Joan strolled around the tropical complex on a soft evening dotted above with stars.
Her trip to this island had been everything she hoped for on a solitary October vacation, escaping a stress-filled job, worrisome aging parents, and a soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. The days melted into each other as she strolled for hours on secluded beaches, sat at the ocean-view bar and slowly savored pink-umbrella drinks, avoiding the curious glances of those with family or lovers.
She seemed to be the only single woman on the entire island.
But no matter, she decided as she wandered the grounds on her last evening here. Joan dreaded the return to her life – her real life – and grit her teeth as she dreamed of plucking one of those bright stars above her and holding on to it like the tail of a comet.
But perhaps this brighter “star” that appeared suddenly was a comet, or a meteor, because it enlarged with each minute that went by. Joan gasped as the pinprick of light became a dot, then a circle, and then….
Joan heard the screams of others before she realized that she’d joined in. A huge blazing ball of fire – at least the size of a dirigible, had splashed into the ocean right beside their villas. The night was now ablaze with light, the whales jumping in concern, their humongous tails slapping the water in consternation. The monk seals scurried onto the sand, sliding onto the beach like gigantic backless snails. Joan would have laughed at their clownish awkwardness if she wasn’t so scared.
Joan’s skin crawled as the large meteor, or whatever it was, bobbed up onto the water like a weightless ship. Suddenly the screams stopped, and Joan stared toward the ocean, hoping this was all a dream, or at least something more innocuous than it seemed.
But no. No such luck. Just as in an old ‘50s sci fi movie, the strange object darkened as a crack of light appeared on the surface, and a doorway opened.
Be careful what you wish for, Joan muttered.
Her life. as she had known it, would never be the same.