Adolescents Only

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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He tried to convince himself he had no right to gripe. It was a pleasant place to live; he had privacy and a bath of his own. And the Schermerhorns were reasonably broadminded people. They never objected to his smoking or an occasional glass of beer. Last year at the Neuhavens'—Gary Elvin cringed inwardly at the recollection.

Just the same, this was going too far. It was enough to endure their kids all day long, five days of the week, without the addition of these juvenile parties. This one had started an hour after dinner and it was still going strong when Elvin returned from the late show at the Fox.

Naturally the Schermerhorn twins were popular tenth graders—husky, blond Greek Gods who had everything, including a red Convertible and a swimming pool Pop Schermerhorn had built for them at the ranch. Gary Elvin had expected a certain number of parties when he decided to board and room with the Schermerhorns, but hardly one every weekend.

He fled through the cluttered hall where a buxom lass was organizing something called a bubble gum contest and took refuge on the damp and deserted patio. He flung himself on a wet, canvas lounge, and looked up at the bright night sky.

Bitterly he counted off the weeks. It was still early in November. He had eight more months to endure before June came with its temporary illusion of escape. As he always did, Elvin resolved to find a better job next year. He had been teaching for five years now. He knew all the tricks of classroom control and smooth community relations. Surely if he started looking early enough, he ought to be able to get something at a small college....

Suddenly he was jerked back to reality by a curious spot of red that appeared in the sky. It moved closer and he saw that it was a falling object followed by a long plume of red flame. It flashed momentarily overhead and Elvin heard a dull thud as it fell into a field beyond the ranch house.

He sprang up from the couch and moved off in the darkness. It had been a meteorite, of course; if it had survived the friction of the atmosphere it would make an interesting exhibit for the science classroom. Miss Gerken would be glassy-eyed with pleasure.

There was no moon. As soon as he crossed the driveway, Elvin stumbled over the damp furrows of a newly ploughed field. He was sweating when he reached the row of palms that lined the irrigation ditch. He paused to wipe his face.

And he heard a weird, shrill, rhythmic sound. It might have been called music, but there was no definable melody or beat. It was faint at first, but as he moved to the right, paralleling the ditch, the sound came louder.

As he cautiously approached the alien object, it seemed as if a soft melody were being wafted on the night breeze. The sound made him nervous and instilled fear....

Then, beyond the trees, in a glow of blue light emanating from the thing itself, he saw the rocket. It was not quite five feet long, a slim projectile of glowing metal nosed deeply into the soft earth. The four fins were rotating slowly.

Gary Elvin might, quite properly, have been frightened, but he was totally unacquainted with modern fiction dealing with the probable potentials of science and the universes beyond the earth. Such material he classified, along with comic books and television, as the pap of mediocre minds....