“There it is!” I yell over the roar of our ship. It has been over thirty human years since I last saw it.
“It belonged to him,” I say.
He was just a boy then. He kept me hidden; the others wanted to harm me. He knew enough of his species’ inclination toward intolerance and probing scientific study. Humans like to, how do you say it? “Play God.”
Not the boy. He treated me like a brother. He nearly died because they said I was a threat. Me? A threat? But they are a race of beings who don’t understand, don’t want to understand. I wish I could have taught them acceptance. But I had no language. No time. They gave me no time.
Nothing has changed. We are still hiding in the wooded area of this desert-like topography.
“It’s called a bicycle.” I point. My comrades look at the primitive vehicle, disinterest like stagnant water in their wide eyes. It was never meant to leave the ground. It was for riding neighborhood streets on sunny afternoons or transporting a young boy home from school.
But I made it fly. He trusted me to make it fly. We were in danger, and I took him, bicycle and all, up over the hills of this arid terrain, Earth’s moon big and full in the background.
“There it is!” I point again, and they just nod. It is of no significance to them. But to me, it is the only connection I have with the pale-faced boy, the one reaching out for me in my dreams.
I knew he’d no longer be here. I understand that humans grow and leave their childhoods behind.
And the boy, he is a man now. He’s what they call “middle-aged.” Even if he is here, he is no longer here.
My comrades are impatient, so I lift the bicycle; it is broken and weathered from years in these woods. I load it onto our ship. The others will want to study it. But I will cherish it. And I will remember the magical flight with my friend. My brother. Elliott.
Kristen Falso-Capaldi‘s story, “I Can’t Hear You,” was selected as a top-25 finalist for the 2015 Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award. She is the 2015 winner of the Victoria Hudson Emerging Writer Prize, the 2015 winner of the Metaphysical Press New Voices Contest, and one of her stories was selected for the Editors’ Pick Award in the Fabula Press Aestas 2015 Short Story Contest. Her fiction has also appeared in FlashDogs: An Anthology, Underground Voices and on The Other Stories Podcast. She co-wrote a screenplay, Teachers: The Movie, which was an official selection for the 2014 Houston Comedy Film Festival. She lives in Rhode Island, USA. Follow her on twitter @kristenafc or visitwww.kristenfalsocapaldi.com