Valiant: Knock Knock…the Sandman…The Gift…Part 26…

In the following days things began to
Return to the quieter time of the routine
On the farm. It was as if a slow exhaustion
Had set in from everything that would
Allow nothing more. Jon was grateful for
That. He managed to visit briefly a few
Times with Sara’s camp as the sightings
Of the lights continued…but there were
No great revelations shed as some hoped.
By far it was mostly theories and
Speculations for those who made the time
For it…While for others life went on as

The days became weeks like this with
Nothing much to satisfy the people.
Nature and the animals seemed to say
More…again, for those that notice
Such things. There was an uneasiness
That steadily grew in the animals, with
Strange illnesses and sudden deaths
In places…and the predators were more
Active than ever before. The weather
Seemed more hostile than normal, with
Violent storms and pouring rain…And
Odd tremors shook the ground unlike
Ever before. It was as if nature was
Echoing some imbalance in things.
And this would only grow as the mood
In the air with the people would not
Come to a rest.

Jon sometimes wondered on the man
In black’s words about peoples’
Outlook of peace…if it could affect
Nature at all, and if higher powers
Did as well. But everyone had ideas
Ono this, perhaps that’s what faith
Was for…or fate, depending on how
One looks at it. From deep within all
That Jon knew was that things were
Building…for something not so far

Then it came to summer…when everything
Was full and green. It had been some time
Since anything strange had happened…so
It seemed the season must have brought
The chance again…

It was a full one late summer night
When Jon awoke in the middle of
The night out of a deep sleep to that
Feeling that he had no words for. He
Sat up suddenly in his bed and looked
Around unsure whether he was dreaming
Or not. There was nothing to see or hear
At first, only the shadows cast by the
Moonlight coming in through his bedroom
Window. His senses quickly sharpened,
Then he heard that familiar voice…

‘Jon…’ He said from the shadowy corner
Of his room. ‘There is something I would
Like to show you…Now.’

Jon winced and turned his head trying
To deny it. He knew who it was, what
It meant. Things had been quiet for too
Long, there was no point in fighting it.
This visitor just always had the edge,
So Jon could only reluctantly agree.
‘Alright.’ He said with his head down.

Before he knew what was happening
He was getting out of bed, then there
Was this bright flash of light…like
Some giant shining circle of light
Surrounded him, and all at once
He was standing someplace else
With the mysterious Apollo standing
Tall beside him.

They stood in a room unlike any he
Had ever seen. It was brightly lit
With shiny metal-looking walls that
Somehow resembled glass. There
Were tables positioned in rows all
Facing one wall that seemed to glow
Like the sun and the moon with tiny
Patterns moving all over it.

In front of the wall stood this tall
Beautiful woman with deep red hair
That fell loosely to he shoulders. She
Was dressed in a pale blue forming
Fitting outfit of precise design. And
Beside her stood a taller man, strongly
Built wit orangey hair and a clean kept
Beard. He was also dressed in a pale
Blue outfit…only his was more stream-
Lined to his form. They both had such
Perfect looking features, it was impossible
Not to notice how they looked. Their
Age was hard to estimate, they both
Appeared so young and fit, yet they held
Themselves like refined elders. They both
Just stood calmly and kindly to each
Other, neither of them even noticed Jon
Or Apollo when they appeared.

Apollo whispered fast to Jon as he heard
His mind notice. ‘No, they can not see us.
Jon. Please watch this.’

Jon then looked to the rows of tables,
Most were empty. Only a few people
Sat at them on the far side of the
Room. When Jon saw them, their
Faces, he froze. He recognized them

‘That girl,’ Jon said nodding to
The pretty blond who sat alone
Shaking her head and rolling her
Eyes. ‘Is that…That looks like…
Julianna! And behind her…That one
Over there,’ he said pointing fast
And excitedly. ‘That one is the one
You brought me to before…Jeff?’
‘I can see him now better in the
Light. He looks like…Heinz!’ Jon
Was so shocked now, the clear
View of Jeff in the light was just
More than he ever expected…and
Confusing at the same time. ‘And
That one, that one there,’ Jon said to
Apollo as he nodded his head. ‘He
Looks like the giant Dark-skinned
Man…Jona? And that one there, on
The opposite side of him…He looks
Like Matthias with long hair! But
The last one, that one over there,’ He
Nodded, ‘I have NEVER seen him
Before…at all.

