Visitation

12 Apr

I’ve just got back from a restful and productive week at the writing den. Although technically I’m an alien there, the perpetual visitor, I feel no less at home than in ‘my own’ country. I’m beginning to pull together the strings of Work-in-Progress No. 1 and a completed piece of sorts is emerging. And I finished at last the Martian Amis book that I was reading.

This time, I visited in the company of my two children. We have a favourite picnic spot, by the side of a lake with woodland walks. On the penultimate day of our stay, we ate our baguettes and cheese then set off into the woods. My son was the first to spot them. Subliminally, on the periphery of my vision, I thought that I saw something too. I had with me only my rather poor camera phone. The sunlight was streaming through the gaps between the trees and I couldn’t see the screen as I captured the images. Until I got home, I wasn’t convinced that I’d taken pictures of anything at all.

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After the initial shock, the brightness of the colours was the most surprising thing. In film, they’re almost always presented as monochrome, made from some silver-coloured alloy or finished in black or white. As we approached to inspect them, they would drift away from us, always slightly out of focus. No matter how my daughter chased after those shapes, she never came any closer to them.

What were they, then? The big tops of some pan-galactic circus? The mobile homes of a race of interplanetary nomads? The cities of a sylvan people? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.

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I lost site of my children for some minutes. When they returned, they seemed changed somehow. They were angelic, immaculately behaved, their hair even more blond, their eyes greener… Perhaps, during that lost moment, they were taken on-board those beautiful ships.

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On our way home, in the gathering darkness, listening to Radiohead’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’, we passed a cottage, located close to the writing den. I noticed that a window was open although all the lights were out. I pulled over and peered in through that window. The interior had been ransacked. There was no sign of the owner. Had he been visited too, then? Perhaps there is some point in the universe where it will always be 18:07 and 26 seconds, earth time.

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And now that I’m home again, I feel that I’ve changed somehow too. I couldn’t say how for sure. All I do know is that I can’t wait for the next visit.

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All text and images © PSR 2015

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4 Responses to “Visitation”

  1. masgautsen April 12, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Wow that’s both cool and a little creepy!

  2. Paul Sutton Reeves April 12, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi Maja. Pleased to have spooked you!

  3. Mari Biella April 13, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    Creepy, yet whimsical – I like it!

    • Paul Sutton Reeves April 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Mari and thanks! And it’s true… in a manner of speaking. I’m adding further ‘proof’ at the end of the post.

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