Three Possibilities: Incident on Highway 41
Neal and I had been driving all night, trying to make it to L.A. by dawn, crossing the desert wedged in between a convoy of over-the-road truckers, trying to avoid any attention from the law; if they searched our trunk we'd be looking at 10 to 20 in the Federal prison, if they tested our blood we'd be hospitalized, and then sent to jail. Neal had a big bottle of black dex that he was popping like candy, his motor-mouth wouldn't quit, all those BIG IDEAS of his, I'd heard them all before, but when he really got rolling it was like a Bach Fugue- inspired variations on theme. "Get that tin foil out of the glove-box there.." he croaked. When Neal had something wrapped in foil, you knew it was special. "Unwrap it, Batty old boy, careful that you don't spill any..." I opened the little metallic package, it contained about forty shiny brown seeds, all round and convex, like some sort of organic M&Ms. "Divvy 'em up, but chew 'em good... they're from my Shaman in the Amazon- they'll keep you awake for the rest of the way, ha, ha, ha..." When Neal started in with that little nervous laugh of his, I knew that these were more than just some mild stimulant. I was feeling a little fagged so what the hell, I ate my half. They were bitter, it was all I could do to avoid gagging, I washed them down with a hit off the bottle of Tempranillo we'd been sharing as I handed Neal his. He kept driving, and talking, but after about twenty minutes I wondered if someone hadn't taken Neal for a ride with those oily seeds. He was suddenly quiet, the last thing we needed was him nodding off at 70 miles per hour. "Prof... Prof, you feeling anything? I... I... " He stopped talking as his hands began to shake.
And then the stars began to fall...
"You've been through a lot, you're all beat up. Can you tell me what happened out there?"
"Well Doc, I was driving on that road to avoid the traffic on the interstate, it's a little out of the way, but I like those lonesome highways..."
"You were found naked, in your car, stopped on the shoulder with the motor running..."
"OK, Doc this is all I remember..."
I was following a semi, he must have been overweight and taking the back road to avoid the inspection station. His rig would sway on the bad parts of the road, I kept my distance... Suddenly a group of bright lights came out of the sky, my car stopped running, but the truck ahead of me kept going until I was alone on the road. An intense blue light, like the ones in the sky, came closer until my car was surrounded. I don't know exactly what happened then, but I seem to remember floating out of my car, out of my clothes, until I sensed that I was in a large craft of some sort. It was like a hospital examination room, there were bright lights and some sort of pedestals lined up. I was on one of them, I wasn't strapped in, but I couldn't move. A strange being, roughly humanoid in appearance, but with an over-sized head and big opaque black eyes came close to me, he was clutching a strange probe-like wand in his "hand", he waved it over me, and then... then..."
"I'm sorry, I just can't go on..."
"I see. Can you tell me what happened after this encounter?"
"Well... afterwards... we smoked cigarettes..."
If there are any Elves left in Iceland, they probably don't hang out on the highway. Still, with the not-yet-risen sun brightening the eastern sky, the Professor felt a tingle, as if there were some ineffable message being directed his way by spirits unknown. He took out his camera, set the shutter for four seconds and took a picture through the Flybus' front window...
... months later, The Professor took that image, ran it through some Photoshop filters, in a search for something, a trace. Something consisting of pure energy, leaving a record of its passing, in an appearance so fleeting that a person's ordinary senses would miss it completely...