Now she fluttered her eyelids. Her lashes were like buggy whips. "Where am I?" she said.
"Everything is all right," said Billy, gently. "Please, don't be afraid."
Montana had been unconscious during her trip from Earth. The Tralfamadorians hadn't talked to her, hadn't shown themselves to her. The last thing she remembered was sunning herself by a swimming pool in Palm Springs, California. Montana was only twenty years old. Around her neck was a silver chain with a heart-shaped locket hanging from it--between her breasts.
Now she turned her head to see the myriads of Tralfamadorians outside the dome. They were applauding her by opening and closing their little green hands quickly.
Montana screamed and screamed.
Montana is young. She hasn't had the experiences that Billy has already had with the Tralfamadorians. In every sense, Montana has undergone a stereotypical alien abduction. Taken against her will, sedated, and transported via flying saucer to a distant planet. Now, the aliens want her to mate with Billy. She has become an experiment in human interaction and sexuality. But the Tralfamadorians aren't expecting a basic human emotion--fear.
Fear is a very powerful force. As most of my disciples know, I have an incredible fear of rodents. Mice. Rats. Hamsters. Gerbils. Guinea pigs. Rabbits. I do not like any member of the rodent family, no matter how cute or fluffy it may be. It is an irrational fear, not really driven by any kind of personal trauma that I can recall. I just don't like rodents.
I picked up my son from Bible camp this evening. He has a strong fear of the dark, doesn't do well at night without the security of a nightlight. I wasn't sure how he was going to do, being away from home for the first time, in a cabin full of strangers, who may or may not understand this fear. I fully expected a phone call from the dean of the camp after the first day, telling me to come retrieve my son.
It didn't happen. In fact, one of the teen counselors gave my son a note that thanked him for being a calm presence in his cabin. I had to read that note a few times. Checked to make sure it was actually written for my son. It was. After the closing worship service at the camp this evening, my son ran from camper to camper, counselor to counselor, having them sign his camp tee shirt.
My son had a great time, and everybody loved him. Everybody. In the car, on the way home, he said, "I am TOTALLY going to summer games camp again next summer!"
Tonight, Saint Marty is thankful for his brave, funny son.