Chapter 3

Written by: Ray Stone

I didn’t get much sleep myself, even though I’d not slept much since everyone went missing. I kept thinking about what Benjamin had said – about us being safe from them. Who he was talking about was a mystery. I wanted to shake him awake to find out, but he needed to sleep too, so I just sat and thought. Maybe it was something to do with a nuclear war. That was something Pop always warned me about. “Never trust the darned Reds,” he’d say.

It got light around five and a few minutes later Benjamin woke and yawned. I got up and made us some coffee, and we had cereals with some milk that was still cold in the big fridge.

“So who are we safe from when we get to Miami?” I asked. “Has there been a war or did someone invade us?”

Benjamin stopped eating, milk dribbling down his chin. “You don’t know a lot, do you?” He stuffed a spoonful of cornflakes into his mouth. “Did you hide when it happened?”

I told him I didn’t remember. When the storm hit, I was knocked out and didn't wake up until the next day.

“So who are they and what happened to you? Why didn’t you disappear?”

“I was cleaning the leaves out of the well and my brother Tim wouldn’t pull me back up, and that’s how I saw them.”

“So you saw something down the well?”


Benjamin stopped eating and started to cry. I wanted to understand. I put an arm around his shoulder.

“Tim and my mom have gone, and I don’t know where to find them, and you’ve got to help me.”

He wiped his nose and looked at me.

“Okay,” I said. “Tell me what happened from when you got up.”

Benjamin’s chest heaved with a big sigh. “Mom told me to clean the leaves out of the well on our farm and Tim was to lower me on the bucket. When the leaves are in the bucket, he pulls me up again. Then we have breakfast. But when I shouted for him, he wasn’t there, and this funny face looked down at me and started pulling me up. I got scared and screamed, and he let me go. Then the big black cloud came over, and everything went dark.”

“What happened then?”

“Nothing,” sobbed Benjamin. “I climbed up the rope and Mom, and Tim had gone.”

“So what did you find when you climbed out of the well, apart from Mom and Tim missing?”

“The house was smashed on the ground. Even old Foggy, our labourer, had gone, but his tractor engine was still running.”

“I think there was a few twisters, Benjamin. Nothing else can do all that.”

“No,” insisted Benjamin. “There was no wind, and I’ve seen that funny face before on 'The X-Files' – the one looking down the well.”

I wanted to laugh but decided to keep him happy.