Later that night John was roused from his fitful sleep by the incessant ringing of the phone. His wife sat up in bed and turned on the lamp. “It’s 3:30 in the morning! Who would call at this hour?”
He answered the phone and after listening, said; “Yes Shelia; I know you wouldn’t bother me if it wasn’t important…. What is it?”
Mrs. Wright was exasperated. “For heaven’s sake! Don’t they know that you have to sleep some time?” He silently waved for her to be quiet.
“I’ll be right there.”
Marie interrupted; “Can’t this wait ‘til morning?”
John attempted to explain the importance of the situation. “Shelia said there have been strange lights reported at the lake tonight. It may have something to do with the murders. We can’t afford to overlook it.”
As the Sheriff drove down the lonely dirt road that led to the lake, he called for backup. The two deputies on night patrol answered his request for assistance. Deputy Phil Bates and Detective Johnson accompanied him as they circled the nature trail. After 20 minutes in the brisk night air with no sign of ‘strange blue lights’, they suspected the report was without merit.
The sheriff was about to go back home when all three men witnessed the etherial lights for themselves. They stood in absolute awe as an alien spaceship materialized at the edge of the lake! The side of the ship opened and four shrowded beings came out into the cool night air. The two in the middle removed their cloaks to reveal their hidden identities. To the Sheriff’s genuine elation, they were the two missing young ladies. The other two individuals were definitely not human at all. The men were unable to move from the intense excitement of being face-to-face with creatures from another world. Oddly enough, they didn’t feel as if they were in any danger.
In an indeterminate amount of time, one of the aliens spoke. “Are you the one called Sheriff Wright?” The shock of the situation prevented him from responding. It wasn’t everyday that he was addressed by extra terrestrials. The same alien asked if the question had been improperly phrased. Finally the Sheriff managed to ‘choke out’ the correct response.
The other alien stepped forward to make an announcement to the men. “We regret to inform you that our immature offspring accidentally terminated three of your organisms. We are in the final stages of cloning the expired individuals from residual DNA samples that we extracted. Once the regeneration is complete, they will be reintroduced back into their native habitat without delay. We regret the inconvenience this has caused you Sheriff; and would like to explain.
On our planet; there is an extremely docile creature that roams the marshy wetlands. The offspring of our species enjoy keeping them as pets. This ‘bashful’ animal is very much like your terrestrial box turtle. It recedes inside its body as a defense mechanism when it is frightened. To coax them to come out; our ‘children’ often leave a feeding crystal near their nest (as a reward or incentive). If they retract back inside themselves to hide, our offspring reach into their shell and pull them ‘right side out’ again.
Sadly, this regrettable incident only happened because of an elemental misunderstanding. You see, the turtle-like animal on our planet closely resembles your human form. Our young incorrectly assumed that your species was also very shy; and thus required inversion coaxing. They were unaware of your somewhat delicate physiology.