Alien (Story by Risa Peris)

I wintered in Antarctica. I was an electrician who specialized in radios and satellites. Most people who come to Antarctica do so in summer when planes can fly and land easily at McMurdo station. Saying goodbye to the summer people was always hard but the few that remained in intense darkness during the winter formed a strong bond.

Margaret, twenty days into winter, had a strong desire for avocado and Malcolm, another electrician from Hawaii, was strongly craving sushi. We all had cravings. The winter chef served us good meals but it never seemed to assuage our appetites. We were in the remoteness part of Earth and were craving endless amounts of food.

Every winter there were a few Category 1 storms several times and a Category 5 storm at least once. The wind could get up to 157 miles or more. It didn’t level our buildings as the buildings were built to withstand such an onslaught. Our connection with the rest of the globe was limited. After a Category 5 it was clear we had a problem with our satellite so I set out on a journey in a snow plow that took 6 hours. Luckily GPS still worked. I took Mellow with me. It wasn’t his real name. It was an adopted name because he had the attitude of a marijuana high surfer.

A mile before the satellite I hit something solid that the snow plow couldn’t ride over.

“What the…” I was confused. I and Mellow got out in the -55 Fahrenheit weather. We were bundled to protect all of our skin. I shined the light of the snow plow and our own powerful flashlights. What I saw, I think, was a giant spaceship but alien. It didn’t look Earth made. Mellow yelled.

“Woohoo! Aliens.” He did a little dance.

I was scared and fascinated. I would record the finding in my log book but I knew that when summer came and I handed over the logbook to the US Military that the entry would be erased. I wouldn’t be questioned but silenced with the threat of treason.

“Mellow, we’ll curve around to get to the satellite. Forget this. For your continued safety forget this.”

But then I saw a shadow in the alien ship window and my spine froze. It might be hard to forget what I saw.


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