‘Not yet.’ Apollo mysteriously whispered.

‘What?” Jon asked, he didn’t understand.

Then before Jon could push for details,
The giant dark-skinned man sitting with
Jeff threw back his head and let out a
Long impressive belch.

‘What the hell is going on here?’ Joe
Called out as fought the foggy feeling
Filling his head. He just wanted to
Swat at everything.

‘It’s one of those dreams again.’ Julie
Told him shaking her head. ‘I just
Said that. Don’t you ever listen?’

‘Why am I dreaming this?’ Joe demanded
Ashe turned to Jeff. ‘Oh HEY, I remember
You. YOU, I remember! You told me that
Funny story…So why are we here? Do you
Know why we’re here?’

‘There is something in those margaritas,’
Julie laughed to herself. “I swear this
Always happens whenever I go to that café!’

‘What is going on?’ Joe bellowed again.
‘Anyone going to answer my questions or

‘This is just WEIRD.’ Jacob said as he
Tried to collect himself as well. ‘I…I
Swear this feels familiar, but I can’t remember
It…Not until I’m here…then I remember.’

‘That’s how I feel…’ Jeff agreed.

‘Me too.’ Julie added.

‘Me too.’ Jason agreed.

‘HELLO, Mr. and Mrs. Spaceman?’
Joe yelled. You deaf or what? What is
This? Why is nobody talking?’

‘Because you’re too loud, that’s why.’
Julie insisted with a laugh. She fought
Hard to remember more. ‘Where is
Everyone else? There were more people

‘We’re the youngest.’ Jason moaned
As he struggled to think. ‘The others…

‘I remember 7 of us last time.’ Julie
Said. ‘I remember 7…There’s only
5 now.’

‘Something must have happened to
Them…’ Jacob said as he remembered

‘What is this?’ Joe kept repeating.

‘We will begin soon.’ The red-headed
Woman said to them briefly then
Turned to resumed some discussion
With her associate.

‘Is this like some kind of Alien stuff
Happening to us?’ Jason asked Jacob.

‘It might be.’ Jacob replied. ‘I’m not
Sure what it is. Maybe we all crossed
Paths somewhere before…on a bus,
Or a plane or something. I just know
That I’ve had this dream before.’

‘You mean these dreams could be real?’
Joe asked him then. ‘I remember that
Dream with them little oompa loompa
People, and that crazy looking Willy Wonka.’
Then he threw his head back with a loud
Sigh. ‘He said I was going on some trip
One day, some big important trip into
Outer space one day.’

Julie froze. ‘He said that to you?’

‘’What did he say to you?’ Jacob asked
As he leaned towards her. But she would
Not answer.

‘He told her that California was going to
Have to start serving REAL FOOD.’ Joe
Laughed loudly. ‘No more green pizza!’
Then he turned to Jeff. ‘I was there once,
Went to this pizza place and asked for
The house specialty. I figured, what could
Go wrong…pizza is pizza…And the waitress
Brings me this square piece of bread with
Broccoli and grass and shit on it. What the
Hell is THAT?’

‘Oh, stop will you.’ Julie said rolling her eyes.

‘I’m serious!’ Joe told her. “I don’t want no
Green shit on my pizza! Pizza is supposed to
Have cheese and grease and meat on it, not
Green shit. What am I, a cow or something?’

‘Did you bother to look at the menu BEFORE
You ordered it?’ Julie asked him.

‘What’s to look at with pizza?’ Joe yelled
Then slapped the table in front of him. ‘How
Was I supposed to know they mow peoples’
Lawns and put it on bread and call that pizza?’

‘There are all kinds of things you can put
On a pizza you know.’ Julie told him.
‘Like pineapple-‘

‘Pineapple?!’ Joe howled. ‘OH PLEASE!
Don’t start talking fruit and vegetables
On me with my food now. Don’t be talking
Gardening stuff on my pizza. Maybe they
Do that where you’re from, NOT BY ME.’

‘Yeah, I must admit. I hate that too.’
Jeff agreed.

‘I didn’t say that I liked it.’ Julie replied.

