Alien, p.1

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  Book 2:

  Mysterious Monsters: Alien

  This book is a work of fiction. The characters, places, incidents, and dialogue are the product of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real, or if real, are used fictitiously. Unless otherwise intended, any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  Copyright © 2017 by David Michael Slater

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or repro- duced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written per- mission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  For more information, to inquire about rights to this or other works, or to purchase copies for special educational, business, or sales promotional uses please write to:

  Corgi Bits is an imprint of Incorgnito Publishing Press A division of Market Management Group, LLC

  300 E. Bellevue Drive, Suite 208

  Pasadena, California 91101


  Printed in the United States of America ISBN: 978-1-944589-23-3

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  For Mike and Mary Blanchard



  Dear Readers,

  Please think carefully about whether you wish to read this book. If you have not yet met the Mattigans

  — Maddie (12), Max (10) and Theo (8) — be warned: they might be a little too out there for you. They’re not exactly normal kids.

  Unless you think it’s normal to go looking for monsters.

  But it’s not just that they go looking for monsters. They’ve actually found one — a five-hundred-pound Sasquatch. And it’s not just that they actually found a Sasquatch. It’s that they’re hiding him in the basement of their rickety old mansion on the edge of Portland’s Forest Park.

  Question: What would you do if you discovered that Mysterious Monsters were real when your father is the star of “Monstrous Lies with Marcus Mattigan,” a TV show dedicated to proving they aren’t?

  If your answer is, tell your dad and deal with the consequences, you should definitely find another book. I recommend “One Upon a Time Good Children Made Good Choices and Lived Happily Ever After.” It’s a good one.

  Still here?

  I guess that means you’re willing to go along for the ride, wherever it takes you. Which is perfect, be- cause when you’re ready, you will find the Mattigan kids with their famous father heading out on a road trip to Vegas, betting that they can get control of this rather hairy situation on their own.

  Perhaps you already know that in Vegas, most

  bets don’t turn out very well.

  Maybe you also know that there’s a rule people have when they travel to the City of Lights: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

  Well, lucky for you, brave reader — this time it Doesn’t.


  Road Signs

  “Dad,” Maddie said as gently as she could, “you’ve barely said a word this entire trip. Don’t you think we should talk about what we’re going to do once we get to the hotel?”

  Marcus looked at his daughter from behind the wheel of the “Yuck,” the Mattigan’s lovable, but beat- up old truck. He seemed almost surprised to find her next to him, then to see his two boys in the rearview mirror. He’d been in a semi-trance for pretty much the entire two days they’d been on the road. The trip was dragging on forever — even allowing for the fact that they had to drive cautiously towing their Fifth Wheel camper. Every time Maddie mentioned how slowly he was driving, her father sped up, but only for about five

  minutes. Then he went back to puttering again.

  “I’m really sorry,” Marcus finally said. “I get this way before my investigations. I go over every possible scenario I can think of in my head. This time I’m feeling a little extra pressure, because I, perhaps un- wisely, sent out a press release.”

  “So, you figured out how to catch the alien then, Dad? Over.”

  “Theo!” Max objected. “Dad’s not going to catch the alien! He’s a professional skeptic. He’s going to prove there is no alien! Over!”

  Even though Max and Theo were sitting shoul- der-to-shoulder on the Yuck’s back bench, they were talking to each other on Max’s spy walkie-talkies.

  “You know what I meant!” Theo claimed. “Over!”

  “No, we didn’t,” Maddie informed him. What she wanted to add — but of course didn’t — was that she and her brothers were going to catch the alien all by themselves. Instead she said, “We’re sorry that video of us looking for Bigfoot damaged your reputation, Dad.

  I know that’s why you put out a press release. We’re sure you’ll figure out what’s really going on in Vegas

  — and your show will be back on the air right away.”

  “Like you always say,” Max put in, “if there’s one natural resource the world will never run out of, it’s phonies, fakes and fraudsters!”

  “True story,” Marcus said, and he smiled.

  “People,” the Yuck full of Mattigans sighed.

  “Sooo,” Maddie said, feeling a rather uncomfort- able sensation in the pit of her stomach, an ache she got whenever she was sorta-kinda not exactly telling the whole truth. “What exactly is going on in Vegas with this alien escape story?”

  “For the last fifty years or so,” Marcus replied, sounding finally ready to talk, “people have believed

  — people who believe unbelievable things, that is — that the military has been hiding downed UFOs at their secret base a hundred miles north of Las Vegas.”

  “Area 51,” Maddie said. She hadn’t wanted to

  bug her father for information while he seemed so, well, spacey. So she’d spent their driving time so far reading as much as she could about aliens on her phone. She now knew all about how Area 51 suppos- edly housed the UFOs that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, and in Kingman, Arizona, in 1953

  — not to mention other sites.

