HOZ Prologue

HOZ Prologue

A Chapter by DB Heinemann
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Optional reading

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Nalie!”

Natalie “Nalie” Turner spun around to see her mother squinting at her from the porch. “Come inside. It’s dinnertime.” Mrs. Turner watched as her daughter looked back and stared at something in the pepper field growing outside their house. She lifted her hand as if to say goodbye then ran towards her mother under the setting April sun on the flat horizon of 1998 New Mexico.

“What were you looking at?” her mother asked as Nalie arrived at the porch.

“There’s an alien in the pepper fields. He says he wants to borrow some of our peppers because he don’t have any on his planet,” Nalie replied casually. “I told him Daddy needs all the peppers on the plants so he can make money. But he can have the ones on the ground that’re gonna get eat by the raccoons anyways.”

Going to get eaten by the raccoons,” Mrs. Turner corrected. “You’re 8 years old, Nalie, you ought to know how to speak like a lady by now. Now go wash up. You’re filthy.”

Nalie grumbled and stomped inside towards the sink. She hated being corrected. Mama knew what she meant; why’d she have to say it special? Daddy says it’s because Mama was educated in the city and wanted her and her siblings to be educated, too, so they didn’t have to look after the pepper farm when they were older. But Nalie liked the pepper farm. It was quiet and no one cared how you spoke. So long as you had peppers to sell. Nalie dried her hands and went to sit at the dinner table where her 4 siblings and mother already were. Her father followed soon after.

“What’s for dinner, sug?” Daddy pecked Mama on the cheek before sitting down.

“What we have every Tuesday. Tacos.” Mrs. Turner replied shortly.

“Mmm! Mama makes the best tacos, doncha?” He turned to his children. “When Y2K rolls around, the world’s gonna be scramblin’ to our house for Mama’s tacos.”

Mrs. Turner had something more important than her homemade tacos on her mind, though. “Did you talk to Timothy Pigford yet?”

Mr. Turner scrunched up his face. “What do I want from some soybean farmer in North Carolina for?”

“He could help us get that loan from the USDA we’ve been trying to get for 5 years,” Mrs. Turner replied, losing patience.

“With a lawsuit!” Mr. Turner exclaimed. “Michael Turner doesn’t do lawsuits! And he don’t need no loans from the damn USDA, neither.”

“Yes he does!” argued Mrs. Turner. “I want my children to live a good life and not have to worry about where they’re going to sleep or how they’re going to eat if this farm goes under and Mr. Netterville gives it to a different tenant.”

“Mr. Netterville ain’t gonna give this farm away because it ain’t going under. My family’s had this farm for 100 years. It’s just going through a bad season. Mr. Netterville understands that.”

“Then why is he giving us a Pay Rent or Quit Notice?” Mrs. Turner demanded. “I know it’s a bad season. The USDA is supposed to give farmers disaster payments when it’s a bad season and they’re not giving them to us. But they give them to those trailer trash bumpkins, the Millers’, who produced 20 more pounds of peppers than we did. You know why? Because the USDA got it out for black farmers. I swear, that’s the truth and it’s time it stopped.”

Mr. Turner leaned back, stunned. “Whoa, Mama, why you gotta bring race into this?”

Nalie could tell her parents were going to go on like this all night, as they had for the past month. After gobbling up her tacos as quickly as possible, she slipped away from the table and ran up the stairs with her like-minded siblings.

“Hey,” John, her second youngest brother, tapped the oldest, Michael Jr., on the arm. “You wanna play Diablo with me? I’ll let you be the black guy.”

“Nah, I’m tired of that game. I gotta do my Calculus homework,” Michael Jr. sighed as he shrugged his brother off and shuffled tiredly to his room.

“I’ll play with you,” Nalie offered eagerly.

John scrunched up his face. “I don’t wanna play with you. You always run ahead before I get a chance to get all the hidden items.”

Nalie huffed and puffed. “You’re just mad cause I get to the monsters before you do.”

John looked at her hard. “The monsters that always beat you to a pixel of your life and you’re crying for me to come save you and I gotta drop what I’m doing and come rescue you and as soon as I do, you run off towards the next batch of monsters, yelling at me to follow you. Those monsters?”

“At least I ain't lagging behind, taking forever to get some stupid gold pieces or spells or scrolls or whatever when there’s a Skeleton King to destroy,” Nalie shot back.

“A fake Skeleton King that doesn’t need killing until you’re at the boss fight,” John argued.

“You’re just a jerk that don’t like being beat by a girl!”

“It’s a cooperative 2 player game! We never have to beat each other!”

But Nalie ignored his reason. “John gets beat by girls! John gets beat by girls! That are younger than him!” she sang and danced in front of him.

