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"The Invitation"

Every night for the past week, I’ve had the same dream. It’s clear to me that it’s a message from someone, but from whom and what they intend I’m unsure.

There’s a bluff about twenty minutes from my house that I take my dog, Penny, to for walks with a view. Plenty of nature for her to sniff, and there’s even a trail maintained by the parks department that takes us through the expanse of the bluff.

That’s where my dreams have brought me lately, but instead of being there with Penny or any of the other people I’ve gone there with, I’m there alone. Each night, it’s the same thing. I walk through a path where trees cover the twilight sky, making it almost too dark to see where I’m going. I walk and walk until I come to a clearing at the top of the bluff.

There’s a big, open field surrounded by hundreds of mature trees. The view of the sky is perfect. It isn’t disturbed by any city lights, wires, or towers. It’s clear. In the dream, I walk to the same spot, a blanket already laid out for me.

I sit down, get comfortable, and close my eyes. Then, it feels like I’m meditating. But before the dream can show me more, all I hear is a voice inside my head saying, right on, Calista. Then, I wake up.

This morning, my eyelids sprung open, like they have every day this week, and I sat up feeling confused. After the fifth night in a row of having the same dream, I was hoping to progress the dream enough to understand the message. Right on, Calista? Are they being agreeable to something happening in my life? Are they cheering me on? I have no idea what that means or who’s saying this to me. The voice sounds deep and echo-y as if more than one person is speaking.

It’s Friday, and I decide that instead of relying on my subconscious to explore it further, I’ll take myself to the bluff and try to find it there.

My shift at the bank goes fast, luckily. People were in and out all day, depositing their paychecks, getting cash for the weekend, and the regulars who like to make dropping by the bank part of their Friday routine. I count my drawer after the last customer leaves, and help Terri close up before getting into my car.

The plan for tonight: drive home, feed Penny, let Penny outside, play with Penny until she’s good and tired, eat cold, leftover pizza, pack a bag, head to the bluff.

I time everything just right. The sun has set, and the stars are starting to appear in the ombre sky. As I drive to the bluff, I can’t help but notice a particularly bright star that seems to follow me no matter which direction I turn.

I flip on my high beams as my car smoothly glides through the winding roads and sharp turns toward the sky. It takes five minutes, but I finally pull into the small parking lot next to the trail.

Surprisingly on this summer evening, I’m the only one in this part of the bluff. I don’t mind, though. I’ve always preferred to be alone.

I grab my backpack from the front seat, and step into the warm and slightly sticky air. I begin my trek through the trails, clicking on my flashlight and swinging my bag across my back. Crickets offer me their melodious song as I add to their symphony with the snapping of twigs and grinding of leaves and gravel beneath my feet.

The air begins to cool as I walk through a tunnel of trees, just like in my dream. The trail leads me, eventually, to the clearing I recognize. I venture up the hill a bit, so I’m as high as I can be.

The pinks and oranges in the sky sit closer to the horizon, making way for a deeper blue to take its place. I see the star that accompanied me on my journey here, staring at me from afar. I open my bag and retrieve a rolled blanket, laying it on the ground, and making myself comfortable on it.

I pull out a water bottle, a sodalite and clear quartz crystal, and a citronella candle, which I promptly light. The mosquitos are fierce tonight. I ensure the candle is safely stationed on the ground, and pull the hood from my light jacket over my head to lessen the disturbances from the relentless insects.

I hold the crystals in my hands, and close my eyes. Seeing myself, I envision walking to my mind palace – the quiet, healing place I crafted in my mind where I start all of my meditations. Before I can open the door of my favorite cottage nestled in the woods, my intuition guides me to stay outside and look up.

When I do, I see a bright star drawing closer to me. The light emanating from it is almost blinding. It gets closer and closer until I see it for what it really is. A spacecraft.

In the next moment, I’m being lifted away from my mind cottage and into the sky toward the craft. I look up seeing the bright white lights shift into a rainbow of colors. But before I can become too mesmerized, I’m inside the craft, or what I think is the craft. It’s completely dark.

It’s eerily silent around me. Even my physical body, which I can normally sense even when I’m deep into a meditation, has nothing noticeable around it. I don’t feel the mosquitos buzzing past my face or hear the crickets’ song in the distance.

Alarms go off in my head. Despite wanting to see this meditation through, I decide to check back in with my body.

