A single streak of daylight dissected the dim room through the curtains. It
slowly made its way around the darkness as if probing for a victim; A long
slender finger tracing the contours of the bedroom, feeling its way through the
typical clutter of a twelve year olds sanctuary. The all Seeing Eye; searching
out the chosen one.
Despite the fact that at 11 o’clock, Ben’s friends were long up and out playing
in the local park, he lay in his bed sleeping. He was in a moment of respite
from a fever that had confined him to his bed for the last twenty four hours.
“He looks so peaceful,” his mother said.
“Let’s hope the medicine does its job, I don’t think I can cope with another day
or night like last night,” father said.
“Hmm, I don’t think he can cope with a night like last night,” agreed mother.
They stood with their backs to the closed door so not to allow any light or
noise from the rest of the house to interfere with Ben’s recuperation. They had
stood there for the last fifteen minutes just listening to his deep breathing.
The coughing had subsided; the rattle on his chest appeared to have calmed, and
his temperature appeared to have come under control.
Father left the room.
“I’ll be out in a minute,” said mother.
The clouds swirled; Shafts of sunlight pierced the rising mist making ladders
for lost soles as they clambered their way to a higher place. The cold burned,
making him shiver throughout. He tried to open his eyes to relieve the pressure
mounting in his sockets, but he couldn’t escape the prison that he had been
unceremoniously dumped into. The breeze started to gather momentum, turning
itself into a full wind, blowing the gnarled trees, making them sway exploding
the shafts of light into a million rays, a natural laser dividing the landscape.
Ben’s mother noticed the bead of sweat escape from his forehead. She looked
on anxiously expecting the now familiar fever induced delusions.
Ben started to scratch himself; itching a non existent rash. He twisted and
moaned as his breathing became more rapid. The inner turmoil of his
hallucinations was painted starkly across his grimacing face. “I want to go to
the café,” he cried out.
The tentacle of light found his face, he stopped, the calm returned.
A single cloud sailed the sky. A vast plain of wild grass slightly swaying in
the zephyr, emptiness enveloped with a warm glow, a slight chill from the last
residues of a mist systematically burned out by the midday sun.
Ben sat upon a circular stone, which in turn sat at the base of the lone tree
visible in the panoramic. He scanned the horizon trying to ascertain where he
was; taking in the beauty of its minimalism, but nothing was familiar.
He noticed a plume of dust and smoke rising from a small object heading his way.
He watched with interest at what could only be described as a steam powered golf
buggy, headed with gusto toward him. It stopped, the driver got out and walked
“Hello,” he cried.
“Hello,” said Ben.
“Sorry for the delay. We had to bring you in at the furthermost port…”
Ben eyed the little man with confusion, but he didn’t seem to notice and just
continued on with his explanation.
“…we were having terrible trouble locking onto your pattern. I hope you didn’t
encounter too much turbulence as we attempted to bring you through.”
“Well, err, I’ve been sick for a day or so…” said Ben.
“Ah, sorry about that. Oh well, couldn’t be helped, needs must and all that.”
“Who are you? Where am I?” Ben asked.
“Hmm, your grandfather didn’t tell you then? That explains the resistance. You
can’t open your mind and help us if you don’t know we’re there, I suppose.”
Ben was now very confused. “Help you with what?”
“The transport of course!” The little man snapped.
“Oh, right, course! I understand.” Ben lied, “So what about my grandfather?”
“We were looking for him… obviously we didn’t realise he was your grandfather…
time passes in strange ways…”
Ben nodded in agreement.
“…anyway, we couldn’t find his pattern no matter how hard we searched. Had us
all very confused, only seems five minutes since he was with us last… well, we
located a faint pattern and attempted to lock onto it, so much trouble though…”
“Ah,” said Ben.
“…had the engineers working round the clock, amplifying the unit… all the clever
bods scratching their heads and all that, not that they have more than one head
each you understand,”
“Oh yes, I understand,”
“…then it hit me, the pattern was someone else, obviously a child or such like…”
“…the pattern must have been passed down… a little diluted at first of course…
so we reinitialised the program for a newcomer and started to bring you in…”
“…and presto! Here you are. We couldn’t get you any closer, your mind must be so
muddled… need to work with that, clear it up a bit for the future.”
“Yes, the future, sure,” said Ben, “so where am I?”
“You ask too many questions and I’m only here to pick you up… said too much
already... but I was so excited to meet you… ok, so I thought I was going to
meet your grandfather at first… but when we realised it was you… well, exciting
all the same…” The little man turned and walked toward his vehicle.
“Come, come now, follow me, and I’ll take you to someone with more answers.”