  “Right,” Marcus confirmed. “And they suppos- edly captured the aliens that were onboard some of those crafts.” He glanced at his daughter to see what she thought of this. “Alive,” he added. “One of them is even supposed to have been working for the govern- ment all these years at Area 51. J-Rod they call him. He’s the one who the Internet says has escaped and is running around the desert, hiding from the authorities

  — not to mention the who-knows-how-many UFO buffs out there, trying to catch him first.”

  When Marcus saw only wonder in his daughter’s big, brown eyes, he looked at his boys in the rearview mirror again. They looked back at him with outright amazement.

  Marcus waited some more, glancing from one of his kids to the next with increasing concern.

  Finally, they caught on.

  “People!” the kids all sighed together again — this time, extra loud.

  Marcus shook his head, clearly relieved to be agreeing with his kids about the foolishness of fools who believed in little green men, especially the kind of foolish fools who believed the government was hiding them.


  Maddie shot a quick glance back at her brothers. She Eyeballed them big time, and they understood what she meant: They’d better be careful or their fa- ther would realize they’d changed their minds about the existence of formerly unproven things like little green men — especially now that he’d finally start- ed talking. They needed to get him to tell them his plan, so they could make theirs. Whisper-arguing un- der their covers last night in the Fifth Wheel about whether aliens actually were little green men had been

  a total waste of time.

sp; “Are they saying how this J-Rod supposedly es- caped?” Max asked, shoving his phone back into his pocket. He’d spent his driving time reading websites on how to improve his observational skills, which he knew were a spy’s greatest asset. They all said that every little thing mattered. Every word. Every detail.

  “No one seems to know how the rumor started,” Marcus explained. “But that’s where I come in. I’m going to trace it to its source, and then I’m going to prove it’s all a bunch of balderdash.”

  Theo had spent his driving time on his phone as well, watching a movie called “Harry and the Hender- sons.” “But what if it’s not a bunch of dalderbash?” he asked. “What if the alien is real, and your dad was right the whole time about Mysterious Monsters — even though he should have never abandoned you when you were just a kid to go looking for them, like we’re doing?”


  “What, Maddie?”

  “We’re not looking for Mysterious Monsters!” “You know what I mean!”

  “No, Theo, we don’t,” Max told him, and not kindly.

  “Is something wrong with you guys?” Marcus asked.

  “All good,” the three kids grumbled.

  “It’s getting late, and I think you’ve been cooped up in here too long,” Marcus concluded. “You all probably need more space.”

  No one said anything to this.

  “More space,” Marcus repeated. “See what I did there? Or is my humor too alien for you?”

  “Is there a barf bag in here?” Max asked.

  “I do have a sick sense of humor,” Marcus joked. “Fortunately, I think we’re just about there.”

  They were leaving the highway, at last.

  “Anyway, Dad,” Maddie said. “How exactly are you planning to trace the source of the escape rumor?”

  “Well — ”

  “Look at that!” Theo blurted. They’d stopped at a red light at the end of the exit ramp.

  “What now?” Maddie sighed.

  “There!” Theo said, pointing.

  On the shoulder of the road, a tumbleweed was blowing by. Remarkably, it looked very much like a flying saucer.

  “It’s a sign!” Theo cried.

  “It’s not a sign,” Maddie said as they headed into

  the city streets. “Dad, your plan? Area 51?”

  “Oh, well,” he said. “You really don’t need to worry about it. It’s not like I’m going to try to break into the highest-security military facility in the world. I’m just going to poke around town, make some calls, see who will talk to me. You guys can have fun at

  the hotel. Very kid-friendly these days.”

  “But” — Max objected — “we want to help with

  the detective work!”

  “Max, you’re ten years old,” Marcus pointed out.

  “At least tell us what you’re thinking,” Maddie urged. “We do have good ideas.”

  “Well — ”

  “Haaa!” Theo howled. “Ha-ha-ha!” He banged on the window next to him, but also pointed again. He was laughing too hard to speak. “Ah-ha-ha-ha!”

  “Now what?” Maddie cried.

  “Sign!” Theo finally managed to choke.

  “I told you, a stupid tumbleweed is not a sign!”

  “But that is!” Theo spluttered. “At that gas station. ‘EAT HERE, GET GAS FREE!’ Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

  “Theo, please,” Maddie begged, seeing what he was pointing to now. “Max, make him stop already!” She glared at him. They needed to hear their father’s plan!

  Max looked at Maddie. He looked at Theo, then back at Maddie. Then he couldn’t hold it in anymore. “Bah-ha-ha!” he wailed.

  “Forget them,” Maddie said, turning back to face

  front. “Dad, you can just tell me the plan. Dad?”




  Little Green Mob Scene

  “Wow!” the Mattigan kids cried, immediately forgetting what they were all fussing about. The Yuck had turned a corner, and there it was, spread out before them in all its glittering glory: the famous Las Vegas Strip.

