Step through the portal and walk into another time, another continent perhaps?
That was the challenge she faced one night on the way home from visiting friends. The dark was split by a hole or tunnel glowing with blue white light and paved with what appeared to be stone. A gentle voice emanated from the apparition. ‘Choose your destiny’ it whispered, ‘travel in the fourth dimension to wherever you wish’.
She thought about it. Gift or curse?, ‘One Question’, she asked. ‘Can I return back to here, to now?’ ‘I cannot answer your question’ said the voice. ‘That would depend on if this time continuum continues in its present condition’.
I don’t want to worry you doctor, but I don’t think the tablets you gave me worked? You see I’m still coughing, and I keep wheezing, and I feel odd…
Thank you for examining me. So you can hear the wheeze? Oh, more like a purr? How odd.
Now look doctor, I don’t understand. What do you mean, feline blood? No my family keep cats, they aren’t actually cats!
But it doesn’t make sense, I am not licking my cat! How can it be? A Furball? That’s what I’m coughing up?….. That’s Mad! And why have my pupils suddenly gone from round to slits? Oh doctor, am I turning into a Werecat!? Is that your diagnosis?
Moira had noticed her cat kept staring up in a corner of the room. She could not see anything herself but she knew cats had better senses. Keener eyesight, a more acute sense of smell, hearing that was so much more able to notice small sounds.
Each night the cat would curl up to sleep, but then become alert, aware, interested in something. It would watch the ceiling for a few minutes, then close its eyes again and relax.
Moira started checking the time of each encounter with what was going on. Ten past eleven until seventeen minutes past. A precise time every night? Very strange.
Moira suspected that someone or something was playing games? She had friends that could do tricks, they had pranked her before, could it be them? But when she contacted them they denied any involvement.
It was on the eleventh day that she finally saw something. A drip of red running down the wall, slightly hidden by a picture. Could it be mould? Some old houses had problems with fungi? She decided to ring a builder if there was anymore problems the next night.
She sat down to watch TV the next evening. At precisely eleven ten pm the cat stretched and looked up. Then it did something new, it hissed! Moira looked up too, just as a disembodied foot pierced down through the ceiling. Slightly transparent, it paddled the air, not touching anything, floating, then simply vanished. The cat settled down. Moira didn’t!
Looking out from the hotel over the Channel she worried about her son. Where was he? Anxiety weighed like a heavy stone on her heart. What if she never saw him again?
The dinghy had not been seen since sunset, when it had been out on the sandbar fishing for mackerel, but no one had called the lifeboat and they were not that overdue. Still, a mother can have a sense about these things. She knew in her bones… Something was wrong.
A shadow fell across her as the sun started to set again. She turned her head to look. She heard his voice…
The trees sat in a thin mist rising up from the pools. Moss making the paths slippery. Branches and twigs had broken off in the winds of the night before.
What walked out of that wood was not alive. It had risen during the darkness, disturbed by the roots of the trees. It looked out through the mist and watched for anyone passing close by. It waited without thought. Without intelligence, but with quiet patience. Darkness had started to fall again when it heard the sound of steps. Steady and strong. The steps of a man walking home through the wood. Taking a shortcut. As the moon brightened the pathway a figure lurched in front of him. And then they both sank down into the pool. Together forever.
Who shall I speak to? Will they listen to me? So many questions to ask.
She stood in front of the microphone and wished she had written the thoughts down. She had known she would have to speak at the funeral, but had shied away from her obligation. The death of her friend had been a shock. He was only 60 when he passed away. She remembered an old boss of hers telling her off. They don’t pass away or pass on, they die said the woman.
No, she would say pass on. She would say sadly missed. She would say that his passing had left a hole in many lives. She had not seen much of him recently. Things had been bleak, people were not going out as much as they had. A cough could be enough to panic friends into staying away.
The funeral was only sparsely attended. The few people that were there were well separated. Women wore veils over dark coloured masks, the men wore cravats and masks. Good old fashion design getting involved in the workings of life and death. Things had to be chic.
So many questions to ask and then try and answer. She would struggle for words. But she would manage it.
A thicket, overgrown, a hedge tall and wide hiding the house behind it. Who lives there? No sign of movement. The gate locked shut. Curtains and boards up at the windows. Abandoned? Hidden, a haven for birds and wildlife. The smell and calls of foxes. But a house in need of care.
He looked through the hedge and wondered. Where had his family gone? Inheritance had finally happened and he was the only person found. He would start by cutting back the trees and hedges, but gently. He wanted to keep the wildness, but with some flowers and vegetables. It would take time.
He looked for a long time. Yes he could do it. Nature and garden would be in harmony. Life would be preserved and given its chance.
Not a Triffid, more mobile and intelligent. The plants are spreading. Faster than a bird in flight. Trapping creatures and absorbing them. Think intelligent pitcher plant. The larger they grow the bigger their prey. Human victims have been caught out in the open, trapped in cars, trains and buses. Now the plants are surrounding our homes. Green walls with sinister intentions.
Against it? Nothing at the moment. Television and satellite signals have been cut. All countries are separate. Where the climate is warming the aliens grow faster. Only in the far north and south are possibilities of a fight back. Who will survive?
The star was surrounded by a crystalline structure. Stems branching out towards other stars…. Light rushed down one arm from its tip to a place inside the structure. A figure emerged from within the glowing light.
How are you Doctor? the man said. How have you been? I’m fine he said. Just passing through. Looking for a large blue box…. You haven’t seen it have you? It’s made of wood and has windows and a door. I lost it somewhere in Alpha Centauri.
Oh, the Tardis? Yes it’s stored here. I can release it into your hands…..The Doctor smiled, but then looked quizzically at his friend…. Yes said the man, er, its complicated, it was the reverse polarity when it came through the quantum flux. Its over there.
The Doctor stared, there in a small crystalline cupboard sat the Tardis, six centimeters tall. Real, but tiny……