Well, sir, I was up at the overlook last night when I saw it. I was driving around in my truck with no particular aim or purpose when I got it in my head that it might be nice to go up there for a spell. It was my brother’s old truck, you know. It sort of passed to me when he … well, when he didn’t come back. No, I know you didn’t ask me about the truck. But I thought you might want to know that. Didn’t you and him play football together back in the day? Oh, I guess that was your older brother, wasn’t it? You and him look so much alike. Not like Wayne and me. Nobody ever would have guessed we was kin. Maybe could have passed for cousins, if you squinted real hard. Well, of course I was drinking. I did say I was up at the overlook, didn’t I? That’s always the first thing people ask about when this sort of thing happens. “Was he drinking?” “Does he have a history of mental illness?” “Is he known for telling tall tales?” Anything to deny the supernatural. I suppose I’ll have to plead the fifth on that one, Clint. I mean, officer. For the purposes of this account, let’s say that I started drinking after I was already parked. Yeah, like I said already, I was up at the overlook. You know, the overlook. There’s only the one. Didn’t you ever take a girl up there? Huh. Well, I guess that ain’t all that surprising. Now come on, now, I didn’t mean nothing by it. Ain’t none of my business anyway. Look, just trust me that when people say ‘the overlook,’ this is in fact the overlook they’re referring to. Well, there’s a dirt road, you’ll find it if you’re heading north on Highway 19 toward Lewiston. It’s just past the billboard with the Bible quote on it. Well, not sure why it matters, but I think it’s Proverbs 14:12. I think it goes something like, ‘There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.’ Pretty creepy, if you ask me. You seriously never been up to the overlook? And you grew up in this town? Well, here’s a tip, between you and me: if you’re looking to catch some dopers, just bring a paddywagon up there on any given night and you’ll be able to fill your quota for the whole month. Hey, you was the one asking about it. Not my fault I got sidetracked. So I was up on the overlook last night, and I was all alone up there when I saw it. I don’t know, there’s all sorts of reasons. Maybe it was the chill in the air that kept the usual crowd away. Or maybe, as I suspect, the phenomenon I witnessed was intended for my eyes only. Did you hear about the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois a few years back? The man who saw it, I think he owned a miniature golf course or something, he described it as a huge black triangle, silent as the night, floating just above the treetops. Lot of other people saw it too. I believe I saw something like that, except the black triangle in Illinois was described as having bright, pulsating lights on the corners, while the one I saw did not. The triangle I saw was so dark, in fact, that I didn’t so much see it appear as I did see a section of the sky over Clarksburg disappear. Like someone just shut off power to that part of space. After a few seconds, this brilliant blue light came out the center of the triangle. It came down in like a big column, straight down onto the 50 yard line of the East Clarksburg High School football field. I fell right off the hood of my brother’s truck and landed in the dirt. I started to scramble to my feet, but I froze there, on my hands and knees, when I saw what looked like a figure float down through the column of light. Like a fuzzy white silhouette, but Clint, when it landed on the 50 yard line, kneeling in a position not unlike my own, I knew that it was Wayne. Because I just knew. When every nerve in your body, every cell, tells you that you’re witnessing the impossible, you don’t argue. You just change your definition of impossible. You know, they never actually found his body. I didn’t even bother grabbing the rest of the beer. I dashed back to the truck, and Clint, my hands were shaking something fierce as I fumbled with the keys. It took me three tries to get the truck started. I remember watching the beer fly off the hood as I backed up and turned about, and I told myself that it didn’t matter because if this was really happening, I would never drink again. I sped down the hill, fast enough that I was afraid I might go crashing through the guardrail and into the ravine, and swerved onto Highway 19. Didn’t even look for oncoming traffic. It’s a damn wonder I wasn’t T-boned. My heart was pounding, and I kept repeating, I think I repeated to myself, ‘Please wait. Please wait for me.’ Right as I came off 19 and turned onto Fields Road, a shape popped up in front of the truck and there was nothing I could do. I ran right over it. I figured it was a deer, they’re always wandering out of the woods right around there. Under any other circumstances, I’d have stopped and checked on it, you have to believe I would, but I couldn’t. Not when my brother was waiting for me. I got to the high school and sprinted from my truck and hopped the fence into the stadium. The light was gone. I ran to the 50 yard line, but he wasn’t there. You won’t believe this, Clint, but I tell you, it felt like losing my brother all over again. But as I stood there bent over, trying to catch my breath, I saw the proof of what I’d seen. A perfect circle of scorched grass, centered right on the 50 yard line. I don’t know, Clint. My guess is that the government came in and removed the evidence. Replacing the grass on a high school football field overnight, in the middle of summer? That’s nothing. Not for them. No, I didn’t know him. I never even met the guy. Wouldn’t have known him from a hole in the ground. And anybody who tells you otherwise is a fucking liar.
-- Justin Eisenstadt's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Swarm, GAMBAZine, The Ilanot Review, Behemoth Review, and Connotation Press. He also cowrites a blog, We Write Together, with his partner, fellow fiction writer Katherine Bell. Justin, Katherine, and their three cats live in Spokane, WA.