counted the stars.
And that's when I saw the frightening lights.
In the purple night sky, six lights, forming a circle.
At first I stared with my mouth hanging open in amazement, the lights hovered over the old park around the corner. I felt their light washing over me – brightening my whole room, bright as daylight.
Then slowly, the circle of lights lowered into the woods, and it became dark again.
A cold shudder shook my body. What had I just seen?
I crept down the hall to grampa's room and called softly outside his closed door. But he has always been a sound sleeper. He didn't wake up. Back in my room, I could hear Joey down in the yard, barking furiously, I shut the window tight.
How would I ever get to sleep?
"Do you know what those lights are out in the old park?" I asked grampa Solomon as I sat down to breakfast.
He narrowed his eyes at me. I thought I saw his dark cheeks take a pink tint. "Lights? What lights Yugi? How do you want your eggs?"
"Scrambled, please. There were about six lights, all in a circle. They were so weird."
"Don't worry, Yugi. I"m sure it's just reflections or something. Have you fed Joey?"
*Why is he so eager to change the subject? I wondered. *Why does he seem so nervous?*
His scrambled eggs tasted different too. Not as fluffy and fresh-tasting as in the past.
After I ate, I took Joey's bowl and filled it up with his breakfast and took it to Joey. Then I sat on the lawn, talking to the dog, and staring at the direction of the old park around the corner – hoping to see something, anything, that might explain those lights. Thinking about those lights made me feel strange. You know how your stomach feels after you've eaten five slices of pizza? That was it, only more nervous and fluttery.
My stomach felt even funnier after grampa and I took a drive to the hardware store.
Did I say "drive"?
It was more like a roller coaster ride!
To my shock, my usually careful grampa drove like a maniac! We almost clipped the mailbox on the way out of the driveway, then he kept weaving from lane to lane and whizzing right through stop signs. I held to the dashboard, too terrified to scream.
I got my voice back when we finally pulled over on Main Street. "Grampa Solomon!" I cried breathlessly. "Is there something wrong with car? Why are you driving like this?"
"Like what?" he replied innocently.
The only thing more frightening that drive through town was the drive back to the house! By the time we returned, we'd gone through two red lights, terrorized a man on his bike, and missed a parked car by an inch!
Grampa Solomon didn't seem to notice that anything was wrong.
My heart still in my mouth, I leaped out of the car and staggered over to Joey. He wagged his long, bushy, dirty blond tail and licked my face, as if I'd been gone for ten years!
But he stopped in mid-lick when grampa Solomon climbed out of the car. "GRRRRRRR," he growled ferociously, straining at his leash.
*What is going on here?* I asked myself.
Why does everything seem so different – so wrong?
I saw the eerie lights again that night, and the next too. Bigger and brighter than ever, hovering in a circle over the old park .
As I pressed my face up against the window to watch them, I suddenly had a frightening thought. They looked just like the light of the alien spaceship in my favorite movie, Attack of the Pod People.
I tried desperately to come up with another explanation for the lights.
Shining upward and in a circle? I don't think so.
Planes can't hover like that, and why would a plane hover over the park anyways?
I felt a chill down my back as I realized there was no other explanation. Aliens had invaded Domino, and they were landing in the old park around the corner near my grampa's house!
Wrapping my arms around myself to stop chills, I found myself thinking about grampa Solomon. He seemed so different, so changed. Had the aliens taken over grampa Solomon's mind? Just like in the Pod People movie? I could hear Joey start to bark down in the yard. Dogs have a sixth sense, I knew. Joey sensed that grampa Solomon was possessed by an alien. That's why he had been barking and growling at him.
Suddenly gripped with fear, I turned away from the window.
Was I next? Would the aliens come after me next?
I had to get out of there. Run away.
Mom and dad were thousands of miles away. Should I call my best friend, Yami, back home? Ryou or Malik maybe? Nah, they'd think I was joking, besides, how could they help?
I needed someone closer!...
Trying not to make a sound, I crept down the stairs to the phone in the kitchen. Grampa Solomon – or whoever he was – had gotten there first.
He had his back to me and couldn't see me. But I could hear him: "Don't worry, my grandson doesn't know. Yes, yes, I told him to stay away from the park around the corner. And he won't know anything until it's all over tomorrow night."
My palms started sweating and I got that itchy feeling under my chin I always get when I'm really nervous.
Until what was all over? The alien invasion? Until Joey and I had been take off to some weird planet where they'd up us in cages?
I had to get back to my room – and fast. I turned back to the stairs, but the floorboards creaked loudly beneath me.
Grampa Solomon whirled around to face me and I gasped, my mouth dropped open in horror.
My grampa's face was glowing green!
"Yugi – what are you doing up?" grampa Solomon demanded. He took a few steps toward me. I suddenly realized I was terrified of him.
"Uh... just going back to b-bed." I stammered, backing away.
I hurried up the stairs, my entire body trembling. I closed the bedroom door tightly and waited. Waited to hear grampa Solomon pad up the stairs and go into his room.
