The Monolith

Based on a true story.

Summer 1990, in a small town somewhere in Azerbaijan an event took place for which it’s residents have yet to find an explanation. It happened in a very special little town located between the foothills of the Caucasus mountains and a small river running down to the Caspian sea. There were only two roads in and out of this town. Either the narrow road from the mountains or the long bridge over the river leading to the big cities. Strangers would rarely find themselves driving through this town considering that only very few people lived up the mountains.
Let’s assume someone would drive through, he would see small single-story houses with small yards, some chickens walking around and even a cow or two wandering through the streets. He would see children playing on the roads, women in colorful dresses gossiping and eating sunflower seeds while old men play backgammon in the tea house next door. At the end of the road, right beside the ascend to the mountains, there is one house with a pear tree in it’s yard with two children running around it, probably chasing some chicken. Or rather running away from it.

“Kids! Lunch is ready. “, the mother would yell out the window. But the children won’t listen. “Kids! Don’t make me come outside and get you!”, she threatens. But the children still won’t listen. The mother sighs and walks out the door. She puts on her slippers and looks over to the yard. The children are quietly standing underneath the pear tree and looking up, trying to see something in the sky. “What are you doing?”she asked. Her daughter says “look”, and points at the sky.

The mother looks up, but she can’t really figure out what she should look at. Soon she recognizes a dark spot in the sky. Seemingly getting bigger or rather getting closer. Within a second and without any sound the spot transforms into a long three stories tall cylinder shaped object and suddenly stands in the neighbors yard. The mother, startled by the sudden movement, quickly grabs her children and moves them into the house as if someone was chasing her. After getting them to safety she looks out the window. “It is still there”. She takes the phone and starts dialing a phone number. “Peep……Hello?” Her younger brother picked up the phone. Relieved by his voice she says: “Johnny!? Are you guys OK?”. “What? Why? What’s going on?”, he asks. “I don’t know. Something just fell from the sky and landed on the neighbors yard.” she explains. “Really? Is it the Russians?” he asks casually. She rolls her eyes and snaps at him “No, it’s not the Russians!”. Her brother starts laughing with a hint of curiosity. “I’m coming over…..peep”. “No don’t….uh, he hang up. Dammit!”. She goes back to the window trying to figure out what this thing is. It is still just standing there. Not moving and not making any sound. She slowly walks towards the door, opening it slightly. Still no movement from the object. She slowly walks outside and grabs the telescope that her husband got from his last business trip. As she looks through the lens of the telescope she notices that the tower has no windows. It looks more like a monolith, than a tower. she takes the ladder and climbs up the roof to get a better view. Once more she looks through the telescope. This time to the bottom of the object. The monolith seems to be hovering over the ground. “What is this thing?” she asks herself. That’s why there was no impact, it did not really fall on the ground. “It’s definitely the Russians.”, she hears a familiar voice from below. Her little brother came as he said he would. “Do you really think it’s the Russians? Look up here!…”, she waves him up to the roof and points to the base of the monolith, “…It’s standing over the ground”. “Probably a new kind of secret weather balloon the Russians cooked up.” the brother said while dismissively waving his hand. “Do you have anything to eat? I’m starving.”

Some 30 minutes has passed. The monolith hasn’t moved and a large crowd has formed in front of the neighbors house. The mother, still on the roof, hears people loudly speculating what or who is behind this. In the middle of the crowd stands the neighbor himself, taking credit for the spectacle, taking pride in the fact that it landed on his property. Until somebody abruptly proposes that he should go into his yard and tell those intruders to get off his lawn, if he dares. The neighbor visibly hesitates at first but he starts moving towards his yard in an attempt to keep his newfound social status. While some people cheer him on others yelling at him out of fear he would kick the “hornets nest”. The neighbor now stands in front of the object. He approaches the monolith very slowly and moves his hand towards it. But before he can touch it, the monolith starts to make a weird sound. As if a camera flash is loading up. And like a camera flash the monolith itself suddenly lights up in a flash. The light consumes the whole town. The people within the light stand still for what seems to be a few seconds. They would later describe it as if they were held fast by some liquid light. But as the light gets dimmer the monolith swiftly rises up into the night sky, as if it had no weight. The mother looked through the telescope as soon as her eyes got used to the dark. She could see the light far up in the sky. It moves left and right and all of a sudden the light splits into many smaller lights. In this moment she knew “It was not the Russians!”.

The mother starts climbing down the roof, while wondering how long she was up there. She remembered that it was lunchtime when that thing landed. But now it’s already nighttime. In that moment a car approaches the house. It’s her husbands car, a small red Lada. “Honey, why are you back so early? I thought you would be gone for two days.” she asks, while running towards him. He looks her in the eyes trying to figure out whether she was joking and replies “What do you mean? I was gone for two days.”

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