Somewhere near Wichita, KS
Annie* recalls a chilling event from her childhood that cannot be explained away.
Annie and her friends would often play at the train yards that lay along the path from their neighborhood to the school house. The would climb the tall piles of gravel, sand, and creosote timbers. Sometimes there were even disused passenger cars for them to explore.
With one exception, all her memories of this industrial landscape are filled with fun and laughter.
It was late one autumn afternoon when Annie left her friends to continue her trek homeward alone. The overcast sky formed a low ceiling of clouds that seemed to hover just above the rooftops of her small town. A light misty fog began to fill the streets, folding young Annie inside a box without form.
Somehow, without looking back, she sensed something following her within this alien dreamscape. Annie quickened her steps as her heart raced. She can hear the soft patter of feet pick up speed behind her.
Risking a glance, Annie turns back to catch fleeting glimpses of several small, gray beings emerging from the gray envelope like form from shadow. They are each lithe and insubstantial with delicate protuberances and vague features. All she can really make out are the large, dark eyes that seem to see everything about her.
Annie turns onto her street, panting from the exertion. Midway down her block, she steals another glance. The forms are gone. They had dissolved back into the gathering mist.
That is where the memory ends, without a clear recollection of what happened next. Doubtlessly she made it home safely, as she live to tell the tale. But she remains haunted to this day by the strange forms that emerged from the fog to chase her briefly and then disappear.
It was years later, as she became aware of such things, just how strikingly similar her experience was to descriptions of what UFOlogists term "Grays". These extraterrestrial entities have become the mainstay of alien morphology: small, delicate bodies surmounted by a head with large dark eyes.
Could her memories have been contaminated by these motifs retroactively, reimagining the circumstances of that afternoon differently with each bit of new information? Or could it be that she did, in fact, see what she describes?
Afterall, why is it that we only challenge memories such as these? I can recall in striking detail seeing a girl hit by a car when I was in the first grade. It was a tragic and traumatizing event, as would be Annie's, yet many will dissect her tale and come to the conclusion that her subconscious has used popular imagery to fashion a mask over events that, while real, were frightening and needed suppression.
I was frightened by the car accident. I saw the girl's head bashed open. It was frightening and repulsive. My mind hasn't fashioned any fantasy to drape over this unseemly memory. Even if it had, would the memory be surpressed by an equally frightening one? Somehow, it lacks a certain logic.
I will leave it to you to decide what you think truly happened to young Annie.
*The name Annie is a pseudonym fashioned to protect the witness' identity.