a Falling Star
and Derek Drake walked slowly along the shore. Each of them
looked closely at the sand, watching for shells and driftwood
that the tide had washed in. For months they had come to the
beach nearly every day and sometimes in the evening, too.
The young beachcombers brought their collections to the gift
shop in the town, where tourists often came.
Sandy and Derek were saving their money. Just another month
of beach- combing and the twins would have enough to buy a
Suddenly there was a flash of light in the sky. "Hey!" Derek
pointed. "There's a shooting star. Make a wish, quick!"
The meteor streaked across the sky and downward, out over
the water. Then there was a blinding flash. It seemed to explode
on a small island off the shore.
wish we had the boat now so we could row out there," Sandy
sighed. "We could pick up the meteorite and sell it to a museum."
The twins got their boat just five weeks later. After trying
it out for a day or two, they made plans to row out to the
island to look for the meteorite. Their mother packed a picnic
lunch for them on Friday night.
Early the next morning, Derek and Sandy set out for the island.
It took them nearly half an hour to get there, "Hey!" Derek
exclaimed as he hopped off the boat onto the island. "Did
you ever see purple grass before?"
comes right down to the water," Sandy said. She bent down
to feel it. "This isn't grass. It feels like -- velvet."
at me!" Derek shouted, bouncing high up into the air. "This
stuff sure is springy. I bet I could bounce up higher than
After playing on the velvet "grass" for a while, the twins
decided to explore the island. Everything seemed strange and
different. The rocks shimmered with a rainbow of colors. They
came to a clearing filled with plants. These plants were not
like any Sandy and Derek had ever seen before. Except for
the trees at the edge of the field, most of the plants were
only an inch or two high, with tiny leaves. It was strange
-- they all seemed to be growing in neat rows, spaced close
together. It was as though they had been purposely planted
don't see any of the meteorite yet," Derek called" back to
Sandy. She had knelt down at the edge of the field to look
at the strange plants more closely.
Derek raced ahead through the field to the trees on the other
side. "Hey, look what I found!" Derek shouted as he spotted
a shiny object about the size and shape of a beach ball.
Ouch!" he yelled suddenly in pain. Tiny flashes of light streaked
out from the underbrush just ahead of him. They struck Derek
in the arms and legs. He crashed down to the ground. He could
not move at all.
Sandy dashed across the field. She stopped suddenly and stared
ahead. Through the trees, not twenty feet ahead, she saw her
brother lying on the ground. Walking around him were tiny
creatures. She counted four. The largest was only about six
inches tall. They looked almost like tiny people. And yet
they were different. Their skin was a velvety purple and they
had large, shining eyes. The largest creature was holding
a weapon that looked like a gun. He was pointing it straight
All at once, Sandy saw a snake gliding out from under a pile
of dead leaves, heading toward her brother and the alien creatures.
At first they did not notice the snake. Then, with a hiss,
it darted its head forward and snapped its jaws closed around
the creature holding the gun. The other three aliens whirled
around and screamed. The larger one dropped his gun as he
struggled in the snake's grasp. The snake began to slither
slowly off into the brush.
Without stopping to think, Sandy snatched up a broken branch
and whacked the snake. It let go of the alien creature. Sandy
bent down and picked him up.
As she touched his velvety skin, there seemed to be a curious
feeling inside her head, as though something was touching
her mind. It quickly explored her mind and found that she
meant no harm. Then pictures appeared in Sandy's mind. And
she knew that these were creatures from another world. They
had come here to start a new life.
She put the alien down gently, and he ran over to touch Derek.
Derek sat up and rubbed his head. Now he too knew the aliens'
Late that afternoon, Derek and Sandy rowed back across the
water toward home. They would keep the secret of the aliens.
But they would come back to the island often.
you have a good time?" their mother asked.
was out of this world!" Sandy smiled.
2013 The Silversteins