‘If that’s what this is…’ Joe went on
Wildly. ‘If these Space men or Oompa
Loompa people or whatever are trying
To turn me into one of those vegetable
People, THEN FORGET IT. They can
Just keep that stuff back in Mexico or
Where ever they’re from. Just leave
Me out of it.’

‘Mexico?’ Julie winced at his words.
‘What are you talking about?’

‘Where they’re from, Hello Miss
California!’ Joe said leaning towards
Her. ‘Those little pink guys, remember?
Maybe they’re from Mexico. Like one
Of those tiny little villages no one knows
About where they eat roots and flowers
And bugs, like Venezuela or something.’

‘Venezuela IS NOT in Mexico.’ Julie
Said sternly correcting him. ‘Mexico is
A country. Venezuela is a country.’

‘What are you, a school teacher or
Something?’ Joe yelled. ‘I was just
Talking about Pizza!’

‘You think these people are from
Mexico?’ Jason had to ask with a laugh.

‘I don’t know!’ Joe snapped. ‘I don’t
Think about it. Tonto just said we don’t

‘Because I think this is like Alien or something.’
Jason told him. ‘Don’t you remember seeing

‘I remember seeing something like that.’
Julie quietly nodded.

‘Oh sure, Barbie remembers all kinds of
Things with margaritas.’ Joe teased her.

‘No, seriously.’ Jacob continued. ‘Think
About it. How many times have we talked
Like this?’

‘You think this is like some real Spaceman
Thing?’ Joe asked as looked at each of their
Faces. Then he thought to himself for a
Moment, turned fast to look at Jeff and to
Jacob…then he sat up straighter and taller
And raised his hand. ‘I have a question!’

‘Oh My God!’ Julie groaned shaking
Her head.

‘Yes?’ The tall orangey-haired man in
The front of the room asked.

‘When do we get to see the alien sexual
Experiments?’ Joe asked.

‘Dude, shut up!’ Jacob whispered hard
At him. ‘Are you CRAZY? You don’t
Ask them things like that!’

‘Why not?’ Joe asked him with a weird

‘Have you lost your mind?’ Julie snapped
At him. ‘What are you thinking?’

‘Don’t say stuff like that!’ Jason
Whispered fast and nervously. ‘Holy

‘Why?’ Joe asked laughing about it.
‘Relax people, it’s just a dream.’

‘Are you sure?’ Jason doubted.

‘Chill out people.’ Joe only said. ‘What
Are you like my conscience?’ He just
Shook his head and kept waving at the
Two people in uniforms in front of the
Room. ‘Hey Spacemen People, you going
To answer my questions or what?’

‘Oh My God!’ Julie groaned as she turned
Back to face Joe, Jeff and Jacob. ‘Why am I
Here? This is ridiculous!’

‘We will begin in a moment.’ The woman
In front answered calmly.

‘What’s the hold up?’ Joe called out
Loudly. ‘Your uniforms too tight or

‘Think about this will you.’ Jacob
Whispered, pleading with Joe to calm
Down. ‘Remember, this has happened

‘So?’ Joe asked.

‘I wrote about it.’ Jeff whispered to
Jacob. ‘I remember, I put it in my dream
Journal. I wanted to write about it…
For some reason.’

‘God, you didn’t show anyone, did you?’
Julie asked. ‘You know how weird some
Get about those things.’

‘So what?’ Joe laughed. ‘Who cares?!
Nobody reads anything anymore. Man,
I HATE to read. All anyone ever does
Is read to talk and gossip and criticize.
Who cares. No one would believe it

‘The way you think.’ Julie just rolled
Her eyes with a sigh.

‘Barbie’s being mean to me again.’ Joe
Said turning to Jeff. ‘Did you write
How mean she is to me? For crying out
Loud all I was doing is talking about pizza
And I get the word trip of guilt for not
Wanting to eat GRASS.’

‘No, you were asking about the alien
Sexual experiments.’ Jason corrected.

‘Don’t encourage him!’ Julie said
Gritting her teeth.

‘THAT’S RIGHT!’ Joe bellowed. ‘What
About that stuff? You Spacemen making
A movie or what?’

‘Dude, stop it!’ Jacob whispered hard holding
His head. ‘Think, will you! God!’