John rolled his eyes. “Go play with your dolls.” He turned and left Nalie pouting in the hallway. She was about to go steal his Transformer action figure out of his room and do unspeakable things to it when some unfamiliar music distracted her vengeful thoughts. Nalie turned; it was coming from her closed bedroom door behind her. She opened it and the music got louder. She went inside- she shared her room with her oldest sister, Monica, but she wasn’t there. Nalie looked hard for the source of the sound: the radio, under the beds, her toys. It was a strange sound, like the hip hop Monica listened to but with mechanical whirring and what it sounds like when the computer’s dialing for the internet.

A bright blue light shone abruptly through the window. Nalie spun around to squint at it. After a millisecond of no thought, she ran to the window to see what it was. It looked like the Millers’ truck lights. But when she got to the window, instead of a truck that would make rednecks cry tears of joy, she saw what looked like a very slick and strange looking plane. In her suspicion, she opened the window. The music got louder. Her suspicions were confirmed: the music was coming from the plane.

Nalie briefly thought of the alien in the pepper fields. He had asked her if she wanted to live on his planet but she was happy on the farm. She also couldn’t get over how the light green alien had no pupils on his yellow eyes or nails on his pointy fingers and a nose like a snake. The stuff of nightmares but Nalie don’t judge.

She was wondering if this was his ship when it suddenly darted away into the nearest cloud. After a moment of waiting, The cloud birthed 4 lights which fell unnaturally towards the ground in synchronized form. Nalie guessed they were different spaceships. They disappeared behind the pepper farm. Nalie watched as the cloud the aircraft disappeared in became bigger and darker. It began to rain suddenly. Thunder and lightening startled Nalie as it gave the sky a voice that lit everything up, if only for a flash. Then she saw it. Just behind the pepper field, to her horror, she watched as a large funnel started to form from the cloud. A tornado. Another light shot out of the now large and dark cloud, this time far from the tornado. It turned around and slowly flew towards the growing spinning monster. The tornado soon touched the ground after that and began spinning slowly towards Nalie’s house.

One more light came from the cloud. This one was much bigger and was growing even more so because it was flying straight for Nalie. It was the original aircraft. It went higher and disappeared out of the peripheral vision of the bedroom window. Nalie was frozen in awe and fear, as she had just watched a tornado be formed by UFOs  barely half a mile away from her house. Thankfully, her brain reminded her that she was a living, movable object with free will that should perhaps close her window, inform her family members, and seek shelter in the basement.

Quickly, she closed the window against the bellowing winds and made it halfway to the door before she heard a crash of glass just behind her, followed by a thud. She turned to see a large humanoid cloaked in black, stealth mode gear crouching in front of her broken window. Before thinking could occur, the figure took out a large black straw. The poof! sound it made was muted by the storm. But Nalie certainly noticed the sudden prick in her neck. Instinctively, her hand shot towards it and was surprised to find a large splinter sticking out of it. All at once, a great heaviness spread from her chest and head and caused her to crumble to the ground. The figure swiftly caught her and carried her towards the window.

She dimly noticed the tornado which had made its way across the pepper field and was now a mere 100 yards from her house. The figure picked up a thick dark rope that lead out the window, straight up. Nalie barely comprehended the jostle that occurred which caused them to suddenly be outside, dangling from a rope outside her window, 55 yards away from the tornado that was speeding towards them.

“Mama... Daddy….” she managed to mumble over and over again, hoping they’d somehow hear. The rope lifted them up higher and higher, away from the tornado. Nalie’s limbs were too heavy for her to move, much less struggle. Her vision was darkening and becoming out of focus. The last thing Nalie could remember before blacking out was watching as the tornado hit her house and the feeling of being dragged into something.


© 2016 DB Heinemann


Author's Note

DB Heinemann
Like I said, feel free to critique generally but especially on any scientific inaccuracies.

My Review

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I do not normally read scifi fantasy type literature because I'm more of a Tolkien kind of person. I love epic, urban, and mythological fantasy, but I enjoyed reading this. I would have liked to see more description with the characters unless the point of view is meant to be like a child in which she wouldn't notice those details or remember them.

I'm not too crazy about the argument being at the dinner table because typically southern style, old school type of parents don't argue in front of the children. I feel like it would be more powerful to either hear it or the parents to subtly bring it up or slowly build up to the argument.

I'm not too crazy about this line, "Whoa, Mama, why you gotta bring race into this?”" just cause I felt he probably should've said something else. It sounded a bit mechanical.

Not crazy about the appositive here about the truck, "But when she got to the window, instead of a truck that would make rednecks cry tears of joy, she saw what looked like a very slick and strange looking plane. In her suspicion, she opened the window" just cause I felt it was irrelevant and took me out of the story.

