Fiction logo

Haily's Comet

It is a short story about a girl who finds a mysterious object in her garden.

By S.N. EvansPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 8 min read
Haily's Comet
Photo by Todd Diemer on Unsplash

The shooting star streaked across the night sky, knocked from the heavens by some unknown force, and descended in a brilliant trail of glimmering silver. As it descended the exosphere into the thermosphere, passing the mesosphere, stratosphere, and finally, troposphere, it decreased in size and weight. It was no larger than a gumball when it collided with the grass in Haily’s backyard. Usually, such a happening would have passed notice, but Haily could not sleep, so she sat awake near her window. Her parents had gotten her a telescope after much begging last year, and it had become a pastime, on the night's sleep eluded her, gaze up into the heavens until she became too exhausted to keep her eyes open.

Haily never considered she would find anything in the stars, but they all fascinated her. Excitement surged through her as she noticed the shooting star. It had been forever since she had seen one. Pulling the memo recorder from beside her desk, she recorded its descent calmly. She was supposed to be up earlier. It grew ever closer, and she breathed as she fantasized about it handing in her backyard. She had no idea what she might do with it, but she once read about a little girl getting famous for finding dinosaur bones in her backyard. Maybe she would get rich.

As the small object collided with her mother’s begonias, Haily shot up from her seat, pulled on her hoodie, and crept down the stairs toward the garden. She took exceptional care as she moved past her parent’s bedroom to the back door. Carefully clicking the deadbolt and turning the knob lock, she shook herself mentally as she wrapped her hand around the knob. Taking a deep breath, she twisted it, and the door made a gentle popping noise and was open. Slowly, carefully, she eased it open wide enough to slip through and left it open to avoid the sound of the door closing.

Making her way toward her mother’s begonias, Haily’s eyes roved the foliage for something out of place. Among the burned leaves and petals was an object about the size and shape of a gumball. Confused, she knew better than to touch it. It radiated heat. Afraid that the heat might start a fire, she moved over to the side of the house. Haily turned on the tap and tugged the garden hose toward the ball. Unleashing the hose on the ball, she forgot that turning on the tap made noise in the house. Her parents might wake up, and her creeping around would be for naught. Too late now, she considered as the ball hissed for a long while beneath the steady stream of water. Where it had landed in the dirt was scorched.

Once Haily was satisfied that the gumball-sized piece of space debris was cool enough to touch, she picked it up. It was heavier than it should have been and lighter than she had expected. Pocketing the meteorite, she went over to turn off the tap. The sound of her name stopped her in her tracks. Groaning, she turned to meet the furious expressions of her parents. She had expected the tap noise to have woken them up.

“What are you doing out here?” Her father questioned, “Get back inside. It’s way too late for this nonsense.” He growled immediately after, not giving her time to answer.

Haily hurriedly turned the tap to the off position and entered. Her mother glared at her while her father ensured the door was secure and locked. Then, the two of them rounded on her.

“Now, out with it, what were you doing outside?”

“I saw a small fire outside my window. I don’t know what happened, but I saved your begonias,” Haily said, feeling the weight of the meteorite in her pocket. She had no idea why she was lying. You can see the scorch mark if you like. I couldn’t sleep and saw it from my window.”

Her father looked at her, alarmed, “You should have come to get us. We don’t care about the begonias. What if you had gotten hurt?”

“It’s alright, it wasn’t anything too dangerous. Maybe someone tossed their cigarette butt out their window from the road?”

“Either way, the crisis is averted now. Get back to bed. Next time, let us know what is going on.”

“I will.” She promised, crossing her fingers behind her. Knowing when to make herself scarce, Haily hastily returned to her room.

Once inside, she shut the door and pulled the meteorite from her pocket. Placing it on her desk, it glowed faintly in the darkness. Her eyes grew wide as she put her hand on the recorder. Haily whispered into the recording device, muttering about its glow and eventual color shift. Eventually, feeling too tired to move, Haily fell asleep on her bed.

Early in the morning, Haily awoke to her mother knocking on her bedroom door and telling her it was time to get ready for school. Rolling out of bed, she had almost forgotten about the gumball from space. Looking around, it was gone. Haily looked everywhere for the meteorite. She could barely eat breakfast. Her stomach ached, and she could scarcely keep her eyes open.

“Haily, are you alright?”

