Leonard woke up.
It was August 31st, one day before a brand new school year was set to begin at Autumnwood High on the south side of Sicklemore street.
His 18th birthday was last month, and boxes of presents and long-unwrapped packages were left around his bed.
Among those gifts unwrapped were a new telescope, a miniature rocket kit, a bestiary on paranormal creatures, a couple superhero action figures, some trading cards, videogames, and cartoony grey alien stickers. Also a magic wishing rock that'd fallen under his bed with a damp instruction Manuel.
Atop his dresser drawer was a lava lamp, an Ouija board, his laptop and all his contacts, and a couple of scantily dressed elf figurines.
Leonard was who you'd consider a standard geek, a kid obsessed with aliens, enemy combatants and the supernatural. Taped to the wall was a H.G. wells poster depicting 'War of the Worlds', hung beside his bed. A retro alarm clock beeped loudly until Leonard hit the snooze, a carefully put together toy model of a Japanese robot posed by his clock.
He got up and threw off his pajamas, and headed into the hall to take a shower. As a young kid he'd always had an over-active imagination and desired to meet a real life alien. Alien in the sense of the extraordinary - a traveler of the universe, a magician or cyborg, a satanic goth or psychic, a dimensional visitor, anything from beyond the normal.
He came back and changed into a grey t-shirt with a grey alien printed on it, knee-length jean shorts, and ankle sock. His head featured blond hair so light it was nearly platinum white, fair skin and slight freckles, and a slightly pudgy nose. His shirt hung loosely over his skinny figure. Leonard laid back against his bed and its UFO sheets. Tomorrow would start his sophomore high-school career. In Autumn Town Michigan he'd grown up, hoping for something greater one day in his lackadaisical life.
Who knew what this year would bring?