I felt like this was a bit confusing because I couldn't really see the image you were trying to portray, "The cloud birthed 4 lights which fell unnaturally towards the ground in synchronized form. Nalie guessed they were different spaceships. They disappeared behind the pepper farm. Nalie watched as the cloud the aircraft disappeared in became bigger and darker." I think it's the last part of it that's getting me where it says, "Nalie watched as the cloud the aircraft disappeared in became bigger and darker" because you said in the previous one they disappeared. Was the cloud becoming bigger and darker the spaceships reappearing or did they just disappear into the cloud? I imagine clouds are light and fragile so wouldn't the spaceships tear it apart? Unless the aliens are magic too? Or are the spaceships going in and out of clouds meant to be the perception of a child?

You do a good job of describing the setting I would say. I definitely liked the opening and you built the suspense well. I liked the childlike narration. I thought it was entertaining and kept me reading on. Must admit, I like the idea of a black family because I don't think I see a lot of black characters in fantasy.

Soo thanks for my introduction into sci fi haha.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ha! Well it's always an honor to be someone's first. I appreciate the critiques. Descriptions have n.. read more
DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

And I do appreciate the appreciation of the inclusion of black characters. I've noticed both farmers.. read more



Reviews

This is very well written! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and didn't feel any awkward or stuck moments. The character buildup for all the characters was seamless, not to mention the great scene and time/place description. It was also cool how you managed to pull off the alien abduction without making it cheesy or cliche; especially since there are SO many alien movies/novels.
I think this is already very good in terms of quality, but if I were to change anything, I would add some emotion on Natalie's part when the ship comes down. I feel that there's a ton of description (which was all great), but it comes off as rather indifferent on her part.
Other than that, I loved it!
If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?


5hade5layer

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Yes, an excellent point. Might have gotten a little carried away with the abduction. But glad you li.. read more
5hade5layer

2 Years Ago

Wow! This is really good for 8th grade level stuff. Keep it up! :)
DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ha! Well it wasn't as good in 8th grade, I don't think. That's just when I started working on it. Bu.. read more
I do not normally read scifi fantasy type literature because I'm more of a Tolkien kind of person. I love epic, urban, and mythological fantasy, but I enjoyed reading this. I would have liked to see more description with the characters unless the point of view is meant to be like a child in which she wouldn't notice those details or remember them.

I'm not too crazy about the argument being at the dinner table because typically southern style, old school type of parents don't argue in front of the children. I feel like it would be more powerful to either hear it or the parents to subtly bring it up or slowly build up to the argument.

I'm not too crazy about this line, "Whoa, Mama, why you gotta bring race into this?”" just cause I felt he probably should've said something else. It sounded a bit mechanical.

Not crazy about the appositive here about the truck, "But when she got to the window, instead of a truck that would make rednecks cry tears of joy, she saw what looked like a very slick and strange looking plane. In her suspicion, she opened the window" just cause I felt it was irrelevant and took me out of the story.

I felt like this was a bit confusing because I couldn't really see the image you were trying to portray, "The cloud birthed 4 lights which fell unnaturally towards the ground in synchronized form. Nalie guessed they were different spaceships. They disappeared behind the pepper farm. Nalie watched as the cloud the aircraft disappeared in became bigger and darker." I think it's the last part of it that's getting me where it says, "Nalie watched as the cloud the aircraft disappeared in became bigger and darker" because you said in the previous one they disappeared. Was the cloud becoming bigger and darker the spaceships reappearing or did they just disappear into the cloud? I imagine clouds are light and fragile so wouldn't the spaceships tear it apart? Unless the aliens are magic too? Or are the spaceships going in and out of clouds meant to be the perception of a child?

You do a good job of describing the setting I would say. I definitely liked the opening and you built the suspense well. I liked the childlike narration. I thought it was entertaining and kept me reading on. Must admit, I like the idea of a black family because I don't think I see a lot of black characters in fantasy.

Soo thanks for my introduction into sci fi haha.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

Ha! Well it's always an honor to be someone's first. I appreciate the critiques. Descriptions have n.. read more
DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

And I do appreciate the appreciation of the inclusion of black characters. I've noticed both farmers.. read more
The first paragraph, seems it's from the point of view of the child, but then changes to the mother mid sentence. I suggest you establish the point of view right off.
In this first sentence, is Nalie in the pepper field when her mother calls for her?

I Like how the spaceships creates a storm when it goes onto the cloud.



Posted 2 Years Ago


DB Heinemann

2 Years Ago

The story is in third pov omniscient/multiple so multiple character is changing is fine. But I'll tr.. read more
Curly Q

2 Years Ago

Then if its Third pov omniscient, then it makes more sense.

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Added on November 6, 2016
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Author

DB Heinemann
DB Heinemann

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About
Just a super awesome person looking to hone the craft. I mostly do fantasy but I occasionally get science fiction-y or some artsy fartsy soul searching writing. But fantasy's my main go to because the.. more..

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HOZ 1 HOZ 1

A Chapter by DB Heinemann