‘Think about what?’ Joe laughed. ‘You
People got to relax.’

‘Oh, like you.’ Julie replied fast.

‘It happens, Barbie.’ Joe said to her. ‘It was
Just a question. What they don’t have
Those on the sunny shores where you are?’

‘UGH!’ Julie groaned.

‘What if this IS…some kind of experiment?’
Jacob whispered to him.

‘When?’ Joe scowled. ‘There’s 4 of us guys
Here…and Barbie…’ Then he paused to
Think and turned to Julie. ‘Aren’t you curious?’

‘NO!’ Julie growled at him. ‘Where is your
Head at?’

‘I’m hungry!’ Joe yelled. ‘Sorry if that offends
You. Man, no one ever lets me do anything.
I don’t want to dream about a bunch of paranoid
People and stuffy Spacemen!’

‘Just relax.’ Jacob insisted to everyone. ‘Let’s
Just think…While we CAN…and discuss this.’

‘What’s to talk about?’ Joe asked. ‘I want to go
Back to sleep. I need to get up early. Man I swear
I am never watching no midget porn again.’

‘Midget porn?’ Jeff squinted and laughed. ‘What?’

‘My friends got it, it was left on the rack.’ Joe

‘My God, where is your head?’ Julie said shaking
Her head.

‘Oh COOL IT, Barbie. I didn’t hurt nobody.
You already gave me the guilt about the pizza,
Don’t go giving me grief on my whole life now.’
Joe told her.

‘I just want to get out of here and go back
To sleep.’ Jason said. ‘I don’t know what
This is.’

‘Who does?’ Joe asked.

‘They won’t let us remember, why?’ Jason

‘I’m not complaining about that.’ Julie
Said then. ‘Why would I want to?’

‘But what is this?’ Jacob asked. ‘Who
Are they?’

‘They built the Willy Wonka Factory.’
Joe chuckled. ‘Maybe the Oompa
Loompas went on strike and they
Need new workers to dress up
In doll suits to make new
Chocolate. God, man am I hungry.
Do they feed us in these dreams?’

‘You are impossible!’ Julie snapped.

Jacob thought fast. ‘We won’t

‘It’s the chocolate, I told you!’
Joe insisted. ‘Hey Mrs. Spaceman,’
He called out waving at her,
‘You want to move this along.
I need to get back to sleep!’

‘Do we even get a say here?’ Jeff
Whispered to them. ‘It seems like
It happens whether we want it
Or not.’

‘Why though?’ Julie asked.
‘Maybe if we stuck together,’ Jacob
Suggested, ‘We can get better

‘See,’ Joe nodded, ‘Now Tonto’s
Thinking right.’ He raised his
Hand and pointed to the people
In the front of the room. ‘Hey,
Mr. Spaceman. Can we move
This along now? Some of us
Want to get back to sleep, we
Got things to do. Barbie over
Here has to shop for a new
Dream house tomorrow.’

‘God, help us.’ Julie groaned.

The red-headed woman in front
Smiled to her companion. Then
He whispered to her. ‘They are
Colorful.’ Then the two of them
Took a step away from each
Other so that the glowing wall
Could be more clear to them…
As it began to flash and move.

‘What is that?’ Jacob asked.

‘Please watch the screen.’ The
Woman instructed. ‘We are giving
You an education no one ever
Could. To help you.’

‘Education?’ Joe cackled. ‘What
Is this a classroom? That’s CRAP!
Man where’s the candy?!’

‘Did you hear what she said?’
Jacob said in shock.

The scree-wall began to fill
With images…and the room grew
Brighter and brighter.

Apollo then took Jon by the arm
And turned for them to look away
Then. ‘It’s time to go now.’

‘Go?’ Jon was totally confused.
‘What is that? Those people…’

‘That is for them.’ Apollo said
To him kindly as they suddenly
Appeared back in his bedroom
And everything faded away.

Jon’s head felt heavy and it
Became hard for him to see. All
That he could think of then was
Going back to bed, back to sleep.
Then he climbed into bed without
Fighting it…and crawled under
The covers and closed his eyes.
Words just kept filling his head,
To sleep…It
Would all make sense one day…
He hoped.




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