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The Hopping Hartford City Horrors

A nighttime ride ends in a CE-3 encounter.

There are moments in life when we turn the corner, round the bend, and find ourselves in an old episode of the Twilight Zone

Happened to me a few times. Yeah. One night, I saw a UFO. A real UFO. Close. Close-up. Like a "Close Encounter," you dig? 

No doubt about what that thing was. No doubt it was a UFO. 

No doubt whatsoever. 

However, this story isn't about moi. It's about a normal, average, all-American everyday family from about forty-five years ago, when, Vietnam and Weathermen bombings and rioting and violence and protests aside, the world of America was still a sprawling, family-friendly consumerist paradise, an isle of placidity atop the waters of world turbulence. Or, something like that. (I can pretend, can't I? Rose-tinted shades, you will argue. Perhaps.) 

It was 1973. I'm delighted to note it was Oct. 22. So this is like an anniversary article or something. Also, October is a month when all the evil I truly worship with my black little heart is venerated and held high on the only day of the year when we celebrate MONSTERS, GHOSTS, and the hideous, and spine-tingling world of the UNKNOWN. 

And, of course, DEATH. 

But, not a lot of that has anything to do with this article, really.

The Donathan's were coming back from visiting relatives and ran into some children who had been left out on a deserted country road after wrapping themselves in tin-foil and putting springs in their boots so they could hop about in a most fetching manner. 

"No," you will counter. "Such mad occurrences are not allowed to occur." And, Dear Reader, you would be RIGHT. 

However, occur it did/was, and Mr. Donathan and Mrs. Donathan, (and, who the hell knows, probably Baby Donathan), after taking in the surrealistic sight, got out of there post-haste. 

After stopping at an all-night eatery for a little Close Encounter Confab, the Donathans hightailed it out to the sheriff's office, where the sheriff was kicking back with a deputy and a fellow that just happened to be there and have a truck. 

Mr. Flatter. 

Excited as all get out to even entertain the possibility of seeing such a prodigy, the three lusty scouts piled into their vehicles and headed out for the approximate place where the hopping, silver-suited Saucerians saucily sauntered. 

As the man said, "All Was." 

The Deputy and the Sheriff drove around a bit, but it was Mr. Flatter who, driving his truck round the bend and into an ancient episode of One Step Beyond, found the little space midgets still slow-motion hopping about in the dust at the side of the road. He, at first, thought to hit them with his high beams. But, because of the crinkly silver diving suits they were wearing (he furthermore described weird hoses reaching from the face masks they wore to the center of their chest boxes; as well as huge, conical heads and big eyes. Big surprise.), the glare was too bright. 

Hop, hop, hop...flapping their freakishly long arms, hopping with their box-like boots in the dust. 

Suddenly, they raised their arms above their heads and hopped up...up...up...being lost to sight in a few brilliant red flashes. 

There is no word if the sheriff and the deputy ever got to see the little weirdos personally; if not, so much the worse for them. 

There are, as we will reiterate, moments when a person will turn a corner, round the bend, and find themselves in an old episode of The Twilight Zone.

'Midwest UFOs and Beyond' by Tom Baker