I knew I couldn't spend another minute in the house. I couldn't stay there with an alien from outer space!
Frantically, I pulled on jeans and a sweatshirt. I had to get to the police. I had to tell them about the aliens.
But would they believe me?
*They will if I go to the park and see the aliens first,* I decided.
I know, I know. Wasn't really thinking clearly, but I was having a major panic attack. And it seemed like the best idea at the time.
I sneaked silently down the stairs and out the back door. I should have woken up Joey and brought him with me to the park, but I was so out of my mind with fear, I didn't even think of him. I ran across the backyard, heading to the woods. Nothing but darkness ahead.
No lights hovering in the sky.
What was waiting for me in that darkness?
Were there really aliens there?
I needed to get a glimpse of them – just a glimpse – so I could describe them to the town police and prove there were aliens there.
The woods were dark, steamy, and wet. It was like plunging thought a think jungle. There was no path, so I had to push my way through, stumbling over fallen logs and marshy ground. As I made my way, I kept hearing rustling noses on both side of me.
Was I being followed? Was I being watched?
As I stopped to catch my breath, I light appeared up ahead. Swallowing hard, I moved toward it, the trees thinned out, and I found myself in a large clearing.
What were those sounds?
Or alien voices?
I gasped as the bright lights washed over me, the white beam blinded me, captured me in a harsh spotlight.
I shielded my eyes at the light hovered over me, closing in, covering me, holding me helpless.
"Bring him here," I heard a deep voice order.
I felt hands tugging me.
I tried to pull away, but my captor was too strong.
"You can't take over my brain!" I shrieked. "I won't let you!"
"Cut the lights," another voice ordered.
The harsh lights dimmed to black. I could see smaller lights around me. As my eyes adjusted to the now darker area, I saw a teen about my age, or older walk over to me. He was wearing a blue shirt and a dark blue jeans, with a white trench coat. (Guess who!)
"Young man, I don't know what you're yelling about," he said. "But you can't just wander onto a film set. You just ruined a shot that took three hours to set up."
Film set? I opened my mouth to reply, but no sound came out.
"We asked the people in town to stay out of the park," the man said sternly. "We're finishing our movie tomorrow. Then we'll be out of here."
"M-movie?" I took a deep breath, trying to get myself together. Suddenly, I heard some dogs barking.
"The dogs are ready," a young woman carrying a clipboard announced. She raised a dog whistle to her lips and blew it. It made no sound that I could hear, but the dogs immediately barked louder.
*That explains why Joey has been barking all the time,* I told myself. *He keeps hearing the dog whistle from the park.*
Everything made sense now, grampa Solomon warning me to stay out of the park. The bright lights, my grampa saying on the phone that it would all be over tomorrow night.
"I-I'm sorry," I told the teen. "Really, I'm so sorry."
I felt like a total jerk.
I ran all the way home. Grampa Solomon was waiting for me at the back door, his face tight with worry. "Yugi, where did you go? Where have you been? I was about to call the police."
I told him how sorry I was, and then the words just burst out of me. "I saw the lights, and Joey was acting so strange. And your skin was green, and you drove so wildly. And the cookies were wrong, and – and –"
Grampa Solomon wrapped me in a big hug and held me till I stopped trembling. When I finally back away, he was chuckling. "I guess my green Halloween mask would give anyone the creeps!" he declared.
I laughed too.
"I should have told you about the movie folks," grampa Solomon said, shaking his head. "But I figured they'd be gone by tomorrow."
I started to say something, but he raised a hand to stop me. "I have more to explain," he said, frowning. "I have a confession to make, Yugi. I lost my glasses just before you arrived. And I've been trying to get along without them."
"That's why your driving was so wild?" I cried.
He nodded. "And that's why my cooking may have been a little off, it's so hard to see the ingredients." we hugged each other again and shared a good laugh. "I can't believe you thought I was an alien from outer space!" grampa Solomon said. "You've seen too many movies!"
He was right, I felt like such a fool.
We had some hot chocolate, it didn't taste quite right, but I didn't complain. Then I made my way upstairs to go to sleep. The night had grown cool, and I love sleeping with the windows open. So I went to the linen closet to get an extra blanket.
As I pulled open the door, grampa Solomon's glasses tumbled out.
*Terrific!* I thought. *Now he won't have to buy new ones.*
I picked them up and carried them down the hall to his room. "Grampa Solomon?" I called.
The door was open a crack. I pushed it open and stepped in side, he stood with his back to me. "Grampa Solomon – look. I found your –"
My words choked in my throat as he turned to face me.
And I saw the four slimy tentacles waving at his sides. His skin glowed green in the light from the dresser top. And his third creepy, crazy eye on his head looked at me as his mouth opened.
"You found my glasses!" he croaked, reaching out all four tentacles toward me. "Thank you Yugi."
Solomon: I'M NOT AN ALIEN!
Yugi: Okay... I think I'm going to stay away from green things for awhile...
Joey: *growls* I an't a dog I an't a dog I an't a dog...
Seto: Quit denying it and accept it!
Haha! Total chaos!