Timothy Mudie’s story “Sundown on the Hill” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 31 March 2017.
This story first started germinating years ago when my father told me a story about his trip to Woodstock. As he tells it, one of the friends he went with had an epiphany partway through the festival, left, and joined a seminary. While I can’t speak to the veracity of that story, something about someone leaving Woodstock for a mysterious reason spoke to me. Of course, since I write science fiction, in my head I immediately changed the epiphany from a religious one to something involving aliens. But while it was a fun idea, it wasn’t a story, and so I tucked it away.
Years later, I had another idea for a story about a man who believes he was abducted by aliens when he was younger, and who yearned to be abducted again. Something clicked, and I realized that these two ideas could fit together into one story. Sadly, I have experience with family members who have suffered dementia and Alzheimer’s, and it occurred to me that the confusion that goes along with those diseases could explain why Edward leaves in the middle of the night—and could add ambiguity about whether or not he was indeed abducted.
When I was a kid, I read a lot of “true story” books about alien abductions, and at the time I never questioned just why the accounts were always so similar. Is it because they were true and that was just the aliens’ modus operandi? Or did one person spread a story and others latched onto it? In real life, I’ve got to go with the latter, but when it comes to Edward and this story, I’ll leave that up to the reader.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.