“I don’t feel so good,” Haily groaned,

“Oh, honey,” her mother said, moving forward and touching Haily’s forehead. Yeah, it feels like you have a fever; let me get the thermometer.” She shooed Haily back to bed. “Go lay down, TOM! TOM! I think Haily’s sick. I need to call the office. Can you take over making your lunch?”

Haily’s dad grumbled as he descended the stairs but picked up where her mother had left off. Haily went to bed without complaint. Scrambling beneath the covers, she trembled, wondering what was going on. She had felt fine the night before. Her mom came in, slipped the thermometer beneath her tongue, and waited for it to count down. Soon, it beeped, confirming what Haily had suspected.

“Yep, that’s a fever, you’re staying home.” Haily’s mother said, patting her head, “Close your eyes and snuggle in; I’ll come back in a bit to check on you again. Your trash can is by your bed. If you feel like throwing up, please hit it.”

Haily nodded as her mom walked out of the room; it felt like a stone had settled into the pit of her stomach. Rolling over, she closed her eyes and had the strangest and most vivid dream.

The grass was red beneath a yellow sky, and stars scattered the daylight sky, but Haily recognized none. Peering around the yard, she saw a crooked pale violet house surrounded by a jagged black picket fence. A boy was looking at her outside the window; his skin was pale green, and his eyes were more significant than any Haily had ever seen. His hands had three fingers on each hand, and he strode toward her; she backed away. He shook his head and put up his hands, speaking in words she did not understand, so Haily did the only thing she could think of; she kept stumbling backward. Then, she felt her foot slip.




Haily woke up as her body slammed into her bed. She sat up with a jolt and felt like a ball had lodged in her throat. Coughing, sputtering, hacking, Haily felt like a cat attempting to extricate a hairball. Sitting up, she tried to drink her mother's water, but it would not go down. She couldn’t breathe. Coughing again, eventually, the ball moved past her gag reflex, and whatever had lodged itself in her throat fell into the trashcan with a thump.

Gasping for air, she chugged the water her mom had brought her and wiped the sweat from her forehead. She heard her mother ascending the stairs. Panicking, Haily removed the stone from her trashcan and hid it beneath her pillow. Her mom knocked briefly before opening the door, and Haily sat draped over the side of the bed as if she might get sick again.

“Did you throw up?” Her mom questioned sympathetically.

“A little,” Haily groaned.

“Well, if your body needs to, it needs to. Make sure you’re drinking enough water. I’ll get you more,” her mother fretted. Then, I’ll clean out your bucket. You just settle in.” She tapped Haily on the foot. “You’re sweating. That’s a good sign. Your fever is breaking.”

Haily nodded as her mother exited the room, tugging the door closed behind her. Haily reached beneath her pillow and pulled out the meteorite. She could not believe her eyes. When had she swallowed it? How had it become lodged in her throat? She had more questions than answers, but she was exhausted. She needed to figure things out, taking out her recorder. She attempted to record her dream for later analysis but found the memory card was already full. Groaning, Haily popped out the small memory card and slid out of bed, carefully wrapping her blanket around herself. Putting on her headphones, she opened the playback software and listened:

If you are listening to this, I apologize for the memory lapse. Despite any adverse effects you feel now, what we did was necessary to save an entire civilization. He came to you in a dream, many dreams, and asked you to swallow the stone. It gave you visions that he could record to save his world. Before departing, he said he would grant us the gift of amnesia so we would not recall what was happening on his home planet. Know that it was awful, but our actions saved all of them. The stone will be useless once it comes back up. Can you believe he insisted it was to be a souvenir of our time together? I’m sorry, but I cannot tell you more or risk the painful memories returning. But, the dream you just had was a vision of peace in his home world. You may have even seen him. I don’t have much else to say. You probably would not believe me if I did. Thank you for everything. Bye.

Haily sat there more confused than ever, but what more was there to say? She had swallowed something she shouldn’t have for reasons she was no longer privy to. Frowning, Haily picked up the stone beneath her pillow, cranked open her bedroom window, and chucked it back into the begonias where Haily should have left it. To think she had a miraculous adventure with an alien species and could not remember it frustrated her, but she was too tired to process her emotions appropriately. It was a problem for future Haily. She groaned and flopped back into bed.

Sci FiYoung AdultShort StoryMystery

About the Creator

S.N. Evans

Christian, Writer of Fiction and Fantasy; human. I have been turning Caffeine into Words since 2007. If you enjoy my work, please consider liking, following, reposting on Social Media, or tipping. <3

God Bless!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.