Mr. Chang’s secret
The bottom part of the spaceship looked like a bloated pancake, and the top was similar to a giant bowl. There was a door in the top, and with a hiss, the door slid open. The boys froze, but the only thing that came out was a ramp. The ramp puffed up and became a staircase.
“Told you they were spaceship marks.” Matt muttered.
Pete had to admit he was right. The ‘legs’ of the spaceship started as one piece, but halfway down, the legs split in half. At the end of the legs there was a sharp, barbed knob that rooted the ship from space to the ground, and it also made the eight craters. The barbs were right inside the holes.
Jake had not made a remark yet. Pete looked at him and shrieked. “MATT! Jake is out cold!” Jake’s head had banged against a rock because of the earthquake.
After a little bit of screaming in Jake’s ear, Jake finally stirred. “ Huh? What happ- HOLY COW! Is that a spaceship?” THUMP. Jake fainted again.
Five minutes later, Jake opened his eyes weakly. “Huh?”
“You fainted twice,” Matt told Jake. “No more fainty, Jakey.”
Jake stared at the spaceship. “Is that what I fainted about?”
“We have to tell someone about this,” Pete said.
Matt shook his head. “No one is going to believe us. Would you believe it?”
“No,” Jake admitted. “But we could show Pete’s dad. Doesn’t he hang out in the woods sometimes?”
Pete nodded. “He showed me this clearing.”
“So what are we waiting for?” asked Matt as he ran out of the clearing. “Let’s go tell him!”
Halfway home, the boys almost bumped into Mr. Chang, Pete’s dad. Before anyone could stop him, Pete cried, “Dad! Remember the clearing you showed me? Well, a spaceship landed in there,-”
“I know,” said Mr. Chang. Pete stared. Jake got ready to faint again.
“It’s okay,” Matt said. “I’ve read about this in horror books. Something scary happens to some kids. The kids tell their parents or friends, and they say they believe it, but then they start laughing. He’s kidding, guys.
“No, I’m not,” insisted Mr. Chang. “And I’m glad you three found out. I need a new alien-fighting partner. Five years ago, my old partner…” He broke off.
Pete couldn’t believe it. “ You don’t mean…”
“Yes.” nodded Mr. Chang. “Mary.” Matt and Jake looked at him like he was crazy.
“That’s my mom.” Pete said breathlessly. Matt gasped. Jake’s mouth fell open.
Mary Chang had disappeared when Pete was one. He didn’t miss her, but as he got older, Pete started asking his dad how she disappeared. But whenever he asked, Mr. Chang only replied, “I’d rather not talk about it, Petey. Now go play.”
“ My boss said I needed new partners, but after Mary disappeared, I retired.
I could never forget about her, though, so every day I went to the AL clearing-that’s the glade I showed you, Pete- to see if if a lookout spaceship had arrived.” Mr. Chang smiled. “I see you boys have found it before me. So- I’m asking you;” Now Mr. Chang looked dead serious, “would you like to go on a space mission?”
The three friends looked at one another for a minute.
Then, at long last, Matt spoke up. “You bet we would.”