  It had been dark for a while by then, so every- thing was lit up like Christmas, times ten. They’d seen it in pictures, of course — in the movies too — but it was different in real life. It was bigger and brighter, more gleaming and glowing.

  It was like they’d entered another world. Neon World.

  Marcus drove around so they could see the most

  famous sites: the mini-Eiffel tower at the Paris; the New York skyline at New York - New York; the giant Pyramid of the Luxor, which seemed to have fallen out of a portal in the sky; even the Stratosphere, with the roller coaster perched on top.

  All three Mattigan kids let out oohs and ahhs along the way, right up to the moment they arrived at their destination: The Circus Circus, and its giant, blacktopped parking lot.

  Once they finally found a parking spot, Marcus turned to everyone and said, “Here’s the plan, gang. It’s already past eleven, so it’s straight to bed for everybody. Tomorrow, at nine a.m. sharp, I’ll start calling around to set up some meetings with military folks. I think — given that I’m trying to help prove these monster rumors are false — they’ll be more than happy to speak with me. Two local filmmakers will meet us here — both are good friends. One, Kirk, will go out with me. The other, Nyota, will do some inter- viewing at the casino. I will buy an all-day pass for you guys to play at the Adventure Dome Theme Park

  and the Midway, but you’ll check in with Nyota every hour. I’ll make sure you have her cell number.”

  “Awesome!” Theo cried. “And we get to sleep in the hotel, right?”

  “You didn’t think we would drive all the way to Vegas to sleep in the Fifth Wheel, did you?” Marcus asked.

  “No way!”

  “But you can if you really want to.” “No way!”

  “All right, then,” Marcus said as he climbed out of the Yuck. “You drive a hard bargain.”

  Max and Maddie waited until their father went to start unloading their bags. Then they let their little brother have it.

  “Dad’s plan is not awesome, Theo!” Maddie whisper-shouted. “His plan means we have no plan! This is not good.”

  “You knew what I meant!”

  “No, we didn’t!” Max snapped.


  The kids hurried to join their father, who already had their stuff waiting for them. Everyone shouldered their bags. Then they headed through the lot toward the casino, falling in with a large number of other people.

  “Boy, it’s crowded here!” Theo said. “Is it always

  this crowded here, Dad?”

  “Pretty much,” Marcus said. “But especially for special events.”

  Like alien hunting, the kids all thought.

  “So, who is your friend going to interview at the casino?” Max asked, using his innocent spy voice. Maddie nodded at him to show it was an observant question that might get their father talking again.

  “Oh,” Marcus said, apparently not hearing the question. “Speaking of special events, I booked us here because — ”

  “Hey, look at that!”

  “Enough already, Theo!” Maddie cried.

  “No, look!”

  Everyone looked.

  Theo was pointing at someone, or something, in the crowd as they walked through it. “A little green man!”

  Sure enough, someone was dressed up — though not very well — like the typical little-green-man alien. The oversized green head looked totally fake, and you could see his face right through the eyeholes.

  “And look at that!”

  Closer to the doors, was a second little green man in a much more impressive costume.

  “Look at that!”

  This time, no one needed to ask what Theo was talking about.

  They’d entered the casino, and they all s
aw what he saw: milling about the reception area were hundreds of little green men.

  It was a little green mob scene.



  It turned out that they weren’t actually all little green men. There were also little green women. Big ones, too — men and women. Not all of them were green, now that the Mattigans got a better look at them. Some were blue, some were red, some had antennas. Some had three or more eyes, some of which were on stalks. There were extra arms, too — and extra teeth. But they were all attached to aliens, and the aliens were everywhere, all holding funny-colored drinks in strangely shaped glasses and chattering away like they were at some sort of interstellar cocktail party.

  One alien seemed to be in charge. He was of me- dium height and wore, like a number of the others, a large grey mask that showed off big almond-shaped

  eyes, nostrils but no real nose, and a thin slit of a mouth. His fancy-looking red robe swayed behind him as he moved around greeting new arrivals. “Welcome!” he boomed after shaking each new three- or four- or six-fingered hand. “Welcome to Planet Earth on behalf of Alien Nation!”

  “What the heck is going on?” Maddie asked her brothers. Their father had hurried over to the check-in desk, where he’d spotted an opening. “Is this one of those weird grown-up theme parties? Is this why they say, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?’ I wouldn’t want anyone at home to know this is what I was doing here. Totally embarrassing.”


  “For crying out loud already, Theo! Oh — sorry.”

  Theo was pointing to a large banner that read, “WELCOME TO THE FIRST ANNUAL ET-CON.”

  “What does that mean?” Maddie asked.

  “Must be a convention,” Max guessed. “Like Com- ic-Con, but about ET’s. Extra-terrestrials. Looks like it

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