But as soon as I open my physical eyes, I see a dim-lit space with metallic features. I look down to where I should see the plaid blanket I sat on in the field, but instead, I see a silver floor. My heart races as panic sets in throughout my body. I peer around the room and notice the walls are dark. There’s a small, blue table and a single chair.

I stand and walk to it. As soon as I take my seat, my body is branded with goosebumps, and terror stretches from my head to my toes. It’s as if my body can sense something dangerous is nearby.

I look around me, but see nothing. No one else is in the room.

Then, a door opens as if from nowhere. Two figures saunter in. I try to take a breath, but I can’t. My body feels rigid and numb. I freeze as I watch their pearlescent white-grey skin glimmer in the soft light as they approach me. They stand as tall as I am sitting in this chair. Their heads are large, their oversized eyes are inky black, their bodies are thin and bare.

Before I can ask the question, a thought pops into my head.

We are the Greys. Their voices are merged together, but still have an echo to them.

My heart continues to beat frantically like I’m sprinting in a race for my life. Terror sifts and settles around my body, and yet, here I sit unable to move despite the desperate call to flee. But where would I go? I’m still processing how my meditation led to me being literally in a spacecraft.

We understand your fear, but it is not necessary. They look at me, tilting their heads every so often, but never speaking from the small slit a few inches beneath their eyes. Take a deep breath, and your nerves will calm.

I seriously doubt that I’ll be able to breathe, but I try anyway. I take in air like I’m being reborn, and I feel my body relax as I exhale. The anxiety remains, but it drops significantly.

The Greys take a step closer to me, one on each side. Their proximity spikes my fear again, eliciting a strangled half-scream from my throat. But to my surprise, they halt, giving me time to adjust to their presence.

We’re not here to harm you. We invited you.

I take another deep breath to send the jitters away from my body. I straighten in my seat, and I’m finally able to think past the fear I initially felt. They invited me?

Then, the memory of my dreams of visiting the bluff are thrust into my mind. Right on, Calista, I remember hearing. That was from them?

We have a proposition for you, Calista.

Me? What can I do for them? I think to myself.

We need you to tell others about us. Relay our past, so that we may inspire you to save the future.

I have so many questions. They take a step closer. Another rush of fear washes over me, making me feel queasy. It’s as if their energies are too much for mine to handle. I take another calming breath, however, and it dissipates.

Why me? What’s wrong with the future? I think to ask.

It takes me until now to realize we’re conversing telepathically.

You have a free mind, empathy, creativity, a loving heart. We need you to remind others they have this within them too. In doing so, humanity will change the trajectory of their path, and in turn, it will change ours.

I understand the words and what they mean, but I cannot comprehend why our future will dictate theirs.

How can I do this for you?

Right on, Calista.

Confusion sets in. Why would they say that?

Then, an image of a notebook and pen enter my mind. And the light bulb brightens. I’ve been misinterpreting it. They mean, write on, Calista.

But I’m not a writer.

One does not need to call oneself a writer to produce a message meant for many. Trust yourself. We have chosen wisely.

I still don’t understand what I’m supposed to write for them.

Do you want me to tell them about this experience?

This and more. Your dreams will provide the stage for our script. Your meditations, a platform for connecting with us as you do now. We have much to share.

I mull over everything they’ve told me. It feels surreal. I’m not even sure this is really happening, but nothing can prove that it’s not.

Memories of my pleas to the universe to send something meaningful and exciting to my life cross my mind. I can’t say I didn’t want something to this degree, but I didn’t expect aliens to show up in my dreams and meditations either.

I think about their proposition. Apparently, our future is in jeopardy, and they think I can help shift it in a better direction.

I bite my lip in contemplation.

Okay, I think bravely. I’ll help you.

Our gratitude is with you. And as a gesture of our appreciation, we will assist you in your life with what you need.

Wow. I wasn’t expecting that. Thank you.

One of the Greys reaches one of their four fingers out toward my head. My eyes follow as the surprisingly warm digit presses firmly against the spot between my eyebrows.

I involuntarily gasp, shutting my eyes quickly only to open them a second later to see I’m sitting on top of the blanket on the bluff. Mosquitos bounce against my face to remind me I’m back where I started.

Looking to the sky, I notice the sun’s presence is still evident as if no time had passed, and the bright star I noticed earlier is nowhere in sight. I shake off the weirdness still lingering in my body, and pack my things.

As I walk back down the trail, I decide to stop at a store on the way home for some notebooks."