's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Roswell, New Mexico, 1947

Submitted by Dallas and Erin Drinnon

As a kid, I was fascinated with anything to do with space. A lot of other kids liked space and even wanted to be astronauts, sure, but I was borderline obsessed, especially with aliens. My childhood bedroom looked like the lair of a deranged conspiracy theorist, right down to the pinned-up newspaper clippings connected with red string. The walls were plastered with posters, articles, documents, anything related to extraterrestrials and their possible existence. I guess my favorite had to be the Roswell incident. It was arguably the most famous and most likely alien encounter in history - several people witness an unidentified flying object crash into the New Mexico desert, the military declares it a "flying saucer" but backtracks a few days later, et cetera. I dedicated an almost ridiculous amount of my youth to finding out what the government was hiding behind its "weather balloon" story. What started out as nothing more than a daydream, a silly fantasy I'd retreat to when I was supposed to be thinking about algebra or Shakespeare or the War of 1812, became my one goal: I was going to 1947 Roswell. I would see for myself what really happened that day.
It was at that point that I guess you could say I turned my life around. No more slacking, procrastinating, letting my attention drift. I passed through high school with flying colors, graduated top of my class as an undergrad physics major, earned a Master's and a Ph.D., all leading up to my magnum opus, a machine I could use to leap backwards in time to that moment of truth. I clambered into the pod, hands shaking with adrenaline. I set my destination - Roswell, New Mexico, 1947 - and, with tears in my eyes and anticipation in my heart, turned the key, fired up the engine, and began my pilgrimage.
A ringing filled my ears as the fabric of reality tore around me and I emerged into the sky over New Mexico. I looked around at the sky and the farmland below me, searching for any sign of the craft. The movement of a flock of geese ahead of me caught my attention, before I heard a thud, followed by a loud bang as smoke began billowing off the engine, severed by an unfortunate and catastrophic bird strike, as it plummeted to the ground. I panicked, but there was nothing I could do. Without an engine, the machine stalled and fell out of the sky. I braced myself for impact just as the metal chassis of my machine kissed the earth.
And here I am. I've been here for a couple of weeks now, trapped in the wreckage of my life's work. Both the machine and myself are mangled beyond recognition. The water and first aid supplies I had the good sense to bring are the only things keeping me alive as I wait for someone, anyone to find me. I've shouted until my voice doesn't work anymore. The only thing I can do is listen for the footsteps of whatever savior the universe may send me. Wait, I hear something now. "Help," I croak, throat dry and voice gone. I try to bang on the wall of the machine but I don't have the strength to do more than tap. The footsteps - and voices, god, voices - get closer. I make all the noise I can with all the strength I can muster. I can make out what they're saying now, they're so close, please, help me-
"Now, what do you think this is?" "Looks like one of those flying saucers." "What should we do?" "Guess we ought to go call the police, maybe the fellas out at the air force base. Man, this really is something."